Papa’s got a brand new bag: Out with the Old and In with the New

Jan 20

Papa’s got a brand new bag: Out with the Old and In with the New

Previous we introduced ImageTrend Inc., a hosting and data management company. ImageTrend supports multiple sites running over 1000 VMs, with a wide variety of customer developed and off-the-shelf applications, including over 250 SQL instances. Their ageing Compellent SAN had begun to hamper their ability to grow and scale effectively, inspiring ImageTrend to invest in a Hyper-Converged infrastructure. In Microsoft Windows Storage Server 2012, with Storage Spaces and using the Scale out File System, they saw a cost effective way to provide the availability that their clients needed to succeed.

Out with the Old
ImageTrend’s first task was to replace their ageing Compellent SAN storage, which was not designed to address their growing needs. In fact their SAN storage had been a nuisance for a while. On top of the incremental software fees, one of the most glaring challenges with their old SAN model was the overhead of managing storage to VM connections and mappings. For example when migrating VMs, the Compellent SAN required manual intervention to update each volume used by the VM. ImageTrend knew that this model was not sustainable, they needed a new model that would support a growing customer base and was designed from the beginning to support cloud and virtualized application environments. Moving to a hyper-converged and software defined storage system presented multiple advantages:

Customer Use Cases

  1. Having a system designed for scale-out needs
  2. The ability to support 1000s of VMs today and into the future
  3. Support their continued move from VMware to Hyper-V
  4. Leverage a purpose-built and certified storage platform for Microsoft 2012 R2 Storage Spaces
  5. Reduce storage management overhead and costs
  6. Leverage their Microsoft server provider status to scale operations at lower costs

One of the key reasons for the move to Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Storage Spaces was the ability to separate the SAN storage pools from the server running the Hypervisor and to utilizing dedicated Hyper-V Servers and dedicated SoFS servers on the CIB.  Their previous SAN model tied their storage pools to their hypervisors hindering their ability to scale and requiring individual updates of every volume used by the VM. Microsoft’s SoFS makes it easy and fast to scale the number of VMs supported with low overhead.

In with the New
So why did ImageTrend choose DataON? Four simple reasons; the DataON CIB and JBOD are a Microsoft certified storage platform for Microsoft 2012 R2 Storage Spaces, were proven with multiple hosting companies, are cost effective, and provides highly availability for business critical deployments. ImageTrend knew the CIB plus JBOD, would enable them to efficiently deploy, scale, and manage Microsoft Hyper-V VMs. Key features of the CIB and JBODs for ImageTrend were:

  • Microsoft Certified
  • Provided enterprise class hardware (IPMI)
  • Options for SSD and HDD storage and 12Gb SAS JBOD expansion
  • Support for SMB Direct to enable SoFS across racks of servers
  • Multiple networking options including InfiniBand and 10/40GbE RDMA
  • Fully HA design with dual servers and redundant powers supplies

ImageTrend also experienced significant savings with DataON Storage’s CIB solution by eliminating the need for Dell/Compellent storage management software and lower capital expense. CIB provided an easy to deploy integrated platform that includes dual servers, redundant powers supplies, SSD and HDD storage and multiple networking options including InfiniBand and 10/40GbE RDMA (Remote Direct Memory Access) for maximizing network and storage connectivity via SMB (Server Message Block) transfers networking platform that unified management of all systems components with MSCS VMM, all to create a high availability cluster environment. DataON JBODs also provided additional high availability storage.

Before starting to migrate to DataON Storage, ImageTrend had three Dell/Compellent SANs and were saddled with a SAN that would not scale and was driving higher OPEX. To date, they have decommissioned two of the Dell/Compellent SANs and grown their total data pool grow from 100TB to 300TB in the past two years using DataON Storage CIBs and JBODs. ImageTrend continues to plan for more growth.

Join us next time as we cover ImageTrend’s results with DataON CIB and JBODs, as well as their plans for Microsoft 2016.