Virtualization Technology News and Information
VMblog's Expert Interviews: Infinio Talks About Accelerator 3.0

Interview Infinio 

Yesterday, Infinio announced the General Availability of version 3.0 of Infinio Accelerator, which helps to bring unprecedented storage performance to VMware environments.  VMblog followers and VMware community members may already be quite familiar with Infinio, but from what I've already witnessed in a recent briefing, this 3.0 release is set to further Infinio’s reputation for delivering high performance storage acceleration for VMware environments.  I was amazed at the raw performance improvements coming out of this release.  VMware datacenters will be quite pleased. 

The solution is certified as VMware Ready and operates with VMware Storage Policy-Based Management.  And Accelerator 3.0 will serve the needs of organizations looking to deliver never before seen storage performance for next-generation applications supporting financial, healthcare, and scientific industries; as well as help IT departments with more traditional needs of back-office databases, enterprise applications, and virtual desktops dramatically reduce storage costs.

After the announcement, I reached out to Sheryl Koenigsberg, head of marketing at Infinio, to find out more.

VMblog:  Can you explain about what's new with Infinio's 3.0 release?

Sheryl Koenigsberg:  A lot!  Our engineers have been hard at work. 
  • First of all, there's the performance. We're seeing 1,000,000 and 20GB/sec throughput - and that's per host. Latency is below 100 μs.
  • This performance boost comes in part from our developing on VAIO - VMware's vSphere APIs for IO Filters. That also enabled us to easily support nearly any storage type for VMware: SAN, NAS, or DAS; supporting NFS, VMFS, VSAN and VVOLs.
  • We added VM-level acceleration so architects can focus the fastest storage resources on the right applications
  • Finally, we extended our memory-centric design to include the option to add SSDs and Flash devices.

What I think is cool is that we did all of this without sacrificing the simplicity that has been a hallmark of our product from the first version.  There are still no reboots or disruptions to install Infinio, and no changes need to be made to storage or to VMware.  All snapshots, reporting, and backup continue to work the same as they always have.

Infinio Accelerator 

VMblog:  Why did you choose to develop on VAIO?  Do customers see any benefit to that, or is it just easier for your engineers?

Koenigsberg:  It was definitely for our customers.  It enabled us to get significantly better performance than the alternatives, a Path Selection Policy (PSP) or a virtual appliance.  Like I mentioned earlier, it also enabled us to immediately integrate with most of VMware's storage types, not to mention when support for new storage features or media (like Storage-Class Memory) comes out, we'll have day-zero support for it too.

Finally, once we saw customers moving to ESXi 6.0, developing VAIO was the only way get VMware Ready certification on that platform.  We've seen over the years how mission-critical acceleration is, and having that certification was important to our customers.

VMblog:  There are a couple vendors in your space who have a cache built on RAM and flash.  What's different about your solution?

Koenigsberg:  We've always been a memory-centric company, where RAM was our design center.  Most other companies started with flash, then added RAM later.  Because we started with the fastest media, it was simpler for us to build a tiered cache - one where the hottest data is in RAM, then other important data is still server-side on the host, but in flash.  It's the best of both worlds: the speed of RAM with the increased cache size of flash.  And that's available on a per-VM basis.  Each application can have data on both RAM and flash, as necessary.

Also, what allowed us to ship a product that customers loved for so long without any flash was our unique deduplication engine.  Our architecture as a content-based cache means inline deduplication for all I/O we cache, whether it's going to RAM or now also to flash devices.  That means customers get the best possible resource utilization for any media on the server side.

VMblog:  What kind of environment does someone need to use Infinio? 

Koenigsberg:  This release, 3.0, requires ESXi v6 update 2, and vCenter v6 update 2.  Our sales team can help with some of the other more specific requirements, but there's nothing complex - and installing doesn't require any reboots or even maintenance mode, or changes to storage or VMware.

VMblog:  What if someone has VSAN or an all-flash array?  Should they even bother looking at Infinio?

Koenigsberg:  Absolutely worth a look.  The thing about an all-flash array is that all those IOPS are on the wrong side of the network.  For certain applications where organizations just need the fastest possible storage, like those next-generation applications supporting financial, healthcare, and scientific projects, Infinio will be better than an AFA.  For VSAN, we've been surprised to see great improvement, especially with hybrid VSAN configurations.  RAM is a magic thing sometimes!

VMblog:  How can someone get started if they're interested?

Koenigsberg:  We have a 90-second walkthough of the UI to give architects a taste of how the product works.  We also have a free 30-day trial - fully featured - that organizations can try starting with just a small amount of RAM from each host.  If the performance meets expectations, they can always add flash or SSDs and see what Infinio is really capable of!


Once again, congrats to Infinio on the latest release announcement, and thank you to Sheryl Koenigsberg for taking time out to speak with VMblog to educate us a bit more on Accelerator 3.0.

Published Tuesday, June 14, 2016 6:29 AM by David Marshall
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