— Virtual and software defined stuff. And more! —

The dream of the perfect storage system

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A story about thinking outside the storage box or settling for second best

In my opinion there´s no corner of your IT environment that´s so technology fixated as the storage system. There´s iops this and spindles that, volumes here and LUNs there. And what about protocols? Is NFS really better than iSCSI or is Fibre Channel da shit for the big boys? And what disk speeds and disk sizes are the most popular this month?

But how does the perfect storage solution look like?

Performance is important, everything´s got to ran fast. Best to overszie the system just to be sure we can gurantee performance the next three years.

Tiering someone cries out! It´s one of the hottest buzzwords in the storage business and of course we have to be able to offer storage at several speeds and at different cost. Our customers must have the option to chose between low cost or performance. Right?

Scalability maybe? Of course, if the solution doesn´t cut it, in spite of oversizing, then we have to be able to upgrade and expand the system in a smart way. And without interruption of service. Hey, when is our next service window, by the way?

Simple installation. After all there is a lot of parts in a storage system. Controllers and disk shelves have to be connected with multiple paths and then all your shelves has to be powered (more disks means more Iops) with redundant power cables. And then we have to cable the network!

Minimal configuration. Design and optimization of the storage system has to be simple. How many aggregates, volumes, LUNs do we need without losing to much space. After all, a great deal is lost to parity and spares too. And how many datastores does your virtual environment want?

QoS. What if server traffic interferes with storage traffic or vice versa? Somehow, we need to be able to control this. By the way, isn´t there a rule about not running too many virtual machines on one single datastore? And if one application goes berzerk, how do we know that it doesn´t affect our other applications?

Simple but powerful software for administration. You shouldn´t have to be a professor to run your storage. An intuitive interface makes more people able to handle daily chores and your system gets less vulnerable. Even better if your system can tell you how it feels.

Deduplication, compression, replication and encryption. Lots of –tion! J

Most modern storage systems have adopted these technologies. After all, we want our data to use as little space as possible. You also want to secure your data with encryption or mirror it to other sites.

Snapshots and backup – Functions for versioning and disaster recovery for your data

Plugins and APIs eases communication to, and from, your system. Maybe your storage even can talk with other types of systems, in other corners of your IT environment, and cooperate with them?

Sounds messy? With traditional storage systems your day to day work can be a real drag but there are modern, innovative solutions out there that let you do what you really want: Handle your virtual machines. Do you want to know how?

All of the highlighted properties above are actually gathered in a 4U-box.

It says Tintri on the front …


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