Exploring the Solid-State Array Landscape with VERITAS

Anyone paying attention to storage trends in the datacenter will be acutely aware of the increasing presence of all-flash arrays (AFA). As Storage and IT administrators become more comfortable with the unique characteristics of flash when compared to traditional spinning disk, AFA’s are being targeted at more applications and workloads.

Gartner’s yearly analysis of market leaders and players in this space is a reminder of how far this has come over the past few years: New start-ups have emerged; big vendors have entered through acquisition; and early players have struggled to maintain their edge.  It is also a reminder of how Veritas InfoScale™ continues to provide a platform and vendor agnostic solution that enables customers utilize and maximize whatever storage medium they require to ensure SLAs for their business.

Visibility and Control

                Veritas InfoScale supports all storage types and locations from all major vendors.  The current Hardware Compatibility List encompasses over 1000 different array models, allowing for unparalleled visibility, control, and optimization regardless of back-end storage vendor.

                This HCL includes every vendor in the “Leaders” quadrant as well as players from each of the “Challengers”, “Visionaries” and “Niche Players”.  Whether your organization is looking to go with a smaller startup or stick with an established storage leader, Veritas is there to enable that choice.

Performance

                The core reasoning for implementing an All Flash Array is to take advantage of the massive IOP and Throughput potential allotted by solid state technologies. Customers willing to spend more on a $/GB metric to get this performance should not have to put up with software that introduces bottlenecks.

                Veritas InfoScale has been the market leader for over 20 years in helping enterprises get the most out of their infrastructure for their high performance, high value applications.  InfoScale has been optimized to utilize the performance capabilities to ensure that applications like Oracle RAC®, Informatica®, or any other targeted workload can maintain performance and availability requirements.

Data Migration

                Before applications can take advantage of those performance gains, the data needs to be migrated. Typical data migrations are complex, manual processes that require application downtime as LUNs, volumes, and file systems are configured to present and consume storage from the new devices.

                Veritas InfoScale simplifies this with online storage migration.  This capability allows the enterprise to migrate existing and new data from “HDD Array Y” to “Flash Array Z” without downtime through a centralized, managed solution.

Data Choice

                While the benefits of flash storage for active data are clear, not all data in an application is “hot”. Holding cold data or replicas of data drastically increases the $/IOP that most all flash vendors push as part of the true cost of ownership. Keeping cold data on an all flash array is the equivalent of towing an Airstream with a Ferrari.

                Veritas enables customers to move data seamlessly within and across array vendors and models through automated, policy driven tools. SmartTier allows customers to mix Flash and HDD storage within the same host and keep that “hot” data where and when it needs to be. Veritas also provides block and file replication that is independent of the array vendor, allowing the active application to run on an All Flash Array while the DR copy can reside across the campus or globe on any type of array. This flexibility of choice maximizes value of extends the life of any storage array.

Build Your Own

                All Flash Arrays, while enabling millions of IOPs, have an inherent bottleneck built in: the network.  I/O requests have to make a round trip from the host, through core and edge switching, into the controller and then back again. The optimum place to maximize performance is within the server, bringing the storage as close to the compute and application as possible. Locating storage within the server, however, raises questions and challenges around data protection and access.

                Veritas enables customers to take internal flash devices and provide data access and protection capabilities through “shared nothing” architectures. With software defining how the storage is organized and controlled, Veritas enables customers to utilize in-server flash to drive higher performance at lower cost than pre-packaged all flash arrays.

 Summary

                The data center is a constantly evolving environment.  New technologies, architectures, and applications continue to continue to play off and form each other. All flash arrays and solid state technologies are just starting to have a full impact as application and infrastructure owners look to get the most out of these technologies to drive to unknown performance levels for numerous workloads. As it has for 25 years, Veritas InfoScale strives to enable those architectures and designs from a single solution. No matter where your flash sits or where you are in your implementation cycle, Veritas is poised to help consume, optimize, and protect solid state technologies of today and in the future.