The next-generation data center (NGDC) is really drawing in the crowds with the sleek simplicity of our new hyper converged solution, NetApp® HCI. It brings a new level of ease of use—not only to data storage, but also to computewith the simplicity of installation, automation, and future growth. Although the concept itself is simple, too, it comes from observing and future-planning the business at the 30,000-foot view (or the Colorado favorite, 14,000 feet). Don’t get stuck in the weeds of infrastructure planning—the world is moving and changing too fast these days to put so much time, cost, and effort into a single issue. Taking advantage of automation, through new features like storage quality-of-service (QoS) policies, can help you keep up with the speed of the change.

 

The new QoS policies available in NetApp SolidFire® Element® OS continue to drive more ease of management, with integration into both the cluster UI and the API. Of course, QoS settings for each application do not have to belong to a set policy, but with hundreds of assignable policies, tracking and refining the policies can really make performance management a breeze. All volumes linked to a policy will change with any policy refinement. And you can unlink a volume if it needs special performance minimums or limits, even after it has been managed by a policy.

 

Element OS, the underlying software for NetApp HCI, is also the driving power for SolidFire webscale all-flash arrays and our Cisco-partnered converged solution, FlexPod® SF. All three solutions were built to provide ease in scalability, predictability, and automation to fit your business’s ever-changing storage needs. With the latest release of Element OS 10, ease of use extends beyond these growth-critical needs by providing a consistent experience through a single UI to simplify your data management even further. And, with Element OS QoS policies, it’s easy and effective to implement or update min, max, and burst for an array of applications all at once.

 

Even today, companies struggle with efficiently allocating performance resources, because traditional storage models were not built to support the individual capacity and performance requirements of collective workloads or multiapplication cloud environments. To increase capacity, a company often purchases more storage than it needs, driving costs up and efficiencies down with additional unused resources. And as workloads and applications continue to increase, companies need a simplified, cohesive solution to manage all of them on a single platform.

 

On a multitenant system, one application, or “noisy neighbor,” can easily consume an unfair share of the resources, leaving limited resources for the others to run on. Although several systems claim they also have storage QoS, or claim it on their roadmap by “bolting it on” as an afterthought, the system often experiences unfortunate side effects. Not all QoS is made the same. (If you’re skeptical, read How the Top Three “QoS” Technologies Will Fail You.)

 

SolidFire QoS settings have always eliminated resource contention and variable application performance caused by noisy neighbors. Long gone are the times of having separate dedicated systems for your database, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), and private cloud. They can all run simultaneously on any Element OS–enabled architecture, without performance impact to the business or storage resources. And, when your workloads scale, you can add another storage node to your cluster, nondisruptively, to keep scaling and growth just as simple.

 

As your company continues to grow, it is easy to scale the number of virtual machines (VMs) you run on a SolidFire or NetApp HCI system. This will continue to improve business productivity, especially with QoS policies. With different policies assigned, you can easily fine-tune the performance of thousands of VMs at a time. Running a large density of VMs no longer requires resource allocation planning or cautious architecting. With less prepping and thinking, there is more time for business innovation and growth. Just remember to add a node when you’re ready.

 

For more details about SolidFire Element OS QoS, read the Technical Report.

 

Learn more of the history of QoS design and take a closer look at some of the current QoS methodologies, including storage tiering, rate limiting, and prioritization.

Ashley Hemmen

Ashley is a Product Marketing Manager at NetApp. She creates business and technical content for NetApp’s cloud infrastructure products enabled by Element software, namely SolidFire and NetApp HCI. When she is not behind her computer, Ashley loves the Colorado outdoors, beaches, adventures, and chocolate chip cookies.