Dave Vellante from Wikibon posted his summary of 3PAR's analyst call this week. It's a good chance for people to get an unvarnished opinion how 3PAR is doing.
One of the things that came up during the call was a discussion of Storage Federation. Here is what our CEO David Scott said were the three main points to understand about it:
- It’s different from virtualization. It allows separate peer, self-governing systems to act as a global whole (versus a hierarchical approach).
- Automomic storage will be a critical enabler to federation as stuff gets moved around the virtualized network.
- Storage federation is following a natural evolution from data center–>metro–>globally shared storage
Storage Federation is a new concept that has been getting a lot of attention from storage bloggers all of a sudden. People interested in following these discussions can start on Stuiesav's blog and follow the links in his posting.
A team of storage systems
A good analogy for Storage Federation is that storage systems work together in a team. Each member of the team has the ability to manage it's own resources and can make the information about its resources available to the team so that they can act together according to internal algorithms and policies.
Autonomic management is scoped from the individual storage system to the Storage Federation. The same types of algorithms and policies that relocate volumes within an individual array are used to relocate volumes within the Federation. For instance, the autonomic management technology used in 3PAR's volume and sub-volume relocation software, Dynamic Optimization and Adaptive Optimization, could be adapted for use in 3PAR's Storage Federation.
The graphic below illustrates the two levels of autonomic storage management. On the bottom, three storage systems manage their own resources and share resource information to the Federation where they can be accessed and managed by Federal algorithms and policies. If you click the graphic, you will see a slightly larger version that is easier to see.
Some of the thorniest storage ownership problems can be addressed by Storage Federation, including load balancing, firmware upgrades, system maintenance and data migrations.