2015, the Open vStorage predictions

New Year Wallpaper.The end of 2014 is near so it is time to look forward and see what 2015 will have to offer. Some people say there’s no point in making predictions and that it’s not worth speculating because nothing is set in stone and things change all the time in storage land. Allow us to prove these people wrong by sharing our 2015 storage predictions*:

Acceleration of (hyper-)converged platforms
Converged platforms are here to stay. Converged solutions are even the fastest growing segment for large storage vendors. But it will be players like Open vStorage who will really break through in 2015. Hyperconverged solutions showed that there is an alternative to expensive SAN or all-flash solutions by adding a software based caching layer to the host. Alas, these overhyped hyperconverged solutions are even more expensive per TB storage than an already expensive all-flash array. In 2015 we will see more solutions which unite the good of the hyperconverged appliance and the converged platform but at a significantly lower cost. Storage solutions that will be extremely hot and prove to be future proof will have to have following characteristics:

  • Caching inside the (hypervisor) host: caching on SSD or PCIe flash should be done inside the host and not a couple of hops down the network.
  • Scalability: all-flash will continue to be a waste of money due to the huge cost of flash. It is better to go for a Tiered solution: Tier 1 on flash, Tier 2 on scalable, cheap (object) storage. In case the Tier 1 and Tier 2 storage are inside the same appliance (hyperconverged), your scalability and flexibility will be limited. A much better solution is to keep the 2 Tiers completely separate in a different set of appliances but managed by the same software layer.
  • Open and programmatically: storage silo’s should in 2015 be something of the past. Integration and openness should be key. Automation will be one of the hottest and most important features of a storage solution.

It should not come as a surprise that Open vStorage checks all of the above requirements.

OpenStack will dominate the cloud in 2015
This is probably the most evident prediction. During the OpenStack conference in Paris it was very clear that OpenStack will dominate the cloud the next few years. In 2014 some new kids showed support for OpenStack such as VMware (they understand that hypervisor software is now a commodity and that the data center control plane has become the high-margin battle arena). With VMware releasing their own OpenStack distribution the OpenStack distribution battlefield will be crowded in 2015. We have RedHat, Ubuntu, Mirantis, HP, VMware and many more so it is safe to say that some consolidation will happen in this area.
A new OpenStack battlefield that will emerge in 2015 will be around OpenStack storage. Currently this area is being dominated by the traditional arrays but as the software-defined storage solutions gain traction, solutions such as Open vStorage will grab a huge market share from these traditional vendors. They can compete with these SANs and all-flash arrays as they offer the same features and have the benefit of a much lower cost and TCO. While they maybe not top the total revenue achieved by the big vendors, they will definitely seize a large share of the OpenStack storage market.
If we add the fact that the Chinese government is promoting OpenStack and open-source in general, you can bet your Christmas bonus on the fact that open-source (OpenStack) storage projects (Swift, Open vStorage, …) will be booming next year. These projects will get a lot of support from Chinese companies both in adoption and development. It will be essential for traditional high-tech companies and countries not to miss the boat as once it has left the harbor it will be very hard to catch up.

New markets for object storage vendors
2015 will be the year where object storage will break out of its niche market of large video or object repositories. This has been said for many years now but 2015 will be THE year as many companies have started to realize which benefits they achieved by implementing their first object storage projects. The next target for these enterprises is to make better use of their current object storage solution. Changing all of their legacy code will not happen in 2015 as this might impact their business. Solutions where they don’t have to change their existing code base and still benefit from the cost saving of object storage will be selected. Open vStorage is one of those solutions but we are pretty sure other solutions like for example storage gateways to object storage will flourish in 2015.
Another reason why object storage vendors will enter new markets is because currently too many players are after the same customer base. This means that if they want to keep growing and provide ROI for the venture capital invested, new markets will definitely need to be addressed. The 15-25 billion dollar SAN market is a logical market to address. But entering this market will not be a bed of roses as object storage vendors have no experience in this highly-competitive market or sometimes not even the right sales competencies and knowledge. They will have to look for partnerships with companies such as CloudFounders who are seasoned in this area.

Seagate Kinetic drives
The Kinetic drives are the most exciting, fundamental change in the storage industry in several years. These drives went GA at the end of 2014 but in 2015 we will gradually see new applications and solutions who make use of this technology. With these IP drives, you will, for the first time, be able to manage storage as a scalable pool of disks. Open vStorage will support the Kinetic drives as Tier 2 backend. This means Virtual Machine will have their hot data inside the host on flash and their cold data on a pool of Kinetic drives.

* We will look back on this post at the end of 2015 to see how good we scored.

Open vStorage Q1 US Roadshow

OpenStack started to gain momentum in 2014 but will really kick off in 2015. Gartner has put software-defined storage in its top 10 technology trends for 2015. The amounts of data will continue to grow as the Internet of Things is unfolding before our eyes. As Open vStorage is in the middle of OpenStack and storage,  2015 will be the year of Open vStorage. To kick off the year in style we are doing a US Roadshow in cooperation with local OpenStack User Groups. We had to make some heartrending decisions and  disappoint some groups as we couldn’t do a Meetup in their community but below are the lucky ones for the first  Open vStorage Roadshow:

During this session we will discuss the current status of OpenStack storage projects and give an overview of the new  features in Open vStorage 2.0 (to be released in Q1 2015).

Note that registration is required and there is an attendee limit.

PS. In case you organize an OpenStack User Group and would like to host an Open vStorage session, contact us by email at sales@openvstorage.com.

Open vStorage 1.6

Just before we start the holiday season at the CloudFounder’s HQ, we wanted to give the community an early Christmas present: Open vStorage version 1.6:
So what is included in this release:
  • Audit trails: In version 1.5 we added the option to add multiple users. In the 1.6 version we keep a log of all the actions performed through the Open vStorage API for 30 days. Not only user actions are included by also volume driver actions. This will allow us to f.e. track who  creates or deletes a vPool.
  • Improved usability: With this release we wanted to create a better user experience. Some examples, when a vPool is added we no longer ask for ports and Cinder gets now automatically downloaded, the API now returns paging metadata and we revamped the GUI so it doesn’t look as empty as it used to. So basically a whole lot of small features which make life easier.
As you can see we have limited the amount of new features in this release but focused more on bug-fixing:
  • Fix for OVS workers being stuck in rare cases.
  • Fix for a bug which causes the GUI and other API calls to take a very long time to complete in case a host goes down. There was a manual workaround but the current fix automates the process.
  • Memcache can now be restarted without the need to restart the volume driver process.
  • Fix for the slow responding of the SNMP server in case of many objects.
  • The volumedriver logs are now compressed and correctly rotated.
  • Fix for issues with live migration on OpenStack.
  • Faster loading of the vMachine Detail page.
  • Fix for incorrect amount of vDisks under Storage Routers on the Dashboard.
  • Better layout for Firefox.
  • The setup script incorrectly calculates the machine_id on some OSes.
  • Fix for xforwarding being broken.
  • Fix for failing addition of a vPool on slow environments.

Enjoy the holidays!

Open vStorage is hot!

Open vStorage is hot! You can find the most important video’s, podcasts and articles of the last few weeks here:

  • OpenStack Online Meetup: How does OpenStack Swift play with Open vStorage? Podcast with Swift PTL John Dickinson and our own Wim Provoost as they discuss OpenStack storage and how Swift and Open vStorage, 2 open-source projects, work together to shake the OpenStack eco-system.
  • The Register: Belgian upstart to ‘bridge gap’ between object, block storage. Or that’s the plan at least . Learn more about the latest developments in the Open vStorage project: support for Seagate Kinetic drives. Open vStorage turns a pools of these disks into a storage solutions which has the  features of a high-end SAN (performance, zero-copy snapshots, thin cloning) but is also scale-out and low-cost, like an object storage solution.
  • Open vStorage and OpenStack – the Storage Switzerland take. Podcast with George Crump, founder and lead analyst at Storage Switzerland and Wim Provoost, Product Manager of Open vStorage. They discuss the different storage  projects in OpenStack and how the Open vStorage Cinder plugin bridges the gap between Swift and Cinder.
  • OpenStack® Summit: CloudFounders Open vStorage: CLoudFounders’ CTO Stefaan Aelbrecht explains to HP what Open vStorage is about and where it comes from.