WARPraid

WARPraid

WARP Mechanics offers a variety of enterprise class, ultra-dense storage RAID building blocks. This allows flexibility in customizing your solution for maximum capacity density, best-in-class performance, or a blend of the two approaches. The choice is yours.

Truly a turnkey solution, all software is pre-loaded and pre-configured at the factory, so only site-specific parameters need to be configured by the customer. Just rack the appliance components, cable it, and go.

Performance vs. Capacity Optimization Options

If designed for maximum density, WARPraid appliances can scale to >3PB in a rack. With built in compression, this can potentially double.

If designed for maximum performance, a WARPraid rack could deliver almost 200 Gigabytes per second of throughput. That’s “bytes”, not “bits”. Meaning, you could get about 2,000 gigabits per second, per rack, using a MemoryMatrix system set up as a WARPraid.

Rich Feature Set

WARP Mechanics appliances can deliver over a million IOPS per controller, with advanced features such as clustering, replication, compression, de-duplication, thin provisioning, and snapshots. This makes a WARPraid a great fit for solutions in media transcoding, scientific massive-scale processing, or any performance driven environment.

SCSI RDMA Protocol

SCSI RDMA Protocol over Infiniband (SRP for short) is a hyper-efficient storage networking protocol. It allows servers to access storage via remote direct memory access (RDMA) to the storage controller.

RDMA means that the initiator’s CPU is not involved in the data transfer. The Infiniband adapter in the host connects it’s RAM to the RAM in the storage controller, so that moving storage data is more like performing a memory-to-memory copy rather than traditional SAN access.

This makes higher throughput and lower latency possible than iSCSI, NAS, or even Fibre Channel can support. It also frees up CPU cycles on the server for executing applications. Thus, SRP is ideal for compute intensive environments, for throughput-heavy steaming applications, and for high IOPS workloads which are impacted by latency in the SAN.

The WARP Mechanics SRP target code is implemented at the kernel level for highest performance. In extensive testing, SRP has never been a bottleneck in a WARP Mechanics cluster. With the MemoryMatrix products, for example, it is possible to sustain close to line rate on reads: more than 4 Gigabytes/sec of payload throughput on a single interface. (>40Gbps, in network terminology.) In scenarios using disk instead of SSD, the network is so much faster than the disk IO rate that benchmarking tools cannot detect a difference between local vs. remote access times or data rates.

SRP initiator drivers compatible with WARP Mechanics are available on Linux, Windows, VMware, Solaris, and more. It is compatible with the Open Fabrics Enterprise Distribution (OFED) stack.

iSCSI

Running block storage over IP used to be a low end solution, only pursued by fringe customers.

Today, iSCSI is the dominant block-level network storage protocol, vastly outselling AoE, FCoE, and all other solutions combined.

WARP Mechanics supports broad iSCSI compatibility, and can drive near line rate on 10/40Gbps Ethernet, and even 56Gbps InfiniBand ports.

FCoE

Fibre Channel over Ethernet was once touted as being a replacement for FC. However, it has failed to gain market acceptance, with considerably less than 1% share of the SAN installed base. It also has a variety of technical shortcomings resulting from architectural flaws in Ethernet flow control. In general, iSCSI will provide higher performance, better reliability, and broader compatibility.

That said, WARPraid does support FCoE. There is no additional cost for this protocol. The controllers support iSCSI as well, and so do all known FCoE initiators. As such, customers can try both FCoE and iSCSI, and simply decide which works best in their environment.

Fibre Channel

The leading protocol for SAN was historically Fibre Channel.

To date, there are tens of millions of ports of FC infrastructure in production. FC was the highest volume player in SAN, and one of the few protocols designed from the ground up for storage networking. FC owes its popularity to technical superiority which resulted from that design.

Reality in high tech markets has more to do with business forces than with pure technical superiority, however. Only one major player remains in the FC switching market, and they have committed to an Ethernet strategy. This puts FC into a “declining market” status.

WARP Mechanics is committed to providing alternatives such as SCSI RDMA over Infiniband and iSCSI. Fibre Channel is still supported as a legacy protocol, but essentially all new sales volume is happening in the Infiniband and/or Ethernet markets.

Therefore the primary use case for FC interfaces in WARPraid platforms is therefore transitional: to import legacy FC storage, and facilitate migrating it onto more modern storage network infrastructure.

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