Kicking Off a Blog Series on Object Stores
by Robert Primmer on Sep 27, 2011
I’ve worked on three commercial object stores: Centera, Atmos, and now HCP (Hitachi Content Platform). In that time, I’ve seen numerous misunderstandings about this particular brand of storage technology–not just in how they function, but even more fundamentally, on where, when and why such a system would be employed. In a new blog series starting today, I hope to answer these questions.
To that end, my co-authors and I will provide a series of tutorials on distributed object stores (DOS), essentially providing a short course on the subject with the occasional odd topic interspersed periodically.
Where it makes sense, articles will be split along business and technical lines, as the two topics often will have completely different audiences. In some cases this division will result in wholly separate articles, but generally both should fit in a single article.
It’s always challenging to get the right level of technical detail with a diverse audience. Generally we’ll bias toward simplicity, as there’s an inverse relationship between how technical an article is and the number of possible readers. So, the typical article will strive to hit a moderate technical level, hopefully avoiding the arcane. However, if there’s sufficient interest in a particular topic, we’ll go back later and add greater technical and mathematical rigor to those specific areas of interest.
I’ll try to construct the series in such a way that each topic builds successively upon the previous. However, as this will be my first attempt at creating such a course I’m sure to get some topics out of sequence. Fortunately, web pages – with their ability to readily point to other content outside the page displayed – allow for non-linear reading in a manner far superior to what is possible in print.
Here is the Topic Index as I see it at this juncture. A single topic might span several articles connected together. As with source code, it’s generally better to write several small modules that connect together rather than a single large source file that tries to do everything.
This method of relatively short articles also allows me to later go back and insert new articles within a given topic as either new things occur to me, in response to feedback about a given topic, or additions as the state of technology changes.
1. What is Structured and Unstructured data, and why do we care about the difference?
2. What is an Object?
3. What is an Object Store?
4. What is a Distributed Object Store?
5. When would I use an Object Store versus other forms of Storage?
6. Industry Implications of Object Stores
a. Traditional Storage Vendors vs. Cloud Vendors Approach to Object Stores
7. Basic elements of an Object Store ecosystem
8. Distributed Object Store Blueprint
9. Architectural Considerations of an Object Store
10. A Comparison of Object Store Implementations
11. The Life and Times of an Object
a. The Birth of an Object
b. Data Ingest
c. Life inside the Object Store
d. Where does an Object live?
e. How is Data Protection achieved?
f. Object Mobility
i. Duplication and Replication
g. Why is Tape Backup not required?
h. Basics of Data Unavailability and Data Loss (DUDL)
i. Fundamentals of Self Healing
j. Read / Write: What makes it fast, or slow?
12. De-duplication and Object Stores
13. The Road Ahead – The Evolution of Object Stores going forward
Please let me know your thoughts along the way.
This looks great. It took me a while to grasp the importance of an object store vs a typical NAS file system. Each have their place. I look forward to following this.