Storage firm Coraid has unveiled a new software-defined enterprise storage infrastructure offering that can be dynamically configured to meet the changing requirements of applications.
The firm said the move is intended to deliver the same benefits for storage that virtual machines have done for server infrastructure.
This complements Coraid's Ethernet-based EtherDrive SAN technology by overlaying orchestration capabilities, in the form of a policy engine and representational state transfer (REST) APIs that enable the storage infrastructure to be configured and managed according to application requirements and business policies.
"Our EtherDrive arrays are essentially building blocks for creating scale-out, distributed storage, and now we can take those building blocks and lay over them a full automation suite to deliver a commercial version of what Amazon and Google do with their cloud infrastructure," Coraid chief executive Kevin Brown told V3.
The problem with traditional storage architectures, according to Brown, is that they are too inflexible and application storage provision requirements typically have to be manually approved and configured.
EtherCloud provides the ability to create pools of storage that can automatically grow on demand, and also integrates with virtualisation platforms such as VMware's ESXi and Citrix XenServer to instantiate virtual machines and attach storage to them.
"With EtherCloud, we can now hand a one-click self-service portal with multi-tenant support to our end users, so they can manage very complex enterprise-grade configurations automatically," Brown claimed
"We're the first vendor to come out with any kind of credible offerings around software-defined storage."
Coraid said that the basic EtherCloud functionality is part of its standard enterprise management tools, so that existing customers will be able to upgrade.
More advanced customers who wish to take advantage of more advanced programming and scripting features will be offered this capability via a separate module, Brown said.
Coraid also unveiled today EtherFlash, an upgrade for EtherDrive that allows flash-based solid state disks (SSDs) to be paired with Sata drives for caching purposes.
However, Coraid said its implementation is programmable and can automatically allocate more cache capacity on the fly to applications that fall below service level agreement (SLA) thresholds.
Coraid EtherFlash will be available from this autumn, although no specific dates were given.
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