Thursday 5 March 2009

DataCore's 'solid state SANs' with mega-caches to make storage virtualisation performance soar

From IT Director post by Peter Williams, Practice Leader - IT Infrastructure Mgmt., Bloor Research
Check out the full report at:

Enterprises with virtual environments should be intrigued by DataCore Software's developments for its venerable software—with upcoming SANmelody 3.0 and SANsymphony 7.0 storage virtualisation releases due for general availability around month end. These include a massive boost to SAN-wide performance and improvements to high availability...

Both SANmelody and SANsymphony will now support for 64-bit "mega-caches" providing up to one terabyte (TB) of cache memory per node; so performance will scale linearly with each node added to the fabric. It means that the entire SAN operation for many virtual machines can be kept in SAN-wide caches avoiding the vast majority of disk I-O.

"This is a solid state SAN," James Price, vice president channel and product marketing told me, adding that this would dwarf anything in the market. "There will be a 600–1200% performance increase."

He explained that while the number one bottleneck for virtualisation was memory (CPU cycles and pure capacity), next came storage performance—limited by I-O to virtualised disk. So the need was to scale and deliver I-O at native speeds or more. This boost should be worth watching!

Previously DataCore has offered up to 20 GB of cache, which Price said had been competitive, but, driven by increasing virtualisation, 16–32 GB cache would be a common requirement with a lot of customers. That's a long way from the TB maximum so provides oodles of expansion for those who find they need more...

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