Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

News

4/30/2010
12:13 PM
George Crump
George Crump
Commentary
50%
50%

Storage Checkers Vs. Chess

Checkers is a two dimensional game where all the pieces have the same ability. Its about covering space. Chess is a complex three dimensional game where all the pieces have different capabilities and there is one common target: the enemy's king. In storage some features begin to look like checkers because they have become so commonplace, but when you dig deeper you find that the capabilities of these features between vendors vary greatly.

Checkers is a two dimensional game where all the pieces have the same ability. Its about covering space. Chess is a complex three dimensional game where all the pieces have different capabilities and there is one common target: the enemy's king. In storage some features begin to look like checkers because they have become so commonplace, but when you dig deeper you find that the capabilities of these features between vendors vary greatly.A great example is snapshot technology. I would be hard pressed to name a storage system vendor or even an operating system that does not have the feature listed. If you have a checkers view of storage, covering the bases, then you will give the feature a check mark and move on. Reality is though that snapshot technology is still different between vendors. Many vendors still have a relatively small limit on the amount of snapshots that can be maintained per LUN or volume because of how the tracking and managing of snapshots will impact performance of the system. Even systems that have seemingly high snapshot limits really should be reviewed with close scrutiny. Thanks to server virtualization you can hit 200+ active snapshots per volume quickly.

Thin provisioning is another technology that seems headed toward the checker status that really should not be. There are still key differences in vendor offerings. The first is how the thin provisioning allocates storage. Many thinly provisioned systems are really just dynamically allocating chunks of capacity as the volumes they are monitoring reach their allocation limits. For example if you define a 1TB volume some systems will allocate volume to its capacity rather than chunks at a time instead of a very fine grained allocation. When this chunk is filled up another chunk is allocated. What this means is that for each volume there is capacity that is allocated and not in use. For some vendors this extra allocation can be quite large, and in a storage system with hundreds if not thousands of volumes it can result in a lot of wasted capacity.

Another key development in thin provisioning, as we outline in our Thin Provisioning White paper, is the ability to migrate from hard volumes to thin volumes as well as reclaim capacity on thin provisioned volumes after data has been deleted from them. These are still relatively new features. Most storage systems do not have it yet and they could be important, especially in larger data centers.

There are other features that are often assumed to be the same yet on further examination are very different between vendors. Capabilities like deduplication, auto-tiering, compression and replication are just a few, even basic capabilities like the actual provisioning of storage can be vastly different on further review. When considering your storage options make sure you are playing chess, not checkers.

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
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
News
Inside the Ransomware Campaigns Targeting Exchange Servers
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  4/2/2021
Commentary
Beyond MITRE ATT&CK: The Case for a New Cyber Kill Chain
Rik Turner, Principal Analyst, Infrastructure Solutions, Omdia,  3/30/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-3493
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-17
The overlayfs implementation in the linux kernel did not properly validate with respect to user namespaces the setting of file capabilities on files in an underlying file system. Due to the combination of unprivileged user namespaces along with a patch carried in the Ubuntu kernel to allow unprivile...
CVE-2021-3492
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-17
Shiftfs, an out-of-tree stacking file system included in Ubuntu Linux kernels, did not properly handle faults occurring during copy_from_user() correctly. These could lead to either a double-free situation or memory not being freed at all. An attacker could use this to cause a denial of service (ker...
CVE-2020-2509
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-17
A command injection vulnerability has been reported to affect QTS and QuTS hero. If exploited, this vulnerability allows attackers to execute arbitrary commands in a compromised application. We have already fixed this vulnerability in the following versions: QTS 4.5.2.1566 Build 20210202 and later Q...
CVE-2020-36195
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-17
An SQL injection vulnerability has been reported to affect QNAP NAS running Multimedia Console or the Media Streaming add-on. If exploited, the vulnerability allows remote attackers to obtain application information. QNAP has already fixed this vulnerability in the following versions of Multimedia C...
CVE-2021-29445
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-16
jose-node-esm-runtime is an npm package which provides a number of cryptographic functions. In versions prior to 3.11.4 the AES_CBC_HMAC_SHA2 Algorithm (A128CBC-HS256, A192CBC-HS384, A256CBC-HS512) decryption would always execute both HMAC tag verification and CBC decryption, if either failed `JWEDe...