News

8/18/2008
01:56 PM
George Crump
George Crump
Commentary
50%
50%

The Death Of Storage Hardware

My former boss, who is still a mentor today, had a saying: "Success in life is the elimination of variables." Words to live by and words that the storage community must have heard. The biggest variable they deal with when installing a solution into their environment is the variable of, well, their environment.

My former boss, who is still a mentor today, had a saying: "Success in life is the elimination of variables." Words to live by and words that the storage community must have heard. The biggest variable they deal with when installing a solution into their environment is the variable of, well, their environment.No manufacturer can make their lab identical to every data center that their solution will be installed in. To eliminate this variable, manufacturers have developed appliances with their solution preinstalled on them. If you look under the covers of most of these appliances, there's really not much special to them. Typically they're just off-the-shelf hardware, probably running Linux in some form. The special part is that it's a "known," and no longer a variable. Every system they provide has the same memory, processors, network I/O cards, etc. The result is that these solutions are up and running faster, with fewer support calls back to the manufacturer. Everybody wins.

Variable elimination isn't perfect. The challenge with appliances is that it costs the manufacturers money and at some point they have to change the hardware to keep up with processing upgrades and network I/O upgrades. When there is a platform refresh it also causes challenges within your data center. First you have to allow a potentially foreign platform manufacturer into your data center, or, even more ironically, you may pay extra for a platform that you already have. You also need power, cooling, and rackspace for the appliance. As server virtualization becomes common and, in fact, integrated into the OS, why can't the manufacturers simply provide images? This still delivers a common platform for them to support -- the hypervisor -- keeping support costs down. This can be delivered as a server image that can be installed into the virtualization OS. True, you would have to learn how to get the image loaded and start the virtual machine. It might cause some extra steps on the networking side, but these struggles are far offset by having a solution that can be delivered simply and without using additional power, cooling, or rackspace. Storage hardware manufacturers can and will eventually participate in this situation, and some already are. There are a few manufacturers that already allow their software to run as a virtual machine. There are a few that will allow other virtual machines to run on their appliances. Realistically, there will be a need for customized hardware for storage performance for the foreseeable future. The unique hardware requirement will be the shelf itself; the software IP can live as a series of virtual machines on a group of Virtualization hosts.

Track us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/storageswiss.

Subscribe to our RSS feed.

George Crump is founder of Storage Switzerland, an analyst firm focused on the virtualization and storage marketplaces. It provides strategic consulting and analysis to storage users, suppliers, and integrators. An industry veteran of more than 25 years, Crump has held engineering and sales positions at various IT industry manufacturers and integrators. Prior to Storage Switzerland, he was CTO at one of the nation's largest integrators.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
5 Reasons the Cybersecurity Labor Shortfall Won't End Soon
Steve Morgan, Founder & CEO, Cybersecurity Ventures,  12/11/2017
BlueBorne Attack Highlights Flaws in Linux, IoT Security
Kelly Sheridan, Associate Editor, Dark Reading,  12/14/2017
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
The Year in Security: 2017
A look at the biggest news stories (so far) of 2017 that shaped the cybersecurity landscape -- from Russian hacking, ransomware's coming-out party, and voting machine vulnerabilities to the massive data breach of credit-monitoring firm Equifax.
Flash Poll
[Strategic Security Report] Cloud Security's Changing Landscape
[Strategic Security Report] Cloud Security's Changing Landscape
Cloud services are increasingly becoming the platform for mission-critical apps and data. Heres how enterprises are adapting their security strategies!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-0290
Published: 2017-05-09
NScript in mpengine in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine with Engine Version before 1.1.13704.0, as used in Windows Defender and other products, allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service (type confusion and application crash) via crafted JavaScript code within ...

CVE-2016-10369
Published: 2017-05-08
unixsocket.c in lxterminal through 0.3.0 insecurely uses /tmp for a socket file, allowing a local user to cause a denial of service (preventing terminal launch), or possibly have other impact (bypassing terminal access control).

CVE-2016-8202
Published: 2017-05-08
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products running Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) releases earlier than v7.4.1d and v8.0.1b could allow an authenticated attacker to elevate the privileges of user accounts accessing the system via command line interface. With affected version...

CVE-2016-8209
Published: 2017-05-08
Improper checks for unusual or exceptional conditions in Brocade NetIron 05.8.00 and later releases up to and including 06.1.00, when the Management Module is continuously scanned on port 22, may allow attackers to cause a denial of service (crash and reload) of the management module.

CVE-2017-0890
Published: 2017-05-08
Nextcloud Server before 11.0.3 is vulnerable to an inadequate escaping leading to a XSS vulnerability in the search module. To be exploitable a user has to write or paste malicious content into the search dialogue.