Tom Trainer

Network Computing Blogger


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Monolithic Scale-Out NAS Is Out Of Gas

For companies dealing with storage hardware vendors claiming to have a cloud solution, I recommend you change your RFIs and RFPs. Ask them how much it will cost for a fully managed storage service that is fully redundant, highly scalable, designed for enterprise levels of reliability and availability; RAID protected; load balanced; with fully virtualized access through a single global namespace; with policy driven replication, automated data integrity checking with self healing; with integrated user-based security access and quota support; full directory structure with infinite sub accounts, with a full billing, reporting and chargeback system; with multiple modes of access; 365/24/7 monitoring; all server/volume management; all break fix maintenance; BC/DR capable; with all SW maintenance, updates, and enhancements; capacity monitored; tech refreshed; with full SE and development engineering support, with a global storage footprint. And tell me what kind of answer you get back from that monolithic box vendor on your RFI/RFP. Tell me how they try and cloudwash their way around it.

The last thing that needs to be called out is the fact that some of Isilon’s software is hardwired to their nodes, limiting customer flexibility. Combine that with a user-hostile interface, and, in my opinion, you have a recipe for a product that is unfit for a cloud storage environment. In my opinion, deploying Isilon for cloud storage is analogous to buying a lump of coal versus purchasing services from your electric company.

My prediction is that true cloud storage and storage services will replace the old fashioned monolithic scale-out NAS products at an increasingly accelerated pace, particularly for the content distribution/collaboration, unstructured data and archival requirements of companies worldwide.

Tom Trainer is founder and president of analyst firm Analytico. Prior to founding Analytico, Trainer was Principal Storage Product Marketing Manager at Red Hat, and Director of Marketing at Gluster prior to its acquisition by Red Hat. Tom has worked as managing senior partner at Evaluator Group, and also held senior positions at EMC, HDS, Auspex, and Memorex-Telex during his 30-year career in IT. You can follow him on Twitter at @itstorage


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