Post Magazine

Storage Supplement 2018

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8 STORAGE SOLUTIONS MARCH 2018 STORAGE SOLUTIONS Picture a Midwestern pastoral scene on some non- descript day during the early 20 th century. A lone farmer is standing by his trusted work horse and resting after a long day in the fields, with many more hard days like this to come because, quite frankly, it's slow and tedious work for one person and one horse. Farms don't get worked in a day. Or do they? Looking across the way, the farm- er spots a cloud of dust kicked up by his neighbor, who's perched atop the newest mechanical marvel to hit the farming scene — a tractor. Looking at his own progress, then comparing it to the vast increase in productivity that his neighbor is accomplishing with his newfangled contraption, the farmer looks his horse straight in the eye and says enviously, "I have got to get me one of them." Quite a change from a year ago, when he laughed watching his neighbor trying to master the tractor's controls. He's not laughing anymore. That turning point, which undoubtedly happened on nearly every farm in America, changed the face of local farming, food production and agricultural economics as a whole. Because we've seen this same cycle play itself out repeatedly in every industry and new technology innovation, we can predict and expect the same motion: 1. An existing solution gets the job done well enough, so people don't see the need to invest into and adopt a new, unproven, pricey solution. 2. A new technology solution offering better fea- tures and greater efficiencies hits the market and organically matures (or is culled). 3. The kinks in the upstart technology get worked out, then the price point drops accordingly. 4. In time, maturation and lowered costs make it a more attractive investment. Migration begins to occur in larger numbers. Let's be clear about how all this applies to the stor- age industry. We are currently at this very same type of inflection point. For years, storage area network (SAN) solutions were the sturdy, preferred architecture, especially when enterprise-grade performance was mandatory. Built on the concept of many distributed components such as metadata controllers, arrays and SAN-dedicated per-client controllers accommodating the underlying fibre channel transport, SAN solutions provided both performance and scalability in demand- ing data environments. But at a cost. SAN architectures were — and still are — topologically complex, with many decentralized pieces of critical hardware from multiple vendors cobbled together to create an overall storage solution that was at once expensive to purchase and technically difficult to maintain. Throughout the halcyon days of SAN dominance, network attached storage (NAS) solutions struggled to attain the reputation for performance that SAN enjoyed. Based on the concept of centralization through consolidation, NAS solutions took the oppo- site approach — turnkey appliances with built-in op- erating systems and core functions within the kernel held the promise of simplicity of deployment that SAN could not rival. Unfortunately, NAS was depen- dent on earlier Ethernet-based transport, which was slower and less reliable than fibre channel. While the concept was on target, in implementation NAS was way off the mark. Fast-forward to 2011. A small group of adept tech- nologists working in the M&E industry recognized the need for simplicity and performance. In this demanding data-intensive environment, one in which post workflows necessitate large-scale data transfer and access by multiple or many users collaborat- ing in tandem, they realized that the SAN solutions prevalent in the industry simply could not keep pace and deliver. They were living the pain points of SAN's limitations. So they took things into their own hands and architected from the ground-up a radically new storage solution incorporating all the best attributes of NAS while leveraging advances in emerging storage and transport technologies. Ethernet had become even more ubiquitous and cost-effective while achieving superior data transport performance. Traditional disk technology gave way to solid-state and flash drives. Innovation had finally arrived. From that point to this, OpenDrives has been committed to bringing to market the fastest, most reliable, and most scalable storage solutions avail- able anywhere. Our performance-based NAS solu- tions incorporate architectural simplicity in a single appliance, taking advantage of blazing fast Ethernet connectivity, which is cheaper, robust and more resil- ient than block-level access over fiber. We've worked side-by-side with M&E customers who demand and deserve enterprise-grade storage that performs and scales to meet every production workflow. We've delivered every time. Look at your SAN solution. It's tried and true, and gets the job done, like the farmer's horse. But as you look at what others are using and accomplishing, should you put it to pasture and get a NAS solution? IS SAN GOING OUT TO PASTURE? BY SCOT GARY PRINCIPAL PRODUCT MANAGER OPENDRIVES CULVER CITY, CA OPENDRIVES.COM

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