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Taneja Blog / Data Center Systems / Software Defined/Virtualized Infrastructure

SanDisk: Unique Flash Integration with VMware

SanDisk is the first major vendor to break-through the challenges of integrating flash with the hypervisor without disrupting the way the administrator manages virtual servers or virtual server storage.  There is a tremendous amount of demand in mature virtual infrastructures for more storage performance. According to our 2012 conversations, 70% of enterprise customers with major virtualization initiatives are facing scalability bottlenecks, excessive complexity, and management challenges due to storage resource limitations.  

It is therefore not surprising that we see so many vendors attacking the storage performance problem.  The majority of these vendors entering the market are coming at the problem from the hypervisor.  They are trying to answer the question: how to increase storage performance for the hypervisor while not breaking or changing the enterprise storage system and administrative practices.  This is not an easy question to answer.  There are tremendously big challenges around optimizing the IO path without caching or changing IO in some way that it breaks things like snapshots, backups, or vMotion.  Caching or storing data in a server while these activities happen on the storage array can easily make all your data inconsistent and unusable.

SanDisk has achieved some remarkable advances with FlashSoft 2.0.  Most notably, they've turned into the first major vendor to break-through the challenges of integrating flash with the hypervisor without disrupting the way the administrator manages virtual servers or virtual server storage.  They've done this by finding a unique and VMware-sanctioned place to connect their software with the hypervisor IO path. This enables them to capture every IO, while also being able to recognize the individual virtual workload that is running on the hypervisor.

The resulting product looks poised to be both highly efficient and more granular than any other product we currently follow in the market.  If VM1 needs more performance than VM2, it is entirely possible.  Meanwhile, they have clear visibility into all of the IO operations of the host, so can behave nicely when storage operations like snapshots are requested.

For SanDisk at large, FlashSoft sets an important precedent.  FlashSoft demonstrates a fascinating degree of innovation in a software layer with a broad, but likely more enterprise-oriented market.  The resulting product looks to have set a new high water mark for "how it is done."  With continued innovation at this pace, FlashSoft may make SanDisk a must-have partner for vendors looking at connecting flash-based solutions with the virtual infrastructure.

  • Premiered: 08/15/12
  • Author: Taneja Group
Topic(s): SanDisk FlashSoft Flash VM VMWare Hypervisor

Comments

Jeff,

We are glad to see that SanDisk has modified its FlashSoft software to operate in hypervisor environments.  We see their approach as validation of our own.  We also appreciate Taneja’s continued coverage of this exciting space, including your piece on Proximal Data.

http://tanejagroup.com/news/blog/blog-virtualization/proximal-autocache-overcoming-virtual-server-storage-issues

Rich

By richpappas on 08/16/12

 

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