In the Cloud Episode 1 – PernixData FVP


As mentioned in a previous blog, one of our goals at 1CloudRoad for 2014 is to feature vendors who are creating a lot of buzz in the IT industry. We will be hosting 1 vendor every month… at least 1. For our first featured vendor, we will be showcasing PernixData. I had the pleasure of meeting with Sushant Rao who provided me both some history on the company and the awesome solution they have on the market. Sushant is the Director of Product & Solution Marketing at PernixData. Sushant provided me a walk through and demo of the PernixData FVP solution.

PernixData History

PernixData was founded in Feb 2012, by Poojan Kumar, CEO, and Satyam Vaghani, CTO. In August 2013, PernixData announced its flagship software product, PernixData FVP. When speaking with Sushant, he indicated that PernixData today employs 70 people.

Evolution of the product  – PernixData FVP is currently at release 1.0, which was released on August 2013.

PernixData FVP in Layman’s term

Although the datasheets and the online material provide a very detailed understanding of what the PernixData FVP solution does, I asked Sushant to provide me a simplified summary of what the solution was all about. I feel that this is a very important aspect of any solution especially if someone never saw or heard about the solution.

Unfortunately today’s storage architecture poses performance issues to virtualized environments, introducing I/O bottlenecks and increased latency. This is why we keep hearing about server-side flash and a new type of storage architecture becoming more popular for virtual environments.

What is server-side flash?
Server-side flash is the use of a solid state drive with flash memory in a server. The flash memory is typically NAND and may be connected via different interfaces such as SATA, SAS or PCIe. Server-side flash is often used as a high speed cache or in places where high IOPS (input/output operations per second) count.

Coined as the “Flash Hypervisor”, essentially what PernixData FVP does, is virtualize server-side flash memory. The PernixData FVP software solution enables IT administrators to scale storage performance independent of capacity. This would give never before seen control over application performance.

As stated in a Forbes article by Poojan Kumar the PernixData CEO, “We re-recreated what VMware did for CPU and RAM for Flash, creating a virtual pool of commonly used resources for greater performance, scale and savings.”

PernixData Diagram-1cloudroad.comFigure 1 PernixData FVP changes the storage status quo by enabling scale-out storage performance independent of capacity.

PernixData Demo

Sushant provided a demo of FVP. The installation and configuration of FVP in vCenter is very simple to say the least. Very intuitive to configure and use. Once the plug-in was installed in vCenter, then all we needed to do was create the flash clusters and assign the VMs. This is where the so called “Magic Happens!”. PernixData FVP simply aggregates flash across your current pool of servers. The solution works with any server, flash or storage and allows customers to incorporate a new storage infrastructure with no disruption to their existing infrastructure. With PernixData FVP, storage performance has migrated to the server tier, while the storage tier is used for capacity and data services.

How much server side flash is required?

I asked if there was a “sizing tool” to understand how much flash was required based on the number of VMs. This is done today via scripts and tools within the FVP tool to measure the server-side flash requirements. A sizing guide may be in the works as the solution evolves.

Does FVP support Microsoft Hyper-V?

Today there is no support for Microsoft Hyper-V, but it sounds like we may see a version released for Hyper-V in the future.

How is PernixData FVP Licensed?

There are 2 versions of FVP.
Standard license:: based on the number of ESX hosts
SMB Version: designed for 2 – 4 hosts and has limitations

The hour was a little short to see the true benefits of FVP. I searched the web and came across a fantastic blog written by Frank Denneman. He does a fantastic job in a technical deep dive. A must read for anyone looking at FVP!

Interesting PernixData Links

Demo – Setting up a Flash Cluster
http://www.pernixdata.com/files/flash-cluster-video.html

Demo – Accelerating VDI
Demo – Accelerating virtualized databases

PernixData Customer Success Stories

Customer Success – Law firm
Customer Success – Bank
Business Case for PernixData FVP
PernixData DataSheet

PernixData in the News

PernixData has been in the news often over the last few months. In less than 2 weeks, here are 3 exciting press release coming out of PernixData

(click on the title below for the press releases)

PernixData was just named to Forbes’ 2014 “America’s Most Promising Companies” list

PernixData FVPâ„¢ Wins InfoWorld’s 2014 Technology of the Year Award

PernixData FVPâ„¢ Is First Winner of “Bright Idea Impact Award” from Modern
Infrastructure Magazine

PernixData FVP™ Awarded ‘Editor’s Choice’ by InfoWorld Test Center

Click here for a complete list of press releases.

PernixData on Social Media

(click on the link to be redirected)
Twitter @pernixdata

LinkedIn

Google+

Facebook

PernixData You Tube

My overall thoughts on PernixData FVP

The solution provides a real performance benefit to all virtualization environments. Addressing a key pain point many administrators face and are unable to counter. The solution is simple to deploy, easy to manage and produces exponential benefits. With several large name customers using the solution, I think they are headed in the right direction.

Thank you to PernixData for allowing us the time to learn about their FVP solution. We wish them best of luck as their start-up continues to flourish.

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