Tier-1 Scale-Out NAS in a Flash SMB and NFS

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1 Tier-1 Scale-Out NAS in a Flash SMB and NFS Combine Violin s enterprise- class all- flash storage with the ease and capabilities of Windows Storage Server in an integrated Tier- 1 NAS solution so you can achieve higher performance and efficiency for your business critical applications and files. January 2015 Abstract Server technology continues its unprecedented scaling into ever more powerful solutions yet legacy storage solutions are keeping applications and virtualization initiatives from reaching their full potential. The ideal solution would deliver enterprise- class high- performance storage and data services that are tightly integrated with the existing NAS infrastructure, holistically managed by native Windows tools and utilities, and achieve state- of- the- art efficiency as part of the journey to the All Flash Data Center. Increase the value of existing human and technology investments while transforming application performance and IT economics with the WFA. The result is enhanced business efficiency, resiliency, and ROI for all of IT.

2 Table of Contents 1. Introduction Performance challenges in NAS environments Higher performance for NAS environments Violin Windows Flash Array + Windows Storage Server 2012 R NAS ecosystem friendly SMB and NFS What is SMB Direct? Resiliency for continuous availability Performance that transforms business Linear performance and capacity scalability through SOFS Pay- as- you- grow scalability Efficient scalability for server and desktop virtualization Choice in connectivity Relevant data services when you need them Use cases Tier- 1 NAS file server for SMB and NFS Collaboration Media and entertainment Geoscience applications Restore target Private cloud Conclusion Pg. 2

3 1. Introduction Network Attached Storage (NAS) solutions have become a popular approach to address enterprise storage needs. With the ever- increasing number of users, effective solutions need to support random I/O and small block I/O, and a large number of small files. At the same time, file servers are becoming Tier- 1 resources. They are supporting business critical functions such as software compilation; the data files are becoming larger, for example, 4k video as opposed to standard definition; bandwidth needs are growing, getting seismic or graphics data to work stations is far more intensive than word processing files, etc. In addition, data processing is becoming real- time, and it has high concurrency requirements. This is common in workloads such as audio/video editing, encoding, rendering, etc. Legacy storage solutions are challenged in meeting the needs of these workloads. This results in reduced worker productivity as software developers or artists spend their time waiting for code to compile, videos to render, etc. before continuing to their next steps. At the same time, virtualization has become mature, and organizations now demand increased efficiency from their data centers; however, limitations in legacy storage make achieving this goal difficult, if not impossible. In some cases, organizations have gone as far as deploying SANs for workloads that are better suited in a NAS environment, simply to get the required performance. When SANs are deployed, they typically require vendor- specific skill sets. This is just one shortcoming of a bifurcated infrastructure where NAS is the norm for the bulk of the Microsoft, Linux, and UNIX universe, yet SANs support select workloads. Undertaking abnormal or highly custom solutions just to achieve performance is expensive and inefficient. The ideal solution would deliver enterprise- class Tier- 1 storage that is tightly integrated with the existing application server and NAS environment so information can be easily shared across IT platforms while being managed by common tools. Support for both 10 Gb Ethernet and 56 Gb FDR InfiniBand fabrics as well as seamless integration of SMB 3.0 and NFS 3.0/4.1 protocols to simplify data sharing within the enterprise would be key to providing state- of- the- art high- performance connectivity. In addition, this solution would provide a rich suite of enterprise data services that transform application and file server performance as well as IT economics by improving the efficiency, resiliency, and ROI for all of IT as part of the journey to the All Flash Data Center. 2. Performance challenges in NAS environments Legacy storage solutions (disk drives) perform best when operations are sequential or large batch. Yet modern virtualized workloads are filled with random I/O requests, and other workloads make use of tremendous numbers of small 4K files, such as genomics research, both of which result in high latency and poor application performance. Various striping techniques, over provisioning, solid- state drives, and optimization algorithms have been tried yet I/O performance remains lacking. This approach is inefficient and enforces continued spending on capacity when the need is for lower latency and higher IOPS. Poor storage performance leads to poor CPU utilization. CPUs spend more time waiting than executing, which means expensive servers are mostly idle investments. This reality has not escaped the attention of CIOs, CFOs, and other senior management. One way to raise server utilization is virtualization. Yet ironically, virtualization drives random I/O even higher and some virtualization solutions raise server overhead. Organizations are faced with an unpleasant reality that responding to growth has meant scaling the inherent inefficiency and expense of legacy storage. Both CAPEX and OPEX are negatively affected by the status quo. Ensuring continuous availability is a challenge, but essential. Replication is often a great approach, but asynchronous replication can suffer data loss if the primary array goes down. Synchronous mirroring is more resilient, but it is more costly and has a slow two- phase commit. Depending upon the workload, an HA cluster might provide sufficient, especially for unstructured files. From these challenges, it is clear that a new approach is needed to deliver the performance and scalability required for your Tier- 1 applications and information stores to achieve their full potential. Pg. 3

4 3. Higher performance for NAS environments To address the shortcomings of legacy storage, Violin Memory and Microsoft have co- developed the Violin Windows Flash Array (WFA). The WFA combines Violin Memory s patented Flash Fabric Architecture (FFA), Microsoft s fast SMB Direct protocol, and Microsoft Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 to deliver storage that easily keeps up with your needs. With the WFA, you can start the process of transforming your data center economics from legacy expense levels to that of the All Flash Data Center Violin Windows Flash Array + Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 The WFA is based upon the Violin All Flash Array Dual blades run Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 with support for SMB Direct through RDMA- enabled network cards. The WFA architecture features sub- millisecond latency (as illustrated in Fig. 3-1) and wide stripe vraid accelerated switched flash for maximum performance. With SMB Direct, the WFA delivers the features of SAN, the performance of DAS, at the price of NAS. You get maximum performance for every byte every time. Table 3-1: Violin Windows Flash Arrays by model Windows Flash Array Model WFA- 64 WFA- 48 WFA- 32 WFA- 24 WFA- 16 Form Factor / Flash Type 3U / MLC 3U / MLC 3U / MLC 3U / MLC 3U / MLC Raw Capacity (TB) Usable Capacity (TB) at 84% format level I/O Connectivity 10GbE, 56Gb IB 10GbE, 56Gb IB 10GbE, 56Gb IB 10GbE, 56Gb IB 10GbE, 56Gb IB Max. 4KB IOPS 1.1M IOPS 1.1M IOPS 800k IOPS 800k IOPS 800k IOPS Max. Bandwidth 4GB/s 4GB/s 4GB/s 4GB/s 4GB/s Nominal Latency <500 µsec <500 µsec <500 µsec <500 µsec <500 µsec Figure 3-1: WFA- 64 4K Random Read Latency over Increasing Queue Depth Pg. 4

5 Windows Storage Sever 2012 R2 delivers enterprise data services including deduplication, live migration, thin provisioning, compression, replication, Scale- out File Server (SOFS), and data encryption. The SMB 3.0 protocol boosts network storage performance. In particular, SMB Direct (SMB 3.0 over RDMA) enables remotely stored data on the WFA to be read directly into application servers memory. The result is remote storage performing like blazing fast local storage. In fact, Microsoft and Violin collaborated extensively to optimize Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 at the kernel level to take advantage of our FFA to deliver enterprise- class performance for the WFA. The WFA helps you meet 24x7 operational requirements for your Tier- 1 applications and file stores through multi- layered hardware and software resiliency. Active- Active clustering delivers continuous availability and SMB Multichannel ensures that cluster node connectivity is maintained. With the WFA, you can get higher utilization and performance with a smaller, less expensive IT footprint and you can scale as business conditions warrant. You may find that you no longer need a dedicated SAN or DAS to support your mix of Tier- 1 applications and file storage needs NAS ecosystem friendly SMB and NFS Violin Memory and Microsoft co- developed the WFA to easily integrate into existing NAS or Ethernet environments, especially those based upon Windows Server. SMB 3.0 and SMB Direct are part of the Microsoft strategic roadmap for network storage and the WFA fully supports these protocols to deliver performance and scalability not available elsewhere. In addition, the WFA fully supports NFS 3.0 and NFS 4.1 so you can achieve blazing fast NFS performance for easy file sharing with application servers running operating systems such as Linux and UNIX, amongst others. There is no need for third- party storage management tools or skill sets. Your existing Microsoft admin staff can manage all of your servers, applications, and now WFA storage with Microsoft System Center and PowerShell. The tight integration of the WFA with Microsoft management tools delivers a holistic view of your Microsoft environment for simplified and cost- effective management of physical and virtual servers What is SMB Direct? The WFA addresses the traditional bottlenecks that limit performance by delivering a state- of- the- art storage solution where speed, scale, and resiliency combine to deliver operational and financial efficiency. The use of SMB Direct can improve the performance of most any vendors storage and we expect that over time most will offer this support. However, the combination of SMB Direct with the Violin FFA and kernel- level optimization of Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 uniquely takes performance to the next level. With the WFA, you get ultra- fast read and write access with sustained throughput of up to 1.1 million 4K IOPS with greater than 4 GB/s of bandwidth. SMB Direct recoups up to 30% of your SQL Server s CPU utilization, which provides you with more flexibility in how you allocate server resources and can have a dramatic effect on your CAPEX and OPEX requirements. Pg. 5

6 Figure 3-2: Wait State Reduction Using WFA As illustrated in Figure 3-2, your servers will spend more time doing than waiting so you can support additional workloads with existing resources and achieve faster response times. Our support for SMB 3.0 along with a suite of enterprise data services delivers a high- performance feature- rich Tier- 1 NAS solution that will help ensure you can deliver business in a flash Resiliency for continuous availability With the WFA, you benefit from continuous availability of your critical applications and file shares. Windows Failover Clustering in conjunction with the WFA hardware can sustain any single point of failure to ensure continuous availability. SMB Multichannel I/O provides bandwidth trunking as well as enhanced node- to- node network connectivity and availability. Should you desire a high availability configuration, deployment is option- rich and as simple as software configuration. In addition, in- flight and at- rest data encryption guards against eavesdropping or other unauthorized data disclosure Performance that transforms business The WFA is particularly suited for workloads that have a high degree of random I/O activity, sequential I/O, or any mix of the two. By raising the available I/O while lowering latency to meet processor demand, the WFA enables application servers to spend more time processing data as opposed to waiting for it. As a result, you can make better use of your creative talent, such as programmers, artists, analysts, etc., as they will spend far less project time waiting for compiling, encoding, rendering, reporting, and so forth, to complete. Since our unique architecture ensures consistent performance with linear scalability, you can run multiple mixed workloads without concern about noisy neighbors. In addition, you may find that you can support the same number of workloads with fewer CPUs so can optimize CPU investments across workloads to meet your objectives. Pg. 6

7 Connecting through SMB Direct can free up to 30% of CPU usage; these cycles could be put towards other workloads. Likewise, our fast NFS access will enable new levels of performance for your Linux, UNIX, and other server platforms. If consolidation or virtualization of workloads is your preferred approach, the WFA can enable you to increase virtualization density to new heights. Unlike other flash- based solutions, the WFA does not suffer from write cliff due to the non- blocking nature of our distributed garbage collection. Our FFA delivers maximum performance for every byte every time regardless of block- size or the random/sequential nature of access Linear performance and capacity scalability through SOFS With faster storage performance, you can optimize CPU investments more effectively across workloads without concern about the performance profile of the storage. As illustrated in Figure 3-3, our reference architecture for SOFS delivers the predictable high performance that enables you to maintain service consistency even as the character of your workloads changes. Figure 3-3: WFA- 64 4K Random Read and Write Performance, 512K Sequential Read and Write Performance The 4K random read performance achieved by our scale- out reference architecture reveals that the WFA delivers over 1 million IOPS and 4 GB/s of bandwidth at queue depth of 64 in a single array. The corresponding 4K random write performance is over 810k IOPS with 3 GB/s of bandwidth at queue depth of 64 in a single array. As you can see, the WFA is well suited for the short block random read/write workloads associated with OLTP, which is a critical application for most any enterprise, as well as other random access workloads such as virtualized server and desktop environments. Figure 3-3 also shows the WFA s ability to sustain high bandwidth in the sequential access modes common in data warehouse, business intelligence, decision support systems or other large block- sized access workloads. With the WFA, you can achieve in excess of 4 GB/s sustained bandwidth for 512K sequential reads in a single array. Corresponding 512K sequential write performance of over 810k IOPS and 3 GB/s of bandwidth at queue depth of one can be achieved in a single array. Pg. 7

8 The WFA allows you to scale out to meet growing demand by adding a second, third or fourth WFA to the cluster. With SOFS, performance and capacity scales linearly. In addition, you can take advantage of a single name space to simplify the administration of your shares across multiple WFAs and present a unified view of storage resources. The mix of applications common in today s data center means that workloads are rarely overwhelmingly read- or write- centric. Rather access is a mixture of read and writes, and of various block- sizes. While this can jeopardize the performance of legacy solutions, it is just one more example of where the unique architecture of the WFA delivers and legacy solution cannot. Figure 3-4: WFA- 64 8K OLTP Random R/W Performance, 32K Exchange Server Random and Sequential R/W Performance Figure 3-4 illustrates two different mixed workloads, an 8K OLTP random access with 90% reads and 10% writes; and a 32K Exchange Server with 80% random and 20% sequential access with 60% reads and 40% writes. The performance achieved shows the WFA delivering over 550k IOPS and 4.4 GB/s of bandwidth at queue depth of 64 in a single array for the 8K workload. The corresponding 32K mixed workload performance is 130k IOPS with 4.16 GB/s of bandwidth at queue depth of 64 in one array. As with the other workloads, when a second WFA is added to the cluster, the performance doubles, that is, it scales linearly. As shown here, the WFA is not only well suited for random or sequential read/write workloads, it also excels with mixed workloads. Therefore, regardless of the specific workload or combination thereof in your data center, the WFA can deliver the low latency and high performance necessary to run your business in a flash Pay-as-you-grow scalability Having the resources and flexibility to support growth is essential for a successful enterprise; however, the timing of this investment expense is equally important. With WFA s pay- as- you- grow pricing, you can non- disruptively scale capacity without installing new capacity in advance. This enables you to more closely align CAPEX with the benefit received. As a result, you can non- disruptively scale your WFA raw capacity in 8.8 TB increments within one of two ranges, TB or TB, based upon your timing. You can scale capacity without full expenditure at the onset, but maintain the operational flexibility to license- up the capacity to support growth. Pg. 8

9 Efficient scalability for server and desktop virtualization The WFA s enterprise data services support your virtualized workloads while ensuring maximum utilization of your storage investment. Our data efficiency services include thin provisioning, compression, and deduplication so that you can achieve the highest virtual machine (VM) density on your application servers with lowest storage capacity possible. Depending upon your workloads, our data reduction capability can reduce your required storage by up 10x. You can choose when these efficient services run on a granular basis as well as which nodes within your WFA cluster perform these tasks. In addition, if you choose Hyper- V for your hypervisor layer, you can consolidate workloads with little, if any, performance penalty. As your workloads change, Live Migration streamlines VM migration through direct WFA to WFA communication that bypasses the VM host to complete the process more rapidly. You can deploy development, test, and Q/A scenarios knowing that roll out and roll up will be quick and simple, and the test beds will match the architecture of your production environment. Alternatively, if VMware ESX virtual infrastructure or another third- party platform running on NFS is your preferred solution, you can reliably store VMs and associated user files on the WFA all while taking advantage of our enterprise data services and the continuous availability afforded by Windows Failover Clustering Choice in connectivity With the WFA, you have choice in connecting your All Flash Array to your existing IT infrastructure. The WFA supports both 10 Gb Ethernet and 56 Gb FDR InfiniBand. In either case, you benefit from the efficiency and high performance afforded by SMB Direct and the rest of the SMB 3.0 feature set. Although SMB 3.0 is the standard networking protocol on Windows Server, the NFS protocol is favored by other operating systems that are common in the enterprise data center. As part of its data center focus, the WFA fully supports NFS 3.0 and NFS 4.1 to simplify data sharing within your enterprise. You can achieve blazing fast NFS performance for interconnection with application servers running operating systems such as Linux and UNIX, amongst others. In addition, your WFA- based file shares are simultaneously available through either protocol, either as Windows file shares over SMB 3 or as NFS exports. There are no artificial data silos separating SMB- and NFS- based applications with the WFA, just seamless integration of high performance, easily accessible all- flash storage Relevant data services when you need them Table 3-2 highlights some of the many data services offered by the WFA to increase the efficiency of your data center. Table 3-2: Enterprise Data Services Provided by the Windows Flash Array Storage and File System File and Block Access Networking Data Deduplication Compression NTFS Availability Offloaded Data Transfer (ODX) Thin Provisioning Encryption SMB 3.0 NFS 3.0 and NFS 4.1 Support for VMware VMs over NFS Scale- out File Server (SOFS) VSS for Remote SMB File Shares (snaps) SMB Direct (RDMA) SMB Multichannel Encryption Transparent Failover Clustering Virtualization Management Cluster Shared Volumes v2 DFS Replication Live Storage Migration New VHDX standard Microsoft System Center PowerShell Pg. 9

10 Unlike many competitive offerings, the WFA lets you choose which of the data services to deploy, and on which of the WFA nodes. For example, this granularity means that you can enable deduplication only on the shares that would benefit, such as those supporting virtual desktops. Thin provisioning in conjunction with trim enables you to adjust allocations to match your actual storage needs. Since the WFA operates as a Windows Cluster Failover, you are protected against an array controller failure as the active- active configuration ensures data accessibility. In addition, SMB Multipathing not only aggregates bandwidth for higher performance but can also detect connectivity failures and reroute traffic accordingly. Live migration of VMs delivers flexibility in resource allocation without impacting application servers or requiring taking applications or databases offline. Logical organization of multiple large databases is streamlined through SOFS, which can deliver a single namespace across multiple WFAs thus simplifying the management of large amounts of data. Data encryption in flight or at rest guards against eavesdropping or unauthorized access. 4. Use cases While the Violin Windows Flash Array delivers superior performance for most any enterprise workload, the WFA is particularly suited for high- performance NAS file servers, workloads requiring consistent low latency and high throughput, and workloads with a high degree of random I/O activity. Example workloads include Tier- 1 NAS file servers, collaboration, software development, media and entertainment, geosciences, engineering, high- performance backup and restore targets, and private cloud environments Tier-1 NAS file server for SMB and NFS Network- based file services are a powerful and cost- effective solution embraced by many organizations for storing their critical business information. Often, such solutions began as a dedicated server with DAS; however, unprecedented data growth has made managing, scaling, and ensuring file availability and security difficult, if not cost prohibitive. The WFA s balance of compute, network, and storage performance delivers consistent I/O performance to support the multiple mixed workloads inherent in Tier- 1 NAS environments. This eliminates the need for dedicated infrastructure that segregates application or database storage from unstructured files in order to maintain enterprise- class performance in multi- tenant environments. With SMB Direct, you will reduce your application servers overhead by up to 30%, which means you can either support more users with existing resources or recoup compute cycles for other workloads. However, the combination of SMB Direct with the Violin FFA and kernel- level optimization of Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 uniquely takes performance to the next level. With the WFA, you get ultra- fast read and write access with sustained throughput of up to 1.1 million 4K IOPS with greater than 4 GB/s of bandwidth. Native NFS 3.0 and 4.1 support means you can share NAS resources amongst many platforms including Windows, Linux, and UNIX simultaneously. Why bother with a NAS solution if it only supports one file protocol? With storage administration based on Microsoft System Center and Windows PowerShell, existing staff with Windows management skills can provision storage resources, which reduce the needed skill sets, tools, and training. You can rapidly deploy new development, test, and quality assurance scenarios with the knowledge that roll out and roll up will be quick and simple, and the test beds will match the speed and architecture of your production environment. This turnkey solution simplifies maintenance and requires only 3U of rack space. You can lower facilities requirements with the WFA by reducing space, power, and cooling needs up to 90% compared with all- disk solutions all while improving file server performance. Pg. 10

11 4.2. Collaboration Modern business run on data and the true value of this data cannot be realized in an operational silo. Data achieves its highest value when it is collaborated upon in a timely and controlled fashion. It does not matter whether the data is related to software development, graphics design, manufacturing, architecture, engineering, CAD or content managing file shares with documents, presentations, and spreadsheets. As organizations grow, so too does the workload of collaboration. Employee productivity can be improved directly by the summation of all those wait times being reduced every time a file is opened or saved. Software compilation is a highly random I/O workload given the potential multitudes of file repositories feeding the compilation process. Source file and component library access speeds directly affect delivery time for software, how long unit tests take, how many unit tests can be run on a release, and the time effectiveness of developers as they wait for compiling to finish or source files to be read or written from/to storage. With graphics, design, manufacturing or engineering workloads these files are growing larger as resolution increases with an increasing number of objects are included in projects. You can increase artist, designer or engineer productivity with the WFA by reducing the elapsed time to deliver data to workstations, time need to complete a project or the number of iterations performed within a given project Media and entertainment File sizes continue to grow in the media and entertainment industries. With common video resolutions of 4k now increasingly scaling up to 27k, storage needs continue to grow, as do the demands for easier and faster collaboration on said files. Multiple compute nodes, as many as hundreds, rendering even small video clips (several minutes) can generate 2 TB to 4 TB of writes. Each frame, at rates of up to 40 per second, can include up to 20 layers. The result is high random I/O requirements to feed the farm nodes and the need to support high levels of write absorption with low latency, which is not unlike database scenarios that are write and read latency bound. Time to completion is crucial as it dictates artists effective work time; any time spent waiting delays projects. With the growing amount of compute power per node, evidenced by video cards having more cores and servers having more and faster CPU cores, the storage tier s performance must increase commensurately. The available I/O must be raised while lowering latency to meet processor demand, so your application servers can spend more time processing data as opposed to waiting for it. This cannot be accomplished through legacy storage solutions. Aligning the performance between compute and tier- 1 storage can positively impact software licensing expense as processing cores will spend their time executing workloads, not waiting for I/O, so fewer licensed cores will be required for any given workload. Further, by simplifying your architecture to active and passive (cold storage) you can streamline storage management and maximize efficiency. The WFA delivers the performance and low latency your applications require thus providing usable GBs more cost effectively than legacy solutions. With the WFA s kernel- level optimized support for SMB Direct, performance can be dramatically improved by reducing the CPU cycles (30% - 80%) spent handling I/O. When properly configured, the WFA consistently delivers 4 GB/s reads and burst of 4 GB/s of writes with sequential or random workloads. In addition, the WFAs 8 connections per array (3 RU) of either 10 GbE or 56 Gb FDR IB help deliver its unique, ultra- high performance and low latency Tier- 1 storage. Scaled across dozens or more rendering nodes, this can deliver substantial savings in both CAPEX and OPEX. Combined with Windows 8+ and/or Windows Server on workstations, artists thumb twiddling time can be substantially reduced through faster file reads and writes. Artists often need to download and upload files to and from their workstation for editing purposes. These files can be several hundred MB and the higher number of artists, the higher the requisite throughput. With compositing, an artist is taking rendered pieces e.g., an explosion, car, tree, etc. and assembling them into a finished scene. This requires ultra- low latency, a capability that is difficult for even flash cache card or PCIe- based high- performance storage to achieve. However, with the WFA s superior throughput, this is not an issue and you can place files on the same cluster as the rendering and compositing farm. In Pg. 11

12 addition, performance on the artists workstation can be dramatically improved. The WFA supports access of large files through multiple network ports. For very large files or infrastructure with 1 GbE switches, workstations can also boost performance by taking advantage of two or more network connections. The SMB Multichannel support native in Windows 8+ enables workstations to aggregate multiple existing ports and achieve higher utilization of the same physical connections Geoscience applications Geosciences, commonly found in oil and gas exploration and development, are capacity- and performance- oriented workloads. Supporting this mass of data while keeping Geoscientists productivity high and without adding complexity is a storage management challenge. A high- performance storage solution that can meet this challenge must be able to: Radically accelerate seismic data access for both processing and interpretation Allow consolidation and speed performance of the many types of relational databases utilized Provide an ideal experience for server and desktop virtualization efforts to improve infrastructure efficiency Optimize the performance of metadata intensive resources such as clustered file systems or analytics implementations One of the most significant geoscience applications is Seismic Interpretation. The WFA is well suited for these workloads as it can deliver sustained throughput with low- latency while simplifying the infrastructure and its operations. Applications such as Schlumberger Petrel, Halliburton Landmark DecisionSpace, Seismic Micro- Technologies Kingdom, Paradign EPOS, and Geographix, amongst others, all benefit from the Tier- 1 performance afforded by the WFA. In addition, the simultaneous support for both SMB and NFS protocols means that you can centralize your storage for multiple workloads on a variety of operating systems including Windows, Linux, and UNIX. In fact, the WFA is at home in most any geoscience environment where raising Geoscientists productivity is paramount along with delivering an easy- to- use data sharing solution. Additional workloads include Reservoir Simulation or related computational fluid dynamics and Monte Carlo methods, post- stack processing such as Landmark ProMAX or SeisSpace, field quality control on seismic acquisition, and remote 3D visualization implementations. The WFA s hardware design is much more robust and well suited for field use than legacy solutions. This combined with our highly available hardware and software design with low- impact facilities footprint means that WFA can deliver consistent performance not only in the laboratory but in the field as well Restore target The measure of IT performance is increasingly SLA- based. Achieving continuous uptime and performance within negotiated service levels is paramount to business and IT success. In order to achieve this, high availability (HA), disaster recovery (DR), and business continuity (BC) all must be considered when implementing a storage solution. NAS has long been deployed as backup targets. Although historically the focus has been on shrinking backup windows, often the restore time is of paramount concern. Such NAS deployments might be better served if known as restore targets. Modern businesses have many applications, processes, databases, etc. Delivering BC is more than just simple HA, as it requires backups to the HA systems as well as the DR sites. Business Continuity requires several levels of fall back including local restore target hosts and copies of data. When a service disruption occurs, it can be any number of processes that need restoring. The challenge is not about how long the backups take, it is about how long it takes to restore business operations. Given that modern enterprises may have dozens/hundreds of databases/vms needing to be restored, sequential restoration is not an optimum solution. You need to be able to restore all workloads during the SLA window, which includes detection, reaction, resolution, and restoration times. This requires a random I/O, high- bandwidth solution that can stream many restoration workloads simultaneously with consistent throughput. Missing SLAs can be very costly in both business operations and customer goodwill. Further, you cannot pre- stage or buffer a restore and you will not be able to pre- plan what you need to Pg. 12

13 elevate it in a tiered system. Your restore will be dependent upon raw capabilities of your storage infrastructure; there are no opportunities to optimize the solution, as your restoration needs will be unknown until a service interruption occurs. With the WFA, you can meet your restore SLAs as this high- performance solution will deliver the high throughput, multi- stream restoration necessary for a Tier- 1 production environment. While legacy solutions may grind to crawl as the number of processes to be restored increases, you can achieve the same consistent high throughput no matter how many targets are simultaneously restored. Moreover, you can dedicate some WFA resources for local staging of your most recent backups. You can achieve not only high- speed backup performance; your most recent restore point will be rapidly available. With the WFA, you can help ensure that a five- minute outage will not be followed by a multi- hour restoration Private cloud Deploying a private cloud requires centralized management and seemingly unlimited scalability with consistent performance. The tight integration of Windows Server Hyper- V and Violin hardware delivers the maximum scalability that you need for private cloud deployments. Multi- tenant or virtualized environments with multiple mixed workloads need not be concerned about noisy neighbors as the WFA does not develop workload hotspots. The WFA delivers a flexible single- server namespace for easier share management and simultaneous SMB and NFS file access for maximum flexibility. Should Microsoft Azure be part of your data center strategy, you can easily move files between the WFA and Azure Data Services through backup, replication, or custom developed applications to maximize flexibility in your choice of onsite and offsite cloud storage. You can manage your private cloud and Azure delivered resources through a single management framework. With management based on System Center and PowerShell, existing staff can administer storage resources, which reduces the need for additional skill sets and training. SOFS lets you can scale out to four arrays (eight nodes) to meet your private cloud requirements. SMB Multichannel aggregates network connectivity within the safety of a Windows Failover Cluster so you will have the performance and resiliency to ensure that your private cloud remains available whenever it is needed. 5. Conclusion Today s enterprises are increasingly challenged to support business critical functions while delivering an enterprise- class user experience. With the ever- increasing number of users and diversity in enterprise workloads, storage solutions are being called upon to support random and sequential I/O, small and large block I/O, and a growing number of small and large files associated with mission critical workloads. However, legacy storage solutions are built for capacity, not I/O performance, which is in direct conflict with today s business applications that are performance oriented. This results in complex, expensive, and hard- to- scale solutions being deployed to support these applications and large- scale file storage. At the same time, resources such file servers, which historically may have been considered of secondary importance, are fast becoming Tier- 1 with commensurate expectations for performance and resiliency. The appetite for Tier- 1 file services is growing as witnessed by workloads such as software compilation; data files are becoming larger, for example, 4k video as opposed to standard definition; bandwidth needs are growing, delivering seismic or graphical data to work stations is far more intensive than word processing files, etc. In addition, data processing is becoming real- time, and has high concurrency requirements. Legacy storage solutions are challenged in meeting the needs of these workloads, which results in reduced worker productivity and ultimately increased business costs. The Violin Windows Flash Array is a fundamentally different and better NAS solution that addresses the performance shortfalls of legacy storage in order to meet the needs for Tier- 1 storage in organizations. As an all- flash active- active HA multi- node cluster platform with embedded Windows Storage Server 2012 R2, the WFA delivers a rich suite of enterprise data services for Tier- 1 applications. Support for both 10 Gb Ethernet and 56 Gb FDR InfiniBand fabrics as Pg. 13

14 well as seamless integration of SMB 3.0 and NFS 3.0/4.1 protocols to simplify data sharing within the enterprise are part of the WFA solution. In addition, you can benefit from a rich suite of enterprise data services that transform application and file server performance as well as IT economics by improving the efficiency, resiliency, and ROI for all of IT. The expense of a legacy data center based upon magnetic storage will become, if it has not already, a competitive disadvantage for any enterprise. The superior economics of the All Flash Data Center will cause executive staff to take note. Even if your executives do not embrace the All Flash Data Center for performance and agility reasons, the financial benefits are too great to pass up. It s simply a matter of time. The WFA is a Tier- 1 storage solution that is at home in the All Flash Data Center. You can unleash your application performance and free up existing resources to do more. In fact, the WFA s performance is so high that you could eliminate your dedicated storage that is currently supporting select high performance workloads. The WFA can help reduce CAPEX both in the short and long term. You can recoup existing server and facilities investments while delaying future expenditures, which will free up resources to invest in innovation and growing your business success. If you would like to learn more about how the Violin Windows Flash Array can dramatically improve your Tier- 1 NAS environment and business critical applications, please contact your Violin Memory representative today. About Violin Memory Business in a Flash. Violin Memory transforms the speed of business with high performance, always available, low cost management of critical business information and applications. Violin s All Flash optimized solutions accelerate breakthrough CAPEX and OPEX savings for building the next generation data center. Violin s Flash Fabric Architecture (FFA) speeds data delivery with chip- to- chassis performance optimization that achieves lower consistent latency and cost per transaction for Cloud, Enterprise and Virtualized mission- critical applications. Violin's All Flash Arrays and Appliances, and enterprise data management software solutions enhance agility and mobility while revolutionizing data center economics. Founded in 2005, Violin Memory is headquartered in Santa Clara, California. For more information, visit memory.com. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/violinmemory Pg. 14

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