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The Zadara Cloud and Virtual Private Storage Array (VPSA™) Technology

Zadara Storage’s patented, award-winning technology delivers enterprises and service providers with a hardware storage solution for which customers pay based on actual usage and can scale flexibly from terabytes to petabytes. The Zadara Storage Cloud powered by Virtual Private Storage Arrays is a new approach to enterprise storage that is scalable, flexible, and as-a-service. Delivering a pure OpEx solution with no capital costs, Zadara Storage is delivered as a true as-a-service solution, including storage management, maintenance and pro-active support. Zadara periodically replaces old hardware while keeping the data on-line and available so that customers will never have to migrate their data again.

The Zadara Storage Cloud

A Zadara Storage Cloud delivered to a customer’s data center is everything an organization needs to begin using Zadara Storage’s Virtual Private Storage Arrays and take advantage of its scale-out, multi-tenant architecture. The Zadara Storage cloud hardware includes 40Gb switches, some number of Storage Nodes (the cloud can be deployed with as few as two storage nodes and scale elastically to 100s of nodes), and cables. For customers requiring high performance for latency-sensitive applications the Zadara Storage Cloud can include 40Gb iSER-capable NICs for customer’s iSCSI clients.

Operating a Global Deployment

In addition to delivering storage to customers’ data centers, Zadara Storage owns and operates 15 public storage clouds across the globe using the same hardware and software to deliver Virtual Private Storage Arrays. Customers in Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, CloudSigma, Equinix, and other service providers use this stack everyday for demanding applications. Because the Zadara Storage solution is the same technology across all service locations (both at customer on-premises as well as service provider clouds) Zadara customers can seamlessly replicate from their data center to the cloud, and vice versa, at a click of a button.

From Traditional SAN to Virtual Private Storage Arrays

Traditionally, enterprise storage arrays have been built using specialized disk trays and purpose-manufactured controllers. This architecture limits the speed and expandability of an array to the performance of the controllers, and forces all I/O from all the disks through the same controllers. With this design workload isolation is impossible, guaranteeing that one application will always impact the performance of another. Furthermore the traditional SAN architecture permanently limits the number of drives which can be managed by the controller.

The Zadara Storage Cloud

Zadara Storage has patented an entirely new approach to building SAN arrays. With the Zadara solution a single Storage Cloud can have dozens or even hundreds of completely independent controller pairs, each accessing their own, dedicated drives – these controller pairs and their dedicated drives are what defines a Virtual Private Storage Array (VPSA). The virtualization and isolation of resources enables the Zadara Storage Cloud to grow without limit. Within the cloud, dedicated resources enable workloads to be isolated from one another, delivering applications with predictable performance and customers a Quality of Service.

Cost Efficiency with Commodity Servers

To keep costs low and help customers achieve the best ROI, Zadara Storage takes advantage of commodity hardware. A Zadara Storage Cloud is made up of any number of Storage Nodes interconnected over a 40Gb switched fabric. A Storage Node is a commodity, 36 slot, 64-bit server running the Zadara Storage Cloud software. The processors in each Storage Node are used to create VPSAs and the drives are assigned to VPSAs, either running locally on the server or on remote VPSAs.

Utilizing a loosely coupled infrastructure enables Zadara Storage to mix and match drive sizes and types based on individual customer demand, their workload, and budget needs. Zadara Storage Cloud is designed to support primary and/or secondary storage workloads. Typical Zadara Storage Nodes are delivered with a mix of SSDs, primary workload high-RPM SAS drives, and 5TB 5.4K drives designed for backup/lower performance workloads. However, customers can choose their drive mix based on their performance and cost demands. A Zadara Storage Cloud can service hot, high-speed primary workloads and warm backup and repository workloads while keeping each workloaded isolated from another.

The First Storage Vendor to Use 40Gb iSER (RDMA)

IT infrastructure and management is about overcoming bottlenecks, and network is often one of the major obstacles to high speed and consistent performance. For this reason, Zadara is the first storage vendor to use 40Gb iSER (RDMA) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISCSI_Extensions_for_RDMA) technology across all cloud deployments. Every Storage Node is interconnected using multiple, redundant 40Gb connections using this advanced protocol. This minimizes latency and dramatically improves performance. For customers that need this advanced technology extended all the way out to their clients Zadara offers this as an optional feature.

Virtual Private Storage Arrays

Zadara Storage has implemented all the features typical to a SAN right inside each controller pair (VPSA). A VPSA looks, performs, and behaves like enterprise storage, with multiprotocol protocol support (iSCSI volumes, NFS and CIFS shares), dual high-availability controllers, SSD cache, and advanced data management features including thin provisioning, snapshots, cloning and remote replication – every feature an enterprise expects from a storage array. Because individual VPSAs create strong workload isolation and because they can be created so easily, storage administrators typically utilize a VPSA for each department or per application. This kind of dedicated performance in a shared storage array was impossible before Zadara.

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