A Match in Virtual Flash
Sometimes a match in made in heaven – and sometimes it's made in cyberspace. The latter is the case for Tel Aviv-based Sanrad, which was acquired Wednesday by UK flash drive supplier OCZ. OCZ makes flash drives and SSDs, and Sanrad makes management systems that fam out data to flash drives in multiple virtual machine environments. OCZ paid $15 million for Sanrad, according to reports.
It sounds like a mouthful, but it's actually very simple. Among Sanrad's products is one that assigns flash space to virtual machines, like those from VMWare or Citrix (Xen). Enterprise customers today are enamored of virtual machines, which let them run multiple operating systems on the same hardware without having to dedicate a machine to a specific OS. This way, enterprises can keep all their data together, using the different virtual servers and platforms in the most appropriate way to access and store the data.
A big advantage of Sanrad's system is that it doesn't require installing an agent in each VM in order to assign space on the flash drive. The result is that the assignment of space is speeded up and automatically managed by the software, without need for installing and dedicating anything – this saving time and money. And unlike many other virtualization and caching algorithms, Sanrad's system guarantees complete cache migration when managers want to move data on virtual volumes, as cached data is treated as a virtualized storage entity and can be dynamically migrated between virtual servers along with the virtual volumes without performance loss and without powering down the server, interrupting service of the VMs.
Thus, Israeli company's virtual server management system, which as lots of “tricks” to improve performance of flash drives, makes for a perfect match with a British maker of such drives. As Ryan Peteresen, head of OCZ puts it, “SANRAD's system has the ability to optimize caching strategies based on the application and support for VMware's vMotion, which sets the solution apart from others in the industry, allowing enterprises to finally realize the benefit of running a single unified virtualized environment.”