Symantec and Intel introduced a Solution Overview for a storage management architecture using Software Defined Storage and Intel PCIe drives with NVMe support in another blog entry. The proposed solution offered better performance with a fraction of the costs of all flash arrays. Although the workload discussed is Oracle, this architecture could be used for any other database or application. It combines the best of breed storage and availability solutions from Symantec, providing an end-to-end software defined solution.
The attached reference architecture paper describes in detail that configuration and goes deeper when comparing the solution with some All Flash Array (AFA) that have provided public white papers with some performance metrics. An AFA solution provides just storage, with no capabilities to run applications, so you still need servers to run your applications or databases, HBAs and switches to connect to the array, which increases the costs and the operational management costs. The hyper-converged solution described in this paper uses unique Software Defined capabilities from Symantec to do not only combine all the local storage together but also run the database and applications in the same servers, keeping control, visibility and high availability for those applications. Application availability solutions from Symantec support hundreds of applications that can easily being integrated in the proposed solution.
Finally a cost and performance comparison is outlined in the paper, showing how software is the way to unlock existing and new hardware capabilities.