Matthew Wallace at AllThingsD wrote up a great article about how organizations employ a myriad of tactics to avoid the risks of shared storage environments, often inefficiently and ultimately self defeating:
Massive overprovisioning of resources in clouds, dedicated storage platforms attached to shared compute platforms, dedicated shelves in shared storage platforms, or massive horizontal scaling are options used every day. They don’t solve the problem — they avoid the problem, often at great expense or through significant architectural shifts.
My take away from this article is to ask the right questions of your cloud storage provider or your storage infrastructure vendor to make sure you’re not impacted by “Noisy Neighbors”:
For instance, does your CSP work with a storage vendor that offers guaranteed QoS on a storage platform? … Cloud environments empower you with the business agility of service on demand and flexibility to respond to changing business needs rapidly. Adding resources for a time and then giving them up when they are no longer needed is a major benefit. While the advancement of cloud computing has made those accessible on the compute side, the storage side was left behind by the limitations of rotational disks and the inability to offer ironclad QoS guarantees.
The power of a such a solution … is not only in knowing that you can guarantee a certain number of IOPS on each volume, but to pair that with cloud environments to allow the business agility to burst as needed on the storage array the way that cloud environments offer that flexibility for compute.
The rapid and automated provisioning world of the cloud demands that storage companies build APIs rich enough to control every aspect of an array. Building the user interface as a layer on top of the API is a demonstration of API and design maturity that shows a solution is future-proofed against demanding cloud orchestration requirements. Designing the solution to be linearly scalable without artificial breakpoints or step functions in performance keeps the provisioning and growth simple and reliable, shutting out the noisy neighbors once and for all.