Advancing Edge Storage: Quobyte’s Innovative Strategies for Next-Gen Data Solutions

Quobyte
6 min readJan 24, 2024

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A distributed network

What is Storage at the Edge and Why It Is Important

Edge storage refers to storing data closer to the producer, or in some cases, the consumer, rather than in a centralized location. Sometimes, it’s the only way to process data, as bandwidth is limited and expensive. In addition, it can provide several advantages, such as improved reliability, faster data access, and reduced costs.

With more and more businesses relying on data to make decisions and drive their operations, the amount of data being generated and stored is growing at an unprecedented rate. For example, the Internet of Things (IoT) devices generate significant amounts of data daily. In addition, the increasing use of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze data and to automatically create more (i.e., feature engineering, etc.) is also driving the growth of data.

Organizations collect more data than ever with more IoT devices deployed at edge locations, such as sensors, smart cameras, or even connected or autonomous vehicles. However, sending all that data back to a centralized data center is not feasible. Edge storage can enable businesses to process data closer to where it’s being collected and allow them to send just the results to their local storage.

Challenges for Edge Storage

Storing and processing data close to the source brings some of the benefits already discussed; however, organizations face the following challenges when dealing with storage at the edge:

  • Space Constraints:
    In edge computing environments, physical space is often scarce, making it difficult to accommodate traditional storage infrastructure. This leads to organizations having to rent spaces if they do not have one on-site, which can be very expensive. In addition, the limited space forces organizations to use compact storage solutions.
  • Processing data in real-time:
    Some of the edge storage solutions do not provide the required performance to process the data in an efficient manner. For organizations to get full advantage of their data, they need to process it in real-time just to send the results to their centralized data center.
  • High-maintenance:
    The hardware at edge locations must be managed remotely by admins. Sometimes, admins know how to manage certain storage systems but might not know what to do with appliances or special hardware, which can make the management process more complex and time-consuming.
  • Different deployment for specific use cases:
    When organizations have multiple use cases, they usually deploy custom edge solutions for each one of them. When this happens, they end up with several different storage systems they must manage. That translates to organizations having to pay for different experts to manage all their systems or administrators having to learn how to manage all of those systems.
  • Security:
    Edge storage devices sometimes lack advanced security features to protect the data. Most of the time, the lack of centralized security control makes it difficult for organizations to enforce security on all the different storage systems, making their data vulnerable to unauthorized access.

When organizations deploy “storage on the edge,” they must be aware of the challenges they might encounter in order to choose the right storage solution.

What to Look for in an Edge Storage Solution

An edge storage solution should address the challenges mentioned above and should provide the following benefits:

  • Flexible Deployment:
    When organizations need to deploy storage clusters at the edge, the storage platform should provide the flexibility to use any hardware available. Flexible hardware can be deployed in a wide range of environments, such as remote locations, industrial settings, or mobile deployments, while also providing scalability. Given that so much data is generated at the edge and there is limited space, organizations need to have different deployment options.
  • High-Performance:
    Edge deployments should be able to provide fast ingest from many sources, such as sensors, cameras, etc., to enable real-time data processing and to reduce latency. It is crucial that the storage system provides compute capabilities to process data efficiently because the organizations’ goal is only to send results or the most important data to their data center.
  • Easy Remote Control:
    The storage solution deployed at the edge should not require appliances or custom hardware but provide the ability to use commodity hardware. The remote hands can easily work with generic, standard servers, while custom hardware brings many challenges.
  • Storage for all use cases:
    Since organizations have different use cases at the edge, they need a storage solution capable of handling any workload. This guarantees that all edge computing sites have the same system, simplifying management and making it easier to resolve any issues with the system, as admins only need to learn to manage a single system.
  • Advanced security features:
    Since edge deployments don’t have the same physical security as a central data center, the storage solution should provide advanced data security features, such as end-to-end encryption and secured data transfer to other clusters, to reduce the risk of malicious or accidental situations.

Finding the right storage platform for your edge infrastructure can be very challenging; however, starting with a platform that offers the above benefits can save you a lot of time and effort.

What Makes Quobyte the Perfect Edge Storage Solution

Quobyte is a Software-defined storage (SDS) solution that you can deploy at the edge and get the performance all your workloads demand. At the same time, it facilitates data transfer between your clusters at the edge and your central data center. To enable your edge infrastructure, Quobyte offers the following benefits:

  • Deploy Anywhere:
    Quobyte allows you to deploy anywhere: on-prem, in public clouds, and at the edge. It enables you to build your hybrid cloud with either on-prem or cloud deployments and your clusters at the edge. For example, installing Quobyte on a 2U server with four nodes gives you a fully fault-tolerant system to take to any remote location.
  • High-Performance storage:
    A deployment on a 2U server with four nodes can give you the performance you need at the edge with speeds of up to 40GB/s and RDMA support. In addition, Quobyte allows you to use NVMe to obtain high performance for any workload. At the same time, it scales linearly, so you can easily adjust the performance by adding more resources.
  • Hyperscale-style Operations:
    Quobyte doesn’t require you to replace hardware as soon as it fails. Damaged or broken hardware won’t affect your storage system because of its fault tolerance. This enables you to follow the Google model of letting hardware rot and wait with the replacements.
  • Single Platform for all use cases:
    Quobyte allows you to use the same storage platform for all your use cases. With the flexibility to use flash and hard drives in your deployment, your storage can deliver the performance to any workload. For example, you can use Flash for small files and random IO and HDD for throughput.
  • State-of-the-art security features for all clusters:
    Quobyte offers complete 360 security with features such as end-to-end encryption, TLS, immutable files, X.509 certificates, access control lists (ACLs), and much more to keep your data secure at all times. With all the security features Quobyte offers, your data is secured in transit and at rest from a wide range of threats.

When you need to take your storage wherever your business goes, you can rely on a resilient, high-performant storage solution like Quobyte. Providing you with the same performance, flexibility, and security for all your clusters, Quobyte enables you to build your edge infrastructure easily. Get started today with the Quobyte Free Edition, and start enjoying all its benefits.

Originally posted on Quobyte’s blog on January 16, 2024.

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Quobyte

Quobyte empowers customers by providing real software storage so that they can keep up with the ever-increasing amounts of data in today’s data-driven world.