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back to article Facebook snubs storage barons for cheapo Far East kit - insiders

Facebook and other vast data-centre operators such as Google, Amazon and Baidu are reportedly shunning storage arrays from Dell, EMC, HP and NetApp for cheap boxes from Taiwan. According to supply chain insiders, the dominant social network is going to buy bargain storage kit from Taiwanese original design manufacturers (ODMs), …

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Meh

Not very patriotic is he...

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Stop

....the dominant social network is going to buy bargain storage...

Big org buys near-commodity kit at cheaper price non-shock.

Over-priced vendors of same commodity kit in sour grapes outburst non-shock.

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Flame

it's ok.....

...the US vendors will say that the Taiwanese are a bunch of commies and shouldn't be trusted; bung a few quid in the right direction and it will all be sorted.

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Is this news?

I thought it was common knowledge…

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cheap boxes from Taiwan?

Why not? Once they've sold your data on they don't need to worry if it stays around or not, and there'll always be some other suckers ready to upload new stuff, at least for long enough for Zuck & co to cash in their stock.

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Re: cheap boxes from Taiwan?

Agreed. And all those back doors into the storage system are just a bonus.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: cheap boxes from Taiwan?

You have your storage system's admin ports on a world-accessible network? Really?

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Mushroom

Re: cheap boxes from Taiwan?

I always find it amusing that commentards (and US congress) think that every manufacturer from the East puts back doors in their products to spy on Western companies. Surely then, Western companies would do the same in return and EVERYTHING would have a back door for respective spies?

Not saying it doesn't happen, just a bit skeptical that it's happening to the extent people seem to suggest.

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Back doors

Back doors are a Holywood thing...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Back doors

>Back doors are a Holywood thing...

Really? I thought it was more San Fernando Valley than Hollywood proper.

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Facepalm

Remember way back when...

before the movie war games came out when backdoors in systems were actually a secret and not everyone knew about them...

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Not reinventing the wheel.

If this is the future of storage for the biggest data centers, so be it. But a couple of things are worth noting--the first is that the thinking that what works for servers boxes can work for storage boxes is suspect. Switching out your storage boxes at the same rate as your servers is going to cause some massive headaches and overhead costs down the line. And 2nd, a lot of US and UK storage OEMs have already tried this model over the past ten plus years, but failed to deliver the savings customers expected. Too much of the cost was wrapped up in disks, interfaces, fabric, other components, and servicing. If Facebook thinks they going to save much money this way, they are probably dreaming.

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Re: Not reinventing the wheel.

the facebooks/amazons/googles of the world can probably pull it off for their own stuff, amazon and google at least write a lot of storage type software (not sure about facebook but they probably are starting to dabble in it).

Their needs are different from the typical enterprise market and their resources are different as well, main one being they have a bunch of developers writing the software. This doesn't transfer well to other businesses because of course they lack the resources. But it won't stop bad management all round thinking they can replicate the cost savings by grabbing some free (or cheap) software, tossing it on some JBODs and expecting to compete with a tier 1 storage array. Usually horrible results follow.. I pity the foo who works for such management - I used to a few years ago, it sucks, bad.

I believe the bulk of this storage is being used for object storage - where things like latency really aren't important because the network(distance) is the bottleneck there. Replication is handled at the object level, most likely RAID is not used. I suspect the bulk of storage is object storage whether it is media files, documents etc, all of that is well suited for object storage for these big players.

By contrast most other organizations can't make good use of object storage, it is overkill, when a simple enterprise NAS will do the job just as well and be far easier to manage and interface with.

Transactional storage for things like databases will probably remain on higher quality stuff for the most part even for these players. Outside of trivial workloads that can run on DAS.

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Pint

It's not China - It's Big Iron

The painful lesson of the mainframe is about to be learned again. There's a problem with $5000/TB pricing today, when so much storage is migrating to COTS/x86 platforms. Since there are plenty of server makers who build servers and JBODs at much lower price points than EMC or NetApp platforms, and since WD and Seagate will sell drives at $79/TB or less to the cloud megaproviders, it should not be a surprise that the Amazon's of the world are buying their own kit.

Now the megaproviders roll their own code, and that has traditionally been the differentiator for the entrenched Big Iron companies. 2013 will be the year of open-source code, with Ceph and OpenStack leading the way. Low-cost software-only commercial products are arriving too, with RedHat Storage Server 2 being a stellar example. This is beginning to look like the Unix server collision with the mainframes. Big Iron Storage had better savvy up fast!

A comment on PRC manufacture. The value proposition is changing back in favor of on-shore manufacturing. We may see US -made low/mid storage systems this year.

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Anonymous Coward

Many alternatives available

Other than EMC and NetApp there seems to be many choices available.

Cheaper and better US based hybrid arrays like NIMBLE and CORAID seems to be taking the right steps.

High performance is seen better on Violin than others

Chinese/Taiwanese arrays like QNAP etc are too good to be true. Just good enough for small shops. Huawei arrays are a decent stack and for the price, it is again compelling.

I don't understand why you need 10 experts from EMC to talk a simple thing like storage?

Turn ON the AMAZON cloud if you could take a bit of risk. Saves a ton again.

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