VirtualGeek – Understanding Storage Architectures

This is a topic that is a perennial one – and I suspect it will keep evolving. What is the right way to classify architectural models of storage? How does one figure out what the heck is going on through all the marketing and positioning of the industry players (including EMC for that matter)?

WARNING – THIS POST IS NOT FOR THE INTELLECTUALLY LAZY – OR PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT INTO READING 🙂

… Don’t say I didn’t warn you 🙂

It IS possible to have a taxonomy for storage/persistence architectures, a “phylum” (that’s the grouping of animals in biology, and translates from new latin as “class”) if you will. If you think of the “tree of life” (below – hey, that’s us Humans right next to bears and fungi!) as the world of technology domains, down the information persistence (vs. compute vs. network) “kingdom”, there are indeed “phylum” (classes).

This is an powerful intellectual tool – one that helped humans understand the living world around us.

When it comes applying this “phylum” idea to the topic of storage architectures, it lets you group anything new you see in the whole world of “persisting data”, and QUICKLY understand it’s core architecture, and therefore strengths and weaknesses. I challenge you all to put something on the table that doesn’t fit these broad based buckets.

On another note, as you might imagine, there’s been a lot of discussion over the last 24 hour about Cisco UCS Invicta (formerly Whiptail assets) inside EMC. It’s an old familiar player (Whiptail) on the field in new form, I’ll try to put them into this framework (input welcome!)

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