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ScaleIO Emerges with Simplified SAN Strategy

ScaleIO has $12 million in venture backing and a master plan for success in the emerging, software-defined storage market. According to CEO Boaz Palgi, his company's ScaleIO ECS 1.1 aggregates all the free capacity of grossly underused internal disks located in application servers and creates a more-for-less SAN that does not require any additional hardware, power, cooling, space, ports host bus adapter cards or dedicated storage resources.

Palgi says that his company, which has some 20 employees and "dozens" of pilot and production installations, is actually redefining the SDS market as the elastic converged storage market, which he says is characterized by the ability of users to build a SAN that is fully elastic and flexible. The CEO rattles off a bounty of benefits that accrue to users, including reduced complexity, lower costs, and shrunken capacity management requirements. With the elimination of disk price arbitrage, he says those lower costs are tied to the use of commoditized application servers using disks that are 10 to 40 times more expensive than those running in external storage arrays.

In this all-server datacenter environment, there is no need to define in advance what hardware will be designated to handle compute or storage, because all hardware can do either or both tasks. This simplified mode of operation also saves money by eliminating the need to train dedicated admins for specific disciplines.

A release from ScaleIO says "With ECS, any administrator can move or remove servers and capacity on demand during I/O operations. The software responds automatically to any infrastructure change and rebalances data accordingly across the grid. ECS helps insure the highest level of enterprise-grade resilience by deploying advanced clustering algorithms whose distributed rebuild capabilities achieve the quickest handling of failures while maintaining maximum storage performance."

ECS can be managed from a command-line interface and an intuitive GUI. The newly released 1.1 is said to natively support all leading Linux distributions and hypervisors, while working agnostically with SSD or HDD, no matter what their type, model or speed. Scale IO says the software linearly scales capacity and performance to thousands of servers.

ScaleIO customer OCF reports it has installed and tested ECS on a cluster with several hundred nodes in a large customer's high-performance computing environment. OCF managing director Julian Fielden says, "The software made previously unused capacity available to the business applications and to a distributed file system while demonstrating impressive performance and resilience."

The company says it has successfully installed ECS in a range of environments, including development and testing, VDI infrastructures, high-performance SAP databases, private clouds and environments that compete with Amazon EBS.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 12/10/2012 at 12:48 PM


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