Converged infrastructure firm Gridstore has extended its portfolio with a range of converged appliances for virtualised infrastructure based on Microsoft's Hyper-V, including an all-flash appliance. The firm claims this will offer firms a cost-effective way to boost application performance.
Due to be available from the fourth quarter of 2014, Gridstore's HyperConverged Appliance models combine compute and storage resources into a single node. This is the most efficient arrangement for infrastructure operating virtual workloads, and is seen in other converged infrastructure hardware such as that from Nutanix.
In Gridstore's case, each appliance comprises up to four compute/storage nodes, and can scale with up to a total of 250 nodes using additional appliances or dedicated storage Nodes.
This ability to offer converged appliances but still independently scale the storage and compute elements is a key differentiator, the firm claimed. Its software architecture also eliminates the need for the typical three-way replication of data, which wastes both capacity and CPU resources in other hyper-converged models such as VMware's Virtual SAN (VSAN) and EVO:Rail, according to Gridstore.
The new HyperConverged Appliance line comprises two models at launch; the GS-XF3000 is an all-flash version, while the GS-XH3000 offers a hybrid disk and flash arrangement.
In both cases, each of the four nodes in the appliance is a dual-core server based on Intel's latest Xeon E5v3 processors, with 256GB DDR34 memory and twin Gigabit Ethernet ports. With the GS-XF3000, each node has 5TB solid-state disk (SSD) storage plus 1TB SSD cache, while the GS-XH3000 has 8TB of hard disk plus 1TB SSD cache.
Gridstore's software architecture features a software driver (vController) at the Windows kernel level, which provides the tightest integration possible with Windows, the firm said.
This level of integration is what allows Gridstore to eliminate the three-way replication, according to Gridstore founder and chief technology officer Kelly Murphy.
"Gridstore operates in the Windows Server Kernel to minimise resource CPU and memory and enable the fastest data path," he wrote on Gridstore's blog.
"This puts us in a privileged position to eliminate the I/O blender and provide end-to-end storage QoS [quality of service] per VM. No other storage system, except possibly VSAN, can achieve this because they are not operating at both ends of the pipe. The Gridstore data path is end-to-end and this is the key to eliminating three-way replicas."
Gridstore said its new HyperConverged Appliances are well suited for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), initial deployment of virtualised infrastructure based on Hyper-V, or Branch Office deployment of a complete compute and storage solution in a box.
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