Throwing Flash memory at a performance problem is one thing, managing the data that resides in a solid-state disk (SSD) system is quite another.
As part of an effort to make SSDs easier to both deploy and manage, DataCore Software has partnered with Fusion-io and Emulex to develop an SSD appliance that will be sold and supported by Hyve Solutions, a unit of Synnex Corp.
According to Carlos Carreras, vice president of alliances and business development for DataCore Software, instead of ripping and replacing existing storage systems, the appliance built by Hyve Solutions is designed to be slipstreamed into environments that already use DataCore software to manage heterogeneous storage environments. Rather than locking IT organizations into specific storage system architectures, DataCore software is designed to allow organizations to pit providers of x86 storage platforms against each other by retaining control over storage management functions in software as opposed to a proprietary controller.
In the case of Hyve Solutions, customers have the option of bundling Flash-io cards with servers from Dell, Hewlett-Packard or Super Micro.
Carreras says it’s not clear to what degree SSDs will replace high-performance hard drives that are used primarily to support high-performance applications. But what is clear is that the transition process will be an extended one, which means IT organizations will need a modular approach to SSDs that allows them to introduce Flash memory into their environment over an extended period of time.
As a unit of Synnex, a long-time distributor of IT products to IT services providers, the primary mission of Hyve Solutions is to combine products and services from multiple vendors to create a solution that can be easily absorbed by the average IT organization. Given the interdependencies between storage software, adapters, SSDs and hard disks, Carreras says an SSD appliance for the small-to-medium (SMB) market makes a lot of sense.
Regardless of the size of the organization, just about every IT department is struggling with some form of I/O bottleneck that can be addressed using Flash memory. It just shouldn’t require a rocket scientist to figure out how to make SSDs play nice with the rest of the IT organization’s storage systems, none of which are going anywhere anytime soon.