News
12/21/2010
02:39 PM
George Crump
George Crump
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

What If Data Services Were Free?

Data services is my term for the storage software that most storage hardware vendors include to make their hardware a solution. The capabilities of these software applications include the basics like volume provisioning and advanced features like file services, snapshots, thin provisioning and replication. What if you could get these software functions for free and apply them to the hardware of your choice?

Data services is my term for the storage software that most storage hardware vendors include to make their hardware a solution. The capabilities of these software applications include the basics like volume provisioning and advanced features like file services, snapshots, thin provisioning and replication. What if you could get these software functions for free and apply them to the hardware of your choice?First the software would have to be abstracted from the hardware, it would need to run on just about any storage platform. For the most part many of the storage system suppliers are already there. Many will openly claim that their storage software uses off the shelf hardware, its just that you have to get the hardware from them.

There are companies that provide storage data services software that essentially embodies this concept of abstracting the storage software from the hardware, and of course today most of these companies charge for the software. There are also companies that are providing storage services and file systems as virtual machines as we discussed in our recent webinar "Adding NAS To Your Virtualized SAN By Leveraging Cloud Storage". In both cases after buying the software you just need to get the storage hardware from a vendor that is focused on making just hardware instead of providing a turnkey solution.

Oracle's ZFS may be the closest we have to a free set of data services and we have seen vendors take that existing code and either enhance or integrate it into existing hardware. This gives these vendors an advantage of not having to worry about developing the data services basics like snapshots and thin provisioning and focus their development effort on integrating to specific applications. They can also offer alternative capabilities for specific areas like improving ZFS's deduplication capability or improving its use in server virtualized environments. Finally they benefit from millions of willing testers of the software for a better chance at bringing forth stable code.

The real winner if data services becomes free or near free, is the hardware vendors that just make hardware or at least where storage software is not the key part of their business. These companies, traditionally OEM's, could be well positioned to offer the cost effective storage hardware that is needed to complete these solutions. The second winner will be the companies that integrate the two and then possibly enhance with software components of their own.

While this all sounds good and who wouldn't love to see storage costs decrease in price, there has been limited growth in the software only data services market compared to the fully integrated solutions. As end users become more comfortable of the idea of virtualization, as general purpose hardware becomes as powerful as custom hardware and as the companies that integrate these technologies become more prevalent, we may see a dramatic shift toward this software only approach. If IT budgets continue to remain tight it may speed that shift.

Of course all is not lost for the makers of turnkey storage solutions that leverage their own data services and integrate on to storage hardware. In a future entry we will explore what the current hardware vendors should do to combat almost free storage software if it continues to become popular.

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

Subscribe to our RSS feed.

George Crump is lead analyst of Storage Switzerland, an IT analyst firm focused on the storage and virtualization segments. Find Storage Switzerland's disclosure statement here.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading, September 16, 2014
Malicious software is morphing to be more targeted, stealthy, and destructive. Are you prepared to stop it?
Flash Poll
Title Partner’s Role in Perimeter Security
Title Partner’s Role in Perimeter Security
Considering how prevalent third-party attacks are, we need to ask hard questions about how partners and suppliers are safeguarding systems and data.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-5316
Published: 2014-09-21
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in Dotclear before 2.6.4 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via a crafted page.

CVE-2014-5320
Published: 2014-09-21
The Bump application for Android does not properly handle implicit intents, which allows attackers to obtain sensitive owner-name information via a crafted application.

CVE-2014-5321
Published: 2014-09-21
FileMaker Pro before 13 and Pro Advanced before 13 does not verify X.509 certificates from SSL servers, which allows man-in-the-middle attackers to spoof servers and obtain sensitive information via a crafted certificate. NOTE: this vulnerability exists because of an incorrect fix for CVE-2013-2319...

CVE-2014-5322
Published: 2014-09-21
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the Instant Web Publish function in FileMaker Pro before 13 and Pro Advanced before 13 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unspecified vectors. NOTE: this vulnerability exists because of an incorrect fix for CVE-2013-3640.

CVE-2014-6602
Published: 2014-09-21
Microsoft Asha OS on the Microsoft Mobile Nokia Asha 501 phone 14.0.4 allows physically proximate attackers to bypass the lock-screen protection mechanism, and read or modify contact information or dial arbitrary telephone numbers, by tapping the SOS Option and then tapping the Green Call Option.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio