The Hyperscale Cloud: Not Just for Big Enterprise Anymore

Only a small group of global companies have seen their user base grow so large that they require hundreds of thousands of servers spread across dozens of locations to power their services.  This list is relatively short today, but SiliconAngle and Wikibon believe this will change in the coming years.

Many organizations are pushing the boundaries of storage capacity, compute and data availability just so they can stay afloat in the wake of the big data explosion.

There are the mainstream service providers, such as Facebook and Pandora, that have already reached or will achieve hyperscale status in the near future, purely because they have more users to support.  And then there is the public sector, which is starting to leverage data to improve operational efficiency and strengthen national security efforts on the digital front.  All this requires exascale storage, and quantity alone no longer cuts it – technological infrastructure must also be extremely efficient.

That’s where vendors such as Fusion-io and Cleversafe come in, powering up the public sector and challenging the traditions of legacy storage systems that have defined the enterprise over the past decade.

Fusion-io makes SSDs that are faster and denser than spinning disks. Last week the company unveiled a new product that is specifically designed to support hyper-scale environments: a PCIe drive that can scale up to 3.3 terabytes.  SiliconAngle founder John Furrier provided a detailed analysis of Fusion ioScale, and explained why it is at the bleeding edge of the software-led data center.

Furrier also hosted a lengthy interview with Cleversafe CEO Chris Gladwin not too long ago, who provided an in-depth look into the future of big data storage.  The MIT-educated entrepreneur says his company is pioneering ‘dispersed storage,’ a technology that minimizes the chance of data loss by “encoding data into slices.” The success of this approach raises the question of whether backup will remain relevant  in the complex, Facebook-scale environments that Cleversafe’s technology is meant for.

There’s many lessons to be learned from traditional enterprise solutions and disruptive startups alike.  But what can these newcomers teach the enterprise?  We’ll hear more on the topic in today’s Peer Incite, hosted by Wikibon (more info here).  Cleversafe Vice President Russ Kennedy will be the guest of honor, discussing some of the things you’ll need to consider in preparation for hyper-scale storage, including:

  • What are the commercial applications and use cases that will require hyper-scale storage?
  • When will hyper-scale storage requirements become a concern for commercial applications in traditional enterprises?
  • Can replication be eliminated in hyper-scale storage?
  • Is it possible to backup hyper-scale storage?
  • With erasure encoding is there still a need for backup?
  • Can data dispersal approaches serve all data reuse cases?