Servers: The Right Compute
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The Impact of Hyperscale on the New Style of IT: An Historical Perspective


Guest blog written by Leo Leung, VP of Marketing for Scality


Turbochargers became popular in the early 1980’s with the Saab 900 as well as the Buick Grand National and are now expected to be offered as standard equipment in over 40% of light American cars, and 85% of European cars by 2016. In the 1990’s anti-lock brakes (ABS) became a common car feature, and after 2007 became mandatory in new cars in the EU. 


Where did these now essential technologies come from? Airplanes.


The forced induction of turbochargers was necessary at high altitude, because the reduced air pressure resulted in significant power loss. When applied to cars, turbochargers provided sufficient power enhancement to enable smaller displacement engines to replace larger engines, saving on weight and fuel consumption.


Anti-lock brakes were developed because threshold braking was nearly impossible for planes. When applied to cars, ABS has proven to significantly improve safety for most on-road situations.


When it comes to IT infrastructure, one may wonder what can be learned from environments comprised of thousands of servers and hard drives. Well, much like the capabilities derived from 600,000 pound airliners, hyperscale data centers have much to teach.


Keeping applications running in large-scale hardware environments forces new behavior and new technology. With the same number, and often fewer administrators, there is no time to stop everything to replace failed drives, servers, or even racks of servers. Application clients have to be rerouted immediately, and hardware replacement relegated to a regular maintenance task.


True data resiliency, even in the case of rack and site failure, can’t be a complex dance of local RAID, asynchronous replication, offsite backups, manual steps and as much as 400% overhead. Data must be identifiable at a much more granular level than half-empty volumes and data protection must incorporate notions of local and remote natively. This enables better protection than the independent mechanisms of today, with much greater efficiency.


Applications and the infrastructure to support them can’t be thought of in isolation. Instead of buying a separate control plane, data controller, and persistence layer for every new app or expansion, the storage infrastructure must continue to scale capacity and performance linearly as a single platform. This unlocks tremendous efficiencies in utilization, and paves the way for the potential value of data reuse.


Much like turbochargers have improved the basic way cars go, and ABS has enhanced the basic way cars stop, technologies from hyperscale environments, demonstrated by software defined storage products like the Scality RING, can drastically improve many IT infrastructures. Don’t be fooled by the heritage.


Join us on Thursday, February 19 for a CrowdChat about the HP and Scality collaboration, with #realdatastories detailing some of the lessons learned from running at massive scale.


- Leo


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About the Author


Donna is responsible for identifying training and certification market opportunities and developing strategies, positioning and content for HPE Storage and Networking portfolios. Donna joins the HPE Global Partner Enablement Certification and Learning team from the HPE Enterprise Group Content Marketing and Strategy team where she spearheaded development of customer-facing content at the business and thought leadership level, and as social media strategist for HPE Servers.