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Dummies Guide to Composable Data Fabric



During last week’s blog I mentioned there would be announcements aplenty happening this week in Las Vegas. At HPE Discover we announced our vision for where StoreVirtual storage is going within the software-defined data center. A couple of places this happened was during Manish Goel’s Storage Spotlight session and through the HPE corporate blog site.

What we announced was our continued journey into software-defined storage development. Now is the perfect time to take it up a notch. StoreVirtual technology has a hardened set of data services proven in the market for structured workloads via iSCSI. That doesn’t cover enough of the storage workloads customers are running. Our vision is to marry structured and unstructured (block and file) data services within a single storage software stack, to provide multiple protocols (iSCSI, NFS, SMB), to have the ability to deploy storage in any form factor you want (bare metal, virtual, container), and intelligently manage it using the same management tool you use today to manage the rest of your infrastructure.


Storage shouldn’t be hard. It should be there, when you need it, for any application or workload you want to run. We’re doing the hard engineering development today to bring simplicity and lack of complexity to your infrastructure in the future, no matter what size business you are.

So what is this thing called composable data fabric?
Here are answers to a few questions we frequently received this week at the show:

What is a data fabric?
A data fabric is an aggregation of multiple software-defined storage instances/clusters in a peer to peer federation independent of the underlying server form factors.

Isn’t ‘fabric’ a networking term? How does a data fabric compare to a network fabric?
To form a network, multiple switches and host adapters are physically connected together creating a SAN or Ethernet fabric across the infrastructure. Comparably, clusters of SDS deployed on x86 servers and federated together create a consistent data fabric of storage services.


Is data fabric an industry term or is HPE making up a new buzz word?
Data fabric is an industry term. You’ll see that several companies have started using it this year, albeit in slightly different ways based on what storage offerings they have. We believe the market is at a point in software-defined data center adoption that customers are ready and able to have bigger discussions around software-defined infrastructure solutions. HPE’s point of view is that a true data fabric must be independent of the underlying hardware form factor and software-defined storage deployment model (including bare metal, hypervisor embedded, or containerized).

What makes a data fabric ‘composable’?
To be composable, the data fabric provides universal software-defined storage resource pools that can span storage arrays, x86 servers, hyper-converged appliances and composable infrastructure. It consolidates structured and unstructured data in support of traditional and cloud-native applications. It enables workload mobility through storage federation and is intelligently managed by a single infrastructure management tool which includes programmatic API access.  It is this ability to ‘late bind’ storage resources to applications and compute infrastructure that is the essence of composability.

What does this mean for StoreVirtual VSA?
HPE StoreVirtual VSA is our core product in the SDS category which is integrated on several levels across the HPE portfolio. StoreVirtual technology spans the StoreVirtual 4000 array family as well as standalone StoreVirtual VSA and is embedded in the HC 250 and HC 380 hyper-converged appliances, the HPE Synergy platform, and software products like HPE Helion OpenStack, not to mention or Network Function Virtualization solution as well. By using the same storage software everywhere, customers get the freedom to grow in any direction, at any time, with any combination of platforms.

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About the Author


I have been working across the HPE Storage portfolio for over 10 years and am based in Colorado...Go Broncos!!

June 19 - 21
Las Vegas, NV
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