BACKGROUND IMAGE: iSTOCK/GETTY IMAGES
Silver winner in the Storage magazine/SearchStorage.com 2014 Products of the Year Storage Systems: Disk and Hybrid Systems category.
Gridstore Inc. put a new twist on its Microsoft-only storage array by turning it into a hyper-converged system.
The Gridstore HyperConverged Appliance combines Gridstore's Windows 2012 R2-based storage nodes with servers in one box. Gridstore's vController operates in the Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisor. Customers can scale storage alone by adding Gridstore Storage Nodes or HyperConverged appliances to scale storage and compute.
Appliances can scale to 250 nodes and 12 PB. Administrators control I/O per virtual machine (VM) for predictable performance of business-critical applications. HyperConverged Appliances can be hybrid configurations with flash and spinning disk, or loaded with all-flash.
The hybrid version comes in three- or four-server configurations. Each server has two slots for 4 TB SATA drives and one for 1 TB solid-state drives (SSDs). A four-server configuration consists of 32 TB of hard drives and 4 TB of SSD cache. Each server also includes two 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
Gridstore's vController creates a storage grid and provides each VM with its own storage stack.
Gridstore's product line evolved to the HyperConverged Appliance. The vendor began selling storage specifically for Windows in 2013, and in mid-2014 it added the ability to cluster to 250 nodes and 12 PB in a pool. Customers can manage storage nodes and pools along with servers and hosts through Microsoft System Center's Virtual Machine Manager.
Gridstore won points from our judges for its integration with Windows.
"They are exceptionally integrated with Windows 2012 R2 servers, better than any other SAN storage," one judge said. "That's innovative."
Another added: "It's a Microsoft-only solution, but innovative and scalable on many fronts, including erasure coding for capacity and per-VM [quality of service] QoS controls for flash performance. You can build a massive cloud or a hyper-converged server farm."
Pricing for the Gridstore HyperConverged Appliance starts at $98,000 for three hybrid nodes with 24 TB of hard drive capacity and 3 TB of SSD cache.
Gridstore offers storage arrays that integrate with Hyper-V