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FCW : July 15, 2013
22 July 15, 2013 FCW.COM Future tech data reallocation among tiers takes place. Vendors that offer tiering include EMC, whose Fully Automated Stor- age Tiering for Virtual Pools is enter- ing the federal acquisition pipeline. Rich Campbell, chief technologist at EMC s federal division, said the com- pany s VNX storage line now incorpo- rates tiering. "It is a part of every bid and pro- posal today," Campbell said of auto- mated tiering. He added that he believes the tech- nology will dovetail with the adoption of ash storage and the emergence of software-de ned data centers in the next 12 to 18 months. In the software- de ned data center context, tiering will let IT managers provision high-perfor- mance, middle-tier and lower-tier stor- age according to an application s needs, he said. "It s made for the software-de ned data center," he added. Furthermore, the data allocation and tiering issue will become more complex as new storage media sur- face. David Hung-Chang Du, Qwest Chair Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota, said shingled write disks, which increase storage density by writ- ing data to disks in an overlapping pat- tern, and non-volatile RAM technolo- gies, such as phase-change memory, are near-term developments that will populate an expanded memory and storage hierarchy. Du is working on a research project funded by the National Science Foun- dation that investigates effective data placement in this new storage land- scape. "There are a lot more things you have to look at," Du said. "I think this is only...the beginning." Software-de ned networks Software-de ned networking (SDN) promises to transform the way orga- nizations manage networks. With a traditional network, administrators manually con gure stand-alone pieces of networking equipment. SDN, on the other hand, lets administrators cen- trally program networking devices such as switches through a software layer. In effect, SDN brings virtualization to the network by following established virtualization trends at the server, stor- age and desktop levels. Kelly Herrell, vice president and gen- eral manager of software networking at Brocade Communications Systems, said virtualized computing and the cloud are driving SDN. "When the compute application model changes, then the network changes to adapt to it," he said. Government agencies might be get- ting an early taste of SDN, even though mainstream adoption is probably a cou- ple years away. Internet2, a university- led advanced technology community, has launched a nationwide 100 giga- bit network that uses SDN. About 70 government agencies participate in Internet2, and notable early network users include the NSF-funded Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment. XSEDE is a project that involves 17 supercomputers and taps the Internet2 network as its backbone for linking high-performance computing centers. The organization had been using 10 gigabit Ethernet prior to the migration. "They are now on a 100 gigabit back- bone instead of a 10 gigabit network," said Rob Vietzke, vice president of net- work services at Internet2. "The SDN piece is under it. They get the future opportunity...to use the SDN substrate." The shape of SDN applications, meanwhile, should come into sharp- er focus later this year. Internet2 and industry partners recently announced an Innovative Application Awards program to encourage the creation of open-source apps that use the Inter- net2 network s SDN capabilities. The competition emphasizes apps that improve large le transfers, said Eric Boyd, senior director of strategic proj- ects at Internet2. Boyd said the plan is to work with a select group of application developers during the summer and have software ready by fall. "We can start to really demonstrate a core base of applications that you can point to [as] the types of applica- tions that will use SDN going forward," he said. Sudhir Verma, chief services of cer at IT solutions provider Force 3, said widespread adoption of SDN won t happen overnight, but the technology will eventually follow other data center trends in the federal space. "Federal folks...aren t jumping on this bandwagon right away," he said. "But as data center consolidation, cloud and virtualization...gain momen- tum, SDN is not that far behind." SDN adoption will probably proceed incrementally rather than all at once, industry executives say. Herrell said network functions virtualization rep- resents one of the rst waves of SDN. With NFV, IT shops can run a particular network function as a virtual machine rather than as a physical device. "It is a very easy way to begin mov- ing into the SDN arena because you don t have to re-architect everything," Herrell said. Joe Brown, president of virtualiza- tion provider Accelera Solutions, said SDN adoption is still at an early stage, but he anticipates more activity in 2014, "AS DATA CENTER CONSOLIDATION, CLOUD AND VIRTUALIZATION...GAIN MOMENTUM, [SOFTWARE-DEFINED NETWORKING] IS NOT THAT FAR BEHIND."
June 30, 2013
July 30, 2013