Frequently Asked Questions on StorPool and building block storage out of standard servers

StorPool is distributed data storage software. It is a software only solution that provides a block device interface and behaves like a standard physical alternative. StorPool aggregates the performance AND capacity of the hard drives in your servers, into a single storage pool. Instead of buying a rack of servers and a rack of storage, with StorPool you can use the same servers for both functions and this architecture, delivers higher performance and better reliability, than traditional storage arrays.
StorPool uses standard x86 hardware, i.e. servers, drives, (hard disks or SSDs) and Ethernet network components. StorPool’s data storage software delivers all of the storage functionality on top of this standard hardware. StorPool is hardware agnostic and works with almost any standard hardware, regardless of the type and / or manufacturer. StorPool implements a SAN less architecture, (virtual SAN) that provides distributed block level storage, (block device), which is visible on all of the servers in the cluster.

StorPool is an infrastructure solution. It can be used by any business that needs shared storage or builds clouds. It is a perfect solution for all types of hosting companies and service providers e.g. MSP’s, ISP’s, telecom companies, data centers and is an ideal replacement for expensive and inflexible, SAN and all-flash storage arrays.

There are many reasons to choose StorPool, but in summary StorPool reduces complexity, Total Cost of Ownership, (TCO) and removes storage related bottlenecks. StorPool’s distributed storage solution can be used in numerous applications, whether the requirement is for higher performance, increased reliability, improved redundancy, greater flexibility and scalability and easy management, or simply to reduce capital expenses, by switching to a pay as you go/grow pricing model, StorPool is the storage solution that can provide all of these benefits in one package.
StorPool is used as a replacement for centralized storage solutions such as SAN’s, traditional and all flash disk arrays, or other less advanced storage software.
IOPS is the bottleneck of VM hosting and StorPool completely removes this bottleneck, making it possible to run twice as many virtual machines per server, hence increasing the profits of those who adopt StorPool and in turn, resulting in very happy customers.

  • Shared storage for Virtual Servers
  • DevOps – fast and flexible storage provisioning
  • Storage for Desktop virtualization (VDI)
  • Storage consolidation
  • Block storage for Private and Public Clouds
  • Replace a RAID set-up with a more reliable and faster data protection scheme
  • Replace a SAN with a simple, affordable and scalable solution
  • Provide Data Protection for Critical Data
  • Convert CAPEX to OPEX with a Pay as you grow storage solution

StorPool is a radically different distributed storage solution, providing higher reliability, and increased performance and scalability, all at a lower total cost. StorPool achieves this by using a distributed architecture and a highly efficient implementation policy.

  • Reliability – StorPool’s distributed storage architecture is a key component regarding providing extremely high levels of reliability. Server, network and drive failures are all handled seamlessly. The storage cluster automatically creates extra copies of data to maintain the prescribed level of redundancy. All client data and metadata is protected by end to end data integrity technology.
  • Higher Performance and Efficiency – StorPool delivers the maximum performance permitted by the underlying drives and network. StorPool uses minimal resources from each server, enabling the same server to be used for both storage and compute workloads if desired.
  • Scalability – StorPool is a scale out storage system, whereby it is possible to add and remove drives and servers from the StorPool cluster, at any time. The performance and capacity of the cluster, scales linearly with every server that is added into it.
  • Lower Total Cost – StorPool is licensed on an incremental pay as you grow model. There are no upfront fees and hardware CAPEX is minimized. StorPool reduces datacenter and utilities bills by 50 percent. This is achieved by combining storage and compute in the same servers. Further, StorPool reduces support costs by using standard servers instead of hard to support proprietary storage boxes.
  • Simplicity – StorPool makes it easy to set up, manage, provision and use your storage and is unmatched in terms of ease of day to day use. With StorPool, customers can do online changes to volumes, and the file systems on top, upgrade the cluster without any downtime, and much more.

Learn more on our “Advantages” page.

StorPool started with support for the Linux stack, however in our latest version we have added a highly-available and scale-out iSCSI target, which allows using StorPool with all kinds of other operating systems and hypervisors, including VMware, Windows Server and Hyper-V, among others.

As with any technology there are advantages and disadvantages of this approach. On the one hand iSCSI is a standard protocol which allows for wider compatibility. On the other hand it is not as intelligent as our own driver and for this reason StorPool cannot be deployed in a hyper-converged fashion with hypervisors using it via iSCSI. Over time we will be looking forward to add deeper integrations with various hypervisors.

StorPool is a software defined storage solution, with features that cannot be provided by traditional storage vendors:

  1. It scales in capacity and performance with every added server or hard drive
  2. It works on standard x86 servers alongside applications and virtual machines
  3. It protects the user against silent data corruption that inevitably occurs
  4. It has zero up front costs with a pay as you grow pricing model

Compared to other storage software, StorPool looks like “software defined storage 2.0″. with StorPool having rebuilt the storage stack from scratch, to achieve unmatched levels of performance, efficiency, scalability and simplicity, compared to what is offered by other vendors.

StorPool’s distributed storage software is installed on every server and controls the drives (both hard disks and SSDs), in the servers themselves. The Servers communicate with each other to aggregate the capacity and performance of all of the drives. Data is replicated and striped across all of the drives in all of the servers. In this case if a drive or a server fails, the user will still have active copies of their data. There are no central management or metadata servers required and the cluster uses a shared nothing architecture, with performance scaling with every added server or drive.

Learn more on our “How it works” page.

Pricing of a storage solution is becoming complex with all use case variety, software intelligence and deployment scenarios (like hyper-converged setups). We did our best to make the pricing of StorPool as simple and transparent as possible. The price driver is TB usable on SSDs and TB usable on HDDs. The standard option is a monthly recurring license, on “all inclusive basis”: the right to use the software, 24/7 support, new versions, fine tuning, proactive monitoring. We also have 1 and 3 year prepay packages, which come at a considerable discount.

The overall price of a StorPool distributed storage solution depends upon the use case, the exact storage requirements and design of the storage system itself, in terms of capacity, performance and features.

Please have a look at our Pricing page or Contact us for a for custom quote, tailored to your use case and needs.

Please view our dedicated “System requirements” page.

  • Distributed, scale out storage cluster
  • Thin provisioning
  • End to end data integrity
  • Data Tiering
  • Self healing
  • Data balancing
  • Hybrid (HDD+SSD clusters)
  • Caching
  • Data locality
  • Snapshots and clones
  • QoS – Quality of Service
  • On line reconfiguration
  • In service software upgrades
  • Advanced Volume management
  • API failover
  • AoE (ATA over Ethernet) support
  • Write-back cache (WBC)

Please view our dedicated “Features” page.