It has been a while since my last contribution to DDN blog, but here is something that merits a new entry: I would like to address a topic we have been putting a lot of work into at DDN, the efficient storage of data at scale.

I’ve been reading a number of WOS product reviews over the past weeks. We’re incredibly proud of the validation that we’ve received from IDC’s MarketScape and Gartner’s Critical Capabilities report and it’s great to see WOS get very high scores overall. Object storage as a solution to a variety of use cases – like content distribution, cloud storage and archiving – is taking off. While I could spend time focusing on all three use cases, I wanted to focus on one that historically we’ve been very good at addressing with our HPC and big data storage solutions and that is now gaining traction in the object storage world as part of active archiving.

With unique capabilities that help optimize for network and disk latency, this week we’re introducing new updates to our WOS platform as part of the WOS360 release which include a number of (kick ass) features that are specifically relevant for Archiving use cases and enable customers to build highly efficient object archives.

At DDN, we are seeing WOS deployments that have the widest range of requirements: Exabyte scalability, in hundreds of billions of objects and distribution across hundreds of nodes and multiple sites around the world. Each time we deploy WOS for a customer, we learn a lot about how our customers define their own version of the word efficient.

Based on that experience, I see three ways that WOS addresses efficiency for object storage:

  1. WOS is time efficient as it provides high-performance.
  2. WOS is also space efficient as it enables customers to reliably store large volumes of data with the smallest overhead.
  3. And finally, WOS is also network efficient. DDN’s Global ObjectAssure is the best example of that, and it’s being introduced in this week’s WOS 360 release. This data protection feature allows customers to store massive volumes of data with the lowest overhead, without generating unnecessary bandwidth traffic for data rebuilds.

For Don's post

A key differentiator of WOS is its ability to store data with different protection schemes within the WOS cluster. The simplest version of data protection in WOS is replication. Replication methods are very time efficient, in that they provide low latency access to data that is potentially stored distributed around the world.

However, replication is typically applied to three different zones, which requires a considerable amount of extra storage overhead. This approach is acceptable for many applications – such as CDN – but often with the tradeoff of space efficiency. Contrast this with ObjectAssure data protection, which allows users to store data and protect it, with as little as 1.25x data expansion. ObjectAssure can also be combined with replication: Replicated ObjectAssure which protects data from full site failures, but again at a higher storage cost.

Global Object Assure combines the best aspects of each of these methods to store data with less than 2x data expansion, across multiple sites with extraordinary, and industry leading, data protection. An absolutely critical aspect of Global ObjectAssure is that drive failure is handled entirely within the WOS node, keeping traffic off the scarce WAN resource.

What I find most innovative about WOS is that it can perform all of these functions at the same time – a WOS deployment will, and often does, use a combination of replication, object assure, replicated object assure data protection schemes. The addition of Global ObjectAssure brings the Archiving use case firmly into WOS. By selecting the appropriate data storage policies to meet individual end user requirements, WOS enables customers to tune or customize to their own required level of efficiency: time efficiency (faster rebuilds, less management effort), space efficiency (less overhead) and network efficiency (no bandwidth traffic for rebuilds). In combination with the new WOS Archive nodes we’re also introducing this week, we’re excited to build on our history of innovation and expand on delivering end-to-end solutions from high performance primary storage to cost effective long-term archive storage.

If you’re interested in learning more about our next generation WOS, please join us for a webinar on March 11 where we will discuss just how we’ve built WOS to become the market’s first true object storage platform, designed to help companies tune their systems to meet the five key requirements of scalability, availability, reliability, efficiency and performance. 

  • DDN Storage
  • DDN Storage
  • Date: March 5, 2014