Tag Archives: SANs

Symantec’s Clustered File Storage over InfiniBand

Last week (on December 9th, 2013), Symantec announced the GA of their clustered file storage (CFS). The new solution enables customers to access mission critical data and applications 400% faster than traditional Storage Area Networks (SANs) at 60% of the cost.

Faster is cheaper! Sounds like magic! How they are doing it?

Try to understand the “magic”:  It is important to understand the advantages that using SSD with high performance interconnect enable in the modern scale-out (or clustered) storage systems.   Up to now, SAN-based storage has typically been used to increase performance and provide data availability for multiple applications and clustered systems. However, with the recent high-performance applications demand, SAN vendors are trying to add SSD into the storage array itself to provide higher bandwidth and lower latency response.

Since SSDs offer an incredibly high number of IOPS and bandwidth, it is important to use the right interconnect technology and to avoid bottlenecks associated with access to storage. Old fabric, like Fibre Channel (FC) cannot cope with faster pipe demands, as 8Gb/s (or even 16Gb/s) bandwidth performance is not good enough to satisfy the applications requirements.  While 40Gb/s Ethernet may look like an alternative, InfiniBand (IB) currently supports up to 56Gb/s, with a roadmap to 100Gb/s in next year.

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