February 13, 2017

As one of the core features of ioFABRIC Vicinity, Quality of Service (QoS) helps our customers achieve reliable performance, capacity, data protection, and cost targets for each application’s needs. But there is some confusion about how QoS works, and why it is so important to your storage environment.

What is storage QoS?

Similar to networking quality of service, storage QoS refers to setting and maintaining desired levels of performance – however, it differs in that it covers even more than performance levels. Capacity and data protection directly influence the quality and availability of data in a storage environment, so storage QoS maintains all three – performance, capacity, and data protection. And it does that while balancing your cost objectives as well.

Watch this video to learn more about where QoS came from, and how it works for storage.

How does QoS work?

First, you define your policies per application, setting requirements for performance (how fast or how slow, in the case of an archive policy), capacity management (how large or how small), data protection levels (how many copies of data on different storage nodes), and cost targets (how much is that workload costing you on high performance media – or could it be as effective, but cheaper, on spinning disk).

Because ioFABRIC has a complete understanding of the storage environment, it leverages all storage media to deliver the QoS requirements on a granular, application-specific level. For applications requiring high IOPS or fast response times, active data will be stored on high-performance flash, for instance, while stale data is moved to less expensive hard drives or cloud. And with ioFABRIC’s built-in cost optimization, it’s easy to know if you’re making the best use of your high-performance media.

This is far more intelligent and capable than standard caching or tiering algorithms, where data is moved based solely on its “hotness” with no consideration to the applications true needs or the costs involved.

All this ensures that your storage is being used optimally, and that all QoS levels are met, even as the storage environment changes. All of the work is done using intelligent automation, behind the scenes, so that you can focus on the bigger picture.

In the diagram below, you can see the process that ioFABRIC uses to ensure QoS delivery. Beginning by profiling your storage environment and then adapting based on changes, ioFABRIC takes specific actions based on the policies you set: from changing the flow of data to nearer a node, to changing the device type, to even healing around failures should any arise. 

Flow Diagram

What should you look for in QoS features?

Here are six features to look for in your storage QoS solution:

  • Guaranteed QoS to every application within a shared storage platform
  • Automatic resource allocation to enforce QoS policies
  • No vendor lock-in
  • The inclusion of standard storage features (such as disaster recovery and de-duplication)
  • A central management console with analytics
  • The ability to integrate with virtualized environments

ioFABRIC not only checks all of the above boxes, but goes well beyond. By consuming any kind of storage, it can optimize data movement, data storage, data availability, and data storage costs, no matter which vendor or kind of environment you have. Further, with a centralized dashboard and alerts, we give you a view of your performance and capacity over time, predicting what storage media purchases are needed to maintain service objectives.

ioFABRIC integrates seamlessly into virtualized, containerized, legacy/standalone, and cloud environments.

The benefits of QoS 

QoS for storage means reliable performance, elastic capacity, always-on and resilient data, and cost savings. One of ioFABRIC’s unique additions to this formula is cost-optimization, so you know exactly what you spend on your data, and how to make the most of it.

Once you have a QoS-driven automated system like ioFABRIC, you’ll free up time to focus on the bigger projects that really matter. See how easy it is with our trial download.

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