New Storage Day

storage May 06, 2021

Everyone likes shiny things, and at vBridge it's no exception.

As part of our continuing commitment to provide the best IaaS platform we can, and continually invest in the future we have added again to our storage platform.

We took delivery of another Pure Storage X50.

These are high performing NVMe arrays.  In this case we have 20 9.1TB NVMe modules providing 182TB raw space.  Performance and capability aside, these arrays are exceptionally easy to install, upgrade and deploy into production.

vBridge are Pure Partner and we have completed the Pure Implementation and Flash Array certifications to do this ourselves.

Safety First! Using heavy lift to rack the Array

Of course a bit of planning goes a long way, but installation is a case of racking the unit, connecting cables.   Each controller has 1G management ethernet, 2 10Gb replication ethernet ports, so plan where these are going.

In our case we have segregated Fibre Channel Storage Area networks, providing completely separate A and B fabrics between the Arrays and Compute.  Many on-prem deployments use converged ethernet and iSCSI to save on top of rack switching costs, but we find that having a low touch FC SAN just works reliably, without the complexity of FCoE or the risk of running all your critical iSCSI traffic over same paths as your network data.

Each controller is connected up with 4 16Gb FC optics, 2 to each fabric. giving 64Gb throughput to the array.  Why not 32Gb or even 64Gb paths?  Well our SAN Fabric and the Pure Arrays are certainly capable of using these.   It simply comes down to value and resiliency.   We have sufficient throughput and additional resilient paths by deploying a pair of 16Gb optics instead of 1 32Gb optic.

Once cabled, these are powered up they are essentially ready to go.  In our case we upgraded to the latest version of Purity (NVMe over fabric anyone?), run the simple setup wizard to set IP addresses etc.  check in with Pure support to ensure the array is phoning hone and apply tunables. That's it.  ready for production workload.

There are not many enterprise grade SAN platforms that are that easy and quick to get up and running.

One is good, Two is better

vBridge now have a few of these arrays.  The saving in management, along with density, rack space and power savings means that from an operational perspective we can stay on top of providing the best customer experience we can.

Phil Snowdon

Phil is the Technical Operations Manager at vBridge. Loves all things infrastructure. Network/Security/Storage/Compute and Virtualization.