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Level 4

The 6.1 release of Storage Foundation High Availability introduces SmartIO which enables customers to increase application performance and reduce storage costs while maintaining availability of data and applications.


SmartIO takes advantage of internal Solid State Storage (SSD) devices to provide an intelligent, distributed caching layer to serve more reads and writes from inside the host, effectively decoupling front-end IOPs from back-end capacity.   SmartIO allows customers to cache at the Volume (VxVM), File System (VxFS), and file level for highly granular control of application performance and utilization of the solid state device.  SmartIO utilizes advanced heuristics to maximize the effectiveness of cache population and eviction to ensure the most relevant data is stored within SmartIO’s cache areas.  SmartIO can also tie directly into the IO patterns of mission critical databases, such as Oracle and Sybase, to take “hints” as to the type of workload those databases are running and adjust its caching accordingly.  Finally, for the most specific of use-cases, SmartIO allows customers to “pin” specific files and directories to the cache to ensure the cache is pre-warmed with that target data.


SmartIO is completely integrated into the core Storage Foundation components and can be run in both stand-alone (SF/SFHA) and clustered (SFCFSHA) configurations.  Due to the integrated nature, SmartIO can be configured, managed, and tuned without impacting the overlying application.  There is no down-time and no new software to install or manage.

Once configured, SmartIO provides:

  • Increased Application Performance – By bringing the active data inside the server and “closer” to the application, SmartIO removes the network latencies and HDD performance bottlenecks associated with traditional Storage Area Networks.
  • Reduced Storage Costs – SmartIO, when combined with a “Tier-2” array provides equal and better performance than a traditional “Tier-1” array.
  • Improved Storage Utilization – By reducing the read requirements on the back-end storage, SmartIO allows for high instance stacking on existing arrays without impacting application performance.
  • Cascaded Performance Benefits – Storage arrays typically serve multiple servers and applications.  SmartIO’s I/O maximization frees up resources on the array to handle more reads and writes from other applications, essentially improving application performance without any SSD.

Supported Configurations

  • Storage Foundation Standard (Read Only)
  • Storage Foundation Enterprise
  • Storage Foundation High Availability
  • Storage Foundation Cluster File System HA

Supported Operating Systems

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, 6
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11
  • Oracle Enterprise Linux 5, 6

For More Information

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Documentation for the release is available on our SORT Documentation Site.