Hyper-V Storage Buying Guide - Page 3


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Coraid’s Virtual DAS (VDAS) technology allows the SAN for Hyper-V to be abstracted as a local SCSI device, accommodating standard application-level operations. By using Ethernet as a backplane and abstracting the SAN with a server-side driver, this approach eliminates multiple layers of SAN complexity such as multi-pathing, port bonding, and worldwide naming to provide low latency, massively parallel access to every disk on the network.

“Coraid brings together direct-attached and shared storage to provide a solution for Hyper-V that is simple, fast, and scalable,” said Coraid CEO Kevin Brown. “This scale-out architecture leverages Layer 2 Ethernet and off-the-shelf hardware to deliver high performance with commodity economics.”

In August, the company released the EtherDrive SRX6000 Series of block storage appliances which are optimized for all flash and mixed flash and SATA or SAS drive use cases.  The SRX6000 Series includes two new EtherDrive SRX models, the 2U SRX6200 and the 4U SRX6300.  The SRX6300 uses dual 10Gb Ethernet connections and comes with 36 drive bay, with up to 144TB raw capacity when using 4TB HDDs. Enhancements include a faster processor, new bus architecture and the new CorOS 7.0 software, resulting in over 700,000 IOPS with solid-state drives. Prices start at $450/TB.

“Rather than deploy islands of specialized storage for Hyper-V environments,” said Brown, “the EtherDrive SRX6000 platform eliminates storage silos, allowing you to use the same building blocks for different performance workloads.”

Nimble Storage

Nimble Storage has two series of iSCSI SAN arrays (www.nimblestorage.com/products/specifications.php): the CS200 series for midsized IT organizations and the CS400 series for larger organizations or those with IO-intensive workloads. These hybrid storage devices scale up to 249TB of effective disk capacity (figuring 2X compression and three expansion shelves) and 2.4TB of Flash.

For virtualized environment, the company also has a reference architecture called SmartStack for Windows Server 2012 that makes it easier to deploy Microsoft Hyper-V in conjunction with Cisco UCS (Unified Computing System).

"The Nimble Storage SmartStack for Windows Server and Hyper-V with Cisco and Microsoft is a way for IT to make the move to a virtual datacenter while gaining flexibility and lowering costs” said Radhika Krishnan, Director of Marketing, Nimble Storage.


In January, Lenovo and EMC formed a joint venture, LenovoEMC, for EMC’s Iomega line of network attached storage (NAS). For Hyper-V deployments, the LenovoEMC NASes include support for iSCSI and Microsoft tools such as VSS. For higher performance, the products support link aggregation, aka NIC bonding/teaming, and the px12 products support 10Gb.

In April the company released an updated version of LifeLine, the OS used for LenovoEMC network storage products. Key features include snapshotting (scheduled or on demand), creation of cache pools of solid-state drives to increase read/write performance, and NFS 4.0 support. It also has a hybrid authentication mode that allows both Active Directory Domain users and groups and local users and groups to access the device simultaneously. LenovoEMC Integrated Virtualization eXtension (IVX) allows multiple virtual machines to run StorCenter device. These VMs can be running Linux or Windows and can also have their own private virtualized hardware, including network cards, drives, and graphics adapters.

The LenovoEMC px12-450r Network Storage Array is designed for production data stores, server virtualization, backup-to-disk target and video surveillance. It is available in diskless, partially populated or fully populated configurations from 0TB to 48TB in a single array.

The px12-450r includes many enterprise-class features, such as IVX, snapshot backup, the EMC Atmos Cloud Connector, EMC Avamar data deduplication as well as device-to-device data replication. It comes with quad-Gigabit Ethernet connectivity and an Intel quad-core Xeon processor plus link aggregation (port bonding), and the option of solid state drives. Prices start at $5999 for a diskless unit.


Unlike the other companies in this buying guide, Nexenta Systems offers a software-only product that can be used with any type of storage. Its core product, NexentaStor is a NAS/SAN software platform based on the high-integrity, open source ZFS file system and logical volume manager.

“A dedicated Virtual Storage Appliance (VSA) can do block—file—object storage much better than the hypervisor itself because it packs several decades of storage stack development and many years of commercial deployment,” said Nexenta CEO Evan Powell.

While hypervisors virtualize local storage hardware, the VSAs virtualize the local and shared storage, hiding from the VM where the storage is located. Since the VSAs are VMs themselves, they can follow or be followed by other migrating VMs.

“This creates a design and implementation opportunity to make VM migration a self-contained transaction, independent of the location of physical storage hardware,” said Powell.

NexentaStor is certified for use on VMware and Citrix, as well as a Hyper-V. Since it is based on open source software, there is a free version, but customers will have to pay extra for proprietary enterprise features.


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