How do trends in primary storage affect secondary


Join Mike Matchett and Steve Pao of Igneous Systems ( for this brief chat about why as primary storage increases in value to the does secondary storage. Making the infrastructure agile means optimizing both tiers...and scale out secondary storage accomplishes unique tasks in ways primary storage can't.

Mike Matchett:                  Hi, I'm Mike Matchett with Small World Big Data. I'm here today with Steve Pao from Igneous Systems, and we're gonna talk a little bit about the rise of secondary storage, particularly scale-out secondary storage and why people are really turning to that now, instead of looking at some other solutions. Particularly in the backup space, or just worried about their primary storage and what to do next. Hi Steve, How's it going?

Steve Pao:                              Awesome Mike. Thanks so much. Thanks for having me.

Mike Matchett:                  So we were just talking a little bit. Could you tell us a little bit about what's happening between primary storage say, what's the trend there? Then what you're doing with Igneous and secondary storage to back that up.

Steve Pao:                              That's awesome. So a lot of actually what we're seeing in primary storage is really what's happening with data overall. That is that there is a growth of unstructured file data. It's bigger and it's growing faster. What's happened is, is that's really changed what both the scope and what people are actually trying to go do with file on the primary side. Particularly, as file densities have grown and as the file volume has grown, and that's created a whole new need on the secondary side, and that's where Igneous plays.

Mike Matchett:                  Awesome, awesome. Then we got scale-out on both sides, you kind of want to align those things today. Primary being your performance storage, secondary being your capacity and protection storage layer. How does that fit in with cloud though? People are talking about getting to hybrid cloud as well, and rolling both of those kinds of ... tiering both of those into cloud.

Steve Pao:                              Right, absolutely. Well, cloud is, in many ways, the ultimate scale-out platform. The real trick is how you have data where it needs to be. For example, there are a lot of secondary storage applications like light backup, where you want to be able to recover old versions very quickly. You might actually even have issues where you want to archive, where you want your users to have access to data that they don't frequently access, but not have to wait. The way that I often like to think of cloud in this world is in two ways. One way is as an iron mountain replacement. Where when you want to put something in deep freeze, things like Amazon Glacier, Microsoft Azure, blob storage, archived blob storage, those are key. In fact, just this last December, we were a launch partner with Microsoft Azure archive blob storage. So we were one of the first vendors to actually support Microsoft Azure and their long term storage option natively.

                                                      There's certainly that component. I think that there's the other component, which is that cloud becomes an interesting way to burst workloads. There's also use of cloud in the context of the ability to utilize that with the elastic compute that's available, so two different ways to view cloud.

Mike Matchett:                  View cloud. Great. There's people with workloads all over the place, but if you've got a workload today that's a critical workload on premise or in the cloud, and you've got your primary storage. People are doing scale with primary storage, they're all flash primary storage, they're not always getting the data protection that they think they have, even though they've got a brand new type of flash array, or a brand new type of scale-out storage system, right? And their old backup ... We already know backups broken for legacy storage. The old way of doing backup just possibly can't work for this. That's kind of where you guys play, right? You come in and you say, you need to match your new fangled primary storage of whatever kind it is, whether it's scale-out or all flash, or whatever it is with a really scale-out, what you called performance capacity storage. I thought that was clever. A secondary storage on the back end, right?

Steve Pao:                              That's absolutely true, I mean I think that high performance flash storage has a lot of potential. The challenge is, is that a lot of the enterprises, that we work with, have limited the deployment of this high performance flash storage to scratch workloads, where they data doesn't need protected.

                                                      One of the things that we've found that's been very powerful by coupling high performance flash storage with Igneous, is that we can actually offer that level of protection. You can extend the use of flash to those workloads that actually need the protection. Very much like in the old world, how there was protection with technologies like stamp mirror and stamp vault on the data app side, or cinque IQ with isilon. The principle is that a lot of these new high performance flash arrays, that don't have that analogous software in this high performance world, now can get that really with Igneous' very, very, high performance seed of scale-out secondary storage tier.

Mike Matchett:                  People have been asking me lately what's the hottest thing going on in storage, and I tell them actually I think it's scale-out secondary storage because it's really enabling everybody to use those technologies and those things have been happening over on the primary space effectively on all their workloads. Otherwise, it's just a niche kind of technology thing.

Steve Pao:                              Yeah. Cold or not. It's the warmer and colder thing happening. Not the hot thing is happening on the flash tier, right?

Mike Matchett:                  Right.

Steve Pao:                              We're in the colder thing, which is big.

Mike Matchett:                  Big thing. Well thanks, Steve for being here today. Thanks for updating us on this and I look forward talking to you again.

Steve Pao:                              Okay, thanks a lot Mike.

Mike Matchett:                  All right, take care.