VSM Lab: Virtual Super Disk
As companies struggle to achieve maximum efficiency, the top-of-mind issue for all corporate decision makers is how to reduce the cost of IT operations. Universally, the leading solutions center on resource utilization, consolidation, and virtualization. Nonetheless, these strategies actually serve to exacerbate the impact of a plethora of IT storage costs, from failed disk drives, to insufficient performance, to excessive administrator overhead costs. As resources are consolidated and virtualized, the risk of catastrophic disaster increases as the number of physical devices underpinning an IT infrastructure dwindle.
Xiotech’s ISE technology provides an innovative solution that radically alters the reliability and performance of disk-based storage systems. By approaching disk drives not as a JBOD collection, but as a grid of storage surfaces requires a radical rethinking of firmware for both disk drives and controllers. In so doing, Xiotech has improved the internal operating environment of its Emprise systems by enabling controllers to go beyond simply accessing data and begin actively managing component reliability.
More importantly, Xiotech’s fundamental change in the underlying technology of storage systems transforms the notion of a basic storage building block for IT and OEM users: In the world of Disk 2.0, fundamental storage building blocks are application-centric rather than connection-centric devices. Sophisticated characteristics of DataPacs, not the simple electronic specifications of a bus, define storage building blocks in a way that makes provisioning storage synergistic with Service Level Agreements.
The Emprise 5000 storage system builds on ISE technology to eliminate the need for maintenance intervention by IT administrators and to provide near-linear scaling of application throughput metrics as the number of storage systems increases. Using Emprise 5000 systems, IT administrators are able to cost-effectively meet and support Service Level Agreements for multiple application-centric environments, including Virtual Operating Environments for server and desktop infrastructure.
For OEMs and IT departments alike, building application-centric storage solutions starts with a storage foundation building block that fits a scale-out paradigm. To provide extended customer value, however, a storage solution must go beyond meeting specific application metrics and provide greater agility and efficiency by leveraging the price and performance of modular components to scale any required application metrics through the addition of more units. By increasing cache and I/O processing power as storage units are added, the Emprise 5000 system fits perfectly into the new paradigm for a storage foundation building block.
A Virtual Operating Environment (VOE), such as that created by VMware Virtual Infrastructure, provides IT with the ability to rapidly provision resources, commission and decommission applications, and nondisruptively migrate applications and data among multiple virtual servers to handle changing service-level requirements. What’s more, IT’s success in deploying servers as virtual machines (VMs) has now turned attention on Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is an alternative strategy for providing desktop systems to information workers.
Heart of ISE