I’ve only just stumbled on Kostadis’ video on Unified Storage. In case you’re not familiar with the concept, here’s his definition:
- A piece of hardware that has CPU, Memory and disk
- That supports FC, iSCSI, CIFS and NFS
- That has a common management console for all storage functions that are not protocol specific
- Has a single replication mechanism that is independent of protocol
Quite how and why this narrow definition should define something that is classed as unified, I’m not sure, however if you watch the video you’ll see it’s a direct attack at Netapp’s arch nemesis, EMC. Does this mean Unified Storage is a real concept or just an attempt to have a dig at the competition?
Here’s a few thoughts:
- How many (persistent) storage devices do you know that don’t contain CPU, memory and disk?
- What have FICON, ESCON, Infiniband, SCSI, AoE and FCoE (and others) done to deserve exclusion from the term “Unified”?
- Why permit exclusions from a common management console? Surely common means it does everything? Otherwise it’s not common.
- Why is a single replication mechanism so superior? Isn’t choice a good thing?
There are other storage vendors out there. Some of them even use the Unified moniker too – with just cause. So here’s my more generic definition of Unified Storage:
- A hardware device dedicated to data storage.
- A device which supports all commonly used protocols, including Mainframe and Open Systems standards.
- A device which enables *all* configuration to be performed through a single management interface (regardless of whether multiple interfaces are supported)
- A device which provides consistent performance/throughput, regardless of the protocol used.
- A device which scales.
Now does that actually exist?