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Virtualization Journal Print Archives: Volume 2 - Issue 5, September 14, 2005

Optimizing Storage with Network File Virtualization

Storage Consolidation

  • Consolidation projects slip because of the organizational impact
  • Consolidation requires data relocation along with security and access settings
Increased Utilization
A large ISP increased storage utilization to 90% and is able to respond to capacity issues without disrupting end-user data access

Productivity Impact
One of the largest US financial services firms saved over a half-million dollars in labor alone through network file virtualization

CAPEX Savings
A major semiconductor company cut storage CAPEX by 50% by using SATA enabled by NFV

Business Efficiency
A Fortune 500 firm completed a 30TB consolidation project in a tenth the estimated time with a four-week payback

Network File Virtualization - The Benefits
NFV not only helps administrators meet current storage management challenges, NFV drives tremendous benefits.

  • Ease of Deployment - RainStorage plugs easily into existing networks without requiring configuration changes to NAS servers, filer servers, clients, application servers, or storage management tools and utilities. Additionally, no proprietary client, server, or filer hardware or software has to be deployed.
  • Storage Consolidation - Pools multiple file servers so they look like one file server either permanently or temporarily as part of a migration project. It also handles the associated complexity surrounding security, permissions, and domains and automates security ID translations and access control settings to ensure that the data, security, and metadata are moved correctly, quickly, and transparently.
  • Synchronous Mirroring - Synchronously mirrors file data across multi-vendor IP-based storage environments. RainStorage creates a synchronous mirror across NAS and file servers to protect production data that can't tolerate any loss. Mirroring data to a remote site provides for rapid recovery so that business can continue in the event of a disaster.
Enterprise Scalability through NFV Network Processing Layer
NFV architecture should include advanced multiplexing and de-multiplexing capabilities and network fastpath processing to process selective traffic efficiently. During data transfer, network processing also moves RainStorage in and out of the data path to provide high-speed throughput and transparent redirection. RainStorage's architecture enables it to move completely out-of-band when no optimization transactions are executing, maximizing data throughput and response time. Layer supports all devices that are accessed via industry standard NFS or CIFS protocols and enables both protocols' access from a single appliance.

Complete Data Integrity
Data safety is the most important factor for storage administrators. It's not only how scalable and heterogeneous a solution is but how well data is protected. With RainStorage's unique transaction-based processing there's complete data integrity with no persistent metadata, no single point of failure, and no disaster recovery exposure. RainStorage manages open files and open locks and guarantees data integrity at all times. To ensure the ultimate safety, RainStorage adopts a transaction model in managing data reorganization so that any system failure in the middle of data reorganization doesn't affect data integrity.

Summary
Network File Virtualization is changing network storage management. Rainfinity is the first company to combine a patented NFV platform with purpose-built applications so organizations can easily simplify management, increase utilization, decrease over-provisioning, resolve performance bottlenecks, leverage tiered storage, and lower TCO. The Network File Virtualization platform is a key building block for utility computing, storage grid strategies, and ILM.

More Stories By Jack Norris

Jack Norris is Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies. He drives understanding and adoption of new applications enabled by data convergence. With over 20 years of enterprise software marketing experience, he has demonstrated success from defining new markets for small companies to increasing sales of new products for large public companies. His broad experience includes launching and establishing analytic, virtualization, and storage companies and leading marketing and business development for an early-stage cloud storage software provider.

Jack has also held senior executive roles with EMC, Rainfinity (now EMC), Brio Technology, SQRIBE, and Bain and Company. He earned an MBA from UCLA Anderson and a BA in Economics with honors and distinction from Stanford University.

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