Imagine you’re running IT for a major retail chain and you need to pick the best storage solution to be deployed at every branch office across the country. What would be on your requirements list? It would have to be easy to deploy and manage – gradually rolling out across every location. It would definitely have to perform well. Ideally, application downtime would be as close to zero as possible. If something went wrong, I would have to be 100% positive I did not lose any customer data. I would want a solution with as small a hardware footprint as possible to help minimize cost. Speaking of cost, let’s keep that as low as possible. Good luck finding all that with a traditional storage solution.
StorMagic has a solution that meets all of those requirements. Yes – all of them. The StorMagic SvSAN is a virtualized, software-defined shared storage platform purpose-built for distributed organizations. And one of the coolest parts is that each remote location requires a minimum of only two pieces of hardware, as opposed to three when using a traditional virtualized scale-out or SAN approach. You’re probably thinking to yourself “wait a second, how can data integrity be guaranteed if a failure occurs? There needs to be a quorum or tie-breaker if one of the two nodes goes down.” That’s very true, and StorMagic solves this problem in a unique way. They have created a neutral storage host service (NSH), which serves as the tie-breaker for every branch office and it runs from a central location. In other words the NSH service can be run on a single server at a global headquarters or even in the cloud and when a node goes down in any of the remote offices, the centralized NSH service maintains the integrity of the data without any data loss. This is a major differentiator that sets StorMagic apart from its competition. And because this architecture only requires two servers, the cost savings is obvious – one less server at every remote office equals significant savings.
ESG Lab validated the simplicity, flexibility, and high availability SvSAN provides to organizations with a large number of remote locations. With simple, centralized management, the deployment and configuration of the two-node solution was completed quickly in both a VMware and Microsoft virtualized environment. Hardware node failures were simulated and workloads instantly migrated to the other node while no data was lost, reaffirming the ability of the solution to eliminate a single point of failure.
No wonder why people came away from VMworld thinking they found the Holy Grail. If you’re looking for a way to efficiently deploy a cost-effective, highly available virtualized storage solution across a distributed organization, I suggest you take a look at the full ESG Lab report on the StorMagic SvSAN.