I’ve talked a lot about the I/O blender in the last decade or so.[1. I’ve even been told I invented the term!] I’ve always said that information is the solution, allowing arrays to de-multiplex data. But a new enterprise storage company, Infinidat, claims that they can beat the I/O blender using math. Here’s their concept.
Join me for “Storage I/O is About to Get Crazy”! I’ll be speaking on Tuesday morning, August 26, at 7:30 AM at Jillian’s San Francisco, right on the corner next to Moscone and the rest of VMworld. SolarWinds is sponsoring this talk and will provide breakfast (including gourmet coffee) to any and all registered VMworld attendees.
VMware is in an enviable but tricky situation: The company must work closely with hardware partners, keeping these prime sales and promotional channels happy and supportive. But VMware must also innovate around proprietary OEMs, subverting their products with integrated software before a rival steps up with an integrated alternative.
Virtualization has disrupted the I/O path, reducing the value of enterprise storage arrays. But all is not lost: An effort is afoot to make things right by increasing communication between hypervisor and array and demultiplexing data before it is stored.
Virtualization is a disruptive technology in every sense of the word. By abstracting and simplifying physical resources, virtualization enables dynamic utilization. But this â€œtranslationâ€ from physical to virtual disrupts the assumptions that enable performance and flexibility of physical devices such as storage arrays.
This old-fashioned, predictable storage I/O path was deterministic and decipherable: The server, the switch, and the array all had enough information to do their jobs effectively and efficiently.
The Four Horsemen of storage system performance cannot be denied, but they do offer a clear path forward. Storage systems must improve in many different areas, from spindles and drives to caching and I/O bottlenecks. But above all else, storage systems must become smarter in order to become faster, and this requires greater insight into the true nature of the data stream being stored. All storage performance developments, from the laptop to the enterprise, boiled down to adaptations to the demands of the Four Horsemen.