High-Performance Storage

 

The concept of virtualization, or the abstraction of the physical resources from the server and desktop workloads using them, is commonplace in the datacenter industry today. The idea has become so well established as a way to optimize hardware utilization and maximize resource efficiency, that it no longer offers much value as a differentiator, but is understood as more of a requirement to become competitive. As a result, the ever-evolving landscape of the IT world is constantly pushing our Advance2000 engineering team to explore new ways to improve and deploy our existing portfolio of private-datacenter-based services. Today, we will focus on one such development that is once again helping to elevate Advance2000 in the private cloud marketplace: High Performance Storage.

Traditional storage technologies required dedicated physical storage media, such as hard drives or CDs, to be presented directly to the physical hardware on which the operating system of a server or workstation was running. As technology advanced, storage started to be removed from the physical infrastructure and isolated into pools that could be delivered over a network of data connection streams to multiple physical workloads, consolidating some peripheral resources. This physical pooling of the storage resource led to improved storage efficiency, both in performance and utilization, much like virtualization has done for data processing and high-speed memory. Yet, it still required its own dedicated infrastructure with its own inherent level of required redundancy, complex management, and ultimately, higher cost.

Advance2000’s latest venture has allowed us to progress beyond the bounds of isolated storage pools in a manner similar to the traditional model, through the system of hyper-convergence. The idea: how can we absorb storage infrastructure into the existing modularly-distributed compute resource model that is enabled through virtualization. The goal: to eliminate the cost and resource overhead associated with dedicated storage infrastructure, networks, maintenance, etc. Advance2000 found an answer… and boy does it bring a lot to the table.

Advance2000 implemented our High Performance Storage technology, which essentially enables us to use the local drive bays and storage controllers available in each of our physical node servers (compute building blocks) and populate them with Solid-State (SSD) and Hard-Disk (HDD) drives. Our virtualization platform then takes all of these available disks across the entire cluster of nodes and creates a virtual pool of storage resources (storage building blocks) that can be allocated to any of the virtual machine (VM) instances running in that cluster.

This uncovered some significant untapped potential in our virtual environment:

  • Significant and Noticeable Increases in Virtual Machine Performance:  The storage essentially resides on the physical hardware that the virtual machine is running on, meaning next-to-no latency or bandwidth constraints associated with traditional storage infrastructure. We are able to leverage clusters of extremely fast SSD, and even NVMe drives as primary storage for any-and-all VMs in the environment. This, paired with the efficient way with which the system manages and distributed the virtual storage blocks, means unprecedented IOPS performance for those virtual machines.

  • Added Storage Resiliency and Redundancy:  The storage blocks are actively replicated across multiple physical nodes, meaning that a loss of a limited number of disk drives or nodes does not impact the integrity of the data residing on those storage blocks, ultimately leading to increased data protection to our customers. This type of resiliency used to cost an arm and a leg in traditional storage environments.

  • Efficiency Of Storage Utilization:  In addition to improving performance, features like deduplication, compression, and erasure coding enable us to deliver significantly greater storage utilization, decreasing our overall storage capacity and ultimately decreasing our storage costs, enabling us to keep our prices down.

  • Improved Scalability:  With a modular architecture, we can now add capacity in smaller increments, on-demand, in a non-disruptive manner, leading to higher uptime for our customers.

High Performance Storage is now available on our full complement of virtual desktop offerings, and our customers are already reaping the benefits. Contact Advance2000 today for a consultation on how Advance2000 Virtual Infrastructure offerings can help take your business into the pinnacle of the 21st century.

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