Feeds

Avere screeches straight through VDI storms

Striping and replicating across front end accelerators with pedal to the metal

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Avere, which makes clustered filer accelerator nodes, is striping data across caches and even caching multiple copies to handle burst read requests.

When servers deluge a filer with Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) boot requests, the filers can struggle. A thousand or more boot requests can occur in a VDI storm and configuring filers to cope with that extreme spike in demand can be expensive. One way to solve this would be to cluster filers and have them use the fastest disks and even solid state drives (SSDs).

But Avere says it has a better idea: use its clustered FXT accelerator nodes in the form of bulk data filers using commodity SATA drives. The FXTs have a tiered storage design – with RAM, NVRAM, then NAND and finally SAS disk – to cache read and write I/Os according to their characteristics. It has now upgraded its operating system, AOS, with v1.4 doing array-level things such as striping and replication in and between FXT cluster nodes to deal with request bursts.

It works like this: the FXT cluster detects the access rate to files. As soon as one client server starts sending in requests for a file at a high rate, that file is transferred to an FXT node's RAM. So far so straightforward. As the request rate to that file increases, with more client servers joining in, additional FXT nodes respond, using the first node's RAM-cached copy.

If the request rate continues to increase, the cached file in the first FXT node is now striped across the FXT nodes handling the requests, increasing the cluster's ability to respond even further. Step four is to have the cached file replicated so that all the FXT nodes involved each have their own RAM-cached copy.

As the request frequency eventually deceases, the caching scheme reverses through the stages, with the file eventually stored in the first FXT node's SAS disks before, finally, disappearing from FXT node presence at all and reverting back to the copy on the backend filer's SATA drives.

Because AOS 1.4 can support more requests from servers, Avere has also increased the number of backend filers supported to 24. It's also added an optional second connection to the backend filers, with data access by NFSv3 over the first connection and and access control by either CIFS or NFSv4 across the second.

Avere reckons the storage industry is starting a new era with a transition from disk drives to solid state storage under way. El Reg thinks we're going to see multiple NAND flash tiers in the FXTs next year, single level cell followed by multi-level cell. We might also see the FXTs front-ending a massively large file primary data and archive store and providing fast access to the primary data and, perhaps migrating older data to the archive section of the filer backend. This is sheer speculation by the way. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
729 teraflops, 71,000-core Super cost just US$5,500 to build
Cloud doubters, this isn't going to be your best day
Want to STUFF Facebook with blatant ADVERTISING? Fine! But you must PAY
Pony up or push off, Zuck tells social marketeers
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
SAVE ME, NASA system builder, from my DEAD WORKSTATION
Anal-retentive hardware nerd in paws-on workstation crisis
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.