StorPool's Linux-based software-defined storage dodges VMware and Hyper-V, for now

software-defined storage products seem to be coming thick and fast at the moment.

This week I spoke with another, the Bulgaria-based StorPool, which offers storage software that can be deployed on commodity servers to provide SAN-like block storage from distributed disk but which can sit alongside app processing tasks to provide hyper-converged storage.

StorPool requires at least three instances of server hardware be deployed. These can be for storage only, or – by using only 5% to 10% of CPU performance for storage tasks – can co-reside with compute. Software also has to be deployed on the client side to manage storage consumption.

With an upgrade this week StorPool now claims performance of 250,000 random read IOPS and 4,200 MBps sequential reads on three servers, with these figures increasing as hardware nodes are added with scale-out capability.

Currently however, StorPool is limited to deployment in hardware running Linux operating systems (OS), from where it can be provisioned for Linux-friendly virtualisation platforms such as KVM, Xen or Docker.

CEO Boyan Ivanov said the ability to deploy StorPool into Windows servers is currently under development and will be available within months.

For the moment the Linux-only abilities of StorPool are something to which the company is cutting its cloth to suit. And so the bulk of its target customers are service providers which already run a lot of Linux – among whom it claims deployments of up to several hundred TB – although it also aims at devops use cases in wider verticals.

As Ivanov puts it: “We are a young vendor so we have to do one thing very well.”

So, for now it‘s not targeting the enterprise market with its preferences for VMware, to which StorPool is not natively compatible, though it can run in VMware “with performance degradation,” says Ivanov.

Disk types accommodated can be HDD, flash or a combination of the two and storage features include synchronous replication, snapshots and thin provisioning.

Write-back cache enables write operations to be acknowledged by the storage system, but stored in memory and then flushed to the hard disk at a later stage.

Like other software-defined storage products we’ve looked at recently, StorPool protects data by replicating between a minimum of three hardware instances.