The hype of Deep Learning (DL), Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) has reached an unprecedented frenzy. Every infrastructure vendor from servers, to networking, to storage has a word to say or play about DL/ML/AI. This prompted me to explore this hyped ecosystem from a storage perspective, notably from a storage performance requirement point-of-view.
One question on my mind
There are plenty of questions on my mind. One stood out and that is related to storage performance requirements.
Reading and learning from one storage technology vendor to another, the context of everyone’s play against their competitors seems to be “They are archaic, they are legacy. Our architecture is built from ground up, modern, NVMe-enabled“. And there are more juxtaposing, but you get the picture – “We are better, no doubt“.
Are the data patterns and behaviours of AI different? How do they affect the storage design as the data moves through the workflow, the data paths and the lifecycle of the AI ecosystem?
“No, we are not a storage company anymore. We are a data management company now.“
I was reading a Forbes article interviewing NetApp’s CIO, Bill Miller. It was titled:
NetApp’s CIO Helps Drive Company’s Shift From Data Storage To Data Management
I was fairly surprised about the time it took for that mindset shift messaging from storage to data management. I am sure that NetApp has been doing that for years internally.
To me, the writing has been in the wall for years. But weak perception of storage, at least in this part of Asia, still lingers as that clunky, behind the glassed walls and crufty closets, noisy box of full of hard disk drives lodged with snakes and snakes of orange, turquoise or white cables. 😉
The article may come as a revelation to some, but the world of storage has changed indefinitely. The blurring of the lines began when software defined storage, or even earlier in the form of storage virtualization, took form. I even came up with my definition a couple of years ago about the changing face of storage framework. Instead of calling it data management, I called the new storage framework, the Data Services Platform.
So, this is my version of the storage technology platform of today. This is the Data Services Platform I have been touting to many for the last couple of years. It is not just storage technology anymore; it is much more than that.