Solving Capacity Challenges with SSD and Server Side Flash
In our last post we described how our Melio clustered volume manager and file system deliver cost-effective, block and file access scale-out, high-availability and performance across commodity servers, hard disk drives (HDD), solid state storage (SSD) and server-side flash.
However, with today’s ever-growing data flood, organizations also need to cost-effectively scale capacity across both block- and file-based workloads. SSDs and flash, while fast, are still much more expensive and far smaller than less expensive disk. That’s why their most common use is within storage arrays as a “Tier Zero” high speed-caching layer, an approach that hurts performance, cost-effectiveness and reliability.
What organizations need to cost-effectively scale capacity is the ability to seamlessly combine SSD and Flash with their conventional disk. Software that provides this data management layer should have the intelligence to automatically route the right data to the right storage platform, giving organizations the speed benefits of Flash and SSDs when they need it, without committing financial suicide by going to an all-SSD environment.
LTA: Cross Workload Capacity Scale Out
Our recently announced Latency Targeted Allocator (LTA) is a Melio module that adds support for SSDs within arrays, and Flash cards within servers, to our existing support for traditional disk drives. With it, organizations can for the first time make the most cost-effective use of all their storage capacity, across workloads, as their storage needs grow and change.
LTA makes the most effective use of each type of storage by scanning incoming data from the Melio volume manager, identifying each type of data, and automatically routing it to the most cost-effective storage platform. For example, small files with random access patterns (such as metadata) might be routed to faster, lower capacity SSD or Flash. Larger and sequentially accessed files are automatically routed to, higher-capacity but less expensive disk.
With this software layer, server-side Flash and SSDs can become part of an overall application-aware shared storage architecture that spans block and file data stores and multiple workloads. With LTA, SSDs and Flash can use Melio’s advanced data and volume management capabilities. These include a software RAID stack, rapid resource provisioning, snapshots, disaster recovery (DR), quality of service (QoS) and live storage migration in a workload-, hypervisor- and hardware-agnostic offering.
In other words, LTA delivers the cost effective, cross-workload capacity scaling and availability once available only to service providers (or Web startups) to the corporate data center while increasing performance four- to ten-fold and dramatically reducing capital and operational costs.
As excited as we, and our partners, are about LTA, we’re not done adding intelligence to server-side flash. Stay tuned for our next advances—coming soon — that will drive even greater availability, performance, scalability and efficiency across all layers of storage.
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