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Storage testing and monitoring product maker Virtual Instruments has rebranded its workload generation product to WorkloadWisdom and expanded NAS testing capabilities by adding support for the SMB protocol and 25Gbps Ethernet workload generation.
The company has two key product areas. The first is its VirtualWisdom storage monitoring products that enable customers to measure SAN, NAS and software-defined storage I/O for hundreds of metrics for troubleshooting and performance optimisation purposes. And then there is its WorkloadWisdom platform, which can generate near-realistic test workloads based on existing traffic on customers’ systems.
WorkloadWisdom – launched this week at version 6.0 – is a rebrand of the company’s Load Dynamix platform, acquired by Virtual Instruments in 2016.
The latest moves add the SMB protocol to existing NFS NAS protocol support in WorkloadWisdom. SMB is effectively the successor to the CIFS protocol. Both are aimed at use with Windows clients, whereas the NFS protocol is used more in Unix and Linux environments.
Likewise, the addition of 25Gbps Ethernet workload generation – to existing 32Gbps Fibre Channel and 40Gbps Ethernet – addresses the needs of NAS users (although iSCSI SANs could, in theory, use it too). The use of 25Gbps Ethernet is widely seen as a way to connect rack devices to top-of-rack hardware at less cost and more efficiently than existing protocols.
SMB protocol support is added to existing SAN (Fibre Channel and iSCSI), NAS (NFS) and object (S3, HTTP/S, Swift and Cinder) protocol support.
Chris James, Emea marketing director at Virtual Instruments, said: “SMB is the way the market is going. Fibre Channel ruled the SAN market for years, then iSCSI became more prevalent, so we added that capability. In the NAS space, SMB is augmenting that, so we need to have it covered.”
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Last year, following the purchase of Xangati in 2016, Virtual Instruments added some ability to monitor public cloud storage performance.
This includes support for Netflow Cisco IP traffic monitoring – but are there plans to add support for hybrid cloud storage environments?
Such functionality might become more pressing with the rise of storage technologies built for hybrid cloud use with a single namespace accessible on- and off-site.
Recently, for example, there has been the announcement of Qumulo’s QF2 file system and Cloudian’s Hyperstore 7, which allow file and object storage in hybrid cloud operations, and Microsoft’s purchase of Avere, which also has a unified on-prem/cloud file storage capability in its C2N product.
James added: “If you manage your own environment or our product is in your cloud provider’s environment, then we can monitor performance.
“But when you get to AWS and Azure, they don’t provide application performance SLAs, or even availability SLAs, so the further you go into the public cloud, unless the provider has Virtual Instruments in there, then there’s no way we can monitor performance.”