Optimizing storage cluster configurations for multiple workloads – the art of the science

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Supermicro & Red Hat collaborate on easier storage procurement and deployment for customers

Most IT infrastructure buyers look to optimize their purchases around performance, availability, and cost. Storage buyers are no different. However, optimizing storage infrastructure across a number of workloads can become challenging as each workload might have unique requirements. Red Hat Ceph Storage customers frequently request simple, recommended cluster configurations for different workload types.  The most common requests are for throughput-optimized (such as kvm image repositories) and capacity-optimized workloads (like digital media object archives), but IOPS-optimized workloads (such as MySQL on OpenStack) are also emerging rapidly.

Simplified procurement for storage solutions

To simplify the evaluation and buying cycle, Red Hat teamed with server vendor Supermicro to build a set of validated storage configurations by workload type for a range of storage clusters from a few hundred terabytes to multiple petabytes. This makes Supermicro the first vendor to publish comprehensive results of Red Hat Ceph Storage performance across their server line.

Red Hat Ceph Storage combined with Supermicro servers, Seagate HDDs, Intel SSDs, and Mellanox or Supermicro networking represents an exciting technology combination that affords:

  • Choice of throughput or cost/capacity-optimized configurations
  • Range of cluster sizes, from hundreds of terabytes to multiple petabytes
  • Repeatable configurations that have been tested and verified in Supermicro laboratoriesPicture1

To further simplify the procurement process, Supermicro has created server and rack-level SKUs optimized for Red Hat Ceph Storage, according to the throughput and capacity-optimized workload categories described above. These SKUs can be ordered directly from the server vendor. Supermicro also announced today that they will start to ship Red Hat Ceph Storage as part of their cloud storage solutions. The reference architecture is being finalized, so check back with us soon for updates. You can find additional details at supermicro.com/ceph

In the spirit of software-defined storage, Supermicro solutions with Red Hat Ceph Storage utilize best of breed components available in workload optimized form factors from 1U to 4U. The solutions offer high storage density coupled with up to 96% power efficiency providing real-world advantages in both procurement and operational costs for deployments of all sizes.

A blueprint for success today and for the future

Organizations need simple and tested cluster configurations for different workload types to improve time to value of their storage solution. It is quite common for customers to request optimized configurations allowing them to start small and scale to different cluster sizes. Red Hat’s approach is to evaluate, test, and document reference configurations optimized for different workload categories, is focused on delivering specific and proven configuration advice.

In this regard, Red Hat and Supermicro are working on a new reference architecture that can serve as a guideline to customers looking to deploy Red Hat Ceph Storage for small, medium, and large clusters. The reference architecture whitepaper will include a list of the common criteria used to identify optimal Supermicro cluster configurations for Red Hat Ceph Storage. Watch this space for a link to the reference architecture whitepaper in a future blog post.

One of the key benefits of Red hat Ceph Storage is the ability to deploy different types of storage pools within the same cluster, targeted for different workloads.

  • Block storage pools typically use triple replication for data protection on throughput-optimized servers
  • Object storage pools typically use erasure coding for data protection on cost or capacity-optimized servers
  • High-IOPS server pools can also be added to a Red Hat Ceph Storage cluster (lab testing scheduled for summer 2015)

The reference architecture whitepaper will clearly outline the configuration decisions that could help optimize storage for these workload requirements.

Meet the Experts

If you plan to be at Red Hat Summit this week, please stop by the storage booth in the Infrastructure Pavilion (#306) to speak to our storage experts or to sign up for a free mentored test drive on Red Hat Ceph Storage. We hope to see you there.

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