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Virtualisation systems optimise storage performance

Huw Evans

Hifn, who describes itself as a catalyst behind storage and networking innovation, has announced the first customer installation of a new performance-optimised configuration of its Swarm iSCSI storage appliance with VMware ESX Server.

The combined package is designed to offer the benefits of a virtualised IT infrastructure with the cost advantages of iSCSI storage networking.

 The Hifn-QLogic VMware solution allowed five physical blade servers, each running multiple virtual machines in an ESX clustered configuration, to share the virtualised storage of a single Swarm appliance. The addition of the QLogic iSCSI HBA was said to allow for more virtual machines to be added to the cluster with nominal performance degradation.
 
The customer installation also included VMware’s Vmotion to provide the live migration of running a virtual machine from one physical server to another.  The stated results were zero downtime, continuous server availability and complete transaction integrity.
 
The Swarm appliance enables the storage and sharing of VMware files that encapsulate the entire state of the migrated virtual machine. VMware’s clustered Virtual Machine File System (VMFS) allows multiple installations of ESX Server to access the same virtual machine files concurrently on the shared Swarm storage pool, thus boosting IT efficiency.

 Live virtual machine migration gives customers the freedom to perform hardware maintenance without scheduled downtime and proactively migrate virtual machines away from failing or under-performing servers, as well as performing load balancing across all available ESX virtual machines.
 
           


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