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Virtual drive for manage short and long term storage

Posted on 2014-03-21
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Last Modified: 2014-04-10
Hi,

How can I manage as virtual drive or similar in a windows system, a bundle of drives (SATA and SSD) works as only one drive that internally sort the files directly short-term storage in a SSD disk and after some weeks move to big SATA disk in transparent mode (In fact, the path for the files can't be changed)

The question is that we have a windwows application that works with files, and we want to improve the performance using as short term storage for the new files will be saved into the SSD disk and after some weeks move to a long term storage into  SATA disks array, but using always a unique virtual drive (Because the windows application store the path of each file and can't be changed)

Any suggestion?

Regards
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Question by:lnrivera
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Expert Comment

by:Aaron Tomosky
ID: 39947635
Many San/nas appliances have these features but most of them are $$$. How much storage do you need and what kind of budget do you have?
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by:lnrivera
ID: 39947909
We want to have a SSD 256 GB for short-term and RAID about 6TB for long term

The budget will always a problem, but I want to know more about this technology.

Thanks
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SelfGovern earned 150 total points
ID: 39947919
There may be no pre-built solution that I'd call inexpensive.

There are some great solutions built for enterprises that do this automatically -- systems like HP;s 3PAR, for instance, that can manage movement of "hot" blocks of data to and from SSD automatically.... but you're talking significant money.

If you want something on the cheap -- you might be surprised to find out that if you got a bunch of fast SAS drives in a RAID 10 setup and short-stroked them (i.e. set up a partition so that you were only using the outer, faster regions of the disks), you'd get performance equal to what you would on an SSD.

Failing that -- what you're really looking for is a hierarchical file system.  There's an open source project you can read up on at http://ohsm.sourceforge.net/  or another option at http://www.mjay.me/hierarchical-storage-management-the-open-source-way/ 

The cnallenge is that these are Linux-based -- and if you present them as NAS to a Window's box, you might lose most or all of the performance you hoped to get from the SSD.

There are also commercial software solutions for tiering data -- Quantum's StorNext, and HP's got an Autonomy product, for instance -- but I think these are designed to deal with tens of terrabytes of data.  If you're talking about less than 10TB in a Windows environment, it's probably cheaper to do the RAID 10/short stroke thing, or just buy all SSD for the short term.
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Assisted Solution

by:Aaron Tomosky
Aaron Tomosky earned 250 total points
ID: 39947944
At that capacity, id suggest single tier of storage that's sata/sas based with an ssd cache. Zfs would be my first suggestion, personally I use zfsguru, but nexenta is free at that capacity and can be easier to GUI manage. Remember to get a second one to clone to or backup some other way as raid is not a backup
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by:andyalder
andyalder earned 100 total points
ID: 39948572
I suspect this is a business so Nexenta Community Edition can't be legally used.

I don't know how good the inbuilt tiering that is ni 2012 R2 but it's worth a try - http://blogs.technet.com/b/keithmayer/archive/2013/09/13/step-by-step-build-an-automated-storage-tiers-lab-with-windows-server-2012-r2-and-powershell.aspx#.Uy7kT4XPzKc
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LVL 39

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by:Aaron Tomosky
Aaron Tomosky earned 250 total points
ID: 39948828
Really my main point is that at 6tb you're not going to justify tiering. Depending on your iops needs, 4x3tb spinning drives in a raid 10 might be fast enough to saturate gigabit. That's the real question: what's the minimum you can get away with iops wise to still saturate your network. Storage faster than that is a waste.
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