Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Third world networkers guide to storage in the cloud

So i have been spending alot of time trying to get some light through the data center darkness in my head. I'm proud to say I can guide myself through that maze for about 3 meters before the evil dark lords show up. Every time I open the Data center stuff, I feel like I know nothing, there's vmware that I've used for ages but now has far too many fancy facelifts, storage is a pain I'm wishing would go away everytime I open a book on it -they are all different.

I have concerns, some small some huge. That the entire DC network model is 'flat' worries me. I've spent years learning to get as much as possible to layer 3 as possible. All of a sudden I have to deal with all this layer 2 mishmash competing for space in a single data center. I also get the sense that standards bodies especially for storage are way way behind or playing politics or waiting to see what techology and or vendor most customers adopt. needless to say Im quite silly in this area.

Lastly when I look at all the capacity - processing, memory, bandwidth etc going in there (think several cisco VBlocks - add a multiplier of more than 10) you suddenly realize the sales strategy to sell this has to be solid. I also decided tha t electicity costs more than bandwidth and storage combined.

Cloud computing success relies heavily on high-speed bandwidth. Whether streaming movies, backing up your data or running applications from the cloud, the ability to get data quickly from the cloud to the computer , phone or  (Insert fancy gadget name) is a key requirement for rapid adoption. 

Our access is primarily 3G, followed by 'others'. Bandwidth to the home has absolutely not kept up with another key ingredient for cloud storage/backup success: hard drive prices (depending on where you buy the drives), It is still way cheaper for most users to store backups at home. Obviously you can tell I'm thinking about mass adoption for cloud destined backups.
The Ramac weighed over a ton and was delivered via cargo airplanes. 
If bandwidth prices were to drop at the same rate as storage prices, I'd probaby have 800Mbps for less than KSH.10000 today a month. If someone were to then sell me a diskless
 workstation, who knows, I would probably consider it.

The hard drive IBM shipped in 1956:

* Stored 5 megabytes (MB)
* Cost $11,000 per megabyte
* Was 60 inches long x 68 inches high x 29 inches deep
* Weighed about 1 ton

In today’s dollars that would mean:
A $179 16 GB iPod Nano:
* Stores 3,200 times more data
* Would cost: $1,429,176,320
* Requires 8 semi-truck shipping containers to hold the data

A petabyte of storage would:
* Cost: $93,662,499,307,520
* Require a building the size of 10,814 football fields to hold the drives
* Require 472 of the world’s largest data centers to hold the drives

Source: http://blog.backblaze.com/2011/06/21/94-trillion-petabyte/

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