BiB 061: Understanding DriveScale Composer Architecture

The Briefing in Brief podcast from Packet Pushers is a great way to stay up to date on the latest company-specific news in a really concise package. In this edition, Ethan Banks looks at what DriveScale presented about at Tech Field Day, specifically the DriveScale Composer. This allows organizations to compose any compute to any disk or flash, in a scalable way. This is all RESTful API driven, allowing you to compose your infrastructure, but stopping short of being an application orchestrator. All of this with full multi-tenant support, and designed to insure data integrity in the event of an outage.

My First Tech Field Day

It’s always great to hear the perspective of first time Tech Field Day delegates. Yusuf Emre Özensoy came to his first event last month, and shared a little bit about his experience. For him, what stood out not just being an attendee of the event, but being invited into a wider family as a part of it. He also enjoyed all the technical deep dives from DriveScale, Cisco, Oracle, Dell EMC, and Hammerspace.

Composable Infrastructure is presented at Tech Field Day 17 by DriveScale

DriveScale shared their experience from presenting at Tech Field Day last month. This was their second appearance, and really impressed the delegates with their vision of composable infrastructure. Make sure to check out the full video of their presentation to get a deep dive for yourself.

Disaggregation or hyperconvergence?

Chin-Fah Heoh got to thinking about the current crop of HCI solutions. He thought of how companies like NetApp and Datrium have architectures that provide discrete data and compute nodes. But after seeing the presentation from DriveScale at Tech Field Day this month, disaggregation may actually prove to be more important for organizations. Their approach allows for assembling storage, compute and networking resources into virtual clusters, composing them as needed. Chin-Fah needs to dig deeper into their solution, but was fascinated at the prospect.

The Network is Still the Computer

DriveScale first came to Chin-Fah Heoh’s attention when NFS guru Brian Pawlowski joined their team earlier this year. At Tech Field Day earlier this month, he got a deeper dive into how the company’s scale-out architecture is designed to address the needs of webscale data processing. He got a look at their virtual cluster framework and how they use a advanced switching fabric to bridge compute and storage with extremely low latency. Chin-Fah came away impressed with the engineering talent at the company.

My first Tech Field Day

It’s not uncommon to see Chin-Fah Heoh as a delegate at Storage Field Day. However for the first time, he’ll be around the table for Tech Field Day this week. He’s particularly looking forward to seeing more from Hammerspace, and getting a deeper dive with DriveScale. You can watch the presentations along with Chin-Fah on our live stream.

DriveScale Releases Customer-Driven Advancements in Fall Edition of its SCI Platform

James Green inititally heard about DriveScale’s innovation with Software Composable Infrastructure and storage disaggregation at Tech Field Day in 2016. In this post, he reviews their “Fall Edition” update, which adds a new HDFS plugin, QuickCluster, and easier cluster scaling.

DriveScale Now Supports Kubernetes and Docker

DriveScale is all about disaggregating storage. James Green saw them at Tech Field Day a few years ago, and reviews their latest update. Their FlexVolume allows you to bring this same disaggregation to Docker and other containers in Kubernetes. James runs down the major features of the plugin in this post.

Pets, Cattle and Cabbage, oh my! DriveScale Brings Scale-Out to Tech Field Day 12

Gene Banman, CEO of DriveScale, put up a blog post reviewing the company’s Tech Field Day presentation last month. Overall, the event generated a lot of social media buzz around their disaggregated storage solution. Make sure to check out all the great posts from our delegates for their takes on what DriveScale presented, as well as the other presenting companies at the event.

Time to bring back the middleman

Tim Smith reconsiders the idea of a middleman. The term hardly has a positive connotation, generally a derogatory term for someone imposed by bureaucracy. But with DriveScale, Tim sees something different. He sees their disaggregated approach to hardware as liberating storage from compute, particularly useful for scaling Hadoop clusters. Overall, he seems pretty bullish on their agile solution.

Drive and Rack Scale Storage Architectures

Big data storage problems getting you down? Never fear! James Green put together a video highlighting two companies from last month’s Tech Field Day that are presenting solutions. Igneous offers an array of nanoservers equipped drives, making each network addressable. James also highlights DriveScale’s take on managing big data with their rack adapter to address a pool of JPOD storage. It’s a really great comparison between the two approaches!

DriveScale is a new kid on the block with a very seasoned past

DriveScale clearly had the right idea for their Tech Field Day presentation. They led off listing the pedigree of the founding and senior staff, including a deep history with Sun Microsystems, Cisco, and green technology. It certainly made an impact on John White. From there the company laid out their ambitions: give enterprises the configuration flexibility to scale out horizontally in the datacenter. They do this with a 10GbE network adapter to pool a JBOD of storage to traditional pizza box servers with CPU and RAM. This allows storage to be a totally separate concern for scale. John also liked their strategy of initially targeting Hadoop as a primary use case. It’s not a huge market, but definitely one they could become well known within, given the strength of their solution.

Decouple Disks and Compute with DriveScale

Eric Shanks takes a look at what DriveScale presented at Tech Field Day last month. In their solution, he sees a real value play for Hadoop workloads. Whereas other applications can used virtualized storage arrays, Hadoop benefits from direct drive access to their distributed file system so it can manage storage. DriveScale allows for this with their disaggregated storage solution via their adapter. This allows you to add storage without throwing a whole other pizza box into the rack. It’s a pretty specific use case, but Eric sees it giving a lot of value to the growing base of customers using Hadoop.

Efficient Resource Use Takes Interesting Turn at Scale

Tim Miller has some thoughts about DriveScale, which he saw at Tech Field Day last month. But to fully understand their solution, he delves back into a little bit of IT history. The brief but informative look back shows how IT has moved to the Big Data mindset of building clusters for each application. In the foreseeable future, we know that compute will surpass these Big Data setups, resulting in inefficiency. Tim thinks DriveScales disaggregated storage solution is setup for this reality. On a practical level, he really liked that DriveScale’s solution doesn’t insert themselves into your storage supply chain, relying instead on a simple rack adapter and software. Overall it gives a great perspective on where DriveScale is going in the future.

Scale-Out Storage Through Disaggregation With DriveScale

Ethan Banks took a look at DriveScale’s disaggregated storage solution at Tech Field Day this month. Their overall strength relies on their flexibility. DriveScale makes it both easy to manage a true scale-out solution, while also providing potential savings down the upgrade path. They do this by separating storage from compute, so while the initial install they envision being cost-neutral, down the upgrade path, you don’t have to pay for storage you already have. Ethan’s heard similar “it pays for itself” pitches before, but seemed to think the DriveScale solution could actually deliver on that promise.

DriveScale Gives You Ethernet With a Side of Storage

I wrote up a review of what DriveScale showed off at Tech Field Day earlier this month. Their approach to disaggregating storage within the server rack is really interesting. As opposed to other designs I’ve seen from vendors, they offer something that’s remarkably open and adaptable. While they’re still in the appliance licensing game, they seem more interested in creating a unique architecture to make this happen. Worth the read if only to see their founders’ impressive resumes!

Tech Field Day 12 Primer: DriveScale

Fresh out of stealth mode in May, DriveScale will be presenting for the first time at Tech Field Day tomorrow. Matt Crape wrote up a great piece to get you up to speed with where the company is at prior to their presentation. The company’s solutions puts an abstraction layer over existing compute and storage systems to allow administrators to reallocate resources, either via a GUI interface, or via RESTful API calls. It seems like an interesting solution Big Data needs, especially since it runs on commodity hardware. Tune into their Tech Field Day presentation on Wednesday for all the juicy details!

DriveScale set to make first ever Tech Field Day appearance!

Mike Preston takes a look at DriveScale, a company founded in 2013 by former executives from Nuova, Sun Microsystems, and Silicon Image, but just out of stealth mode this May. He tries to make sense of their scale-up/scale-out pitch, which allows them to add compute or capacity vertically or horizontally with access arbitrated by software defined physical nodes and DriveScale’s Management Server, with connectivity via 10 Gb Ethernet. Mike is really looking forward to a deep dive into the product at Tech Field Day in November!