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Reduce remote office IT costs with highly available 2 node storage solution

katedavis

Last year we released v12.5 of StoreVirtual’s LeftHand OS. One of the key features released was 2-node quorum. Find the full feature enhancement list here.

What is 2-node quorum, you ask? It’s the ability to set up a clustered storage array using only 2 nodes. For StoreVirtual, it’s a 2-node solution that scales linearly up to 16 nodes in a single cluster and still delivers 99.999% high availability.

Clustering creates high availability and traditionally at least 3 systems or nodes were required as a minimum cluster size so that there’s a 3rd system to act as a quorum witness in the event 1 node goes down. The minimum of 3 nodes avoids “split-brain” syndrome and provides a Quorum Witness to determine which of the two nodes should be considered a reliable resource in the event of a failure. Even though a 2 node cluster could be done in the past, it required a 3rd piece of hardware to be running a software-based Failover Manager to act as that 3rd witness. In the case of a remote office where a small 2 node cluster is all that’s needed adding a 3rd server or storage unit just to be the quorum witness is just not cost effective.

Taking this into consideration we redesigned the quorum requirements so that there’s still a witness but now it’s contained within an NFS file share that acts as a tie-breaker and can be located on any platform at any location. For a business with remote offices that file share could live at the central data center.

2node_quorum.jpgStoreVirtual two-node Quorum for high availability with 2-node cluster

All StoreVirtual-based products (StoreVirtual VSA, StoreVirtual 4000 arrays, Hyper Converged 250 for VMware) ship with this latest OS version. In the case of the HC 250, enhancements such as the update to 12.5 were released this week (February 16th to be exact).

If you have a small office or remote location, this latest HC 250 release might just be what the Dr. ordered. Because of the quorum improvements in v12.5 you can now configure a hyper-converged appliance with 2 nodes and scale up from there as your business needs change.

HC250_Slide.jpg

A 2-node server with 12 shared storage drives is a great compute/storage solution if you are looking to start small but we also know that you are also concerned with keeping costs down, low bandwidth and ease of management, so we’ve also added the ability to configure server nodes with single CPUs, 1GbE networking, and have improved upon management via vCenter with a new system-level dashboard monitoring.

For more info, check out Calvin’s blog on the latest Hyper Converged 250 news and give a listen to the fantastic podcast with product manager, Tim Doering.

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About the Author

katedavis

I have been working across the HPE portfolio for over 12 years marketing hot topics including storage, software-defined, big data and hybrid cloud.

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