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Storage for Virtualization on Flash? Yes.

Planning the storage arrangement for virtualization is one of the most critical steps in delivering the right performance level. Recently, I previewed a new storage solution that is a good fit for virtualization environments due to its use of flash media instead of traditional hard drives.

Nimbus Data's Sustainable Storage is a flash-storage-based storage area network. Flash-based SANs have been available for a while, but Nimbus is priced competitively with traditional disk solutions using "spinning rust." The S-class storage systems start at $25,000 for flash storage solutions accessible via 10 Gb Ethernet.

Using flash-based storage systems in a virtualized environment is not new. In fact,  Microsoft's Hyper-V news earlier in the year about achieving over one million IOPs using its iSCSI initiator was performed on a flash SAN.

The Nimbus solution offers a number of opportunities for Ethernet-based storage protocols in and out of virtualization. This includes iSCSI, CIFS and NFS support. The iSCSI support is important so VMware environments can utilize the VMware VMFS filesystem for block-based access. VMware folks will quicky run off to the  hardware compatibility guide to look up this Nimbus product. During a briefing I received on the product, that was the question I asked and the answer is that Nimbus is working on the integration with VMware to officially be a supported storage configuration. Hyper-V support is also available for the S-class flash storage systems.

The advertised performance on flash-based storage is simply mind-boggling. Nimbus is cable of delivering 1.35 Million IOPs and 41 Gb/s throughput. With competitive pricing on this storage product, does this sound interesting for your virtualization environment? Share your comments here.

Posted by Rick Vanover on 05/27/2010 at 12:47 PM


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