OSS EMEA 2013 was one of the more inspiring few days I’ve experienced recently at Nexenta. It was not a marketing event. It was war stories about the shift to OpenStorage and Software Defined Storage shared in sessions, over demos, and, yes, over beers.
A few things I learned included:
- SDS is already real and leverages commodity hardware. I had the opportunity to facilitate a cloud panel where I learned that the top hosting and cloud companies in Northern Europe are using NexentaStor as software defined storage – right now. SDS is not done – we are furiously adding capabilities as is the broader community. More below on that subject. But – Schuberg Phils presented on how they manage NexentaStor via Chef and use it as the basis of their cloud infrastructure TODAY. And how the use of commodity hardware means cost savings now and in the future and also – greater flexibility and supportability. Schuberg Phils is rapidly moving towards an infrastructure comprised almost entirely of commodity hardware and software, including their use of CloudStack, KVM, Arista, Nicira, and open approaches to security and load balancing as well.
- SDS is about to take the next step. While approximately 190 customers and partners attended OSS and discussed in part their usage of NexentaStor as a version of software defined storage – the booths attracting the most attention were those showing forthcoming Nexenta capabilities that add infinite scalability of the management framework through further separating the control and the management frameworks as well as those that map application requirements to storage software and hardware configurations.
- SDS isn’t just about deep and cheap. While many larger enterprises use NexentaStor initially as second and third tier storage to save money – over time customers often use NexentaStor for the flexibility of the solution and for the ability of NexentaStor to perform when used as hybrid flash or or all flash storage. Marik Lubinski, LeaseWeb’s Virtualization and Storage Engineer, reported that as one of the largest hosting companies in Europe, with operations extending to the United States, they have used just about every legacy storage solution available on the market today. And he reported that, by far, NexentaStor is “the fastest storage by far, of any storage we run.”
SDS and its foundation, OpenStorage, are not just about marketing. Despite many blogs and statements from legacy vendors arguing either that they already have SDS or that they soon will have SDS, the simple fact is that they have neither the open approach and software only business model needed OR – as last week reminded me – the people, the community and the sheer number of progressive users that OpenStorage based SDS has accumulated. Together we are making a reality a fundamentally better approach to enterprise class storage.