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2013

Storage I/O industry trends image

 

Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently added EBS Optimized support for enhanced bandwidth EC2 instances (read more here). This industry trends and perspective cloud conversation is the third (tying the posts together) in a three-part series companion to the AWS EBS optimized post found here. Part I is here (closer look at EBS) and part II is here (closer look at S3).

 

AWS image via Amazon.com

Cloud storage and object storage I/O figure
Cloud and object storage access example via Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking

 

AWS cloud storage gateway

 

In 2012 AWS released their Storage Gateway that you can use and try for free here using either an EC2 Amazon Machine Instance (AMI), or deployed locally on a hypervisor such as VMware vSphere/ESXi. About a year ago I did a storage gateway post (First, second and third impressions) when it was first released. I will do a new post soon following up with my later impressions and experiences of having used it recently. For now, my quick (fourth impressions can be found here in this AWS Marketplace review). In general, the gateway is an AWS alternative to using third product gateway, appliances of software tools for accessing AWS storage.

 

AWS Storage Gateway
Image courtesy of www.amazon.com

 

When deployed locally on a VM, the storage gateway communicates using the AWS API's back to the S3 and EBS (depending on how configured) storage services. Locally, the storage gateway presents an iSCSI block access method for Windows or other servers to use.

 

There are two modes with one being Gateway-Stored and the other Gateway-Cached. Gateway-Stored uses your primary storage mapped to the storage gateway as primary storage and asynchronous (time delayed) snapshots (user defined) to S3 via EBS volumes. This is a handy way to have local storage for low latency access, yet use AWS for HA, BC and DR, along with a means for doing migration into or out of AWS. Gateway-cache mode places primary storage in AWS S3 with a local cached copy to reduce network overhead.

 

Storage I/O industry trends image

 

When I tried the gateway a month or so ago, using both modes, I was not able to view any of my data using standard S3 tools. For example if I looked in my S3 buckets the objects do not appear, something that AWS said had to do with where and how those buckets and objects are managed. Otoh, I was able to see EBS snapshots for the gateway-stored mode including using that as a means of moving data between local and AWS EC2 instances. Note that regardless of the AWS storage gateway mode, some local cache storage is needed, and likewise some EBS volumes will be needed depending on what mode is used.

 

When I used the gateway, a Windows Server mounted the iSCSI volume presented by the storage gateway and in turn served that to other systems as a shared folder. Thus while having block such as iSCSI is nice, a NAS (NFS or CIFS) presentation and access mode would also be useful. However more on the storage gateway in a future post. Also note that beyond the free trial period (you may have to pay for storage being used) for using the gateway, there are also fees for S3 and EBS storage volumes use.

 

AWS image via Amazon.com

 

What about Glacier?

 

Shortly after its release last year, I did this piece about Glacier and have since been doing some testing proof of concepts with it.

 

I like Glacier and its prospects for doing some various things, particular for inactive data including deep archives that will seldom if every be accessed, yet need to be retained. The business value proposition of Glacier is that it has a very high durability and low-cost assuming that you do not need to frequently access your data, and when you do, that you can wait 3 to 5 hours before retrieving it from your S3 buckets.

 

Access to Glacier is via API or AWS console so getting things into and out of it can be a challenge. For example I wanted to see if I could use AWS storage gateway to more easily bulk move things into Glacier via S3, however no luck, or at least today. Speaking of S3, by setting your policies you determine when objects get moved into Glacier as well as how long they will stay there, you can read more about Glacier here and via AWS here.

 

Storage I/O industry trends image

 

How much do these AWS services cost?

 

Fees vary depending on which region is selected, amount of space capacity, level or durability and availability, performance along with type of service. S3 pricing can be found here including a free trial tier along with optional fees. Other AWS fees for EC2 can be found here, EBS pricing here, Glacier here, and storage gateway costs are located here.

 

Note that there is a myth that cloud vendors have hidden fees which may be the case for some, however so far I have not seen that to be the case with AWS. However, as a consumer, designer or architect, doing your homework and looking at the above links among others you can be ready and understand the various fees and options. Hence like procuring traditional hardware, software or services, do your due diligence and be an informed shopper.

 

  Amazon Web Services (AWS) image

 

Some more service cost notes include:

 

Note that with S3 Standard and RRS objects there is not a charge for deletion of objects, however there is a pro-rated charge per GByte of Glacier objects removed prior to 90 days. Glacier also allows up to 5% of your average monthly storage usage (pro-rated daily) to be restored with no charge, other fees apply for restoring larger amounts in a given period. Thus if you are planning on accessing and using data, analyze what your activity and usage will be as part of calculating your costs with Glacier. Read more about Glacier here.

 

Standard EBS volumes are changed by the amount of storage space capacity you provision in GB until released. For EBS snapshot copies there are fees for transferring data across regions, once moved, the rates of the new region apply for the snapshot.

 

  Amazon Web Services (AWS) image

 

As with Standard volumes, volume storage for Provisioned IOPS volumes is charged by the amount you provision in GB per month. With Provisioned IOPS volumes, you are also charged by the amount you provision in IOPS pro-rated as a percentage of days you have it in use for the month.

 

Thus important for cloud storage planning to know not only your space requirements, also IOP's, bandwidth, and level of availability as well as durability. so for Standard volumes, you will likely see a lower number of I/O requests on your bill than is seen by your application unless you sync all of your I/Os to disk. Thus pay attention to what your needs are in terms of availability (accessibility), durability (resiliency or survivability), space capacity, and performance.

 

Leverage AWS CloudWatch tools and API's to monitoring that matter for timely insight and situational awareness into how EBS, EC2, S3, Glacier, Storage Gateway and other services are being used (or costing you). Also visit the AWS service health status dashboard to gain insight into how things are running to help gain confidence with cloud services and solutions.

 

Storage I/O industry trends image

 

When it comes to Cloud, Virtualization, Data and Storage Networking along with AWS among other services, tools and technologies including object storage, we are just scratching the surface here.

 

Hopefully this helps to fill in some gaps giving more information addressing questions, along with generating new ones to prepare for your journey with clouds. After all, don't be scared of clouds. Be prepared, do your homework, identify your concerns and then address those to gain cloud confidence.

 

Additional reading and related items:

 

Ok,  nuff said (for now).

Cheers  Gs

Storage I/O industry trends image

Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently added EBS Optimized support for enhanced bandwidth EC2 instances (read more here). This industry trends and perspective cloud conversation is the second (looking at S3) in a three-part series companion to the AWS EBS optimized post found here. Part I is here (closer look at EBS) and part III is here (tying it all together).

 

AWS image via Amazon.com

 

For those not familiar, Simple Storage Services (S3), Glacier and Elastic Block Storage (EBS) are part of the AWS cloud storage portfolio of services. With S3, you specify a region where a bucket is created that will contain objects that can be written, read, listed and deleted. You can create multiple buckets in a region with unlimited number of objects ranging from 1 byte to 5 Tbytes in size per bucket. Each object has a unique, user or developer assigned access key. In addition to indicating which AWS region, S3 buckets and objects are provisioned using different levels of availability, durability, SLA's and costs (view S3 SLA's here).

 

AWS S3 example image

 

Cost will vary depending on the AWS region being used, along if Standard or Reduced Redundancy Storage (RSS) selected. Standard S3 storage is designed with 99.999999999% durability (how many copies exists) and 99.99% availability (how often can it be accessed) on an annual basis capable of two data centers becoming un-available.

 

As its name implies, for a lower fee and level of durability, S3 RRS has an annual durability of 99.999% and availability of 99.99% capable of a single data center loss. In the following figure durability is how many copies of data exist spread across different servers and storage systems in various data centers and availability zones.

 

cloud storage and object storage across availability zone image

 

What would you put in RRS vs. Standard S3 storage?

 

Items that need some level of persistence that can be refreshed, recreated or restored from some other place or pool of storage such as thumbnails or static content or read caches. Other items would be those that you could tolerant some downtime while waiting for data to be restored, recovered or rebuilt from elsewhere in exchange for a lower cost.

 

Different AWS regions can be chosen for regulatory compliance requirements, performance, SLA's, cost and redundancy with authentication mechanisms including encryption (SSL and HTTPS) to make sure data is kept secure. Various rights and access can be assigned to objects including making them public or private. In addition to logical data protection (security, identity and access management (IAM), encryption, access control) policies also apply to determine level of durability and availability or accessibility of buckets and objects. Other attributes of buckets and objects include life-cycle management polices and logging of activity to the items. Also part of the objects are meta data containing information about the data being stored shown in a generic example below.

 

Cloud storage and object storage spread across availability zones figure

 

Access to objects is via standard REST and SOAP interfaces with an Application Programming Interface (API). For example default access is via HTTP along with a Bit Torrent interface with optional support via various gateways, appliances and software tools.

 

Cloud storage and object storage IO figure
Example cloud and object storage access

 

The above figure via Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press) shows a generic example applicable to AWS services including S3 being accessed in different ways. For example I access my S3 buckets and objects via Jungle Disk (one of the tools I use for data protection) that can also access my Rackspace Cloudfiles data. In the following figure there are examples of some of my  S3 buckets and objects used by different applications and tools that I have in various AWS regions.

 

Image of AWS S3 usage
AWS S3 buckets and objects in different regions

 

Note that I sometimes use other AWS regions outside the US for testing purposes, for compliance purpose my production, business or personal data is only in the US regions.

 

The following figure is a generic example of how cloud and object storage are accessed using different tools, hardware, software and API's along with gateways. AWS is an example of what is shown in the following figure as a Cloud Service and S3, EBS or Glacier as cloud storage. Common example API commands are also shown which will vary by different vendors, products or solution definitions or implementations. While Amazon S3 API which is REST HTTP based has become an industry de facto standard, there are other API's including CDMI (Cloud Data Management Interface) developed by SNIA which has gained ISO accreditation.

 

Cloud storage and object storage I/O figure
Cloud and object storage access example via Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking

 

In addition to using Jungle Disk which manages my AWS keys and objects that it creates, I can also access my S3 objects via the AWS management console and web tools, also via third-party tools including Cyberduck.

 

Cyberduck image for cyber duck tool
Cyberduck tool.

 

Additional reading and related items:

 

Continue reading part III (tying it all together) here.

 

Ok,  nuff said (for now)

 

Cheers  Gs

Storage I/O industry trends image

 

Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently added EBS Optimized support for enhanced bandwidth EC2 instances (read more here). This industry trends and perspective cloud conversation is the first (looking at EBS) in a three-part series companion to the AWS EBS optimized post found here. Part II is here (closer look at S3) and part III is here (tying it all together).

 

AWS image via Amazon.com

 

For those not familiar, Simple Storage Services (S3), Glacier and Elastic Block Storage (EBS) are part of the AWS cloud storage portfolio of services. There are several other storage and data related service  for little data database (SQL and NoSql based) other offerings include compute, data management, application and networking for different needs shown in the following image.

 

AWS services console image
AWS Services Console via www.amazon.com

 

Simple Storage Service (S3) is commonly used in  the context of cloud storage and object storage accessed via its S3 API. S3 can  be used externally from outside AWS as well as within or via other AWS services. For example with  Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) including via the Amazon Storage Gateway (read more here and about EC2 here). Glacier is the AWS cold or deep storage  service for inactive data and is a companion to S3 that you can read more about  here.

 

S3 is well suited for both big and little data repositories of objects  ranging from backup to archive to active video images and much more. In fact if you  are using some of the different AaaS or SaaS services including backup or file and  video sharing, those may be using S3 as its back-end storage repository. For example NetFlix leverages various AWS capabilities as part of its data and applications infrastructure (read more here).

 

AWS basics

 

AWS consists of multiple regions that contain multiple availability zones where data and applications are supported from.

 

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Note that objects stored in a region never leave that region, such as data stored in the EU west never leave Ireland, or data in the US East never leaves Virginia.

AWS does support the ability for user controlled movement of data between regions for business continuance (BC), high availability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR). Read more here at the AWS Security and Compliance site and in this AWS white paper.

 

What about EBS?

 

That brings us to Elastic Block Storage (EBS) that is  used by EC2 (read more about EC2 and instances here) as storage for cloud and virtual machines or compute instances. In  addition to using S3 as a persistent backing store or target for holding snapshots  EBS can be thought of as primary storage. You can provision and allocate EBS  volumes in the different data centers of the various AWS availability zones. As  part of allocating your EBS volume you indicate the type (standard) or  provisioned IOP's or the new EBS Optimized volumes. EBS Optimized volumes enables instances that support the feature to have better IO performance to storage.

 

The following image shows an EC2 instance with EBS volumes (standard and provisioned IOPS's) along with S3 volumes and snapshots. In the following example the instance and volumes are being served via the AWS US East region (Northern Virginia) using availability zone US East 1a. In addition, EBS optimized volumes are shown being used in the example to increase bandwidth or throughput performance between storage and the compute instance.

 

xxxxxxx

 

Using the above as a basis, you can build on that to leverage multiple availability zones or regions for HA, BC and DR combined with application, network load balancing and other capabilities. Note that EBS volumes are protected for durability by being spread across different servers and storage in an availability zone. Additional protection is provided by using snapshots combined with S3. Additional BC and DR or HA protection can be accomplished by replicating data across availability zones.

 

SQL applications using cloud and object storage services

 

The above is an example of tying various components and services together. For example using different AWS availability zones, instances, EBS, S3 and other tools including those from third parties. Here is a link to a free chapter download from Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press) pertaining to data protection, BC and DR (available at Amazon here and Kindle here). In addition here is an AWS white paper on using their services for BC, HA and DR.

 

EBS volumes are created ranging in size from 1GByte to 1Tbyte in space capacity with multiple volumes being mapped or attached to an EC2 instances. EBS volumes  appear as a virtual disk drive for block storage. From the EC2 instance and guest operating system you can mount, format and use the EBS volumes as any other block disk drive with your favorite tools and file systems. In addition to space capacity, EBS volumes are also provisioned with standard IO (e.g. disk based) performance or high performance Provisioned IOPS (e.g. SSD) for thousands of IOPS per instance. AWS states that a standard EBS volume should support about 100 IOP's on average, with about 2,000 IOPS for a provisioned IOP volume. Need more than 2,000 IOPS, then the AWS recommendation is to use multiple IOP provisioned volumes with data spread across those. Following is an example of AWS EBS volumes seen via the EC2 management interface.

 

Image of mapping AWS EBS to ECS instance
AWS EC2 and EBS configuration status

 

Note that there is a 10 to 1 ratio of space capacity to IOP's being provisioned. If you try to play a game of 1,000 IOPS provisioned on a 10GByte EBS volume to keep your costs down you are out of luck. Thus to get 1,000 IOPS's you would need to allocate at least a 100GByte EBS volume of which you will be billed for the actual space used on a monthly pro-rated basis. The following is an example of provisioning an AWS EBS volume using provisioned IOPS in the US East region in the 1a availability zone.

 

Image of AWS EBS provisioned IOPs
Provisioning IOPS with EBS volume

 

Standard and Provisioned IOPS EBS volumes

 

Standard EBS volumes are good for boot images or other application usage that are not IO performance intensive. For database or other active applications where more performance is needed, then EBS Provisioned IOPS volumes are your option. Note that the provisioned IOP rate is persistent for the specific volume during its life. Thus if you set it and forget it including not using it without turning it off, you will be billed for provisioning it.

 

Additional reading and related items:

 

Continue reading part II (closer look at S3) here and part III (tying it all together) here.

 

Ok,  nuff said (for now)

 

Cheers  Gs

Now also available via Gregs StorageIO Podcast on Apple iTunes

This is a new episode in the continuing StorageIO industry trends and perspectives pod cast series (you can view more episodes or shows along with other audio and video content here) as well as listening via iTunes or via your preferred means using this RSS feed (http://storageio.com/StorageIO_Podcast.xml)

StorageIO industry trends cloud, virtualization and big data

In this episode from SNW Spring 2013 in Orlando Florida, Bruce Ravid (@BruceRave) and me visit with Justin Stottlemyer (@JHStott) who is a Fellow and Storage Architect at Shutterfly.

 

Shutterfly image via shutterfly.com

 

Our conversation centers on how Justin and Shutterfly maximize their return on innovation (the new ROI) by using object storage along with other technology and techniques to create a resilient, scalable flexible data infrastructure.

 

Justin was at SNW presenting on overcoming object integration at Shutterfly where their data infrastructure consists of 80PB of storage to house over 30PB of user content data that continues to grow.

 

Example of how we have used Shutterfly to create photo books from vacations

 

For those not familiar,  Shutterfly providers customers with free unlimited storage of their photos which can then be printed in coffee table type books such as the one shown in the above figure. My wife has used Shutterfly a few times to create photo books such as the one shown above in the image.

 

As you will hear Justin explain in the pod cast, photos get uploaded and ingested into their environment and then available for printing.

 

In addition to talking about object storage, private clouds, business continuance (BC) and disaster recovery, other topics include performance and capacity planning, maximizing return on innovation in addition to return on investment among other items.

 

Listen in to hear how Justin and Shutterfly are currently managing 80PB of storage with over 30PB of user data that continues to grow.

Click here (right-click to download MP3 file) or on the microphone image to listen to the conversation with Justin and myself.

StorageIO podcast

Also available via Gregs StorageIO Podcast on Apple iTunes

 

Watch (and listen) for more StorageIO industry trends and perspectives audio blog posts pod casts  and other upcoming events. Also be sure to heck out other related pod casts, videos, posts, tips and industry commentary at StorageIO.com and StorageIOblog.com.

 

Enjoy this episode from SNW Spring 2013 with Justin Stottlemyer of Shutterfly.

 

Speaking of cloud and object storage, check out www.objectstoragecenter.com to view more related material.

 

Ok, nuff said.

Cheers gs

Storage I/O cloud virtual and big data perspectives

 

Riding the current software defined data center (SDC) wave being led by the likes of VMware and software defined networking (SDN) also championed by VMware via their acquisition of Nicira last year, Software Defined Marketing (SDM) is in full force. HP being a player in providing the core building blocks for traditional little data and big data, along with physical, virtual, converged, cloud and software defined has announced a new compute, processor or server platform called the Moonshot 1500.

 

HP Moonshot software defined server image

Software defined marketing aside,  there are some real and interesting things from a technology standpoint that HP is doing with the Moonshot 1500 along with other vendors who are offering micro server based solutions.

 

First, for those who see server (processor and compute) improvements as being more and faster cores (and threads) per socket, along with extra memory, not to mention 10GbE or 40GbE networking and PCIe expansion or IO connectivity, hang on to your hats.

HP Moonshot software defined server image individual server blade

 

Moonshot is in the model of the micro servers or micro blades such as what HP has offered in the past along with the likes of Dell and Sea Micro (now part of AMD). The micro servers are almost the opposite of the configuration found on regular servers or blades where the focus is putting more ability on a motherboard or blade.

 

With micro servers the approach support those applications and environments that do not need lots of CPU processing capability, large amount of storage or IO or memory. These include some web hosting or cloud application environments that can leverage more smaller, lower power, less performance or resource intensive platforms. For example big data (or little data) applications whose software or tools benefit from many low-cost, low power, and lower performance with distributed, clustered, grid, RAIN or ring based architectures can benefit from this type of solution.

 

HP Moonshot software defined server image and components

 

What is the Moonshot 1500 system?

  • 4.3U high rack mount chassis that holds up to 45 micro servers
  • Each hot-swap micro server is its own self-contained module similar to blade server
  • Server modules install vertically from the top into the chassis similar to some high-density storage enclosures
  • Compute or processors are Intel Atom S1260 2.0GHz based processors with 1 MB of cache memory
  • Single S0-DIMM slot (unbuffered ECC at 1333 MHz) supports 8GB (1 x 8GB DIMM) DRAM
  • Each server module has a single 2.5" SATA 200GB SSD, 500GB or 1TB HDD onboard
  • A dual port Broadcom 5720 1 Gb Ethernet LAn per server module that connects to chassis switches
  • Marvel 9125 storage controller integrated onboard each server module
  • Chassis and enclosure management along with ACPI 2.0b, SMBIOS 2.6.1 and PXE support
  • A pair of Ethernet switches each give up to six x 10GbE uplinks for the Moonshot chassis
  • Dual RJ-45 connectors for iLO chassis management are also included
  • Status LEDs on the front of each chassis providers status of the servers and network switches
  • Support for Canonical Ubuntu 12.04, RHEL 6.4, SUSE Linux  LES 11 SP2

 

Storage I/O cloud virtual and big data perspectives

 

Notice a common theme with moonshot along with other micro server-based systems and architectures?

 

If not, it is simple, I mean literally simple and flexible is the value proposition.

 

Simple is the theme (with software defined for marketing) along with low-cost, lower energy power demand, lower performance, less of what is not needed to remove cost.

 

Granted not all applications will be a good fit for micro servers (excuse me, software defined servers) as some will need the more robust resources of traditional servers. With solutions such as HP Moonshot, system architects and designers have more options available to them as to what resources or solution options to use. For example, a cloud or object storage system based solutions that does not need a lot of processing performance per node or memory, and a low amount of storage per node might find this as an interesting option for mid to entry-level needs.

 

Will HP release a version of their Lefthand or IBRIX (both since renamed) based storage management software on these systems for some market or application needs?

 

How about deploying NoSQL type tools including Cassandra or Mongo, how about CloudStack, OpenStack Swift, Basho Riak (or Riak CS) or other software including object storage, on these types of solutions, or web servers and other applications that do not need the fastest processors or most memory per node?

 

Close up image of HP microserver moonshot 1500

 

Thus micro server-based solutions such as Moonshot enable return on innovation (the new ROI) by enabling customers to leverage the right tool (e.g. hard product) to create their soft product allowing their users or customers to in turn innovate in a cost-effective way. 

 

Will the Moonshot servers be the software defined turnaround for HP, click here to see what Bloomberg has to say, or Forbes here.

 

Learn more about Moonshot servers at HP here, here or data sheets found here.

 

Btw, HP claims that this is the industries first software defined server, hmm.

 

Ok, nuff said (for now).

 

Cheers gs

Storage I/O industry trends image

Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently announced global availability of Elastic Block Storage (EBS) optimized support for four extra Elastic Cloud Computing (EC2) instance types. The support enables optimized performance between standard and provisioned IOP EBS volumes and EC2 instances to meet different bandwidth or throughput needs (learn more about AWS EBS, EC2, S3 and Glacier here).

 

AWS image via Amazon.com

 

The four EBS optimized instance types are m3.xlarge, m3.2xlarge, m2.2xlarge and c1.xlarge for dedicated bandwidth or throughput between the EC2 instances and EBS volumes. The performance or bandwidth ranges from 500 Mbits (500 / 8 = 62.5 MBytes) per second, to 1,000 Mbits (1,000 / 8 = 125MBytes) per second depending on the type of instance. As a refresher, EC2 instances (why by time you read this could change) vary in size and functionality with different amounts of EC2 Unit of Compute (ECU), number of virtual cores, amount of storage space included, 32 or 64 bit, storage and networking IO performance, and EBS Optimized or not. In addition to instances, different operating system images can be installed using those licensed from AWS such as various Windows and Unix or supply your own.

 

Image of AWS EC2 instance

 

There are also different generations of instances such as M1 (first generation where one ECU = 1.0 to 1.2 Ghz of a 2007 era Opteron or Xeon processor), M3 (second generation with faster processors) along with Micro low-cost options. There are also other optimized instances including high or large amounts of memory, high CPU or compute processing, clustered compute, high memory clustered, clustered GPU (e.g. using Nivida Tesla GPUs), high IO and high storage space capacity needs.

 

Here is the announcement from AWS:

 

    

Dear Amazon Web Services Customer,    

    

We are delighted to announce the global availability of EBS-optimized support for four additional instance types: m3.xlarge, m3.2xlarge, m2.2xlarge, and c1.xlarge. EBS-optimized instances deliver dedicated throughput between Amazon EC2 and Amazon EBS, with options between 500 Megabits per second and 1,000 Megabits per second depending on the instance type used. The dedicated throughput minimizes contention between EBS I/O and other traffic from your Amazon EC2 instance, providing the best performance for your EBS volumes.    

    

EBS-optimized instances are designed for use with both Standard and Provisioned IOPS EBS volumes. Standard volumes deliver 100 IOPS on average with a best effort ability to burst to hundreds of IOPS, making them well-suited for workloads with moderate and bursty I/O needs. When attached to an EBS-optimized instance, Provisioned IOPS volumes are designed to consistently deliver up to 2000 IOPS from a single volume, making them ideal for I/O intensive workloads such as databases. You can attach multiple Amazon EBS volumes to a single instance and stripe your data across them for increased I/O and throughput performance.    

    

Amazon EBS-optimized support is now available for m3.xlarge, m3.2xlarge, m2.2xlarge, m2.4xlarge, m1.large, m1.xlarge, and c1.xlarge instance types, and is currently supported in the US-East (N. Virginia), US-West (N. California), US-West (Oregon), EU-West (Ireland), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Asia Pacific (Japan), Asia Pacific (Sydney), and South America (São Paulo) Regions.    

    

You can learn more by visiting the Amazon EC2 detail page.    

    

Sincerely,  

  

The Amazon EC2 Team

 

What this means is that AWS is enabling customers to size their compute instances and storage volumes with more flexibility to meet different needs. For example, EC2 instances with various compute processing capabilities, amount of memory, network and storage I/O performance to volumes. In addition, storage volumes based on different space capacity size, standard or provisioned IOP's, bandwidth or throughput performance between the instance and volume, along with data protection such as snapshots.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) image

 

This means that the cost per space capacity  of an EBS volume varies based on which AWS availability zone it is in, standard (lower IOP performance) or provisioned IOP's (faster), along with instance type. In other words, cloud storage is not just about the cost per GByte, it's also about the cost for IOPS, bandwidth to use it, where it is located (e.g. with AWS which Availability Zone), type of service, level of availability and durability among other attributes.

 

Additional reading and related items:

  • Cloud conversations: AWS EBS, Glacier and S3 overview (Part I)
  • Cloud conversations: AWS EBS, Glacier and S3 overview (Part II)
  • Cloud conversations: AWS EBS, Glacier and S3 overview (Part III)
  • Cloud conversations: AWS  Government Cloud (GovCloud)
  • Cloud conversations: Gaining cloud confidence from  insights into AWS outages
  • AWS (Amazon) storage gateway, first, second and third impressions
  • Cloud conversations: Public, Private, Hybrid what about Community Clouds?
  • Amazon cloud storage options enhanced with Glacier
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the NetFlix Fix?
  • Cloud conversation, Thanks  Gartner for saying what has been said
  • Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking via Amazon.com
  • Seven Databases in Seven Weeks
  • www.objectstoragecenter.com
  •  

    Continue reading part I (closer look at EBS) here, part II (closer look at S3) here and part III (tying it all together) here.

     

    Ok,  nuff said (for now)

    Cheers Gs

    Storage I/O cloud virtual and big data perspectives

     

    If your organization like StorageIO is a member of the  Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA) you may be aware of the resources they make  available about cloud, virtualization, security and more. Unlike so many other industry associates or trade groups dominated by vendors, the ODCA has an IT or customer focus including member developed best practices, strategies and templates.

     

    Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA) image

     

    A good example is the recently released ODCA member BMW group private cloud strategy document.

     

    This 24 page document (PDF found here) covers BMW groups  private cloud strategy that sets stage for phased future hybrid. By being a phased approach, it seems that BMW is leveraging and transitioning for the future while maintaining support for their current environment (including Windows-based) as part of a paradigm shift. This is refreshing and good to see how organizations are looking to use cloud as part of a paradigm or IT service deliver model and not just as a new technology or platform focus.

     

    ODCA BMW private cloud strategy image

     

    Topics covered include IaaS along with PaaS for DB, Web, SAP and  CSaaS or Corporate Software as a Service based on the NIST cloud model. Also included are roles and integration of CMDB, ITSM, ITIL, orchestration in a business vs. technology driven model. Being business driven, that means there is a mission statement for the BMW cloud strategy, with objectives aligned to support organization enablement vs. using different tools, technologies or trends along with design criteria.

     

    What I like about the BMW strategy is that it is aligned to support the business as opposed to finding ways to use technology to support the business, or justify why a cloud is needed. In other words, something different from those needing for a technology, tool, product, standard or service to be adopted.

    Thus while having been a vendor, the ODCA customer focused angle appeals to me from when I was on that side of the table working in IT organizations. Otoh, for some of you reading through the BMW document might result in DejaVu from experiences of web-based, client-server, information utilities and other IT service delivery models or paradigms.

     

    Learn more at the ODCA newsroom
    ODCA BMW cloud strategy document
    ODCA video featuring highlights of the BMW cloud implementation
    Additional ODCA usage models and resources

     

    If you have not done, check out and join the ODCA.

     

    Ok nuff said

    Cheers gs

    Storage I/O cloud virtual and big data perspectives

    A couple of years ago I did this post about if Is FCoE Struggling to Gain Traction, or on a normal adoption course?

     

    Fast forward to today, has anybody else noticed that there seems to be less hype  and fud on Fibre Channel (FC) over Ethernet (FCoE) than a year or  two or three ago?

     

    Does this mean that FCoE as the fud or detractors were  predicting is in fact stillborn with no adoption, no deployment and dead on  arrival?

     

    Does this mean that FCoE as its proponents have said is  still maturing, quietly finding adoption and deployment where it fits?

     

    Does this mean that FCoE like its predecessors Fibre  Channel and Ethernet are still evolving, expanding from early adopter to a  mature technology?

     

    Does this mean that FCoE is simply forgotten with  software defined networking (SDN) having over-shadowed it?

     

    Does this mean that FCoE has finally lost out and that  iSCSI has finally stepped up and living up to what it was hyped to do ten  years ago?

     

    Does this mean that FC itself at either 8GFC or 16GFC is  holding its own for now?

     

    Does this mean that InfiniBand is on the rebound?

     

    Does  this mean that FCoE is simply not fun or interesting, or a shiny new  technology with vendors not spending marketing money so thus people not talking,  tweeting or blogging?

     

    Does this mean that those who were either proponents  pitching it or detractors despising it have found other things to talk about  from SDN to OpenFlow to IOV to Software Defined Storage (what ever, or who ever definition your subscribe to) to cloud, big or little  data and the list goes on?

     

    I continue hear of or talk with customers organizations deploying FCoE in addition to iSCSI, FC, NAS and other means of accessing storage for cloud, virtual and physical environments.

     

    Likewise I see some vendor discussions occurring not to mention what gets picked up via google alerts.

     

    However in general, the rhetoric both pro and against, hype and FUD seems to have subsided, or at least for now.

     

    So what gives, what's your take on FCoE hype and FUD?

     

    Cast your vote and see results here.

     

    Ok, nuff said

    Cheers gs