HEAT Up I/O with a Flash Retrofit

  • If your HC3 workloads need better performance and faster I/O, you can soon take advantage of flash storage without having to replace your existing cluster nodes. Scale Computing is rolling out a service to help you retrofit your existing HC2000 /2100 or HC4000/4100 nodes with flash solid state drives (SSD) and update your HyperCore version to start using hybrid flash storage without any downtime. You can get the full benefits of HyperCore Enhanced Automated Tiering (HEAT) in HyperCore v7 when you retrofit with flash drives.

    You can read more about HEAT technology in my blog post Turning Hyperconvergence to 11

    Now, before you start ordering your new SSD drives for flash storage retrofit, let’s talk about the new storage architecture designed to include flash. You may already be wondering how much flash storage you need and how it can be divided among the workloads that need it, or even how it will affect your future plans to scale out with more HC3 nodes.

    The HC3 storage system uses wide striping across all nodes in the cluster to provide maximum performance and availability in the form of redundancy across nodes. With all spinning disks, any disk was a candidate for redundant writes from other nodes. With the addition of flash, redundancy is intelligently segregated between flash and spinning disk storage to maximize flash performance.

    A write to a spinning disk will be redundantly written to a spinning disk on another node, and a write to an SSD will be redundantly written to an SSD on another node. Therefore, just as you need at least three nodes of storage and compute resources in an HC3 cluster, you need to a minimum of three nodes with SSD drives to take advantage of flash storage.

    Consider also, with retrofitting, that you will be replacing an existing spinning disk drive with the new SSD. The new SSD may be of different capacity that the disk it is replacing which might affect your overall storage pool capacity. You may already in a position to add overall capacity where larger SSD drives are the right fit or adding an additional flash storage node along with the retrofit is the right choice. You can get to the three node minimum of SSD nodes by any combination of retrofitting or adding new SSD tiered nodes to the cluster.

    Retrofitting existing clusters is being provided as a service which will include our Scale Computing experts helping you assess your storage needs to determine the best plan for you to incorporate flash into your existing HC3 cluster. Whether you have a small, medium, or large cluster implementation, we will assist you in both planning and implementation to avoid any downtime or disruption.

    However you decide to retrofit and implement flash storage in your HC3 cluster, you will immediately begin seeing the benefits as new data is written to high performing flash and high I/O blocks from spinning disk are intelligently moved to flash storage for better performance. Furthermore, you have full control of how SSD is used on a per virtual disk basis. You’ll be able to adjust the level of SSD usage on a sliding scale to take advantage of both flash and spinning disk storage where you need each most. It’s the flash storage solution you’ve been waiting for.