PernixData adds RAM pools to FVP flash caching software

Flash caching software maker PernixData adds the ability to create cache pools from server RAM

Flash caching software provider PernixData has launched version 2.0 of its FVP product. The latest version adds the ability to pool RAM between servers as cache for use in high-performance virtualisation environments and also adds NFS NAS file-based access.

The ability to pool RAM as cache adds the possibility for even lower access times than is possible with server flash storage, as RAM sits on the motherboard with generally lower latency to the CPU.

FVP software – launched in version 1.0 in August 2013 – is deployed in a VMware hypervisor from where it intercepts application writes and sends them to flash – and now RAM – as cache that is replicated across multiple instances of the medium in separate hosts.

That hot data can then be retained for rapid access from the flash or RAM cache pool, while the data is also written to the storage array.

Version 2.0 adds a number of “editions” targeted at different customer types and preferences: FVP Standard, which allows flash or RAM to be pooled as cache; Enterprise, that allows flash and RAM to be pooled, though not together; and Essential Plus, which is an SME-targeted product that can be installed on up to three hosts.

FVP Enterprise also has so-called user-defined fault domains, in which customers can decide where data is replicated between flash or RAM instances, within the datacentre or beyond, for disaster recovery purposes. There is also no limit on the number of hosts or virtual machines (VMs) supported in this edition.

There is also FVP Subscription, that is bought on a subscription model and aimed at service provider customers, plus FVP VDI for virtual desktop infrastructure use cases.

PernixData is one of a number of flash caching software products that speed access to data in situations where apps running on virtual machines produce large volumes of random input/output (I/O).

The FVP software creates a form of write-back cache, where data is acknowledged to the host before it is written to main storage. This can risk data loss in cases where a server fails, but with PernixData FVP customers can specify that data is written to more than one (flash or RAM) cache to mitigate against host failure.

FVP is still only compatible with VMware hypervisors, but the addition of Hyper-V is planned for later this year.

Read more on SAN, NAS, solid state, RAID

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