Federator Software-Defined Storage
What is Federator® SDS?
ProphetStor Federator SDS is a platform of software-defined storage that offers an out-of-band storage management system and a suite of rich data services.

ProphetStor Federator™ SDS provisions and monitors storage across disparate vendor systems as well as standardized commodity hardware. It automatically enables multiple pools of physical storage with different capabilities (capacity, performance, durability, etc.) and abstracts them into virtual storage pools to work together in a coordinated manner for data storage, access, migration, protection, and management.

ProphetStor Federator™ SDS allows the storage infrastructure to be managed and accessed programmatically through a single open HTTP REST API. Storage services can be dynamically composed and delivered, driven by application policy, without any knowledge of the underlying hardware implementation details.

Major Components
Federator
Federator is the control-path-only SDS controller. Through its comprehensive HTTP REST APIs, it provides automated storage services for applications, end users, and other in-house or third-party data service solutions. Federator is the "brain" of the entire federated storage environment. It truely commoditizes storage as it is the only entity to communicate with for any storage needs, regardless of the capacity and performance requirements or the vendors of the underlying physical devices.
Flexvisor
Federator SDS ships with a default storage hypervisor, Flexvisor®, that transforms standardized commodity hardware into storage servers with enterprise-grade features such as pooled storage (eliminating the need to predetermine storage size), redirect-on-write (ROW), checksums (enabling data integrity verification and self-healing), rapid snapshot, writable snapshot, snapshot rollback, remote replication, volume creation from snapshot, volume consistency group, compression, deduplication, dynamic volume QoS (Quality of Service) with throughput throttling, elastic read/write cache management with Flash, and support for VMware VAAI (vStorage APIs for Array Integration).
DR Prophet
DR Prophet is the Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BC/DR) controller that provides local and remote (full compression and encryption support) block-level backup services for mission critical application servers. DR Prophet backs up the entire disk with user-adjustable scheduled snapshots to meet even the most granular Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Odjective (RPO) demanded by today’s challenging business operations.
Architecture
Federator operates on a separate control path to communicate with the storage systems while applications access the allocated storage over the iSCSI or Fibre Channel data path. This architecture ensures minimum disruption to data operations caused by control plane events.
Storage is delivered automatically and instantly through an intelligent resource scheduler that dynamically monitors and selects the storage pool that meets the capacity and performance requirements such as QoS (quality of service) or SLA (service-level-agreement). Federator interacts with applications and end users through a standard open HTTP REST API, allowing it to be easily integrated with OpenStack and other third-party cloud computing or big data environments.
Intelligent, Flexible, and Standardized
Federator provisions storage across disparate vendor systems as well as standardized commodity hardware. It automaticly discovers supported storage systems along with their storage characteristics, allowing racks of storage to be deployed rapidly. Abstracting physical resources into virtual pools that can be classified by their capabilities and performance levels, Federator provides differentiated data services in a single federated storage platform.

Deployed over a separate control plane, Federator ensures minimum disruption to data operations caused by control plane events. Daily storage provisioning no more requires the intervention of the system administrator and the turn-around times can be reduced to minutes instead of hours or even days.

Storage Efficiency Technologies
As the world's data grows at an astounding rate of 35% per annum in recent years, datacenters enterprises alike are obligated to employ efficient storage technologies to store, move, and protect that much data under a tight budget. ProphetStor storage efficiency technologies aim to maximize not only the capacity utilization, but also the performance provisioning of the limited storage resources.
Tiering
Federator pools storage into different performance and protection level tiers and allows storage consumers (end users or applications) to provision storage based on the either predefined (VDI, database, web server, etc.) or custom-configured workload. Proper tiering is possibly the single most important measure to increase storage efficiency by preventing low-priority workloads from hogging precious high-end storage resources.
Thin Provisioning
Flexvisor employs a pool concept that allows the user to over-subscribe and view more storage capacity than has been physically reserved on the storage array itself. Up to 16 exabytes can be provisioned for each volume, but only the amount of the actual data takes up space on the disks. When more capacity is needed, new disks can join an existing pool to scale-up, or new Flexvisor server nodes can be added to scale-out, without the knowledge of the end users who consume storage through Federator’s unified API.
Snapshot
When a point-in-time snapshot is taken, Flexvisor’s redirect-on-write technology only stores the pointers to the changed blocks since the last snapshot, without copying the actual data. As a result, the snapshot is fast and space efficient with little performance impact. Up to 1,024 snapshots can be kept for each volume, allowing a more granular recovery. To recover to a particular point in time, the pointers are reinstated as they were in that snapshot, instantly, without involving any data copy.
Data Compression
On-the-fly data compression used to create a bottleneck for the storage system. However, with today’s powerful CPUs, in many situations when the compression ratio is high enough, the system is actually faster with the compression turned on due to significantly reduced quantity of data through the I/O channel. Flexvisor employs a lossless compression algorithm LZJB and the feature can be turned on or off individually for each volume. Depending on the nature of the files, inline data compression can potentially save disk space and improve storage performance at the same time.
Data Deduplication
Uncontrolled data proliferation is a huge problem. When data is highly replicated, which is typical of backup servers, virtual machine images, and source code repositories, savings in space consumption can be multifold with deduplication turned on. Flexvisor provides block-level data deduplication using a cryptographic hashing algorithm SHA-256, a feature that can be optionally enabled for individual volumes.
Traffic Modeling and Elastic Resource Control
ProphetStor storage efficiency technologies not only optimize utilization, but also strive to maximize performance from a pool of shared resources including CPU, RAM, SSD, and HDD. Federator’s built-in Traffic Modeling Module (“TMM”) monitors the I/O traffic pattern at the pool level. TMM employs advanced artificial neural network and fuzzy logic algorithms to provide the intelligence for both short-term (responsive) and long-term (predictive) storage resource management. Based on the predictive TMM traffic patterns, Flexvisor’s Elastic Resource Control dynamically adjusts the read/write cache using available SSD and maximizes the performance of each individual application in a multi-tenant and multi-workload environment.
Key Benefits