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SFW HA 6.1: Support for SmartIO

Anand_Mehta
Level 2
Employee

SmartIO is a new feature introduced in Symantec Storage Foundation and High Availability Solutions (SFW HA) 6.1 for Windows. SmartIO improves I/O performance of applications and Hyper-V virtual machines by using Solid State Devices (SSDs) as a caching location for read-only I/O caching.

Traditional disks are often an I/O bottleneck for high transaction applications. To compensate for this, administrators usually either increase the in-RAM cache size or buy expensive storage. To address this issue, SmartIO uses an SSD-based cache to drive high performance applications.

SSDs are available in many sizes and connectivity types. This adds a new layer of complexity and decentralization of the storage. SmartIO adds a central management layer between the physical SSDs and the applications that need to access them. SmartIO lets you use the SSDs to maximize application performance without requiring in-depth knowledge of the technologies.

SmartIO supports volume-level read-only caching as SSDs are primarily beneficial in high-read environments.

To use SmartIO, you create a cache area (storage space allocated on the SSDs for caching) using one or more non-shared SSDs and link volumes to the cache area to enable caching for the volumes. Using SmartIO, you can also disable caching and grow, shrink, or delete a cache area.

In a clustered environment, you may create auto cache areas on all cluster nodes. After failover, the implicitly linked volumes use the auto cache area on the failover node. If the auto cache area is not present on the failover node, then caching is not performed on the failover node.

If the data volume is disconnected, caching for that volume is stopped. Caching is restarted once the volume is reconnected and brought online. If the cache area is disconnected, the cache area is taken offline and stops caching of all the volumes linked with it.

SmartIO has the following limitations:

  • You cannot reserve a cache area for a particular volume. You can create a new cache area and link the volume with it.
  • File pinning or block pinning is not supported.
  • The cache is volatile and does not persist after the system is restarted.

For more information on the SmartIO feature, see the following sections of the "SmartIO" chapter in the Symantec Storage Foundation Administrator's Guide:

Symantec Storage Foundation and High Availability Solutions for Windows (SFW HA) documentation for other releases and platforms can be found on the SORT website.

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