Monday, June 3, 2013

Storage Tiering - The missing link in the datacenter

I am visiting a bunch of customers over the year to discuss datacenter technologies and virtualization. You can bundle this together and then we have a nice cloud discussion.
However, there has always been a common challenge for those customers:

-          Storage
When I say storage, I can mention quite a few common challenges.

De-dupe, integration, backup, replication, cost, and tiering.

Yes. Tiering it is.
The datacenter has been missing this additional layer above the storage to support logical placement of hot data.
What does this mean?
You have some SSD disks, some SAS disks and som SATA disks in your preferred storage device.
You must manually place the right data on the right LUNs in order to make efficient use of your storage investment. However, things may change on the way during operations and heavily accessed data can become data that is not used that much anymore.
Have you ever heard about StorSimple? The company that Microsoft bought last year?
The technology that StorSimple provides is an appliance that you install in your datacenter and voila – you have cloud integrated storage that is able to move and balance your storage needs between SSD, SAS, SATA and Blobs in Windows Azure. All this so that you can get the most of your investment.
This particular technology will be available in Windows Server 2012 R2 as announced during the Keynote today, showed by Jeff Woulsey.

This will be a stunning feature where Windows Server 2012 R2 truly show how important it is as an infrastructure component in your private cloud. By providing all this through standards you can leverage Windows Server 2012 R2 completely with System Center 2012 R2.
Jeff did also show that de-dupe is now possible on volumes where running VMs live, and also provides much more IOPS compared to volumes where de-dupe is not enabled. Cool? I think so too.

More to come!

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