Gridstore takes an innovative approach to scale-out storage and is the first storage system optimized for Microsoft Hyper-V environments.
This is the second post examining products I saw at Storage Field Day 4 held earlier this month. In my first post, I focused on Overland Storage's SnapScale. While SnapScale is as conventional as a scale-out storage system can be, Gridstore’s eponymous product not only uses an innovative host-side virtual controller architecture, but is also the first storage system specifically targeting Microsoft Hyper-V infrastructures.
Most scale-out storage systems use a standard protocol such as SMB or iSCSI for access. The problem is that these standard protocols weren’t designed for scale-out, so storage system designers have to figure out how to deal with requests that come into one node when the data lives on another and also how to replicate data between the nodes for data protection.
Rather than use a standard storage protocol, Gridstore places much of the work of managing the scale-out cluster into the client as a virtual controller. The virtual controller installs into Windows as a Storport miniport driver, making the Gridstore nodes available to Windows servers as block storage just like iSCSI, Fibre Channel or DAS.
The virtual controller chunks up the data and stripes it across the storage nodes using a Reed-Solomon- like erasure coding so users can set their protection level from 1 to n drive and/or node failures with lower overhead than n-way replication. All I/O is direct from client to storage nodes, so no backend network is required.
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