The day we cut our storage budget in half
Remember when storage was cumbersome and expensive with crazy vendor lock-in? Okay, that's a rhetorical question since most organizations are still stuck with it. But really, no one has to be. Software Defined Storage solutions, based on open source technology, are changing the way we approach storage by giving us commodity pricing with flexible architectures to meet your exact needs—as in, not what your traditional storage says you need, but what you say you need.
That's right! Storage doesn't have to live in a proprietary black box you have limited control over. You can choose an open architecture supported by multiple vendors and an entire community with a storage solution based on Ceph.
Because open source encourages collaboration and rapid development, which is great if you're someone who wants to buy storage but not so great if you're a traditional storage vendor trying to lock-in a customer to your solution. Ceph has an open architecture that can run on the x86 hardware of your choice and is massively customizable. Novacoast moved our storage from multiple legacy SAN providers onto SUSE Enterprise Storage which is powered by Ceph.
Full disclosure: we partner with SUSE. So there's that. But no, that didn't make this a foregone conclusion. The data we store is still critical and we wanted to work with an organization that would support us and make sure everything had been thoroughly tested. SUSE also certifies new features like iSCSI support and CephFS, so we can be confident we're on the leading edge but not the bleeding edge.
Being able to drop-in whatever hardware you want and instantly grow your available storage or redundancy is a very powerful—and affordable—way to manage storage. It allowed us to create a fully redundant storage environment across multiple sites at less than half the cost of what our SAN vendors were offering us. That's real money saved which we can then invest back into our core business. Or, you know, go blow it at the dog track.
Sky's the limit.
Software is becoming a part of everything we do. Open-source software is becoming more and more central to every aspect of computing, from embedded devices to mainframes. The natural progression of moving from proprietary hardware and software solutions towards commodity hardware and open source solutions has been going on for decades and will continue for many more. When you have a choice between a better solution at a lower price, you'd be crazy not to take it.
I mean, it's your data, right? Retake your control of it.