Thursday 22 October 2015

Virtualization Review: Back to the Future in Virtualization and Storage – A Real Comeback, Parallel I/O by DataCore

“It's a real breakthrough, enabled by folks at DataCore who remember what we were working on in tech a couple of decades back.”
If you're on social media this week, you've probably had your fill of references to Back to the Future, the 1980s scifi comedy much beloved by those of us who are now in our 50s, and the many generations of video watchers who have rented, downloaded or streamed the film since. The nerds point out that the future depicted in the movie, as signified by the date on the time machine clock in the dashboard of a DeLorean, is Oct. 21, 2015. That's today, as I write this piece…

Legacy Storage Is Not the Problem
If you stick with x86 and virtualization, you may be concerned about the challenges of achieving decent throughput and application performance, which your hypervisor vendor has lately been blaming on legacy storage. That is usually a groundless accusation. The problem is typically located above the storage infrastructure in the I/O path; somewhere at the hypervisor and application software operations layer.
To put it simply, hypervisor-based computing is the last expression of sequentially-executing workload optimized for unicore processors introduced by Intel and others in the late 70s and early 80s. Unicore processors with their doubling transistor counts every 24 months (Moore's Law) and their doubling clock speeds every 18 months (House's Hypothesis) created the PC revolution and defined the architecture of the servers we use today. All applications were written to execute sequentially, with some interesting time slicing created to give the appearance of concurrency and multi-threading.
This model is now reaching end of life. We ran out of clock speed improvements in the early 2000s and unicore chips became multicore chips with no real clock speed improvements. Basically, we're back to a situation that confronted us way back in the 70s and 80s, when everyone was working on parallel computing architectures to gang together many low performance CPUs for faster execution.

A Parallel Comeback
Those efforts ground to a halt with unicore's success, but now, with innovations from oldsters who remember parallel, they're making a comeback. As soon as Storage Performance Council audits some results, I'll have a story to tell you about parallel I/O and the dramatic improvements in performance and cost that it brings to storage in virtual server environments.
It's a real breakthrough, enabled by folks at DataCore who remember what we were working on in tech a couple of decades back.

Thursday 15 October 2015

VMworld Europe 2015: DataCore Showcases Universal VMware VVOL Support and Revolutionary Parallel I/O Software

New Hyper-Converged Reference Architectures, VM-aware VVOL Provisioning, Rapid vSphere Deployment Wizards and Virtual Server Performance Breakthroughs Also on Display 

At Barcelona, Spain, DataCore Software, a leader in Software-Defined Storage and Hyper-converged Virtual SANs, is showcasing its adaptive parallel I/O software to VMware customers and partners at VMworld Europe 2015. The revolutionary software technology uniquely harnesses today’s multi-core processing systems to maximize server consolidation, cost savings and application productivity by eliminating the major bottleneck holding back the IT industry – I/O performance. DataCore will also use the backdrop of VMworld Europe 2015 to debut “Proven Design” reference architectures, a powerful vSphere deployment wizard for hyper-converged virtual SANs and the next update of SANsymphony™-V Software-Defined Storage which extends vSphere Virtual Volume (VVOLs) support to new and already installed flash and disk-based storage systems lacking this powerful capability.
"The combination of ever-denser multi-core processors with efficient CPU/memory designs and DataCore’s adaptive parallel I/O software creates a new class of storage servers and hyper-converged systems that change the math of storage performance...and not by just a fraction,” said DataCore Chairman Ziya Aral. “As we begin to publish ongoing real-world performance benchmarks in the very near future, the impact of this breakthrough will become very clear."

At booth #S118, DataCore’s technical staff will discuss the state-of-the-art techniques used to accelerate performance and achieve much greater VM densities needed to respond to the demanding I/O needs of enterprise-class, tier-1 applications. DataCore will highlight performance optimizations for intense data processing and I/O workloads found in online transaction processing (OLTP) systems, real-time analytics, business intelligence and data warehouses. These breakthroughs have proven most valuable in the mission-critical lines of business applications based on Microsoft SQL Server, SAP and Oracle databases that are at the heart of every major enterprise.
Universal Virtual Volumes: Extends VMware’s VVOL Benefits to Storage Systems that do not Support it
Many VMware administrators crave the power and fine-grain control promised by vSphere Virtual Volumes (VVOLs). However, most current storage arrays and systems do not support it. Manufacturers simply cannot afford to retrofit equipment with the new VM-aware interface.
DataCore offers these customers the chance to benefit from VVOLs on EMC, IBM, HDS, NetApp and other popular storage systems and all flash arrays simply by layering SANsymphony™-V storage virtualization software in front of them. The same is true for direct-attached storage (DAS) pooled by the DataCore™ Hyper-converged Virtual SAN.
Now, vSphere administrators can self-provision virtual volumes from virtual storage pools -- they specify the capacity and class of service without having to know anything about the hardware.
Other announcements and innovations important to VMware customers and partners will also be featured by DataCore at VMworld Europe. These include:
·        Hyper-converged software solutions for enterprise applications and high-end OLTP workloads utilizing DataCore™ Adaptive Parallel I/O software
·        New “Proven Design” reference architectures for Lenovo, Dell, Huawei, Fujitsu and Cisco servers spanning high-end, midrange and smaller configurations
·        A worldwide partnership with Curvature to provide users a novel procurement and lifecycle model for storage products, data services and centralized management that is cost-disruptive
·        vSphere Deployment Wizard to quickly roll out DataCore™ Hyper-converged Virtual SAN software on ESXi clusters
·        Stretch cluster capabilities ideal for splitting hyper-converged systems over metro distances
·        Breakout Session: DataCore will discuss the topics of Software-Defined Storage and application virtualization in the Solutions Exchange Theatre.

Tuesday 6 October 2015

@IPEXPO: DataCore Positions Adaptive Parallel I/O Software; Eliminates Bottlenecks and Redefines Price Performance.

Today at IP Expo, DataCore Software, a leader in Software-Defined Storage and Hyper-converged Virtual SANs, previewed its Adaptive Parallel I/O software, which is included as part of its SANsymphony-V™ platform. The software harnesses the untapped power of today’s multi-core processing systems and efficient CPU memory to create a new class of storage servers and hyper converged systems. This combination supports much greater Virtual Machine densities and consolidation savings; it adaptively allocates available resources as required and thus overwhelmingly responds to the dynamic and demanding real-world I/O needs of enterprise-class, tier-1 applications. For IP Expo attendees what Adaptive Parallel I/O sets the stage to deliver is elimination of bottlenecks that effect their virtual environments each processing day in their online transaction processing (OLTP) systems, real-time analytics, business intelligence and data warehouses based on Microsoft SQL Server, SAP and Oracle databases.
"With 75% of all applications running virtually by the end of 2016, it really is a perfect storm and IP Expo is a perfect venue to position the impact of this revolutionary software," said DataCore Chairman, Ziya Aral. "DataCore’s parallel I/Osoftware is set to radically change the economics of storage performance. Stay tuned this month as we showcase our real-world performance and benchmark results.”
DataCore representatives will be on hand to discuss the implications of the software throughout the show. In addition, DataCore will use the show to highlight real-life customer experiences on the impact of using DataCore’s SANsymphony-V software. These real-world findings, compiled by independent research company, TechValidate, show some startling results. Customers experienced up 10 times faster performance, 100% less storage downtime and saved 90% of time previously allocated to routine storage tasks. To help monitor and track such efficiencies at the show, DataCore will be running draws for Apple Sports Watches in DataCore signature colours so that resource and time savings can be tracked and assets can be sweated.
Also on show will be some of the local UK DataCore case studies that have been released in September, including Elddis Caravans, OGN Ltd, Uplands Community College, Bradford Grammar and the University of Birmingham.
To be one of the first journalists and analysts to receive the performance figures for Parallel I/O later in the month, in the first instance please contact or visit the stand to register your interest.