They're doing some interesting things in new-generation storage IT in Pittsburgh. Noteworthy is Avere Systems, which on March 28 released a new network-attached storage architecture that magnifies the benefits of already speedy NAND flash. This in turn makes storage I/O faster for cloud system-type deployments that demand more speed.
The secrets for moving data fast are already well known, but for the record, key ones include 1) fast, cool-running, multicore processors; 2) pipes (whether Fibre Channel, Infiniband, 10 Gigabit Ethernet) big enough to move everything; 3) ganging like file formats if possible; 4) using a good accelerator for the correct use case; and 5) keeping the processors as physically close to the data cache and storage as possible.
New architectures usually require a so-called "forklift" tear-out of a storage system and all the headaches that come with them. Not so in this case. Avere's first NAS filer, called the Edge filer, better distributes storage data flow and works with legacy or any type of core filer to get the job done.
The Edge filer has all of the data-handling capabilities of core filers, but it differs from them in data management because it controls global user namespace across multiple filers and remote facilities. The new data management capabilities available with Avere OS 3.0 allow users to move, synchronize and replicate data between storage devices, from data center to data center or remote office, and from data center to cloud.
Edge filer eliminates trade-offs between performance and cost and enables primary storage to be located where it makes the most economic sense for business--close to the processor.
Two new features in the Edge filer are FlashMove and FlashMirror. FlashMove smoothes out data migrations. Using it, there's no need to halt applications or suspend access to data while data loads are being moved. FXT Edge filers serve active data to application servers and users while behind the scenes; FlashMove software moves data transparently between core filers.
FlashMirror eases the implementation of disaster recovery on a NAS infrastructure. FlashMirror replicates data on primary and secondary core filers and keeps them closely in sync by sending updates directly and in parallel to both filers. It then offloads the replication-processing load from the storage and supports clustering to scale replication performance to any level required.
So there you have it. Avere's OS 3.0 will be generally available in April. The 3.0 software release is a free upgrade for existing customers. For new and existing users, FlashMove and FlashMirror require separate licenses.