Kamesh Raghavendra is an Advanced Product Manager working in my team for the Chief Technology Office at NetApp. He covers New Application trends including Big Data and NoSQL/NewSQL. After our big Agile Data Center launch last week, he decided to put some of his work into this new context.
The advent of cloud computing and the ubiquitous presence of mobile platforms have caused a paradigm shift in the scale of business operations of enterprises not only in the web services (messaging, gaming, social et al) space but also retail, financial services, media, telecom, cloud service providers, public sector, healthcare and utilities verticals. In order to provide competitive quality of service to their customers, these enterprises need to sustain unprecedented demands of performance, availability & agility to accommodate a fast growing global scale of operations. This has led to the genesis of a new breed of super-agile applications that can service transactions at this scale by breaking out of the limits of relational models of data organization – and are called NoSQL (Not Only SQL) applications.
Although relational models provide very rich query abilities and powerful normalization of data, their consistency characteristics are too rigid to allow the read/write availabilities these workloads demand (from the CAP theorem). As business operations get hammered by Internet scale & multi-geo reach, latency SLAs get phenomenally squeezed out – leading to unreasonable demands of availability while maintaining the very bare minimal level of consistency. Also this scale is growing at a tremendous rate, forcing vendors to switch to scaled out NoSQL applications (where one can mindlessly add more instances/nodes and instantaneously scale without impacting uptime/performance) for extreme agility.
The multi-DC/multi-geo requirements preclude the use of file systems (and deal with volume level replication) and allow only HTTP/RESTful interfaced systems to scale at a K-V pair/object granularity.
Thus this new species of applications is getting neatly wedged in between RDBMS' and traditional file systems.
The key mantras of this species of applications are:
These applications are very different from Hadoop – and Hadoop is only remotely connected to this world:
However, these applications pose new problems to customers and hence opportunities for IT vendors like NetApp to provide value differentiation:
These applications can thus be bundled with best of breed external storage in smart ways to bring the following value differentiation:
As smart phones continue to proliferate & more business operations leap frog into web-scale outpacing even Moore's law, IT infrastructures need to match the agility of newly evolved application paradigms. At NetApp, we have a strong track record of providing our customers the most flexible datacenter solutions in the industry. We continue to work with our enterprise customers in building agile data centers that would empower their competitive edge through this burst of web scale operations.