Improving Data Storage and Transport with Elastic Storage Solutions Inc.


Published: August 3rd, 2018

Elastic Storage Solutions Inc. (ESSi) is helping organizations with large-volume data to improve their data access performance and to scale the storage capacity of their data. ESSi is based out of Ottawa, Ontario and is comprised of a team of experienced Canadian tech titans. Still in the research and development phase, ESSi will be completing a data centre project in order to test their solution in a commercial-grade environment.

Tech Titans

The team at Elastic Storage Solutions is well known in Canada’s, and more specifically, Ottawa’s technology community. Founder of ESSi, Udo Neustadter, was previously on the founding teams at Rockport Networks and Cartiza Networks. In his role at Rockport as the VP of R&D, he worked on making the cloudlet and Data Centre Interconnect (DCI) more efficient for shared storage. Udo is now working with Mariana Oprea and Edward Sokolowski at ESSi. Mariana is expanding the relationships between the business segments, building on her IBM Cognos Analytics expertise as a Business Intelligence Solutions Specialist. Ed is mostly known in Ottawa for leading the systems design and product development at Cambrian Systems, which was later acquired by Nortel Networks. Since the Cambrian Systems’ acquisition, Ed spent the majority of the last 15 years between Canada, the US, and India working for a number of venture capital organizations.

Udo, Ed, and the team at Elastic Storage Solutions are looking to pivot the company from massive, data-at-rest storage solutions to focusing on fast, flexible, and scalable shared accelerated storage solutions. This technology is needed by organizations developing data intensive applications, like AI, analytics, advanced simulation, biotech, and genomics. The first step in this journey will be testing their shared accelerated storage solution in a CENGN project.

Storage Arrays Explained

ESSi offers software-defined shared accelerated storage arrays, so before we get into how their product works, let’s delve into what a storage array actually is. Storage arrays are systems that supply the storage to any computers that are connected over a shared network. They pool together storage media to create capacity and high availability of data from within one or multiple storage chassis. Storage arrays are tied to their own storage systems, which typically are hard disk drives (HDDs).

Shared accelerated storage arrays are performance enhanced storage arrays, using a much leaner storage protocol, Non-Volatile Memory express over Fabrics (NVMeoF) for remote access to data, and are typically implemented in all flash arrays using solid state drives (SSDs). Now that you have a quick background, let’s take a look at some of the features of the ESSi storage solution.

Features of the Elastic Storage Solutions Product

The Elastic Storage Solutions team are working on a purely software storage product that takes white box servers, with off the shelf HDDs as well as SSDs, and turns them into a flexible shared accelerated storage array. Their solution uses parallel access to SSD, HDD, and Random Access Memory (RAM) resources on multiple servers and presents them as a virtual, unified data storage Logical Unit Number (LUN). Something that is very useful for any company relying on organized storage from a wide range of available equipment.

Furthermore, ESSi monitors the data usage patterns, and using artificial intelligence implements a prescient algorithm for moving data through the performance tiers of the available storage resources. This keeps the solution efficient and high-performing. For example, data blocks that need frequent access and retrieval are loaded in the RAM disk portion of the array, which is the fastest tier of storage. If the client needs infrequent access or wants long-term storage for the data block, ESSi stores it in the HDD portion of the array.

Testing at CENGN

This project will be the first time ESSi deploys their solution in a commercial-grade environment. For this particular CENGN project, ESSi will be using CENGN’s services to validate the high-performing features of their data storage solution, focusing on pooling RAM resources and presenting these RAM resources to client servers as additional memory swap space. Simply put, the total of the RAM installed in the servers can be dynamically allocated and re-allocated amongst the connected servers.

To carry out their testing, ESSi will be supplied with a readily configured project slice including bare metal servers, an OpenStack tenancy, and pre-installed operating systems and virtual machines. This allows the ESSi team to focus on what’s important for their company, testing the functionality of their high-performance data storage solution.

Undertaking functionality testing at CENGN offers several advantages to ESSi, their product, and their future clients. Without having to build their own cloud or pay for cloud services, they can come to CENGN to receive technical help, business support, and most importantly, understand how their product is going to operate in a client’s facility. Upon completion of their CENGN project, the ESSi team will come out more knowledgeable about how their solution works for pooling and sharing RAM. In addition they will be provided a project report, in which they can show prospective clients real results of the performance capabilities of their product. We look forward to the next few weeks of working closely with Elastic Storage Solutions to carry out the test plan.

Beyond data centre and cloud, CENGN works with growing Canadian businesses to validate next generation networking solutions in SDN/NFV/SD-WANInternet of Thingsmobile networks, cybersecuritynetwork transport, and network applications. If you are interested in testing your company’s latest networking product, submit a project to CENGN by clicking the button below:

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About the Author

CENGN, Canada’s Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks, drives technology innovation and industry growth through our testbed, technical expertise, talent development, and partner ecosystem. Through our projects, CENGN enables small and medium Canadian Enterprises to test and validate promising technologies, removing barriers to product commercialization and accelerating market growth.

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