The Smart Storage Hypervisor
ProphetStor Flexvisor® is the standard storage hypervisor that ships with ProphetStor Federator™ SDS solutions. Instead of adopting one of the many readily available storage hypervisors on the market, be it open source or proprietary, ProphetStor is determined to develop its own storage hypervisor as an integral part of the ProphetStor Federator™ SDS offering so it lives up to its “Prophet” name tag. We didn’t want to build yet another storage hypervisor just to virtualize the directly attached drives; we wanted the virtualized storage to be smart and adaptive so it can work with Federator to analyze the traffic pattern, predict the best-fit scenario for any timeframe, and automatically adjust the underlying storage composition (SSD+HDD) accordingly to maximize application performance and ensure a balanced storage infrastructure.
Flexvisor transforms standardized commodity hardware into storage servers that provide enterprise-grade features such as pooled storage (eliminating the need to predetermine storage size), copy-on-right (ensuring data consistency), checksums (enabling data integrity verification and self-healing), rapid snapshot, writable snapshot, snapshot rollback, remote replication, volume creation from snapshot, and volume consistency group.
ProphetStor storage hypervisor Flexvisor can fully leverage the installed server-side solid state drives to dynamically change the storage I/O throughput for an application. Take the above mentioned VDI situation for example, the application sees the same, say, 5TB volume, presented by Flexvisor during the two sample time frames, 5AM-7AM and 8AM-9AM. But underneath, the storage is accelerated by entirely different amounts of SSD cache.
During the peak hours, a much larger portion of SSD is given to the VDI volume to handle the high I/O demands. When VDI traffic decreases, the extra SSD capacity can be given to another application, say, ERP that can benefit from the boosted performance.
Flexvisor cannot only dynamically adjust the SSD/HDD ratio in a given provisioned volume, but also optimize the caching mechanism in the SSD. For example, “hot” data can be selectively kept on SSD to improve random read speeds, while random writes are always cached and serialized before they are written to the HDD. These functions are of vital importance to the general performance of a storage array and they can and should be easily incorporated into Flexvisor.
However, no matter how powerful and optimized a single array is, without Federator, the entire compute-storage environment cannot be optimized as a whole. Again, this is why ProphetStor must develop its own storage hypervisor so the entire federated storage system can act like a well-conducted orchestra.