When it comes to hyperconverged infrastructure many IT organizations are looking for the path of least resistance. For many of them, that means opting for a software-driven approach that can be deployed on any standard x86 server instead of having to acquire new systems and appliances.
One of the leading proponents of that approach is StorMagic, and this week it launched version 6.0 of its namesake hyperconvergence software that adds support for a virtual storage area network (VSAN). StorMagic CEO Hans O’Sullivan says the company’s software, dubbed SvSAN 6, presents VSAN to a hypervisor using the internal memory, SSD and SATA/SAS storage tiers provided within two industry standard servers.
O’Sullivan says this approach not only requires less server infrastructure than rival hyperconvergence platforms, it also allows data to be synchronously mirrored between servers in real time to guarantee high availability. Other attributes include support for stretched clusters to increase service resiliency across geographically distributed SvSAN VSA nodes and rapid recovery and target migration capabilities to ensure transparent movement of targets between available SvSAN resources. In addition, SvSAN 6 features auto-tiering of pooled storage resources to improve overall utilization and categorization, and a console to manage the overall deployment.
StorMagic, says O’Sullivan, has gained traction in remote offices where IT organizations are trying to consolidate the management of servers and storage in the most cost-effective way possible. However, O’Sullivan notes that StorMagic is also finding a home in small enterprises for much the same reason. The reason for this is that a software-based approach to hyperconvergence makes it possible to both scale out and up IT infrastructure resources as various situations dictate without incurring the “split brain” phenomenon that limits flexibility in other forms of hyperconvergence.
As hyperconvergence increasingly becomes a mainstream model for deploying IT infrastructure resources, it’s apparent that many IT organizations will be encountering multiple forms of it. The challenge will be figuring out when a software-versus-hardware driven approach to hyperconvergence makes the most sense.