Xiotech has added continuous availability to its ISE storage blades across datacentre, campus and metro areas.
If one ISE (Integrated Storage Element) – a sealed canister of disk drives and intensive firmware – fails, then connected physical or virtual server applications are automatically switched to a second ISE, with no interruption to processing. The same is true if the network infrastructure linking servers to one ISE fails, rendering it inactive. As long as there is a network link to the second ISE, then applications can continue their operations.
This active-active design clustering a pair of ISEs comes with no additional software licensing costs and involves mirroring across a synchronous Fibre Channel link, with full read and write access to both ISEs in the cluster. The ISEs in the cluster don't have to have identical configurations, as any ISE blade on the network can be used as the mirror for host-presentable, independent copies of storage volumes (LUNs).
Xiotech says it has worked to minimise the IOPS performance impact during initial synchronisation. After synchronisation, its design uses "multi-path load balancing to increase ISE storage blade IOPS performance".
ISE Continuous Availability will be available for early customer access in April, and generally available in the June-July timeframe. ®