Bright Idea Impact Award winner: PernixData FVP
For all the time, effort and money that go into optimizing storage performance, you’d think the industry would have thought of this by now. But Modern Infrastructure readers tell us that PernixData FVP is an original and "slick" solution to the age-old problem of IO bottlenecks, and thus is the winner of the first annual Modern Infrastructure Bright Idea Award.
PernixData FVP is a fit for any VMware virtual environment that struggles with storage IO bottlenecks that threaten application performance. Running directly inside a server hypervisor, FVP aggregates each virtual host's server cache into clustered storage tier that can be used to optimize host-level reads and writes, thus minimizing application latency.
The beauty of this idea is that virtualization administrators can scale IOPS performance independently of storage capacity, using readily available server-side flash resources, readers said.
"Decoupling performance from capacity is a logical step to make and prepares us for a creating deterministic performance layer," said one reader.
Readers and experts also commended PernixData for solving both the read as well as write caching problem.
While read caching is pretty uncontroversial, not so write caching, "especially in virtual environments where you have a lot of eggs in one basket," explained one expert. "If you’re caching writes and something happens to that host, some of the writes will not have made it back to storage," a big no-no. PernixData FVP mitigates that risk by copying writes to other hosts, providing a measure of fault-tolerance.
Another feather in PernixData’s cap is its non-disruptive approach. Because it runs directly as a hypervisor-only module, rather than as an agent or separate virtual machine, readers said it was easy to deploy. It also allows administrators to set policies on a per virtual-machine basis, and integrates with the complement of VMware clustering tools.
"It provides an immediate boost to performance with very little change to the environment," said one reader. "No [vSphere Storage Appliance], no middleware, no IO tuning, huge [hardware compatibility list]," gushed another.
Finally, readers also noted that PernixData is remarkably mature and stable for a product that only recently became generally available.
"[I] haven’t seen a more complete execution of the product vision in many years," said one reader. "They solved some of the hardest problems known in the virtualization space -- hypervisor-based, clustering, non-disruptive acceleration, write acceleration with fault tolerance -- and did it in their 1.0 product."
Bright Idea Award finalists
PernixData won out over these companies with either brand-new or pre-generally available products: