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Rather than identify itself as all-flash or hybrid, CloudByte uses a software-defined storage model to optimize storage hardware based on performance demands. As such, its ElastiStor product supports all-HDD, all-SSD or any mix in between. It is said to deliver guaranteed QoS (IOPS, throughput, latency) to applications from a shared storage platform. It is particularly suited to cloud service providers and enterprises building private clouds to host performance-sensitive applications. On-demand provisioning, for instance, allows cloud environments to scale to thousands of applications without impacting performance.
“The CloudByte storage controller architecture supports multi-tenancy and software-defined storage,” said Felix Xavier, Founder & CTO, CloudByte. “We recommend hybrid storage pooling where the CloudByte provisioning manager allows you to choose an all-SSD pool for high-performance-low capacity requirements and an HDD pool for low-performance/high-capacity workloads.”
The EMC VNX is a hardware and software combo which aims to deliver cost reductions per transaction and per VM and VDI deployed, and to enable the deployment of smaller configurations due to what is termed “Flash Optimized Arrays.” With automated tiering across flash and HDDs, there is no need to manually move data.
One of the advantages of EMC in this market is the breadth of software that exists within its vast portfolio. The company has done a good job of rolling this into its VNX line. As a result, users can take advantage of software tools such as Unisphere for management, Fully Automated Storage Tiering (FAST) software, AppSynch, Virtual Storage Integrator, EMC Storage Analytics Suite, EMC Storage Integrator for Microsoft, and the Management and Reporting Suite.
“EMC can size the workload at the end user level and recommend the appropriate level of flash for the workload,” said Eric Herzog, senior vice president, product management and product marketing at EMC. “On average in a VNX, that usually equates to 5 percent, though it can range to as little as 1 percent and as much as 10 percent.”
Nimble Storage’s hybrid storage architecture, known as CASL (Cache-Accelerated Sequential Layout), is said to leverage the best properties of flash memory and disk. CASL accelerates read access to application data by holding a copy of active data in flash, resulting in high read throughput and latencies on the order of 0.5ms compared to the 5-10ms latencies of traditional disk-based storage systems. Write data is compressed so that it can be written to disk as a single stripe, making for sub-millisecond latencies and more efficient use of disk to the tune of 2x-5x more usable capacity per dollar than regular storage, according to Radhika Krishnan, head of solutions and alliances, Nimble Storage.
“The CS400 Series delivers higher performance and is ideal for larger-scale deployments or IO-intensive workloads, such as larger-scale VDI or transaction processing supported by Oracle or SQL Server,” said Krishnan. “Capacity can be scaled by adding shelves. Performance can be boosted by upgrading compute to get greater throughput and IOPS, and expanding cache with larger SSDs to handle more active data.”