Cloud, data, Data Center, Storage

Balancing Load, Capacity, and Throughput Across Your File Storage Environment

IT departments often have multiple file storage systems, but storage isn’t distributed equally across them. If one filer is full while others sit nearly empty, it’s not an issue of negligence on the part of IT administrators: Capacity-balancing a fleet of filers has traditionally been difficult, and the methods for doing so have been complex and cumbersome. DataCore vFilO software-defined storage solution changes all this.

Acting as a global file system, vFilO gives organizations a simple, cost-effective way to maximize storage efficiency—and realize the most value from existing investments. Even better, vFilO empowers IT teams to engage in this optimization regardless of the underlying file storage solution. Filers from multiple vendors, including Windows and Linux-based file servers, can all be combined into a single global namespace, allowing organizations to manage their entire fleet as one, truly eliminating stranded capacity across all filers.

Efficient Load Balancing

Sometimes, organizations make file placement decisions based on arbitrary departmental divisions. Perhaps the marketing department gets their own dedicated filer, and the finance department gets another. This makes it reasonably easy for people to find files as needed, but it’s otherwise inefficient.

Different departments may create data at different rates, so one department can quickly run out of space while another has unused capacity going to waste. Different groups have different data retention needs, access and update files with different frequencies, and generally use storage differently from one another.

Predicting and managing storage needs for one group at a time is difficult. Doing so for an entire organization can become untenable. With vFilO, however, IT teams can virtualize their entire filer fleet, adding capacity only as needed by the organization as a whole, without having to worry about storage allocation on a per-filer basis. Capacity provisioning and management is centralized and load balanced.

Aggregate Throughput

vFilO also provides performance benefits by allowing for aggregate throughput with the use of multiple filers to meet the needs of a single namespace. Parallel processing of throughput across multiple filers has numerous performance benefits, and may be necessary to satisfy high-volume applications, particularly HPC workloads.

Using multiple filers to serve a single namespace allows numerous files to be placed concurrently within that namespace. This is a technique used by some file storage vendors to meet high-end performance requirements, but with vFilO, any IT team can take advantage of it, using filers from any combination of vendors.

Using file storage policies, IT administrators can also move infrequently accessed files to slower, less costly storage, ensuring that files most likely to be accessed are located on the fastest possible filers. With vFilO, administrators can solve both storage and capacity problems simply by adding new filers to the pool as needed, and carefully crafting storage policies. With each new filer, both performance and capacity are increased for the entire storage pool, improving the experience of all users.

The Value of Your Data

DataCore vFilO can help you get the maximum value out of your existing storage assets. As long as they’re functional, older storage devices can be used to store less-valuable data. When new storage is added to the network, vFilO can easily absorb it into the global namespace and move the highest-value data to the highest-performing storage. The migration happens in the background; and the applications and users accessing the files would not need to know which storage is storing which data. Using the existing file path and directory structure users can access data centrally through the global namespace.

vFilO provides IT teams with the insight into which storage devices are nearly full and which are underutilized, and can distribute files to make efficient use of existing storage capacity. Managing storage with vFilO lets you set rules for data resilience, as well. You can specify how many copies need to be kept and ensure that copies are stored in different places. This keeps files available even if a storage device fails or a cloud service goes temporarily offline.

But don’t take our word for it. Check out our hands-on lab and put vFilO to the test for yourself. Try it today to take control of file and object data storage and automate load balancing for greater operational efficiency and cost savings.