Tuesday, 2 December 2014

The Register: DataCore lifts baton, strikes up the 64th SANsymphony with latest update release for SANsymphony-V and Virtual SAN

Comment DataCore has updated its SANsymphony and Virtual SAN software products to reach 100 million IOPS and 64PB capacity. It's also getting into bed with Azure.

SANsymphony-V10 PSP1 builds a SAN from a cluster of servers, aggregating each server's storage into a central virtual pool. The company has built its product on virtual SAN technology which VMware has now blessed as a concept with its VSAN technology...
...DataCore says that - unlike VMware's ESXi-only VSAN - its Virtual SAN supports any hypervisor and any storage.

Its software enhancements mean the following things:
  • Systems can scale out to 64 nodes, up from 32
  • They can scale up to 64PB configurations
  • Notionally they can deliver more than 100 million IOPS
Claiming a 64PB and 100 million IOPS capability is bold; achieving it will be impressive.
The SANsymphony V10 PSP1 product has quality of service (QoS) features providing policies which manage access to storage tiers divided between on-premise and public clouds, defining storage resource allocation and providing Service Level Agreement capability. This ensures high priority applications aren't slowed by less important ones whose consumption of resources is controlled by capping their data transfer rate and IOPS.

DataCore says storage resources can be logically segregated, monitored and regulated on a departmental basis. This SW release also adds utilisation tracking capabilities and chargeback reports.
Random Write Accelerator technology has been added, which - DataCore says - benefits ERP, OLTP and database applications with up to 30 times faster writes. This secret sauce is said to provide a greater than 30x random write improvement on RAID-5 protected datasets with data and metadata - reconstruction information - spread across multiple locations on different disk drives.

It is also said to be especially effective with slower SATA disk drives exhibiting longer rotational and seek delays when updating data blocks. And flash can benefit too, with SSDs having lower write amplification and less wear, as well as a claimed 3.6x increase in IOPS.

This sound to us like some kind of random write buffering transforming many random writes into fewer sequential ones.
Doubling the node count in Virtual SANs helps increase the number of applications they support or the number of users in the VDI use case. DataCore says resources can be shared across multiple clusters as well.
There is zero-touch failover to provide non-disruptive failover if either a storage or server component fails. Internet mirrors can span 60-mile (100 kilometre) distances.

Microsoft Azure integration

SANsymphony-V can use Microsoft's Azure cloud core via a Microsoft StorSimple array with a very, very long name - the DataCore-ready certified Azure StorSimple Hybrid Cloud Storage Array.
In a hybrid cloud scheme Azure provides backend geo-redundant cloud storage, with SANsmphony-V auto-tiering on-premise storage to StorSimple Arrays and hence Azure. The StorSimple arrays can be pooled like any other SanSymphony storage.
Working set backups (snapshot copies) can be sent to Azure through the StorSimple gateways. They can be retrieved from separate locations by other StorSimple arrays or by Azure-hosted applications.
If accessing hosts use Fibre Channel, SANsymphony-V converts this protocol to iSCSI.

Bits and bobs

There's more; SANSymphony V10 PSP1 gets performance-monitoring capabilities, wizards to automate processes such as software updates, and enhanced CDP capabilities for restoring from known good points-in-time.
There is now a standby node capability whereby workloads can be redistributed when an existing node is taken out of service or gets overburdened in a SANsymphony-V group.
The latest Fujitsu PRIMERGY BX and CX servers are certified as DataCore Ready Software-defined Storage servers. Fujitsu's ETERNUS DX arrays have gained DataCore Ready Certification.
SANsymphony V10 PSP1 and VirtualSAN are shipping now with the enhancements above. DataCore's 10,000 customer sites should be pleased with this raft of new features as their mature product gets significantly extended. 

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