Virtualization Technology News and Information
FlashSoft Introduces FlashSoft SE 2.0 for Windows and Linux

FlashSoft Corporation, the Flash Virtualization Company, today announced FlashSoft SE 2.0, its next major software release to enable enterprise SSD or flash PCIe as a persistent read-write cache in the server. FlashSoft SE 2.0 accelerates server performance from 3x to 10x and supports concurrent workloads 3x to 5x greater for applications running on Windows and now Linux operating systems.

Bottom line: The use of flash memory inside the server to provide a cache that can eliminate IO latency represents a fundamental shift in enterprise computing architecture.

As CPU speeds and memory power have increased over the years, IO performance — the speed at which servers can access data and write new data — has not kept pace, a problem commonly known as the “IO bottleneck.” This IO bottleneck is the greatest obstacle to many of the most important computing trends today: virtualization, big data analytics, real-time context-aware computing, and others. Because caching on server-tier flash can economically increase both server performance and concurrent workload by eliminating the IO bottleneck, server-tier flash-based caching is one of the most important new trends in server and storage architecture today.

FlashSoft shipped FlashSoft SE, its first commercially available software for flash-based, server-tier caching, in June 2011 followed by a second product, FlashSoft SE-V, in August 2011 to accelerate performance for applications running on virtual machines on the VMware ESX platform. With this release, FlashSoft SE 2.0 extends the benefits of its solution to Linux-based applications, which often have critical IO requirements. Overall, FlashSoft SE 2.0 provides over 800 feature enhancements to increase performance, manageability and resiliency.

“The most important advances in this release — support for Linux, the larger cache size, an improved GUI for real-time access to operations and data, and many others — came from direct feedback from our customers,” said Ted Sanford, co-founder and CEO of FlashSoft. “As we delivered our software to customers and partners for evaluation and production use over the course of this year, our end users’ feedback has helped us define the most critical requirements for flash-based caching in the server. This release is a significant step forward for caching on enterprise flash because it incorporates our experience applying our software to real-world IT challenges.”

Accelerates Performance of Linux Servers

With a platform-independent core caching engine, FlashSoft SE 2.0 can be implemented on a variety of operating systems. In this release, the product is available for the Linux operating system as well as Windows Server. Demand for IO acceleration on Linux is very strong due to the large number of enterprise applications managing large data sets, performing near real-time analysis for a variety of industries, and processing information for online access in massive volumes. Beta testing for FlashSoft SE 2.0 for Linux has shown dramatic performance benefits to applications running on Oracle and MySQL databases.

Larger Cache Size – Up to One Terabyte

Some of the greatest IO latency challenges are found in applications that must access and process terabytes of data. Enterprise SSDs and PCIe flash cards have grown as large as 1TB. To support these new flash devices, FlashSoft SE 2.0 supports a maximum cache size four times larger than before. The optimal cache size depends on the application being accelerated and the structure of its data, but an effective cache is often as small as one tenth the size of the accelerated volume, so FlashSoft SE 2.0 can accelerate applications managing as much as 10TB of active data or more.

Improved Resiliency and High Availability Through SSD RAID Management

FlashSoft SE has always supported the use of SSDs in RAID1 configuration to provide an essential safeguard for data integrity. FlashSoft SE 2.0 builds on that ability with a new SSD RAID management feature that detects a failing SSD, automatically issues an alert, and switches the cache to pass-through mode so that no data is written to an SSD lacking a redundant backup.

Over 60 Operational Statistics and Management Functions Accessible Through New GUI

FlashSoft SE 2.0 provides a completely redesigned GUI, providing runtime data and statistics through the Windows Management Interface (WMI) API. Administrators have control over management functions and can observe a wide range of data in real time to insure their cache is working properly and providing the maximum benefit. FlashSoft SE 2.0 operational statistics can also be incorporated into any systems management tool that supports the WMI API.

Hundreds of Improvements, Large and Small

In total, FlashSoft SE 2.0 delivers over 800 improvements and feature enhancements. Some changes are easy to see, such as the streamlined installation and product registration process. Others are deep below the surface, such as optimizations to read caching algorithms within the core caching engine. Together, these improvements make FlashSoft SE 2.0 a significant advance in the state of the art for server-tier, flash-based caching.

Improved Performance on Virtual Machines

Introduced in August during VMworld, FlashSoft SE-V is a custom package of FlashSoft SE designed to accelerate multiple virtual servers running on the same VMware ESX host. With the release of FlashSoft SE 2.0, FlashSoft SE-V will also be upgraded to version 2.0, with support for virtual servers running both Linux and Windows.

Pricing and Availability

Both the Windows and Linux versions of FlashSoft SE 2.0 are currently in beta testing. The final releases will be available for evaluation and purchase later this month. Pricing begins at $2,000 and is based on the number of servers accelerated and types of SSDs employed.

Published Thursday, October 06, 2011 1:07 PM by David Marshall
FlashSoft Introduces FlashSoft SE 2.0 for Windows and Linux … | Linux Affinity - (Author's Link) - October 6, 2011 5:00 PM
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