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Software-Defined Storage: where, how and why we’re taking the lead

Headshot1.jpgBy Kate Davis, Worldwide Software-Defined Storage Marketing Manager @KateAtHP

 

It’s a new year and I have a new job to kick it off. I’ve been the worldwide marketing manager for LeftHand, now StoreVirtual, for the past three years and now I am focused full time on VSA and Software-Defined Storage (SDS).

 

Aside from launching a new generation of StoreVirtual products last year, I spent a good chunk of time focused on defining what Software-Defined Storage (SDS) meant to HP and our customers. This year we’re moving forward to make sure you understand the full benefits that SDS and our VSA products bring to your business.

 

We kicked this effort off with the November announcement of the Unlock your Storage program, where customers who purchase any of the eligible models of the HP ProLiant Gen8 server line receive a free 1TB license of StoreVirtual VSA. Our VSA has such a mature base that when it is paired with the robust HP ProLiant platform it creates a converged infrastructure like no other.

 

If you aren’t familiar with StoreVirtual VSA, here’s the rundown of what it is and can do:

 

What is StoreVirtual VSA?

 

A virtual storage appliance (VSA) is software-based storage that runs in a virtual machine on a virtualized server. It offers fully featured shared storage that is required by virtualized applications. VSA allows the converging of applications and storage on the same server platform, and brings the benefit of high utilization rates of compute power and storage, with high efficiency of power, cooling and data center footprint.

 

HP_StoreVirtual_VSA_RGB_blue_NT.pngStoreVirtual VSA runs on any server hardware that’s certified for VMware or qualified for Hyper-V. It has the ability to consume any storage (HDD, SSD, PCIe; DAS, SAN; iSCSI, FC) of your choosing that can be seen by the hypervisor. This creates a shared storage pool that can be presented as an iSCSI array to any physical or virtual server on your network.

 

What feature/functionality does StoreVirtual VSA offer?

 

The all-inclusive StoreVirtual VSA feature set includes:

 

Network RAID – Five 9s high-availability and synchronous replication. Choose from 2-to-4 copies of data on a per-volume basis with the ability to switch on-the-fly to meet business needs

 

Peer Motion – Online data mobility across systems, tiers, locations, disk types, server form factors, generations, and between physical and virtual platforms

 

Adaptive Optimization - Automated sub-volume tiering

 

Integrated disaster recovery – Reservationless, app-aware snapshots; asynchronous remote copy; and multi-site stretch clusters

 

Space-efficient thin provisioning – Space allocated only as data is actually written to the volume

 

Scale-out architecture - Non-disruptive, linear capacity and performance scaling

 

Centralized Management Console – All StoreVirtual storage managed from a single pane of glass, no matter where the nodes are physically located

 

Integration points:

 

VMware: vSphere Storage API integration (VAAI, VASA); VMware vCenter Server storage management; Replication adapter for VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager (SRM); Application Aware Snapshot Manager; PV SCSI Controller Support

 

Microsoft: HP Management pack for SCOM; VSS provider and requestor functions; LeftHand DSM for MPIO; Application Aware Snapshot Manager; Recovery Manager for Windows; Windows Active Directory; SMI-S support for SCVMM

 

Veeam: StoreVirtual snapshot integration with Veeam Explorer for SAN snapshots

 

Leading the VSA market

For a broader outline of how others stack up against us in the market, check out this new Market Landscape for Virtual Storage Appliances that was recently published by Taneja Group. As the report says at the end, “HP StoreVirtual was one of the earliest entrants into the software market, and the on-going product advancements and time-in-market driven maturity surface repeatedly in our assessment.”

 

This strong base is the springboard that will bring further innovations this year – extended capabilities for cloud deployments, optimization for ROBO environments, increased management simplicity, and new partnering opportunities.

 

Why today’s spotlight is on Software-Defined Storage

The category of Software-Defined Storage isn’t new, only the name is. It’s getting more attention now because there are more players in the market and customers are now at a point with their infrastructure designs and virtualization practices to take full advantage of SDS’s functionality and benefits. Our VSA product started the VSA market in 2007 and created the Storage Virtual Appliance category on VMware’s Storage HCL. We worked with VMware for years before VMware decided to make a product of its own—and we will continue to pave the road so that VMware and others can easily follow.

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