Storage provisioning, or the process of assigning and allocating storage, is a necessity for any organization holding customer or business data. Essentially all organizations in operation today require a reliable storage provisioning method to stay productive, keep administrative overhead to a minimum, and ensure data is properly stored in an orderly and secure fashion. This process usually involves software developers, testers, and other members of a company’s IT department.
Traditionally, the process of storage provisioning has been done via storage area networks (or SANs), which allow IT teams to customize specific storage conditions and attributes for data allocation. But in recent years, two new fast and reliable storage provision strategies have emerged that enable DevOps teams to speed up the application delivery process: intelligent storage and cloud storage. Let’s compare these two storage provisioning technologies to traditional methods and see how they stand to benefit DevOps teams.
Why Traditional Storage Provisioning Methodologies aren’t Keeping Up with DevOps Teams
Traditionally, storage provisioning could be divided into two primary philosophies: thick provisioning and thin provisioning. Both strategies simply represent two different ways of allocating storage spaces via storage area networks.
With thick provisioning, storage space is stored on physical media (such as solid state drives or hard drives), and a predetermined amount of storage space is allocated to different users. The obvious advantage here is that businesses can guarantee if enough space is available, while the downside is that there’s also a possibility of only a small portion of the total storage space being used, with the business forced to pay to keep and maintain the unused space.
Thin provisioning, on the other hand, allocates data based on the amount of storage space that users require at any given moment. The more data a user saves or deletes, the more space is taken up or released on the hard drive, respectively.
While both provisioning methodologies have traditionally been effective, neither stands to keep up with IT organizations that are evolving to using a DevOps-based model. DevOps teams are continuously pressed to do more in less time when it comes to application development, and delivery.
To accomplish this, less data is stored on an on-premise physical server and more data is stored on a cloud-based IT system. Thus, developers need to better familiarize themselves with serverless storage systems in order to deliver data at faster speeds and ensure seamless integration between virtual and physical environments.
This is why choosing the best emerging storage systems possible to provision a DevOps model is essential. Two of these systems are intelligent storage and cloud storage.
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What Intelligent Storage has to Offer DevOps Teams
Intelligent storage is a storage provisioning method that utilizes machine learning and AI together to learn and adapt to a cloud-based storage environment.
For delivery teams using the DevOps models, this provides numerous advantages. Intelligent storage allows teams to store their code, testing environments, production data, and visual media such as images or video. Any data that is required to support the overall application development and delivery process can be stored using an intelligent storage system.
Meanwhile, AI and machine learning are used to analyze data that is gathered from the various storage infrastructures used by a team. Utilizing the monitoring capabilities that are built into those infrastructures, AI and ML algorithms can collect the data to uncover patterns. This enables them to make predictions about likely issues that could surface and hinder the application development process.
This is why most cloud storage systems are beginning to include intelligent storage provisioning as part of their overall infrastructure. An example is Amazon S3, which offers an intelligent storage feature that can identify data access and storage patterns.
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What Cloud Storage has to Offer DevOps Teams
Cloud storage has been a blessing for application delivery teams following the DevOps model. Not only does storing data in the cloud permit superior flexibility than traditional thick or thin provisioning methods, it’s also easier to manage and integrate with other storage systems. In fact, the use of cloud storage is perhaps the single biggest data storage trend over the last decade.
One of the biggest advantages to storing data on the cloud for DevOps teams is the fact that data can be accessed from anywhere. This makes it very easy for teams to respond in a time efficient manner to ever changing developments or requirements with the application delivery process.
In fact, with the cloud it’s possible to provision capacity in a matter of minutes, whereas utilizing traditional on-premise storage systems could require hours or even days. The cloud can also more easily accommodate distributed, remote working teams while still ensuring seamless collaboration.
Ultimately, the cloud doesn’t really allow organizations to carry out any more operations that could have been carried on-premise, but it does allow those same operations to be carried out much more quickly and conveniently. And when combined with intelligent storage, as we saw with Amazon’s S3, it’s also easier to identify problems that serve as impediments to application delivery and development.
Speeding Up Software App Delivery
It’s absolutely essential that in today’s world, storage provisioning efforts are just as fast, flexible, and reliable as software development processes utilized by DevOps teams. In other words, storage provisioning needs to speed up the process of software application delivery.
Intelligent storage and cloud storage are two new data storage options that offer greater speed and flexibility over traditional storage provisioning methodologies. Both can help DevOps teams do exactly what they need to do: accelerate the process of application delivery.
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