ioFABRIC Vicinity Provides QoS-driven SDS Features

Originally published by Paul Alcorn on Tom’s IT Pro

ioFABRIC Vicinity is a flash-optimized SDS (Software Defined Storage) solution that aims to consolidate and manage disparate data storage pools in multi-vendor environments. The new solution also adds an automation layer that moves data autonomously between different storage tiers based upon administrator-defined QoS policies.

Vicinity also helps administrators navigate the inherent complexities behind what data should be moved to the cloud, and when. The system is installed as either a physical or virtual appliance with standard storage protocols, or as a software agent on Linux application servers.

Once the agents are installed, they go to work and characterize all of the addressable storage in the environment, thus classifying the total storage pool into various swim lanes based upon performance, redundancy and capacity. Administrators can carve out storage and assign QoS priorities for each provisioned LUN once the system is profiled. Vicinity manages DRAM, flash and HDDs in DAS, SAN and NAS environments.

The system manages and moves data automatically among the different types of media to satisfy the requirements of the QoS policy, such as moving hot data to flash-based media and cold data to platter-based media.

ioFABRIC designed the system to be simple and effective, yet it offers a wide range of complex data services, including thin provisioning, replication, load balancing, elastic storage and OpenStack integration. The company is also bringing compression, deduplication and erase coding to the system in the near future.

One of the most attractive features of any SDS system is the enhanced scalability and reduced cost through managing existing infrastructure more effectively, and it allows the use of commodity hardware, as well. ioFABRIC designed Vicinity to offer these characteristics in a lightweight format with nominal host overhead. The Vicinity software adds roughly a microsecond of latency to read traffic and can top 175,000 IOPS per core.

ioFABRIC has its work cut out in a competitive market. There are several players coming forward with unique SDS platforms. Much of its success will hinge on the timing and availability of the more advanced compression and deduplication services.

Vicinity is licensed by an annual subscription based on the capacity, but site and perpetual licenses are also available. The software is available through ioFABRIC’s reseller and distribution channel, and in pre-built appliances.

ioFABRIC will be at the Flash Memory Summit 2015.

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