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PernixData plans platform proliferation

PernixData executives this week disclosed three coming additions to its core FVP software, which clusters server flash and RAM to accelerate I/O and reduce latency.

PernixData claims around 400 customers use FVP to serve read and write I/O requests inside VMware hosts.

Founder and CTO Satyam Vaghani previewed the new products for storage bloggers this week at a Tech Field Day event, and vice president of marketing Jeff Aaron filled in details in a subsequent interview.

FVP Freedom, PernixData Architect and PermixData Cloud are expected to officially launch around the time of VMWorld in August, along with FVP 3.0. The additions will enhance FVP, although Freedom and Architect can be used independently.

Freedom is a free version of PernixData’s acceleration software that pools RAM but not flash resources. Freedom will be available on an unlimited number of hosts and VMs, and in clusters up to 126 GB of memory. Support will be limited to the PernixData community.

“We took read acceleration and said ‘We’re going to make that free,’” Aaron said. “We know once people feel it and touch it, they’ll want more [and upgrade to a standard FVP license.].”

PernixData Cloud is an analytics program that provides insights into customers’ environment.

It collects metadata from all customers using FVP – and in the future Freedom – and shares high-level results with other users to give them an idea of how their environment stacks up.

“We collect data and feed it back to you,” Vaghani said. “Our vision is to share the entire planet’s metadata with each other. You want to know if you’re running 4,000 hosts and 40,000 virtual machines, what other people who are running 4k hosts and 40,000 virtual machines are doing. Before this, here was no good data to share and no good way to share it.”

Or, as Aaron put it, “it’s like we’re crowd-sourcing” to provide information that analysts deliver in reports.

The goal of Architect is to monitor virtual servers and storage devices, and help optimize applications running on them. It does predictive analysis to detect when problems could occur, but can also be set to take prescriptive action to fix problems.

“If a VM goes bad, you get a red blinking light that tells you what went wrong,” Aaron said. “There are tools for monitoring servers and tools for monitoring storage, but nobody ties them together like this. It suggests remediation and can be automated to do the remediation.”

Aaron said while Architecture can run without FVP, it has great insight into a user’s environment and can fix more problems if used with FVP.

The next version of FVP will include support for VMware vSphere 6 and VVOLs, along with a new user interface and connectivity with Architect. FVP’s VVOL support should be interesting, considering Vaghani helped write the original VVOLs specs in his previous job as VMware’s principal engineer and Storage CTO.

Other items on the PernixData roadmap include support for Microsoft Hyper-V and KVM hypervisors (FVP only supports VMware today) and containers. But those additions are not expected in the next version of FVP.

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