Welcome Back.

In the first part of this series, you were introduced to the Sanbolic SDx Platform and its unique capabilities that make it unequaled to any other software-defined storage (SDS) solution available on the market today.

In part two of this series, we’ll discuss how the Sanbolic SDx Platform improves company economics while making life at the office a lot easier for IT administrators.

In addition to the many jobs performed on a daily basis lies one, if not the primary goal of IT administrators — extracting the greatest value from IT resources in order to maximize productivity at the lowest possible cost. While achieving this goal can be difficult in and of itself, few will argue it would be even harder to achieve when one’s CapEx and OpEx costs are significantly higher than they need to be in the first place.

Using the Sanbolic SDx Platform, customers leverage the power of SDS and the cost-benefits of commoditization to realize economies akin to those found in the data centers of today’s largest cloud providers. For IT administrators, this means significant reductions in both the time and effort required to manage infrastructure, workloads and data, as well as enhanced availability and scalability of critical resources, and improved operational efficiency… all of which lead to dramatically lower administrative and operational cost.

Users of the SDx Platform Have Achieved the Above Through a Combination of the Following:

Comprehensive (100% infrastructure-agnostic) software stack that provides enterprise-class storage and data management capabilities at the host layer on top of converged/hyper-converged infrastructures.
One-of-a-kind distributed (shared) storage technology that offers unparalleled resiliency and scale-out capabilities (thousands of nodes and exabytes of storage capacity).
Compatibility with industry-standard compute and storage hardware.

While traditional storage systems (with their antiquated architectures) introduce additional components and tiers to the infrastructure, making storage and data administration cumbersome and complex, the Sanbolic SDx Platform streamlines these tasks to make life at the office substantially easier for administrators.

For example, most proprietary hardware-based storage arrays introduce “siloed” management, requiring IT administrators provision, manage and protect storage volumes (and the data that resides on those volumes) as individual “islands” that can only be managed using the vendor’s specific management interface. In environments comprised of various storage arrays (different makes and models), devices (Flash, SSD, HDD), and protocols (iSCSI, Fibre Channel, FCoE, Infiniband, SAS, etc.), something that has become increasingly common in today’s enterprise data centers, this presents administrators with even greater challenges. And then there’s the added complexity associated with geo-distribution. How does one go about managing all these resources in environments that span multiple data centers? Just thinking about it is enough to send shivers down the spines of most IT administrators.

Let’s Not Forget Disaster Recovery (DR)

With data being an organization’s most critical resource, IT administrators in companies of all sizes are frequently presented with the perceivably overwhelming task of implementing a DR solution that ensures data is not only available, but accessible, during site-wide outages. Unfortunately, most storage vendors rely on replication to accomplish this feat, which requires customers deploy more of the vendor’s hardware in multiple locations. More hardware means more administrative time and effort, and even higher CapEx and OpEx. Nice for the vendor, not so nice for administrators.

Finally, many storage arrays lack the ability to incorporate different types of storage devices (i.e., Flash, SSD, HDD) to improve application performance and/or expand capacity without further increasing storage and data management efforts.

When We Look at the Sanbolic SDx Platform On the Other Hand

We see an entirely different picture: one that makes accomplishing all of the above tasks a heck of a lot easier for IT administrators.

For starters, the SDx Platform enables administrators to quickly and easily provision, manage and protect storage volumes (and the data on those volumes) from a single management interface, regardless of where the underlying disks are housed (i.e., in different storage arrays, JBODs, JBOFs, server-side) or what storage protocols are used to present them to application servers.

Note that in hyper-converged solutions (compute and storage components located within the same physical enclosure) utilizing the Sanbolic SDx Platform, application servers can host and share access to volumes, thereby eliminating the additional components (storage arrays, switch fabrics, HBAs/CNAs, cabling, etc.) and tiers associated with conventional SANs to further reduce administrative cost and complexity.

With the SDx Platform’s inherent RAID capabilities, administrators can also create shared volumes using disks located in different data centers whose data is mirrored synchronously, thus ensuring data availability and accessibility during site-wide outages. In contrast to DR solutions offered by traditional storage vendors, this approach greatly reduces administrative efforts while keeping expenses down, offering customers a truly simple and cost-effective DR solution.

Harnessing exceptional scale-out capabilities (up to 2,048 nodes per cluster and volume capacities up to 18 exabytes), both of which (compute and storage) can scale dynamically (and independently of each other), the Sanbolic SDx Platform provides unified scale-out of infrastructure and workloads across heterogeneous storage environments. The Platform also enhances IT agility by enabling storage devices of differing types (Flash, SSD, HDD) to be integrated seamlessly (and used intelligently) for the purposes of improving application performance and expanding capacity without increasing storage and data management efforts.

Of Significance is the Unprecedented Flexibility of the Sanbolic SDx Platform

Being infrastructure-agnostic means customers can use any industry-standard compute and storage hardware they choose, whether they already own the equipment or plan to purchase new hardware. In the former case, the SDx Platform can augment an existing infrastructure by consolidating (converging) the storage back-end and enabling unified management and scale-out of both infrastructure and workloads. In the latter case, customers can arbitrate and purchase storage devices based on their requirements and incorporate them into their existing infrastructures to improve performance and add capacity and/or install the devices inside their application servers and use the SDx Platform to create hyper-converged solutions that offer enterprise-class storage management features and advanced data services at a fraction of the cost of proprietary hardware-based storage systems.

It is important to note that regardless of the approach (converged or hyper-converged) one chooses to implement, the Sanbolic SDx Platform greatly improves IT agility, flexibility, and operational efficiency without requiring customers “rip and replace” their existing storage equipment — a feature that only a pure software-based SDS solution can provide and one that exemplifies the unique capabilities of the SDx Platform.

Now that we have a better understanding of what the Sanbolic SDx Platform is all about and how powerful it really is, in part three of this series we’ll discuss how the SDx Platform fits into the Citrix product portfolio.