Modern enterprises are always in search of more agility and productivity – IT included. To a very great extent these have been provided by cloud and virtualization technologies. Dramatic innovation in the fields of cloud computing, micro-service architecture, software-defined “anything” and workload orchestration fuels the change. It’s been several years now since blade systems, hypervisors, and container orchestration platforms made it relatively simple to create an elastic pool of compute resources. Network function, and Storage virtualization were much slower to mature, but are now finally enterprise-ready.
One of the more exciting Software-Defined Storage offerings out there is Dell-EMC’s ScaleIO. It allows local storage resources of multiple servers to be pooled together into an intelligent storage fabric, supporting high-performance and elasticity. Both storage and IO capacity can scale linearly by adding more servers to the network.
Like other software-defined storage solutions, ScaleIO simplifies storage operations in several ways, particularly by eliminating the need for a dedicated Storage Area Network – since storage transport is carried over standard Ethernet. Provisioning and mapping storage involves less moving parts and fewer hardware and software layers to implement and configure.
Resiliency is achieved by implementing:
Providing the right conditions for built-in resilience features to work
Of course, no matter how innovative and inherently well-designed a technology is – it is still our – the users’ – responsibility to utilize it wisely. A well-designed and maintained deployment will ensure seamless service. However, if something goes wrong – either in the design phase or due to an insufficiently thought-out maintenance, expansion or upgrade activity – you can still end up with an unstable or unsafe deployment. To give just a few examples of things that could go wrong:
Correct configuration is key
Successful deployment, therefore, depends on ongoing validation of your configuration. At the minimum you should review both the design and the end-result after each material change (e.g., initial deployment, upgrade, capacity increase, addition of nodes or physical storage, network-related update, etc.).
We’re proud to offer an automated method of validating your configuration. AvailabilityGuard™, our flagship product, fully inspects your ScaleIO configuration, as well as the adjacent layers (blade systems, Hypervisors, OS, database, etc.) so that at any given point in time, you know if you need to make changes for your deployment to be safe. AvailabilityGuard is also business-service aware – so when a misconfiguration is uncovered, it immediately flags it on its dashboard, and allows you to correctly gauge the criticality and impact. Through deep integration with service management tools (e.g., ServiceNow, Remedy, Patrol, Tivoly, HP Service Manager, etc.) – it helps your team become much more proactive while boosting awareness of best-practices and correct design guidelines.