ATTO Storage Controller Helps SDN Data Centers Go Virtual
Data centers seeking to move toward a more virtualized, software-defined infrastructure can find a solution with a new storage controller from ATTO Technology. The FibreBridge 7500, which began shipping earlier this month, is designed to let data centers build their own high-performance flash, hybrid or high-capacity storage with standard SAS SSD Flash or HDD drives.
Based on ATTO's previous FibreBridge 6500 technology, the new storage controller delivers a latency of less than 4 microseconds and enables such applications as shared storage and multi-site clustering. It also provides dedicated memory modules and data paths to allow for more data transfers at faster transfer rates.
The new storage controller is complemented by ATTO's FibreConnect, its Celerity family of Fibre Channel host bus adapters, and its Thunderbolt-enabled Desklink devices, which connect computer platforms to high-speed networks and storage infrastructures. Shipping now, the FibreBridge 7500 storage controller is being qualified by select OEMs.
Aimed at Storage Infrastructure Bottleneck
"IT professionals have invested a large portion of their equipment and personnel resources into developing next-generation data centers only to realize there remains a significant bottleneck in their storage infrastructure," said Wayne Arvidson, ATTO's Vice President of Marketing and Channels. "By utilizing this unique ATTO platform with off-the-shelf JBOD storage and software-defined storage capabilities, users can create a best-of-class solution."
The FibreBridge 7500 can serve as a building block for a virtualized, software-defined data center offering private cloud and disaster recovery solutions. It also delivers performance of up to 735,000 4K IOPS and 1,000,000 512b IOPS.
ATTO's new storage controller also allows for data mobility and redundancy via multi-site cluster installations that can be as much as hundreds of kilometers apart. It lets users manage their storage infrastructures with advanced read ahead and write cache algorithms, as well as error processing, email notification of errors and persistent error and trace logs.
Abstracting and Simplifying Management
According to the Storage Networking Industry Association, software-defined storage offers data centers and their customers a wide range of potential benefits. It enables the pooling of storage and other resources, provides a self-service interface for users, and lets users disaggregate storage and data services.
"The software-defined approach abstracts and simplifies the management of networks into virtual services," notes a recent whitepaper from the SNIA. "In networking, the control plane and the data plane have been intertwined within the traditional switches that are deployed today, making abstraction and virtualization more difficult to manage in complex virtual environments. Network capabilities are now just catching up with capabilities that have been offered in the storage industry for over a decade. SDS does represent a new evolution for the storage industry for how storage will be managed and deployed in the future."
Ashish Nadkarni, Director of Research for Storage Systems at the analyst firm IDC, told us that, for now, software-defined data centers are "mostly being talked about" rather than being deployed by most users.
"Software-defined data centers require many, many things," Nadkarni said. There's a lot of work involved and still much to be done "in terms of quantifying the benefits of software-defined data centers."
Regarding software-defined storage in particular, Nadkarni said there's currently "too much multi-vendor sprawl" and that data centers are finding it hard to plan ahead for future storage needs without having to buy lots of storage that ends up being wasted.
"All of these things are driving development of software-defined storage," he said.
And that, in turn, spells opportunity for new solutions like ATTO's FibreBridge storage controller.
Posted: 2015-03-19 @ 11:32am PT
This is the type of controller that we need in Software Defined Storage architectures, fast, agnostic and able to build the architecture we need, not the one we are told to build.