SolidFire Storage with CloudStack

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Hosting performance-sensitive applications in a CloudStack-powered IaaS infrastructure requires an advanced block storage platform like SolidFire. No other vendor can combine a supported storage integration behind a production-ready CloudStack deployment, with the performance and Quality of Service (QoS) controls required to confidently host performance sensitive applications in a multi-tenant infrastructure.

CloudStack Storage

CloudStack allows an administrator to provision two types of storage: primary storage and secondary storage, primary storage being where active root and data disks are stored. A primary storage pool is typically shared between the VMs in any give cluster of hosts. Secondary storage is for longer term template, ISO and volume snapshot storage.

Overcoming the IOPS dilemma in IaaS

Primary storage for a CloudStack IaaS environments usually presents the biggest single cost in an organisations infrastructure. Getting the balance of capacity vs cost correct is key to building a successful IaaS implementation. Although ShapeBlue are able to advise our customers of the most cost efficient route, we’re often hampered by the fact that traditional block storage platforms do not have a high enough IOPS/capacity ratio to cost-effectively cloud-scale. This has often resulted in the need to buy surplus storage capacity in order to get the IOPS required.

As Solidfire is an all-flash based storage solution,designed specifically for scale-out,  it overcomes this challenge – giving a much higher density of IOPS per Gb storage.

SolidFire CloudStack integration

Solidfire storage can be fully automated via its own REST API and has a specific plugin for Apache CloudStack.

This allows automation of the underlying storage at the same time as other infrastructure components, greatly increasing operational efficiency in IaaS environments.

  • Fully automated storage provisioning through CloudStack
  • Dynamic volume creation for VM root disks and additional data disks
  • With SolidFire each volume receives guaranteed IOPS, avoiding “noisy neighbour” scenarios in a multi-tenanted environment.
  • Eliminates complexity by reducing manual storage tasks and administration time.

solidfire screenshotCloud Admins can define CloudStack storage offerings, defining the IOPS allocation; users can then choose these offerings when creating new storage within CloudStack.

This allows users to select minimum, maximum, and burst IOPS for a given volume and the ability to defer the creation of a storage volume until the moment the end user elects to execute a Compute or Disk Offering.

Avoiding noisy neighbours in a multi-tenant world

Any pooling of resources can lead to contention for those resources between different users or applications. This can have a high impact with shared storage with “noisy neighbours” causing performance impacts on other users of the environment.

solidfire - diagram - cloudstackSolidFire, when combined with CloudStack, allows specific tenants (or even specific virtual machines) to be given guaranteed minimum, maximum and burst IOPS . In public cloud environments, this allows service providers to offer guaranteed IOPS products and in private cloud’s it allows specific applications or departments to be guaranteed of performance levels.

Learn more

Watch our webinar on designing CloudStack IaaS environments using SolidFires nextgen storage

Next Steps

ShapeBlue are a Solidfire Gold Cloud Builder Partner and are able to advise customers on how best to leverage the power of SolidFire storage.

  • Product demonstrations
  • Pricing information and ROI calculation
  • Sizing & scaling advice
  • Virtual Proof of Concepts for your environment
  • On-site Proof of Concepts*
  • Design & installation services

Please get in touch if you would like to arrange a demonstration or POC