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HPE StoreVirtual VSA Architecture

HPEStorageGuy

I've previously mentioned that I spend a lot of time on Spiceworks - an SMB focused community of end users. I find myself in a lot of conversations where HPE StoreVirtual VSA seems like the perfect fit.

One of the resources that will be great for those conversations is a StoreVirutal VSA technical white paper that I can offer to customers looking at solutions for their environment. A lot of SMBs with smaller environments that need shared storage for the virtualized servers are ideal candidates for StoreVirutal VSA.  So are enterprises with remote and branch offices.  

Hot off the presses is the new HPE StoreVirtual VSA Architecture technical white paper and I wanted to highlight it here. We have had StoreVirtual VSA for over 8 years. The number of licenses that have been distributed is in the millions and the number of nodes that are running in production is in the tens of thousands.  So to say we have a lot of experience with software-defined storage would be accurate. 

There are a few things that set StoreVirtual VSA apart that I want to highlight:

  1. It's simple - And we continue to make it easier.  It is the storage behind our Hyper Converged 250 and the Hyper Converged 380. You can go from power on to spinning up VMs with storage in minutes. And standing up a VSA on a server is just as easy. I'm hoping to have new demo videos soon showing just how easy it is. 
  2. It's scalable - As you grow, all you need to do as add another VSA to your environment and your capacity and performance grow. In fact, I was talking to a customer the other day that had two StoreVirtual VSAs that was asking about how to improve performance. I told him that by adding one more VSA, he would get 50% more performance and if he added two, he'd double performance. He wasn't following so I gave him this word picture. If you can drive 1000 IOPS* with a single StoreVirtual VSA, a two node system will get 2000 IOPS.  Add a third node and now you can drive 3000 IOPS - a 50% improvement. Add a fourth node and your up to 4000 IOPS., doubling performance of the two-node VSA. StoreVirtual VSA scales in a very predictable fashion.  * This is only an example - the performance of a node depends on things like the number and type of drives used. 
  3. It's highly available - Not everyone can expect 100% uptime but check out the podcast I did with Bart Heungens who has used StoreVirtual VSA for over 7 years and has never had a second of downtime.  How do we do it? Be sure to read the white paper and focus on Network RAID.  Network RAID stripes your data across nodes giving you protection from a node failure or allowing you to update the OS while the other nodes keep doing their thing. And what I really love (and lots of our customers do) is the ability to create a stretched cluster.  You can split StoreVirtual nodes between two locations to have a disaster recovery solution - lose a data center and no problem for StoreVirtual VSA.  
  4. It's flexible - You can deploy StoreVirtual VSA with Hyper-V, VMware, or KVM. You can do it yourself with your servers or implement it with our Hyper Converged solutions
  5. It's cost effective - The cost ranges from free (for a free 1TB you can get with new ProLiant or non-HPE servers), $3000 US List for a 3 X 4TB license, or $3,500 for a 10TB license. There are other license packs available and even a 50TB license if you want to go really big. 

Others, including a partner, have come to the software-defined party recently. Here's why I think StoreVirtual VSA is a better choice:

  • No limits - You can use any hardware, any hypervisor, any client.
  • Best hardware and software - Although you can use any server, HPE ProLiant is the best selling server for virtualization in the world. And StoreVirtual VSA has better resilency with Network RAID and 8 plus year track record.
  • Supports industry standards - StoreVirtual VSA uses iSCSI protocol, not a proprietary protocol. Why is that important? Because any server, whether virtualized, bare metal, or whatever that uses iSCSI can share VSA capacity. 
  • More affordable - In almost all cases, StoreVirtual VSA has a much lower licensing cost. A 3 node cluster with their software can cost $33,000 US List*. A 3 node (10TB/node) VSA is $10,500 US List. And I've heard they are very stingy with their discounts compared to ours.  * $5,500 per socket assuming 2 sockets per host, and 3 nodes is $33,000 for licensing with their Enterprise Edition. Even with Advanced Edition, this would be $24,000 list and doesn' include stretched cluster. 
  • More freedom - You won't get locked into their hypervisor. 

Be sure to read the white paper and to learn more, also visit hpe.com/storage/VSA. You can download the free 1TB VSA at hpe.com/storage/TryVSA.

About the Author

CJZ Headshot fixed 150 x 150.jpg

I'm Calvin Zito, a 33 year veteran in the IT industry and have worked in storage for 25 years. I recently wasvExpert 2016.jpg  named a VMware vExpert for the sixth consecutive year. As an early adopter of social media and active in communities, I've blogged for 8 years. I started my "social persona" as HPStorageGuy but with the HP separation, you can find me on Twitter as @CalvinZito. You can also contact me via email.

 

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About the Author

HPEStorageGuy

I have worked at HP and now HPE since 1983, all of it around storage but 100% focused on storage since 1990. I blog, create videos, and podcasts to help you better understand HPE Storage.

Comments
Marcus Bentley

Great article, as usual.

I also love the virtue of VSA providing the storage fabric on the Hyper-Converged, since it allows you to replicate from a Hyper-Converged system to any system with the same hypervisor and storevirtual VSA (incidentally you can get a discounted 3 x 4TB pack with any Hyper-Converged system).

A fantastic way to achieve DR on a budget.

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