Some companies are opting out of SAN upgrades or costly converged systems in favor of composable architecture to build server and storage on the fly. But will the concept take off?
You can’t build a software-defined cloud without hardware. Just ask Chris Horvat, vice president of IT for Skyview Networks. The broadcast services provider needed burstable compute to support dynamic storage for reams of streaming content, but Horvat knew cloud egress charges would be a killer.
Private cloud use cases
The cost made sense for Clearsense, based in Jacksonville, Fla. The company’s eponymous platform helps healthcare organizations run scale-out data analytics.
Co-founder Charles Boicey developed Clearsense using commodity disk storage enclosures attached to commodity servers, running composable software from Sunnyvale, Calif., startup DriveScale. A DriveScale agent placed on server and storage targets orchestrate logical clusters for big data analytics.
Boicey said DriveScale provides a better alternative to his previous configuration, which ran in AWS with a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act wrapper. “This is the way for us to build a private cloud. The cost savings [with composable] have been tremendous,” Boicey said.
With more and more enterprises launching DevOps, composable could play a role in helping them more rapidly deliver IT services, said Scott Sinclair, storage analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), based in Milford, Mass. In interviews with more than 650 IT leaders, ESG found that one in four cited this issue as the biggest impediment to business growth.
“Composable becomes more important as you start moving to cloud-native workloads and containers. You want the ability to provision and manage storage in a more programmatic way. Applications need to [be able] to take more compute or storage as they need it, rather than waiting for an administrator to assign it,” Sinclair said.
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