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OrionVM & TidalScale Unveil Unprecedented Performance for Big Data and Analytics via Cloud-Enabled Large DRAM Tiers

Unique technology partnership provides on-demand instances far larger than those available from ordinary cloud vendors

2017 Open Compute Summit, Santa Clara and San Francisco, Calif., March 7th, 2017 TidalScale, the leading provider of Software-Defined Servers, and OrionVM, an award-winning next-gen Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provider, today announced a partnership to deliver hosted TidalScale Software-Defined Servers via the OrionVM Wholesale Cloud Platform.

This partnership will give organizations struggling with Big Data, analytics and memory-intensive computing challenges on-demand access to a suite of TidalScale Software-Defined Servers ranging in capacity from 1.3TB to 13TB of DRAM and up to 400 cores. The large-scale Software-Defined Servers are assembled from standard physical server hardware running on the OrionVM Cloud Platform. These instances are far larger than any available from ordinary cloud vendors, yet they are available at lower cost per gigabyte of memory.

TidalScale’s HyperKernel™ software empowers OrionVM to easily aggregate processors, memory and storage into very large virtual servers. These Software-Defined Servers can flexibly scale to match the requirements of essentially any application, with no changes required to application software or operating systems.

Working closely with OrionVM, TidalScale is now able to provide an on-demand model for their Software-Defined Servers. This partnership allows for the easy deployment of traditional cloud infrastructure alongside the high memory TidalScale instances, all tightly interconnected by a high speed, low latency network.

“Through this partnership with TidalScale, we are now able to deliver very large memory virtual machines on demand by leveraging our Metal-as-a-Service products bundled with the TidalScale HyperKernel,” said Sheng Yeo, CEO, OrionVM. “The ability for OrionVM to use standard servers and assemble them into a Software-Defined Server of any size allows our customers to easily scale their application past the boundaries of a single physical machine – and well beyond the limits of servers available from AWS. The TidalScale HyperKernel on OrionVM’s Wholesale Cloud Platform makes it easy to run memory-intensive applications like data mining, machine learning and simulation in the cloud.”

“TidalScale’s ability to pool physical servers into a single virtual server is unique in the industry and provides breakthrough performance while requiring zero modifications to applications,” said Gary Smerdon, CEO, TidalScale. “Making the TidalScale service available via OrionVM’s innovative cloud technology will significantly reduce friction and complexity for a wide range of clients by eliminating the need to purchase their own hardware and manage a datacenter. This is by far the most cost-competitive solution available for running memory- or core-intensive applications natively on systems that well outclass ordinary servers.”

To learn more about the TidalScale offering, click here to schedule a free demo. TidalScale is a sponsor of the 2017 Open Compute Summit and will be exhibiting Wednesday and Thursday, March 8 and 9 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.

For more information on OrionVM, click here. Follow OrionVM on Twitter (@orionvm) and Facebook (https://facebook.com/orionvm).

 

About TidalScale, Inc.: TidalScale is the leading provider of Software-Defined Servers that simplify the way companies can apply computing resources to tackle big problems. TidalScale solutions deliver in-memory performance at any scale, are self-optimizing, use standard hardware and are compatible with all applications and operating systems. TidalScale is making it possible for more organizations to draw insights from big data faster, more easily, and with greater flexibility than ever before. Find out how TidalScale transforms the economics and time constraints of working with big data at http://www.tidalscale.com.

About OrionVM: OrionVM is a wholesale Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider. The company’s revolutionary technology suite (virtual storage, compute, orchestration and virtual networking) enables the delivery of high-performing, highly resilient cloud solutions at market-leading price-to-performance ratios. The OrionVM Wholesale Cloud Platform supports private, public, hybrid & bare-metal cloud deployments and is built either for internal consumption or resale. Global customers include tier-1 telcos, publicly listed SaaS companies, and government agencies. The OrionVM company headquarters are in Sydney, Australia and in the San Francisco Bay Area. More information can be found http://orionvm.com

 

TidalScale Contact: Chuck Piercey, Product Management, TidalScale, Inc. +1-650-492-6108

OrionVM Contact: Daniel Pfeiffer, VP Marketing & Partnerships, OrionVM +1-415-805-8030

Hyperconvergence & Why It Matters for Enterprise Cloud

Converged-Infrastructure_OVM

“A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have to start over with a working simple system.” – John Gall

Hyperconvergence is all the IT rage these days—even Gartner recently created a magic quadrant dedicated to the topic. With weekly announcements about multi-million dollar VC investments and new product releases, this space is still relatively young and pits some of the larger traditional vendors against a cast of emerging startups.

For all the buzz and spin around it, however, hyperconvergence itself is about simplicity—a minimalist approach that addresses many of the current cloud limitations and headaches. For example, a big challenge for today’s high-level IT decisions makers is finding a careful balance between the often competing technical, financial, and strategic priorities of their companies or clients. For most organizations, reducing the amount of time and effort that it takes to deploy new business-facing IT services is a complicated mess, and there are no clear paths for doing this easily, quickly, and affordably from launch to scale. The datacenter architecture is simply too rigid or too complex. Business units have to wait while IT prepares the environment, and then everyone crosses their fingers hoping there is sufficient resources to support demand and critical operations.
Hyperconverged infrastructure has the potential to help effectively address these issues, and in turn reduce or maybe even end the need for IT finger-crossing.

What is Hyperconvergence?

Converged systems are a natural progression from traditional IT infrastructure, which typically involves separate silos of systems and operations. In these legacy environments, storage, servers, and network are discrete elements that need to be coordinated, connected, and managed. The concept of converged systems combines two or more of these infrastructure components as a unified pre-engineered solution usually deployed on commodity hardware.

Hyperconverged systems take this concept of convergence to the next level. While converged systems are separate components engineered to work well together, hyperconverged systems are modular systems designed to scale out by adding additional modules.

Why Does it Matter to Enterprise IT?

“Software licenses for virtualization often cost more than the actual systems, and companies with hyper-scale data centers (e.g., Google and Amazon) don’t pay VMware or Microsoft for virtualization licenses — why should you?”  – Nimbox

One of the most significant advantages of this approach is leveraging a relatively simple design for a complex infrastructure environment. Normally, it could take months to design an infrastructure using a mix of best-in-class technologies. The differences between a hyperconverged system and servers with a bunch of disks are evident in engineering and software, with hyperconverged solutions leveraging improvements at the storage controller software layer to allow these systems to scale out.

In addition to the simplified architecture, there’s also a simplified administration model. The hyperconverged systems are managed via “a single pane of glass.” Instead of having a set of applications and a team to manage your storage array, a team to manage virtualization, and a team to manage the server hardware, one team (or in some environments one person) can manage the complete hyperconverged stack. What all this hardware simplification and architectural consolidation boils down to are immense savings and finally reasonable costs for scaling and growing out your Cloud IT footprint.

Platform or Appliance?

Most common definitions of hyperconvergence focus on appliances. The drawbacks to these appliances include the inability to make granular upgrades or tweaks to the system. Storage growth and performance tuning are also pain points for most organizations. If a cluster runs low on storage but not compute, you must still upgrade overall compute capability by adding another appliance. Likewise, if you want to tune storage disk configuration for a particular application, this can be a challenge, too.

In the past, the remedy for these drawbacks was the “build-your-own platform” approach. For many, the risk, lead-time, and cost of doing so were prohibitive, and most preferred to wait for solutions to mature and cover their platform requirements.

That wait is now over. OrionVM has built a platform that can be branded and deployed as an organization’s own hyperconverged cloud. The white-label functionality of this solution allows an organization to have unlimited levels of resellers and end users, bringing the advantages of simple design, decreased administrative overhead, and simplified vendor management to highly virtualized environments without the common drawbacks associated with appliances.

Simplifying the Datacenter

While the cloud continues to be considered not suitable for everything, the datacenter will continue to play an integral role for many companies. Even those companies that embrace the cloud are unlikely to move everything, so there remains a need to simplify the datacenter, especially when it comes to supporting new initiatives. Building datacenter environments is a lot of work and requires significant planning to ensure capacity. The emerging hyperconverged market can be of great assistance in meeting datacenter integration needs and can scale to fulfill requirements of even the largest of organizations. It also simplifies the datacenter by providing a one-stop shop for the entire environment with a single phone number for support.

With the demand for these solutions expected to rise significantly in the coming years, it seems likely that these organizations will dramatically alter the landscape of cloud providers, redefining how and by whom cloud services are sold. As IT departments are continually being directed more toward the business and less toward the technology, the need and desire to turn to solutions like the cloud and hyperconverged infrastructure will cause CIOs to simplify their datacenter and redistribute workloads in new and agile ways.

OrionVM – Taking Hyperconvergence to the Next Level Since 2010

OrionVM Hyperconverged architecture

Hyperconverged solutions are the future of cloud IT. These systems continue to garner a tremendous amount of momentum in the marketplace. Hyperconvergence is at the heart of what differentiates OrionVM from every other CSP out there, and is the cornerstone of what makes us different. But not all hyperconverged systems are created equal—OrionVM has a custom-built platform that possesses some unique features and, as a result, passes along some significant advantages. OrionVM has built its hyperconverged stack from the kernel up – we use open source tech e.g. Linux and XEN hypervisor, then combine that with supercomputer mojo (e.g., 40 gig low latency Inifniband interconnect as opposed to 10gig Ethernet.)  The end result is a complete homogenous, fully distributed scale-out architecture that delivers efficiencies and COGS reduction (power/hardware) unprecedented and unmatched in terms of cost/performance and combination of features.

The differentiators and advantages inherent in OrionVM’s hyperconverged wholesale cloud platform include:

  • Solves storage issues with a fully distributed block store that integrates compute, memory, and storage into single replicated nodes
  • No CAPEX: hyperconverged infrastructure offered as a platform vs. the high up front cost of buying an appliance
  • Can utilize preexisting assets such as datacenter capacity, network connectivity
  • Complete white label capability
  • Multi-tier reseller org management functionality
  • Wholesale model delivers sustainable cost advantages that increase in savings based on capacity commitments
  • Extreme performance/resiliency – up to 100,000 IO @ 4k in a VM with self-healing fully redundant architecture

For more detailed technical information on OrionVM technology, explore this blog post and keep an eye out for future posts that will expand on other groundbreaking technical advancements of the platform. OrionVM’s hyperconverged tech is market-tested and market-proven, running production workloads for Tier 1 telecoms, publicly traded SaaS orgs, and government agencies since 2010.

Conclusion: The Future of Hyperconvergence—“To Infinity and Beyond!”

Hyperconverged infrastructure will continue to gain market traction, marginalize legacy systems, and underpin the massive migration of IT to the cloud. Some interesting drama lie ahead as big name incumbents battle the upstarts and, in some cases, go head to head with the very vendors they enabled (see Nutanix vs. VMware). With its tech innovation, OrionVM is uniquely positioned to carve out a differentiated role and shake up this industry, as we empower a whole sector of service providers to instantly leverage all the benefits of hyperconverged infrastructure… but with a no-CAPEX IT-as-a-service business model and wholesale pricing.

Stay tuned for more posts, analysis, and exploration on this topic as it is fundamental to so much that is happening in the current cloud ecosystem.  Hyperconvergence is a key factor that finally allows businesses to leverage and benefit from the long-touted promise of the cloud.

For further information on partnering with OrionVM please visit our Channel Partner page, or contact us

Behind the Curtain of OrionVM’s Next-Gen IaaS Platform

By now, you’ve probably seen a great deal about our IaaS platform making business sense. Our Wholesale Cloud Platform provides a turnkey cloud computing infrastructure you can use to launch your own cloud, complete with a white label rebrand, integrated account management and no CapEx.

We think it’s pretty cool. But how did we build it? How does the underlying technology work? Today we thought we would give you a look under the hood of our distinctive cloud architecture.

Industry standard

Firstly, we use the industry standard Xen Hypervisor to run your customer’s virtual machine instances. Xen is a microkernel hypervisor that allows us to run multiple instances on the same physical server, all with complete isolation and security. We host this equipment in our Equinix data centers around the world. Compared to other hypervisors, Xen provides the performance we were looking for, along with the rock solid reliability and security that our customers demand.

On most of our instances, we take advantage of a specific mode in Xen called PVHVM – which stands for Paravirtualised Drivers on HVM. This delivers the best of both worlds, the operating system support and CPU performance of HVM (Hardware Virtual Machine) with the Network and Disk performance of a PV (Paravirtualised) driver.

Utilizing Xen, we are able to run almost any operating system within our environment, including Linux, Windows Server and FreeBSD.

Logo of the Xen project

But then we do more!

For those well versed in Xen, IaaS and cloud infrastructure, none of what we’ve discussed so far may sound new. Where we differentiate ourselves from other cloud computing infrastructure or IaaS providers is our breakthrough, InfiniBand-backed architecture.

In traditional Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) systems, instance storage and compute are often physically located on different servers. Storage is placed in a storage area network (or SAN) cluster, and is connected to the compute nodes with some form of network (usually Gigabit or 10 Gigabit Ethernet). This design has worked reasonably well for Amazon’s IaaS platform, so other providers have tended to emulate it.

While this segregated approach sounds reasonable, easy to maintain and cost effective in theory, it comes with several shortcomings. Our intimate knowledge of Ethernet, informed even further with Gordon Bell‘s mentorship and investment in our platform, tells us it’s not ideal as a storage conduit. In a nutshell, the best-effort approach and variable latency of Ethernet was simply not designed for sustained, high speed, reliable data transfer. At the level it operates, it lacks the capacity to determine packet loss, link level flow control, and can’t be efficiently used to aggregate bandwidth.

This traditional, EC2-clone approach also turns out not to be that cost effective either. SAN controllers and drive arrays are substantial investments, which would have to be passed on to your customers. They also represent a single point of failure and create points of storage contention within the cluster. This all leads to inconsistent and slow performance, while still being relatively expensive.

Enter our world-class, high speed fabric

Rather than work around these issues, or retrofit existing infrastructure to fit as so many others have done, we redesigned the entire system from scratch and removed these issues from the equation entirely.

Firstly, our cloud infrastructure platform is built around a decentralized and distributed architecture. We utilize a homogeneous node architecture, where each node has compute, memory and storage assets. By utilizing homogeneous servers we are able to deliver greater performance at a reduced cost. Traditionally using direct attaches storage has introduced issues such as reduced flexibility and redundancy, but OrionVM has overcome this issue by utilizing a distributed storage architecture over InfiniBand, creating a virtual SAN across our cluster.

This architecture reduces latency, is more cost effective, and mitigates the points of contention and failure that Centralized SANs can cause. The virtual disk of each server can be mounted on any physical server (allowing us to move the instances around the cluster) and is also replicated across multiple servers for redundancy.

InfiniBand was designed specifically for low latency and sustained data transfer, making it perfect for a high performance cloud to be built on. Benchmarks and figures aside, it has also allowed us to design and develop some great features that regular Ethernet and Xen would not have afforded us.

Would you like a slice of “high-availability” with that?

With this redundant, decentralized InfiniBand fabric, we’re able to continuously replicate storage across several nodes while maintaining performance. It allows us to distribute storage efficiently across our cluster, as well as remove hot-spots without impacting performance for customers.

As for your instances, having network backed storage allows us to automatically migrate your instances to different nodes in the event of a physical server failure, rather than having to wait for a technician to enter a data center and perform recovery operations on a physical node.

This design drastically reduces downtime, simplifies the deployment of instances, and provides more immediate feedback to customers.

casestudyAAPT_D-004

Great, so how can my cloud be administered?

This industry leading infrastructure is accessible for your customers through several channels.

Central to this is our completely pre-built web panel. When you deploy your cloud using our platform, you can customize the entire front facing experience your customers will have, including logos, colors, page layout and support links. See how an Australian Telco (AAPT) deployed their CONNECT system with us.

From this panel, your customers can create, administer and remove instances and their associated resources.

For simpler tasks, they can be up and running with one our predefined operating system templates in minutes, with only the RAM and storage space they require specified.

For more customized instances, clients are free to allocate storage and IP addresses and then pull them together into a new instance. Instances can be assigned storage and IP addresses during advanced configuration, or indeed any time they’re shut down. As you’re probably already aware, this elastic provisioning provides far more flexibility than traditional hosting providers.

Conclusion

So, there you have it. At OrionVM, we’re proud of what we’ve built and feel the unique combination of features and functionality can help you attain your cloud computing infrastructure goals. We look forward to seeing the solutions you build using the platform.

Want to be featured on the OrionVM Blog? Please drop us a note and tell us about your experience. We would love to feature your case study.

Wholesale cloud capitalizes on 3 exploding global ICT trends

Welcome to the OrionVM Blog! Top 5 Lessons about Next-Gen IaaS and Wholesale Cloud

The launch of our OrionVM blog comes with auspicious timing, given the recent 25th birthday of the internet. We look to become a meaningful voice for a new generation of cloud technologies that will shape the next 25 years by redefining how and by whom enterprise ICT is managed and deployed.  We have discovered a few things about the industry since our inception in 2010. Read on for the top 5 lessons about next-gen IaaS and wholesale cloud computing that we have learned.

OrionVM’s message is a message of simplicity, innovation, and above all… possibilities; the business agility and profitability made possible when freed from traditional IT approaches to seize upon the many benefits of disruptive innovation. Engineering breakthroughs have enabled a whole new era of efficiency, flexibility, and performance for deploying cloud computing infrastructure. You need to ask yourself, do your technology partners fully leverage these innovations (is it in their DNA?) or do they ultimately have a legacy business to protect? As Larry Dignan states:

“Cloud-first players don’t have legacy businesses to protect. And cloud-first players don’t have sales commission models that will favor big licensing and maintenance deals over recurring revenue subscription models.”

We have ambitious plans for 2014 as we evangelize Cloud 2.0 and the wholesale business model that will enable a growing audience of integrators, VARs and IT solution providers to easily gain a cloud competency and successfully bring clients to market. High performing, premium cloud services – at wholesale prices, are the dream that OrionVM delivers. As Australia’s largest wholesale cloud provider, and now also in the US with the launch of our San Francisco office,  we have learned a few lessons and identified some key trends that you may find useful to consider:

“Global spending on cloud infrastructure to reach $285 Billion by 2017.”– HIS Tech, Feb. 2014

OrionVM Wholesale Cloud Venn

OrionVM’s wholesale cloud IaaS platform capitalizes on three exploding and disruptive global ICT trends

Top 5 Lessons about Next-Gen IaaS and Wholesale Cloud Computing:

  1. Not a commodity – selecting a CSP is strategic.  All clouds are not created equal. Your vendor selections engender many consequences in terms of features, flexibility, and hidden costs that you are wedded to for the duration of the relationship (sometimes longer). You must choose wisely.
  2. The current cloud incumbents have it all wrong — There are some fundamental limitations to how traditional cloud architecture is built. We will talk about the heart of the matter: the problems with 3 tier architectures and the corresponding cost of goods sold (COGS). Stay tuned.
  3. Margins do exist for IaaS resellers and channel partners. Despite what some analysts and CMOs might have you think, the dawn of Cloud 2.0 also brings great opportunity for the channel.
  4. A new approach to infrastructure might be exactly what your business needs.  In the words of Constellation Research, “As with all disruptive technologies, start with the business model, hone in on the business value, then chose the right technology”.
  5. The rise of IT brokers and how channel can challenge the enterprise. A new segment of providers is growing to meet the exploding demand for cloud, and their customers are wary of managing data centers, million dollar infrastructure investments, or worrying if a production environment can reliably scale to support high-traffic, mission-critical workloads.

Follow this blog frequently for relevant discussions and fresh perspectives about the emerging cloud ecosystem. You will gain technical deep dives from experts who are building platforms and tools that make the brave new world of Cloud 2.0 possible. Our mission is to help you better grow your business by making more informed IT decisions. We look to cut through the noise and ever-present “cloud-washing” that too often frame the cloud conversation. We will challenge the biases, agendas, and vested interests of incumbents (as well as our own) to offer real insight and a compelling dialogue to the booming industry of next generation cloud computing infrastructure.