Atrato Inc has just introduced a unique, “autonomic” suite of software modules that is designed to eliminate the complexity normally associated with storage tiering. While storage tiering itself is not necessarily complex, data classification, the key enabler of a successful tiered storage implementation can add considerable cost and complexity.
The claim made by Atrato is that their intelligent tiered storage management solution, ApplicationSmart™, automates, hence simplifies, the movement of data between SSD and spinning disk eliminating the complexity created by manual or programmatic data classification. The Atrato solution separates itself from a plethora of currently available management software by continuously monitoring the data stream and making (near) instant data placement decision based on actual, not historical, data access patterns. This task is completed automatically, without any user intervention which increases reliability and responsiveness. Some of the unique cleverness is the adaptation of a branch of mathematics that is normally restricted to the development of complex algorithms commonly used in facial recognition solutions.
The software moves beyond traditional application-aware storage introducing intelligent autonomics that identifies data access patterns to optimize the management of data between storage tiers. ApplicationSmart™ dynamically manages data to the proper tier, eliminating the need to manually move data. With IT administrators no longer having to decide which files need to reside in a particular tier, management complexity is eliminated encouraging practitioners to take full advantage of solid state technology.
Some of the highlights ApplicationSmart™ include:
- Identifies access patterns in real-time workloads eliminating the need for administrators to separate data types for storage tier placement. This is not a traditional programmatic or policy driven process but one enabled by a branch of mathematics employed in facial recognition.
- Automates the matching of data value to media attribute improving storage efficiency.
- Analysis of the Access Profiler output produces tier sizing recommendations to eliminate the wasteful practice of over-provisioning.
- Simple management of a Hybrid vLUN blends the attributes of spinning and SSD storage.
Whether SSD’s will eventually replace HDD’s is a future trend forecast I will leave to those with clearer crystal balls. However what is clear is that there will continue to be a requirement for a workable blend of spinning and SSD storage. Those vendors who master* the application of mixed media, Hybrid vLUNs that effectively blend HDD and SSD storage will have a bright future for some considerable time into the future.
Action Item: Yesterday's tradition thinking will not solve tomorrows performance problems. However SSD alone are not the panacea. They must be integrated into the storage hierarchy with intelligent tier management software or the full potential of this technology will not be realized, just the cost.
Footnotes: *(master does not imply marketing speak but a pragmatic application that delivers true user value.)