The core technologies behind Starboard Storage products are the Starboard OS and the Multiprotocol Accelerated Storage Technology (MASTTM) architecture. With the advent of solid state drives, Starboard saw the need to redesign storage from the ground up to enable SSD to be efficiently utilized to address the demands of modern application workloads.
The Starboard OS
The foundation for building great storage is software and the Starboard OS runs on industry standard X-86 architectures to deliver software defined storage platforms. The Starboard OS delivers a virtualized pool of storage with advanced data protection, multiprotocol access and a host of powerful management features. Download our Starboard OS Feature Primer and find out what is so cool about Starboard Storage : Starboard OS Feature Primer
The Starboard OS is a block-based storage system that also supports NAS. With support for Fibre Channel, CIFS, NFS and iSCSI you can run multiple workloads using your preferred choice of storage networking.
Advanced Data Protection
The Starboard OS delivers advanced dataprotection by eliminating traditional RAID Groups and controllers. The disk drives in a storage pool are broken up into thousands of smaller logical disks called 'Extents' and data is wide striped across all the disks in the system in stripes consisting of variable chunksizes. Data is still protected by parity and spares, but these are no longer dedicated drives. The result is higher performance, improved capacity utilization and faster recovery from drive failures.
Powerful Management Features
The Starboard OS also features:
Thin Provisioning of Capacity and Performance
Allocate-on-Write (space efficient and high-performance) Snapshots
Application Consistent Snapshots (VSS)
Zero Space Clones
VAAI (For VMware server offload and performance acceleration)
SSD Caching (Supporting independent Read and Write SSD Accelerators)
The MASTTM Architecture
The Starboard Storage (MAST™) architecture introduces major new concepts critical to delivering a hybrid storage platform and simplifying and optimizing application consolidation onto a single scalable storage system.
The MAST architecture supports solid state asan accelerator. The Starboard Storage solid state accelerator tier virtualizes solid state storage resources and provides thin provisioned performance to allof your applications. In Starboard AC-Series Systems The SSD Accelerator Tier includes a Write Accelerator (one or multiple mirrored write-back caches) and a Read Accelerator (LargeDRAM cache backed up by an even larger pool of flash/SSD). Because these are separate from the main disk drive pool they provide tremendous efficiency. The Write Accelerator is also used to accelerate Metadata.
The Starboard OS monitors the I/O characteristics of each application workload,and using the SSD Accelerator Tier, optimizes the performance per workload. Because of its design, the SSD Accelerator Tier uniquely handles the dynamic requirements of unpredictable mixed workloads. Rather than relying on complex upfront workload analysis and policy settings that make first-generation tiering architectures unresponsive to dynamic workload changes, the SSD Accelerator provides intelligent I/O stream detection to boost performance for both reads and writes on demand.
The Read Accelerator is further enhanced as inline compression* ensures that you can get more workloads into both memory and SSD, driving more performance and efficiency.The result is optimally tuned storage that maintains consistently high performance for your application workloads, in response tio the changing demands in your business. Starboard Storage AC-Series Systems offer leading dollar per GB and dollar per IOP, with constantly balanced, industry-leading performance.
The Dynamic StoragePoolTM sets Starboard apart from the rest. The Dynamic Storage Pool delivers a single pool of storage for all of your workloads and completely removes the disk capacity and management limitations associated with traditional storage architectures that rely on RAID groups. The Starboard Dynamic Storage Pool is the missing link between physical and virtual volumes, taking raw physical storage devices on one side and providing virtual LUNs with the required size, redundancy andstorage class characteristics on the other. By creating a Dynamic Storage Pool tuned by application workload, the Starboard Storage AC Series greatly simplifies the management of mixed workloads. There’s no more complex RAID group setup or management, no meta-LUNs, no protocol layering, and no lengthy re-builds or re-striping. The Starboard dynamic pooling architecture provides capacity on demand for your applications with three major benefits:
- No stranded disk space — All the capacity of the disks is used, with different types of RAID layouts supported across the same set of disks
- Simple expansion — Disks of any capacity can be added to the pool, with no regard to RAID settings
- Improved availability — Parity failures can be addressed at the stripe level, avoiding costly re-striping of an entire drive. Rebuilds are fast, dramatically reducing the time the storage is in a degraded state
Starboard Storage's dynamic storage pooling is much more granular than a RAID group, freeing administrators from dealing with drives in a static way and greatly simplifying the process of adding capacity. You no longer need to add drives of a fixed size or type. Capacity can be added as needed, mixing drive types and sizes as desired, for simple and cost-effective scalability. As new, higher capacity drives become available, they can be directly added to the storage pool in combination with existing drives. New drives automatically add capacity and performance to the storage pool, providing a highly scalable storage system.