“50 per cent of global enterprises will be taking an architectural approach to web-scale IT by 2017” -Gartner 03/10/2014
When Gartner made this prediction in 2014 many were skeptical. Two years ago, web-scale architecture was reserved for giant cloud services centers, such as Facebook, Google, Amazon and Netflix. However, as more and more companies are moving to cloud computing, dated scale-up architecture systems cannot keep pace. Organizations are starting to look for more robust architecture options, ones that can grow on demand, in both capacity and performance. Enter web-scale IT.
RELIABILITY – Unlike a scale-up architecture, web-scaling is not dependent on shared components. With scale-up, data is placed in the environment with one processing head that handles all the data placement. This means an increased burden on shared components. In a scale-up system, a single component failure can have widespread impact. Web-scale storage eliminates this issue by spreading the burden across cluster nodes. If a node fails, the other nodes pick up the load.
SCALABILITY – Adding storage or speed to a scale-up system requires manual reconfiguration and additional hardware. This can be a complicated and costly process. Web-scale storage scales independently from application servers by adding more nodes. You add storage and compute as you need them.
STORAGE MANAGEMENT- Past administrator tasks such as manual tier, LUN and RAID creation and management are handled by cluster management software. Because of this, web-scale allows for a more hands off approach. This in turn frees up administrators to focus more on service delivery and less time overseeing hardware.
COST EFFICIENCY – With web-scale, the initial price should be less than scale-up since you add nodes as you need more capacity and performance. With scale-up systems, organizations need to plan in advance for their future storage management needs and buy accordingly. Poor planning can be costly and detrimental with scale-up storage. Web-scale eliminates this concern as it can grow as your organization’s needs grow.
Web-scale storage allows enterprises to scale their environment on demand, simplify storage management, and save on data storage costs without requiring complex and costly upgrades. Though many organizations will continue using scale-up systems, many more will continue to move to a web-scale IT solution.
To further quote Gartner, “Large cloud services providers such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, etc., are reinventing the way in which IT services can be delivered. Their capabilities go beyond scale in terms of sheer size to also include scale as it pertains to speed and agility. If enterprises want to keep pace, then they need to emulate the architectures, processes and practices of these exemplary cloud providers.”