There’s no stopping the growing ecosystem of cloud computing, says Qsan’s UK and EMEA managing director David Kao, who explains what’s needed to succeed in this space.
The term ‘cloud services’ has moved away from just being used to suggest the direction the storage market is heading – it’s becoming the reality of most IT estates.
More and more small and medium businesses are adopting cloud services in some form to increase the efficiency and competitiveness of their IT infrastructures. One of the ways they are doing this is by building a private cloud. This process involves several key ingredients: computing power, storage, networking and the virtualisation hypervisors (cloud OS) that support cloud computing capabilities.
According to a Gartner report, the definitive characteristics of cloud computing are elasticity, self- service, programmability and pay-by-use. Elasticity comes hand in hand with enterprise features such as high availability, dynamic scaling and data protection. The best storage candidate for private cloud infrastructure is disk array SAN storage.
Qsan Technology is a leading network storage vendor based in Taiwan. Qsan AegisSAN LX series features 10Gb iSCSI and 16Gb Fibre Channel SAN storage with active/ active dual controller high availability, SSD caching, thin provisioning, snapshot, remote replication and a variety of other enterprise storage features that can meet every requirement of a private cloud deployment.
When choosing the storage system for private cloud deployment, the support for cloud OS APIs such as VAAI and ODX is crucial. This cloud OS API support enables offloading workloads from the compute element of the system to the storage. This creates a more efficient and responsive cloud service. All Qsan AegisSAN series LX, Q500, and V100 support VMware VAAI and Microsoft ODX too.
Our research shows that virtual machine (VM) operations are 80 per cent random and 20 per cent sequential I/O access. For example, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) cloud services require heavy random I/O access and low latency due to so- called ‘boot storm’ when all VMs start booting at the same time. This makes it vital that the SAN storage supports SSD drives and SSD caching in order to meet these stringent demands, which all Qsan AegisSAN series products can do.
Intel has also debuted its Xeon processor D-1500 product family – the first Xeon SOC that is designed for high density microservers and enterprise SAN/NAS storage to tackle the workloads of cloud service providers. Qsan will leverage the power of the new Xeon D-1500 series as the computing core of our next- gen enterprise SAN/NAS storage platform. The announcement of our launch should be around Q2 2016.
David Kao is UK and EMEA managing director at storage vendor Qsan Technology.