Software-defined storage, optimized for your environment

With end-to-end control of the I/O using its server-side patented Gridstore vController™ and storage building blocks, Gridstore’s software-defined storage delivers optimized application performance for Hyper-V and Windows Server 2012 environments. Eliminating the I/O blender effect (when VM’s contend for I/O, negatively impacting performance) and automatically optimizing on an application-by-application basis, users can see up to four times the performance of traditional SANs, but at one-half the cost.

With true end-to-end Quality of Service (QoS), application performance can be prioritized individually to deliver highest levels of service to the most critical business applications. Using Gridstore’s storage building blocks, which are either capacity or performance optimized, the grid can start small and scale incrementally, helping to control budget and manage resource allocation. Designed to get up and running in minutes, Gridstore offers management simplicity with maximum control.

Certifications

  • Citrix
  • Windows Server
  • Veeam

Purpose Built for Microsoft Hyper-V

Overview

Gridstore 3 has been designed and purpose-built for Microsoft Hyper-V environments. Using Gridstore vController™ based on Gridstore patented Server Side Virtual Controller™ Technology, Gridstore accelerates application performance in Microsoft Hyper-V environments. Each VM has its own virtual storage stack that dynamically optimizes and prioritizes I/O before it leaves the server. Installed on each Hyper-V server, vController creates separate I/O lanes for each VM, eliminating the I/O blender effect.

Management of the virtual LUNs, which appear as local SAS drives, is done through standard Microsoft tools on a per-VM basis.

Gridstore performance optimized nodes provide linear scalability of IOPS, throughput and capacity – with industry leading price/performance, the grid can scale from 12TB to 3PB in convenient 12TB pay-as-you scale increments that can be added as needed with no downtime.

Key Highlights

Eliminate the I/O blender effect and optimize for each VM with Gridstore vController
Gridstore vController creates an isolated I/O lane for each VM and auto optimizes itself based on the I/O patterns from each VM to enable optimal application I/O. Click here for more information.
Start small and scale over time with GridScale
Starting with a minimum of 3 nodes, Gridstore’s storage solution is fault tolerant and scalable. Add one or more nodes at a time with no additional configuration requirements. The GridScale™ architecture uses direct I/O from storage nodes to the host servers eliminating the bottlenecks that clustering or a backbone impose, while providing massive parallel performance. The more nodes in a configuration, the more network bandwidth, more cache, more processing power and more capacity that ultimately delivers linear performance scalability. Click here for more information.
Prioritize I/O across all servers with Gridstore Quality of Service (TrueQoS™)
With Gridstore end-to-end Quality of Service (TrueQoS), application performance can be prioritized on a per VM basis to deliver highest levels of service to the most business critical applications. Gridstore TrueQoS extends the capabilities of Windows Hyper-V QoS all the way through the storage stack. With Gridstore TrueQoS, noisy VMs of low priority will no longer impact the performance of business critical applications. Gridstore is unique in the implementation of end-to-end QoS from the vController (server) to the storage nodes which allows Gridstore to utilize more of the network bandwidth and the storage IOPS for important VMs. Click here for more information.
Embrace and Extend Windows Storage Functionality
Gridstore does not require customers to pay twice for storage functions. Instead Gridstore leverages storage functions in Windows such as snapshots, compression and deduplication. Gridstore fits so well with Windows that it can be used as the storage with Storage Spaces.
Achieve full redundancy and fault tolerance
Using Advanced Erasure coding on a vLUN which spans across multiple nodes, GridProtect™ delivers protection which surpasses the levels provided by RAID5 or RAID6. In addition to having hot swappable components such as drives, power supplies and fans, the vLUNs are still available even if an entire node fails.
Achieve cluster support with vLUNS
Enjoy ease of use with Gridstore vLUNs. vLUNs can be used for Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV), which are presented to each Windows 2012 server in the cluster. Once assigned, the Gridstore vLUN appears as a local SAS adapter and drives to the Windows 2012 servers. Click here to learn more.

Note: ideal storage node for Hyper-V is Gridstore’s Performance Optimized node.

Hyper-V Resources

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Optimized for Windows Server 2012

Overview

Accelerate workloads across physical servers
Although Gridstore’s vControllers™ were purpose-built to eliminate the I/O blender found in Hyper-V environments, this patented Server-side Virtual Controller™ Technology (SVCT) works just as well on physical Windows Server 2012 systems. Optimize I/O and accelerate application workloads across both virtual and physical servers.

Key Highlights

Gridstore vController™
Patented server-side software deployed on each Windows Server which enables optimal application I/O by isolating I/O for each VM and Windows Server 2012. Click here for more information.
Quality of Service (TrueQoS)
Determine service level and improve performance by prioritizing I/O at the application server. Click here for more information.
Gridscale™
Scale as-you-grow by scaling capacity, I/O and processing capability with each storage node. Click here for more information.
GridProtect™
Achieve true fault tolerance with advance erasure coding protection from failures including network connections, storage node failures and disk failures. Click here to learn more.
GridControl™
Streamline management processes with a common UI by way of a MMC snap-in. All Microsoft management tools are integrated such that you can view from one consolidated console. Click here to learn more.

Windows Server 2012 Resources

Performance Optimized Storage Nodes

Overview

High Performance IOPS with Performance Optimized Storage Nodes

Gridstore’s Performance Optimized Storage Nodes deliver extreme performance through the addition of a write-back cache built on a PCIe card with over 500GB of Flash and leveraging 2 x 10 GbE connections (or 4 x 1 GbE NICs) to accelerate I/O even further. These Hybrid storage nodes include both the PCIe Flash and 12TB of SATA drive capacity for both high performance and the capacity you need. Click here for a detailed specifications.

Designed for high performance I/O requirements, Performance Optimized Storage Nodes can help you address intense traffic of popular applications like:

  • Exchange or SQL Server databases
  • Hyper-V (server virtualization)
  • VDI (desktop virtualization)

Key Highlights

Up to 400% increase in application performance of demanding workloads

High performance at half the cost

Eliminate the I/O blender effect and optimize for each VM with Gridstore vController
The Gridstore vController creates an isolated I/O lane for each VM and auto optimizes itself based on the I/O patterns from each VM to enable optimal application I/O. Click here for more information.
Start small and scale over time with GridScale
Starting with a minimum of 3 nodes, Gridstore’s storage solution is fault tolerant and scalable. Add one or more nodes at a time with no additional configuration requirements. The GridScale™ architecture uses direct I/O from storage nodes to the host servers eliminating the bottlenecks that clustering or a backbone impose, while providing massive parallel performance. The more nodes in a configuration, the more network bandwidth, more cache, more processing power and more capacity that ultimately delivers linear performance scalability. Click here for more information.
Prioritize I/O across all servers with Gridstore Quality of Service (TrueQoS™)
With Gridstore end-to-end Quality of Service (TrueQoS), application performance can be prioritized on a per VM basis to deliver highest levels of service to the most business critical applications. Gridstore TrueQoS extends the capabilities of Windows Hyper-V QoS all the way through the storage stack. With Gridstore TrueQoS, noisy VMs of low priority will no longer impact the performance of business critical applications. Gridstore is unique in the implementation of end-to-end QoS from the vController (server) to the storage nodes which allows Gridstore to utilize more of the network bandwidth and the storage IOPS for important VMs. Click here for more information.
Embrace and Extend Windows Storage Functionality
Gridstore does not require customers to pay twice for storage functions. Instead Gridstore leverages storage functions in Windows such as snapshots, compression and deduplication. Gridstore fits so well with Windows that it can be used as the storage with Storage Spaces.
Achieve full redundancy and fault tolerance
Using Advanced Erasure coding on a vLUN which spans across multiple nodes, GridProtect™ delivers protection which surpasses the levels provided by RAID5 or RAID6. In addition to having hot swappable components such as drives, power supplies and fans, the vLUNs are still available even if an entire node fails.
Achieve cluster support with vLUNS
Enjoy ease of use with Gridstore vLUNs. vLUNs can be used for Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV), which are presented to each Windows 2012 server in the cluster. Once assigned, the Gridstore vLUN appears as a local SAS adapter and drives to the Windows 2012 servers. Click here to learn more.
Performance Nodes GS-H2100-12 Capacity Nodes GS-C2100-12
Capacity 12 TB (4 x 3TB) SATA + PCIe Flash 12 TB (4 x 3TB) SATA
Connectivity 2 x 10GbE 2 x 1GbE
Processor 4-core Intel Xeon 4-core Intel Xeon
Memory 32GB 32GB
Power Consumption* 179 Watts / 95 Watts 154 Watts / 70 Watts
Dual 1GbE Ports Yes Yes
Quad 1GbE Ports Optional Optional
Dual 10GbE Ports Optional Optional
Hot Swap Drives Yes Yes
Dual Hot Swap Power Yes Yes
Power Supply Resiliency 2 of 6 working 2 of 6 working
Chassis Dimension
  • 1.69” H (1U) x 17.09” W x 25.29” D (in)
  • 42.8 H x 434.0 W x 642.3 D (mm)
  • 1.69” H (1U) x 17.09” W x 25.29” D (in)
  • 42.8 H x 434.0 W x 642.3 D (mm)
Maximum Weight 43.75 lbs (19.8 kg) 42.55 lbs (19.3 kg)
Operating Temperature 10 °C to 35 °C (50 °F to 95 °F)
Non-operating Temperature -40 °C to 65 °C (-40 °F to 149 °F)
vController OS Supported 64-bit Windows Server 2008, 2008R2, 2012, 2012R2
Included Software Unlimited vControllers, GridControl

* Typical power consumption during spin-up / idle under normal operating conditions

Performance Optimized Resources

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Capacity Optimized Storage Nodes

Overview

Gridstore’s Capacity Optimized Storage nodes allow mid-size and large enterprise businesses to easily deal with rapidly growing capacity needs. Designed for bulk storage or less demanding I/O applications, these nodes are ideal for:

  • VM backup, archive
  • SMB3 file shares, Sharepoint
  • Lightweight database, log files

Key Highlights

  • Seamless capacity growth from 12TB to 3PB by adding storage nodes to your grid with a pay-as-you-scale model
  • Elimination of forklift upgrades and complex data migrations
  • Instant growth of capacity, I/O and processing just by attaching them to your grid

Click here for detailed specifications of Gridstore’s Capacity Optimized nodes

Capacity Optimized Resources

Technology

Overview

Problem:  Virtualization Breaks Traditional Storage

For over 60% of enterprises surveyed,1 the number one issue they face is poor application performance in virtualized environments.

The problem at hand is an architectural mismatch between traditional storage and virtualization.  In the world of physical servers, our standard practice of ganging up a set of disk drives (of the right type/speed) into a RAID set and thus create a LUN has served us very well for decades. This LUN was created recognizing the type of application it was to serve and it was associated with all the appropriate storage services (replication, compression, snapshot, etc.) that the application warranted, based on its importance to the enterprise. All well and good. But then we started servicing several applications from the same LUN and even then, unless we overdid it, or the applications were highly erratic, the LUN was able to serve multiple applications. If an application was important enough it got its own LUN and associated services, even if the utilization of either capacity or performance were sometimes less than ideal.2

But then we entered the era of server virtualization and all hell broke loose. One or a few LUNs serving a multitude of VMs, maybe even several hosts, each with 10s of VMs, or more, representing a variety of applications/workloads, just simply couldn’t cut it. The infamous I/O Blender affect is now well understood. The precisely tuned LUN of yesteryear was wrestling with totally random I/O, coming in a mishmash from a large number of VMs, overwhelming the storage controllers and bringing performance of all applications to their knees.

Serious problems produced by the architectural mismatch include:

  1. Blended I/O causing performance loss for applications
  2. Lack of visibility into the I/O path making it nearly impossible to resolve performance problems
  3. All VMs being treated equally making it impossible to prioritize the I/O from one VM over another

Gridstore solves the problem by aligning the storage architecture with virtualization using a patented Server-Side Virtual Controller Technology

The solution to the problem caused by this architectural mismatch is simple. Design storage using the same principles of virtualization to reestablish the 1:1 relationship between a virtual server and its underlying storage while managing the storage functionality on a per VM basis rather than a LUN, and preserving the capabilities that make virtualization so beneficial. Gridstore achieves this through a patented Server-Side Virtual Controller Technology (SVCT) which follows the same pattern of virtualization. Architectural differentiators of SVCT include:

Virtualized Storage Resource Pool (vPool) – A vPool is a pool of storage resources such as IOPS, bandwidth, and capacity that is expanded as storage nodes are added to the network similar to the way that server resources such as CPU and memory are pooled into a shared resource pool. With each storage node added, their resources are virtualized and added to the vPool.

Virtual Storage Controller (vController™) – Unlike traditional controllers that operate inside the array, a vController transparently presents a local SCSI device to the hypervisor and operates inside each hypervisor. There is no change to the hypervisor or guest VMs. By operating inside the hypervisor, the vController can isolate I/O from each of the VMs and channel this through a set virtual storage stacks that map back to each VM. This reestablishes the 1:1 relationship between a virtual machine and its underlying storage (a virtual storage stack) all the way from the VM through to storage resources in a vPool.

Gridstore vController enables storage I/O to be isolated, optimized and prioritized per VM. Distributed vControllers and pools of virtualized storage resources (vPools) allow for simple scaling that takes advantage of massively parallel processing to offer performance that scales linearly as resources are added to the pool. Using vPools and vControllers together provide three core storage capabilities:

VM Optimized
Optimized Virtual Storage (vmOptimized™ Storage) – SVCT creates a virtual storage stack for each VM. A virtual storage stack isolates and dynamically optimizes the I/O for each VM. This optimization is real-time and dynamic without the complexity of manual storage tuning for every application. By isolating I/O for each VM before it leaves the host, a vController creates the optimal I/O flow for all VMs. vmOptimized storage also provides end-to-end visibility into each VMs storage stack. If there is an issue with a particular VM, you can detect it and fix it without spending hours taking guesses at what is causing the problems.
True Qos
Quality of Service (TrueQoS™) – SVCT delivers the industry’s first end-to-end storage QoS that works on a per VM level. Unlike array based QoS that operates on LUNs and only prioritizes I/O after it has reached the controller, a vController prioritizes I/O per VM before it leaves the host. With LUN based QoS operating in the array, it is simply too late to be effective if there is a bottleneck building at the controller. And with the potential for hundreds of VMs to store VHDs in a single LUN, there is no way to differentiate and prioritize I/O between VMs. TrueQoS provides the granularity of I/O per VM and prioritizes I/O on both sides of the network – in the vController and on the storage resources. By operating at both ends of the network pipe, TrueQoS prioritizes I/O end-to-end for each VM regardless of which host it operates on. TrueQoS is only possible by first moving vControllers across the network to the source of the I/O. SVCT leverages an intelligent grid fabric to create virtual storage stacks for each VM. The resources available to each of the storage stacks can be dialed up or down with fine grained control. To simplify deployment of TrueQoS, it can be applied to groups of VMs through a policy. When VMs are created, they can be added to one of these groups to receive higher or lower priority. Alternatively, individual VMs can have either IOPS Limits (Max) or Reserves (Min) to enable fine-grained control per VM that is guaranteed to be delivered.

Parallel Performance Scaling (GridScale™) – SVCT offers another major innovation designed to accelerate I/O and simplify scaling storage – GridScale. Unlike clustered storage that replicates I/O between members in the cluster, GridScale uses Direct I/O from vControllers in the host direct to underlying storage resources in the grid. The size of most commercial clusters ranges from as small as 4 to 32 nodes for a large cluster. This is due to the fact that performance of clusters bottleneck as the number of nodes grow because replicated data on the backplane grows geometrically faster than the inbound data on the front-side network. This property limits the scaling of a cluster, wastes significant IOPS impacting performance and adds latency with the extra hops of replicating data between nodes.

GridScale uses Direct I/O to generate massively parallel performance scaling. SVCT eliminates the need for clustering because SVCT protects data before it leaves the server and writes parallel stripes of encoded data (slices of the original I/O) directly across a number of storage nodes. Data is protected to the same N+2 level (same as two full replicas) and is written in parallel to N storage nodes with zero inter-node traffic. Direct I/O gains performance through parallel network I/O while 100% of a storage nodes IOPS are utilized for primary I/O (there is no replica). The result is the more nodes you add to a grid, the more bandwidth available for I/O and the more IOPS available – without any being wasted on replicas.

By eliminating the scaling constraints of a cluster, GridScale allows you to seamlessly scale from 3 nodes to 250 storage nodes per pool – incrementally one node at a time. Each node adds its full capacity, IOPS and bandwidth to the pool, with zero wasted.

1. Top-Level Findings: Storage Acceleration and Performance Multi-Client Study, Taneja Group, March 2013

2. SearchStorage.techtarget.com, “Goodbye LUN technology, you served us well” by Arun Teneja

Technology Resources

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