At the Microsoft Tech-Ed 2010 conference in New Orleans this week, Sanbolic took the wraps off two software solutions based on its Melio clustered file system – one for Hyper-V SAN environments and one for non-SAN infrastructures.

The first solution combines the Melio shared-storage file system with a number of enhancements designed for hosted cloud computing/storage environments.

“We expanded the ability to do back-end provisioning and to dynamically expand and shrink LUNs through an API that we provide to hosters,” says Momchil Michailov, Sanbolic’s CEO.

In addition, Sanbolic added guaranteed quality of service (QoS) and traffic shaping functionality that enables users to control bandwidth for virtual machines. The advantage, according to Michailov, is more efficient consolidation of virtual and physical infrastructures and a reduction in server over-subscription.

Sanbolic also added the ability to dynamically scale virtual instances so that they can have access to shared SAN storage.

The Melio file system integrates with Microsoft’s Hyper-V and System Center Management components to provide centralized storage management and high availability, and supports Hyper-V Live Migration.

ORCS Web, a provider of managed hosting services, is an early customer that is using Melio FS as part of its Windows Cloud Server offering. The environment consists of a Windows Hyper-V R2 cluster connected to Dell EqualLogic storage arrays formatted with Melio FS.

“Melio FS provides us with the ability to dynamically scale storage to the Hyper-V cluster and, most importantly, to control disk I/O with its QoS features,” says Jeff Graves, ORCS Web’s director of technology. “We can reliably provision disk resources to cloud servers to ensure both equitable division of resources and guaranteed bandwidth for specific workloads.

In a separate announcement this week: For sites that do not have — or can not afford — SANs, Sanbolic enhanced Melio with the ability for users to create high-availability Hyper-V clusters and to get SAN-like shared storage using excess capacity on servers’ internal disks.

“This allows you to aggregate excess capacity across all of the servers to create shared storage without the need for a SAN,” Michailov explains.

Host servers can present internal storage to the network using an iSCSI target such as Microsoft’s iSCSI Software Target. Melio 2010 mirrors targets across servers for high availability and creates a shared storage volume on the iSCSI target that can be concurrently accessed by multiple Hyper-V servers. Sanbolic also added asynchronous mirroring to the Melio file system.

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