During Tech Field Day 9 in Austin, Texas, I was finally able to get a first look at Infinio, a company that specializes in the acceleration of NFS workloads in VMware vSphere. Five short months later, Infinio is ready to release their Infinio Accelerator product into the eager hands of customers as version 1.0 GA.
As you may recall, Infinio leverages the use of host DRAM to provide a write-through cache for virtual machines. The Infinio Accelerator is an OVA that is deployed to each host. Each appliance creates a bridge network, builds a vSwitch, and leverages proxy ARP. The storage array ends up thinking that it is talking to the ESXi host, and the host ends up thinking it is talking to the storage array. The accelerator will only take action on NFS requests relevant to the storage – it won’t blindly capture other traffic. Today, the solution is focused on write-through performance acceleration, which ultimately provide an offload of reads from the array, which both boosts read performance and reduces read latency.
The results are impressive, as much of the “hot” data that is typically retrieved from the storage array can be provided locally at DRAM latency, as shown in the example below.
Snagging Infinio Accelerator
During a briefing with Infinio, the topic of product availability was brought up. The team wants to put in face time with the first wave of customers to ensure a quality experience. Therefore, for the short term, the team will hold a pre-installation call with a product specialist to ensure lines of communication are established on both sides.
I say kudos to this. It puts the customer’s user experience top of list and helps the Infinio team gain some valuable experience seeing their product further creep into data centers, which tend to operate much like the wild west. Later, Infinio plans to offer the software via a self-service download and purchase portal.
Infinio Accelerator is priced at $499 per host socket, meaning for the majority of servers it will be $998 per host (2 sockets). The license is perpetual (lasts forever) and includes 1 year of maintenance. There are also 30 day trials available.