At TechEd 2103 Europe I met some passionate people who’ve been working hard at deploying Storage Spaces on a large scale in their companies (many hundreds of TB). They have replaced their expensive SANs and getting better performance, better data protection leveraging ReFS at way cheaper pricing (licensing is a killer). Their life has also become easier due to the KISS principle and the fact that complex solutions have complex issues.
Storage Spaces are creating a buzz. Lot of interest, interactive discussions & paper napkin designs of concepts were being drawn up. It seems like more and more people are getting the message and don’t consider my talks over the past 18 months on this as weird any more. So you need some “out of the box” thinking to get “Cluster in a Box” as a building block for scale out storage solutions. I’ve already done away with SAN built on proprietary hardware, it’s all commodity gear. But t doesn’t stop there. Once you realize that this hardware gives you all you need the logical step is the software and that’s where Windows and Storage Spaces comes in. Yes sure, this is blasphemy in the storage world, so what? The world used to be flat once
There is no singe universal solution. Just good to great ones. Don’t fall for the FUD big storage vendors fling around and don’t be man handled into a solution. The reality is that when you have what works for you, that’s when you’ve got it right. So look into Storage Spaces and all related technologies. Once you wrap your head around the concepts, you start to understand the why an how of it all a lot better.
Whatever the nature and the size of your environments and needs, there are options or even combinations of options out there that can help you. You can buy completely configured building blocks (cluster in a box) or even complete Fast Track solutions based on this concept with Hyper-V and the System Center stack. You can also build the solution your self. Combine this with total VM mobility within the data center in combination with continuous availability. Outside of the data center Hyper–V Replica and application based shared nothing high availability help failover fast with out noticeable or minimal service interruption. All this without the “Kings Ransom” prices you have to pay for proprietary solutions. If you’re not interested yet I bet your business and especially your CFO is! All you got to do is manage risk instead of letting fear rule you.
How crazy am I with in this view? Some people actually asked me that combined with the question if anyone is really considering using this is real life. Well I met a lot of like minded people who are putting into practice here at TechEd. And knowing my Hyper-V, Clustering, Networking and storage very well, discussing these subjects and Storage Spaces with other attendees I’ve had a job/consulting offer just about every day. Not too bad as far as real life interest in this goes (and I remember being ridiculed in 2008 for being an early adaptor of Hyper-V ).
The storage world is in flux sending waves through the way we deliver our services. Surf the waves and enjoy the ride .
It would be interesting to see a list of hardware for cluster in a box deployments. Perhaps comparing commodity gear to the big hardware providers. Is there anything out there or perhaps similar?
Lots of people investigating this but not to much details in public. Building one yourself is easiest with know certified vendors if you need that but comparisons & solutions are a big endeavor with commercial value, so probably likely t see this soon. Building something to play with is not that hard.
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