Thursday, October 16, 2014

Microsoft Infrastructure as a Service Storage Foundations

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1 Introduction

The goal of the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) Foundations series is to help enterprise IT and cloud service providers understand, develop, and implement IaaS infrastructures. This series provides comprehensive conceptual background, a reference architecture and a reference implementation that combines Microsoft software, consolidated guidance, and validated configurations with partner technologies such as compute, network, and storage architectures, in addition to value-added software features.

The IaaS Foundations Series utilizes the core capabilities of the Windows Server operating system, Hyper-V, System Center, Windows Azure Pack and Microsoft Azure to deliver on-premises and hybrid cloud infrastructure as a service offerings.

As part of Microsoft IaaS Foundations series, this document discusses the storage infrastructure components that are relevant for a Microsoft IaaS infrastructure and provides guidelines and requirements for building a storage infrastructure using Microsoft products and technologies. These components can be used to compose an IaaS solution based on private clouds, public clouds (for example, in a hosting service provider environment) or hybrid clouds. Each major section of this document will include sub-sections on private, public and hybrid infrastructure elements.Discussions of public cloud components are scoped to Microsoft Azure services and capabilities.

2.0 On-Premises

The following sections discuss storage options and capabilities that can be included in an on-premises IaaS design. Note that these on-premises options are also pertinent to cloud service providers interested in delivering a commercial IaaS offering.

2.1 Drive Architectures

The type of hard drives in the host server or in a storage array that are used by the file servers have significant impact on the overall performance of the storage architecture. The critical performance factors for hard drives are:

  • The interface architecture (for example, SAS or SATA)
  • The rotational speed of the drive (for example, 10K, or 15K RPM) or a solid-state drive (SSD) that does not have moving parts
  • The Read and Write speed
  • The average latency in milliseconds (ms)


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