A Storage Perspective on Cisco’s “The Zettabyte Era — Trends and Analysis”

By Tom Leyden, Vice President of Global Partner Marketing at Scality

The Cisco® Visual Networking Index (VNI) is an invaluable resource for the Scality product marketing team, as it gives an incredibly good overview of trends and evolution for digital businesses. As you might expect, the VNI focuses on the phenomenal growth in global IP network traffic, its causes, and its implications, mainly for Cisco’s networking solutions portfolio. But it also offers great insights into storage industry trends, especially for cloud and object storage, where Scality and Cisco have joined forces.

With our joint cloud and object storage solution, Cisco and Scality give you the technology to overcome the limitations of traditional storage and meet the scalability, availability, and agility requirements of your web-scale applications. Combining the Scality RING with Cisco’s new storage-optimized UCS S-Series, the solution lets you create an end-to-end application experience by integrating storage with your network. The result is predictable, deterministic, and reliable application throughput as your organization manages the vast growth of data. This will enable you to reduce your storage TCO and create revenue growth.

The key finding of the 2016 Cisco VNI is that “Global IP traffic will increase nearly threefold over the next 5 years.” According to the VNI, most of this growth is attributable to:

  • Continuous expansion of video streaming
  • A sharp upsurge in mobile data and connected devices
  • Increased business internet traffic

These broad trends are actually reflected in our everyday lives:

We start the day with an early morning run, which we track with our Fitbit or other smart sports watch. Our car is intelligent enough to guide us to our first meeting, avoiding an accident-related traffic jam so we can arrive on time. At the meeting, contractors in remote locations dial in using video conferencing technology. During a quick lunch, we order groceries using a convenient smartphone app. In the afternoon, we review research data with scientists from another campus, shared with them via file-sync and collaboration apps. On the way home, we pick up the groceries we ordered earlier–all nicely prepared and packed. After a productive day, we email some status updates, share pictures from last weekend’s hike with friends, and finish up by watching a new episode of our favorite TV series, streamed from a pay-per-view media service. As you can see, the evidence of these IP-related trends is quite tangible: the web has become woven into the fabric of our professional and private lives.

Today’s successful enterprises are those that have successfully built or transformed themselves into real digital businesses. Think Netflix, Tesla, GE or Fitbit. For digital businesses to be successful, their services require a front-end that enables a connected user experience, plus back-end infrastructure designed for speed and scale. Network and storage are key to this infrastructure.

IP data trends have a major impact on how information is stored, as they imply massive data sets that must be accessible by geographically distributed users through a variety of applications. Storage infrastructures for digital businesses require:

  • Unlimited scalability, without impacting operational cost
  • 100% availability, with predictable performance
  • Simple methods for deploying new applications and services

cisco-ucs-s-series-server-ucs-s3260-hi-res-top-down-viewScality has taken a unique and innovative approach to architecting scale-out storage, leveraging the benefits of IP networks. Traditional systems employ multiple controllers connected via a proprietary backplane or fiber-channel SAN, both of which are expensive and complex to manage at scale. In contrast, the Scality RING uses an IP-based storage network that spans many systems and multiple geographies. As a result, all application behavior relies on stable, deterministic network and storage that can scale infinitely without adding complexity or increasing storage TCO.

Cisco, the market leader in IP-based networking, adds a lot of value to the Scality RING: they are the only company that offers a “one-stop” solution: UCS servers, storage, and networking, together with rich expertise in designing scale-out, network-based platforms. For more information on the UCS S-Series, please visit cisco.com/go/storage.

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