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Seagate pushes for new cloud storage standard


Data storage solution provider Seagate is aiming to revamp cloud storage with a new solution that seeks to eliminate redundant legacy hardware and software and reduce overhead costs by an average of 40 per cent.

Dubbed Kinetic Open Storage, the platform bids farewell to long-existing standards employed in current cloud storage systems that, by today’s standards, impose significant limitations on the structure and efficiency of the technology, according to Ali Fenn, senior director of advanced storage at Seagate.

“The kind of data that is being created at such an explosive rate is all unstructured object data being driven by mobile and social internet of things and so forth,” Fenn told CDN. She explained that while developers have made huge strides in reducing file system overhead in software over the years, between applications and storage devices, there are layers of hardware and software that were “literally designed in the sixties.”

In order to address these issues, Kinetic implemented Ethernet directly into storage devices to eliminate the need for servers. Secondly, it also incorporated an object storage protocol which lets object storage applications “talk in the language they’re already talking … straight down to the device,” said Fenn, thereby further reducing software overhead.

“Until the device changes, you can’t get rid of the process and you can’t get rid of the storage system,” said Fenn. “We have customers who are saying… ‘Let’s not assume that the standards of the past are relevant anymore.’”

Yet Fenn says that Seagate is not just pushing the solution for its own benefit. The company seems to believe in the platform enough to facilitate dissemination.

While Seagate has only recently announced the storage drives, the company actually introduced the technology a year ago in order for the industry to have a chance to understand the technology, Fenn said. It has also made many API’s, developer tools and components open source to allow for competitors to get in on the evolution.

“It really is bigger than Seagate,” she said. “We very much see proprietary advantages within the device and the interface but in terms of the new model of storage, we want that to become an industry standard.”

“We can’t even hope as an industry to store all the data that’s going to be created unless we radically disrupt the economics, and technology is vital in helping us get there,” said Fenn.