Modernizing storage Solutions for Hybrid Cloud with Scale Out Network Attached Storage (NAS)

Most of the Data centers are using vertical scaling solution for storage. This approach for the data storage was not designed by keeping the zettabytes of data in mind. In this modern era organizations need to store more data than ever before and also they need to do it in such a way that they do not jeopardize the system and performance. By bringing in the new concept of software-defined storage, StoneFly made the scale-out storage solutions a real possibility.

To maximize the budget efficiencies, performance goals and maximizing business flexibility from cloud, hybrid cloud is the new solution for the organizations. Hybrid cloud is basically cloud-computing environment that uses on-premises, private and public cloud services and coordination between them.

With everything that comes new in the market there are both benefits and drawbacks of it. By going through this article the reader will have the idea of which design elements they can use to ensure that their hybrid cloud delivers the maximum performance and flexibility.

What is the Role of Scale-Out NAS?

Scale-out NAS is a foundation of a hybrid-cloud storage solution. Many organizations are unaware of the importance of consistency in a Scale-out NAS as hybrid cloud architectures are kind of new in the market.

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Difference Between consistent and Non consistent Environments?

Many environments are eventually consistent. It means that the files that a user writes to one node are not immediately accessible from other nodes. The reason for this situation can be because of the lack of properly implemented protocols or insufficiently tight integration with the virtual file system. The other case is consistent, where files are easily accessible from all nodes at the same time. Therefore, protocol implementation and tight integration with the virtual file system is crucial.

Scale-out NAS-based hybrid cloud architecture should be based on three layers. The first layer is the persistent storage layer. This layer provides advantages such as scalability, but the layer must be strictly consistent in itself. Virtual file system which is also the heart of scale-out NAS is in the Second Layer. This layer handles features like Caching, locking, tiering, quotas and snapshots. The third layer of the Scale-Out NAS contains protocols such as SMB and NFS and also integration points for hypervisors.

If we look closely in the storage layer with the help of it, we can easily scale-out our storage solutions. The extra bytes of data and trillions of files can be scaled out with a clean and symmetrical architecture.

To fulfill the responsibility of ensuring redundancy, storage layer needs a fast self-healing mechanism.

What is Metadata and where it should be stored?

Metadata are pieces of information that describe the structure of the file system. It is a critical aspect of the virtual file system. E.g. one metadata file can contain information about which files and folders are contained in a single folder in a file system. It means that users will have one meta data file for each folder in the virtual file system. As the virtual file system will grow, the number of metadata files will also increase.

Storing Metadata in just one server can cause poor performance, availability and scalability. Since the storage layer is based on object store a better place to store metadata is in the object store specially in case of the high quantity of metadata. This approach will ensure more performance, better availability and good scalability.

Virtual File System with Scale-Out NAS

If the architecture lacks external storage systems, the scale-out NAS must be able to run as a virtual machine and make use of the hypervisor’s host physical resources. The guest virtual machine will take the images and data will be stored in the virtual file system that scale-out NAS will provide. The guest VM’s can use this file system to share files between them and thus making it perfect for the Virtual Desktop infrastructure (VDI) environments.

In a virtual environment many different applications are running and each running application will have a different protocol need. By supporting many protocols users will be able to share data between the applications that understand different protocols to some extent.

Files in the Hybrid Cloud

In the corporate environment different offices have a need for both private area and an area they need to share with other branches. Each site has their own file system and only parts of the file system will be shared with others.

In order to pick a section of a file system and let other users approach this file system requires the flexibility needed to scale out the file system outside the four walls of the office making sure that the synchronization occur at a file system level.  Thus Scale-Out NAS can easily provide the solution for this problem.

Increased Performance Efficiency

By bringing all the features that are discussed above creates a hybrid cloud system capable of delivering the linear scaling that today’s data center need. Flexible scale-out by adding nodes, flash support and native protocol support for high performance are all included in this architecture. StoneFly Provides this solution to their clients and Data centers will have the scalability they need at a price they can afford.

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