Demystifying OpenStorage

I’ve always been a lurker when it comes to blogging, posting videos of myself on YouTube, or social networking sites. Secretly I imagine myself running for public office and having my opponent drag out my late night, wine fueled blogging session in the middle of a debate. However, when I saw the Scott Waterhouse’s response (Peace, Love and Revolution) to Tim’s message on OpenStorage I decided to it was time to “break the silence.”

Scott poses a couple questions and concerns that warrant clarification.  Especially when the answers are so fun to share.

Misconception – OpenStorage is limited to disk as NAS/NFS/CIFS. 

It’s not.  A key tenet for the API is to be totally open and flexible on the manner of connectivity between the backup server and the disk appliance.  Lest you think that’s merely happy vaporous blather, appliance vendors are embracing that freedom.  Stay tuned to the NetBackup hardware compatibility listing.  Or visit us in Las Vegas at the annual Symantec Vision user conference (June 9-12).  Stride down to the exhibit hall floor, come to the NBU booth and see what we’ve got running in our test lab SANs.

Question – Does OpenStorage resolve the issue of more than one master server?

This leads me to clarify another misconception – that OpenStorage is intricately tied into the nuances of NetBackup.  It’s not.  OST doesn’t know about NetBackup domains, master servers, catalogs.  It’s data protection application neutral.  Using everyone’s favorite replication scenario -- from the device’s perspective the caller instructs it to transmit data to a sibling remote device, ideally using optimized replication capabilities.  Move that data set from A to B.  The OpenStorage API doesn’t care about master servers.  It doesn’t know or care that NetBackup is doing the directing.  It’s far more abstract and flexible.  Hear the suppressed secretive glee?  Scott, you challenged the industry to think and do big.  Yup.  We have.  Stay tuned.

But the heart of the question for NBU customers is whether site-to-site replication with OpenStorage devices can cross master server domains.   For our maiden voyage with OST we chose to solve the scenarios that involved sites working under a single catalog.  For example, replication to a DR bunker with a media server that is promoted to be the master server if the central datacenter goes kaput.  Another example: smaller datacenters with strong bandwidth to a central larger datacenter.  Pull the tape from the remote datacenters, and centralize the tape writing/vaulting at a single site.   Trading images across catalogs is the next port of call on our grand voyage.  Since the API can already move images across sites, a lot of the heavy lifting was completed when we rigged the Good Ship NetBackup with OpenStorage sails.   

I love that voices are crying out for more innovation.  It’s validation that we’re on the right track.

Message Edited by Shelley_S on 05-13-2008 01:33 PM
1 Comment
Great points and fun post. Looking forward to your next entry.