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February 11, 2013


Chad Sakac

Disclosure - EMCer here.

Chuck - this is indeed an interesting time, and VERY disruptive. As you said while change doesn't occur overnight - there are material architectural considerations to these alternate architectural models

This is one of the things I talked about in my "expect in 2013" blog post/webcast here: http://virtualgeek.typepad.com/virtual_geek/2012/12/my-crystal-ball-for-2013.html

I have to say - I'm glad that as a company, we're embracing this as opposed to the alternative "stick head in sand" approach :-)


What do you think of Facebook with a billion photos uploaded on New Year eve? I read somewhere they are adding 10 petabytes a month. I am sure, despite the huge challenges, this is only possible with the simplicity of storage service for only one giant application. Software that defines the storage is embedded in the application itself?

My own experience says that if you unify the application needs (for at least files), you can scale a lot more easily. But is has to be at the app layer. With SupportCentral at GE we aggregated storage for individuals, communities and applications - applications could use the "folder" storage just like a person. This aggregated the need and allowed for the simplicity that is possible when only one application uses the storage.
Adoption? Takes a long time. It is difficult to justify projects to make this change, to transfer existing data, all of which reduce the cost savings in the short term.
In any case, since I left GE two years ago, I hear that SupportCentral folders are now increasing at nearly a terabyte a day. The aggregation is happening - but it took many years.
(BTW - your blog on SupportCentral almost five years ago, was eerily prescient - to think that GE had Box.net, Sharepoint and a whole lot more almost ten years ago!)

Chuck Hollis

Hi Sukh -- good to hear from you again! You're right, SupportCentral was very much ahead of its time, wasn't it?

The debate around app-specific storage vs. general-purpose storage will continue over the next few years. It seems that the ostensible middle ground is object storage -- apps can morph storage semantics and behavior by incorporating metadata and defining policy rules that the storage layer can interpret.

While that might be an attractive answer, it seems that most app developers are inevitably stuck in either a file system or database paradigm. The tools are there, they've proven their value -- but they remain on the shelf so often.

Good to hear from you!

-- Chuck

Vaughn Stewart

Well said Chuck. Innovation and Disruption being developed and released at an unprecedented pace. You have to love what's occurring in the industry.


That was a great article! I like to know how the controller from the storage array will be decoupled and added to the software layer.. Basically like to understand the new SDS architecture and how it will function.. Thanks..

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Chuck Hollis

  • Chuck Hollis
    SVP, Oracle Converged Infrastructure Systems

    Chuck now works for Oracle, and is now deeply embroiled in IT infrastructure.

    Previously, he was with VMware for 2 years, and EMC for 18 years before that, most of them great.

    He enjoys speaking to customer and industry audiences about a variety of technology topics, and -- of course -- enjoys blogging.

    Chuck lives in Vero Beach, FL with his wife and four dogs when he's not traveling. In his spare time, Chuck is working on his second career as an aging rock musician.

    Warning: do not ever buy him a drink when there is a piano nearby.

    Note: these are my personal views, and aren't reviewed or approved by my employer.
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