Machine learning capabilities are relatively common among the bigger all-flash providers but differ in what they offer. Here are a number to consider.
HPE Primera's all-flash platform incorporates HPE's InfoSight technology, which uses machine learning to predict and prevent potential issues. InfoSight also analyzes workload patterns and makes real-time recommendations to optimize performance and efficiency.
Another player is Dell EMC PowerStore which uses integrated machine learning to optimize performance, efficiency, and data placement. The platform uses intelligent data services to automatically tier data and optimize efficiency without requiring manual admin work.
IBM comes to the table with its FlashSystem 9100 and AI-based predictive storage analytics and storage resource management.
And you can also look at NetApp AFF A-Series which comes with what NetApp calls its AI-informed predictive analytics and corrective action.
Just to define our terms in this context, a cluster is a set of compatible (usually identical) storage arrays with a dedicated interconnection for high-speed and low latency. They share IO and are run by a cluster-specific operating system. A federation is a less tightly related group of storage types that don't necessarily have identical nodes yet still work together as a single storage resource.
Federating or clustering in an all-flash environment is possible but the first thing to determine is if doing so fits your use case and that will depend on your workload requirements, including IOPS, latency, and throughput. These factors will help establish capacity and performance requirements and affect any clustering and load-balancing decisions.
If you do need to set up clustering or federating, a crucial decision is choosing the right appliances. Obviously, they should be designed for clustering and support the functionality you need, whether that's Active-Active clustering, virtual IP addresses, shared storage, etc. Solutions to look into include HPE 3PAR StoreServ, and Dell PowerStore.
The configuration process is going to vary from vendor to vendor and appliance to appliance but could involve setting up virtual IP addresses, shared storage access, and cluster communication channels. Once the cluster is set up, load balancing is the next step. Solutions that support federation provide systems and analytics to help distribute and optimize workloads. Still, it's important to monitor performance and adjust things as needed.
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VMware is definitely a behemoth and many all-flash storage systems include VMware integration. Among the bigger players are the following that you might want to look at:
NetApp AFF offers tight integration with VMware vSphere, including VAAI and VASA support. The platform also offers integration with VMware NSX, enabling you to virtualize your network and security infrastructure.
Pure Storage FlashArray also offers strong integration with VMware, including VAAI, vCenter, and VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM). FlashArray also offers a plugin for the vSphere Web Client for management of storage policies directly from the vSphere environment.
Dell has a number of options. The Unity line supports VMware VAAI, vSphere, and vCenter integration. The platform also offers automated storage tiering to optimize the placement of data in VMware environments. Dell's PowerStore solution provides native and scalable vVols support, and Dell notes that its PowerMax line "is engineered to meet the most demanding VMware requirements."
HPE's Nimble Storage solution also integrates with VMware, including VAAI, vCenter, and VMware SRM and, like Pure Storage's FlashArray, offers a plugin for the vSphere Web Client. It also supports vSphere vVols.
IBM FlashSystem's integration with VMware includes VAAI, vCenter, and VMware SRM. It also offers integration with vRO to help with insights into the performance and utilization of your VMware environment.