Roughly two years ago, we sat down to start work on a project that finally came to fruition this week.
At that meeting, we had set ourselves the challenge of redefining the storage landscape. We wanted to map out a world where there was complete shared storage, but where the landscape remained entirely heterogeneous.
Why? Because we’d witnessed the beginnings of a trend that has only grown more pronounced with the passage of time.
From the moment we started engaging with customers, we were struck by the extreme diversity of their storage environments. Regardless of whether we were dealing with a bank, a hospital or utility provider, different types of storage had been introduced across every organization for a variety of use cases.
In time, however, these same companies wanted to start integrating their different silos of data, whether to run real-time analytics or to gain a full 360 perspective of performance. Yet preserving diversity across data center was critical, given that each storage type has its own strengths.
They didn’t care about uniformity. They cared about performance and this meant being able to have the best of both worlds. Being able to deliver this became the Holy Grail – at least in the world of data centers.
This isn’t quite The Gordian Knot but it’s certainly a very difficult, complex problem and possibly one that could only be solved with our core, patented IP DConE.
Then we had a breakthrough.
Months later and I’m proud to formally release WANdisco Fusion (WD Fusion), the only product that enables WAN-scope active-active synchronization of different storage systems into one place.
What does this mean in practice? Well it means that you can use Hadoop distributions like Hortonworks, Cloudera or Pivotal for compute, Oracle BDA for fast compute, EMC Isilon for dense storage. You could even use a complete variety of Hadoop distros and versions. Whatever your set-up, with WD Fusion you can leverage new and existing storage assets immediately.
With it, Hadoop is transformed from being something that runs within a data center into an elastic platform that runs across multiple data centers throughout the world. WD Fusion allows you to update your storage infrastructure one data center at a time, without impacting your application ability or by having to copy vast swathes of data once the update is done.
When we were developing WD Fusion we agreed upon two things. First, we couldn’t produce anything that made changes to the underlying storage system – this had to behave like a client application. Second, anything we created had to enable a complete single global name-space across an entire storage infrastructure.
With WD Fusion, we allow businesses to bring together different storage systems by leveraging our existing intellectual property – the same Paxos-powered algorithm behind Non-Stop Hadoop, Subversion Multisite and Git Multisite – without making any changes to the platform you’re using.
Another way of putting it is we’ve managed to spread our secret sauce even further.
We have some of the best computer scientists in the world working at WANdisco, but I’m confident that this is the most revolutionary project any of us have ever worked on.
I’m delighted to be unveiling WD Fusion. It’s a testament to the talent and character of our firm, the result of looking at an impossible scenario and saying: “Challenge accepted.”