Parsec Labs’ Storage Accelerator Transforms Any Storage into Flash

The HyperQ® appliance spans data storage from spinning disks to flash to cloud

Earl Follis, senior analyst
Deni Connor, founding analyst, SSG-NOW
January 2017

In a world where traditional storage hardware and software costs continue to indiscriminately gobble up large amounts of IT budget, Parsec Labs’ software-defined-storage-based HyperQ offers significant performance improvements and cost savings compared to expanding or upgrading your traditional storage strategies. HyperQ sits above your existing iSCSI, Fibre Channel or Network Attached-based storage arrays and parses all disk IO requests to streamline the storage of data, while automagically caching and routing data to the correct storage tier based on data access metrics collected by HyperQ. This automated tiering process is constantly working to store data in the cheapest, most appropriate tier while simultaneously performing data deduplication, compression and encryption in flight and at rest, as needed. HyperQ offers a radical yet cost-effective solution to remove day-to-day data management tasks from your storage admins’ to-do list. HyperQ has the built-in intelligence to store data where it makes the most sense, both technically and financially. This allows HyperQ to provide immediate and ongoing savings compared to traditional data storage products.

The best of all worlds
HyperQ resides between applications and the storage tier to intelligently accelerate data performance while simultaneously routing data to the most appropriate storage tier available. HyperQ also features multipathing capabilities in SAN environments for high availability and hyperconverged capabilities to the network edge in remote office/branch office (ROBO) situations. See Figure 1 for examples of HyperQ use in ROBO environments, with and without local storage.

Figure 1: HyperQ provides significant network edge performance increases in common ROBO architectures.

Easier Migrations
HyperQ can also assist data admins who are looking to migrate data between like or incompatible storage systems. See Figure 2 for an example of a HyperQ live migration architecture between two dissimilar on-premises storage systems. There is no downtime or loss of data during live migrations and applications will not be affected by the data migration.


Figure 2: HyperQ eases migration challenges by supporting on-premises migration from an old storage system to a new storage system.

HyperQ also supports sophisticated data migration strategies when moving data from physical to virtual (P2V), on-premises to cloud or cloud to cloud. Migration to tiers of storage can be configured by creating policies that will direct the appliance to migrate certain data to a wide variety of destinations. The migration policies are very flexible and allow for multiple rules to be in place at the same time including filtering by file type, file owner, date accessed and size.  In addition, HyperQ automatically migrates rarely-used, unstructured data to low-cost archival clouds, such as Amazon Glacier.  HyperQ also utilizes a single namespace that spans all tiers of data, simplifying administration and configuration of your storage assets. And, further, HyperQ is HIPAA-compliant, allowing archived data to be discovered and acted upon.

Fast in a flash

HyperQ appliances provide Intelligent Flash that accelerates data access to and from your storage systems and tiers. There is sufficient flash in each HyperQ appliance that the installation of the appliance itself may provide enough performance improvements for your existing storage infrastructure to postpone or cancel planned upgrades to your proprietary storage systems.

How the HyperQ appliance works

HyperQ integrates with multiple bonded 1GbE or 10GbE network connections to enhance your existing storage infrastructure.  The appliance provides value in a pass-through configuration for any storage device that presents a CIFS, NFS or iSCSI interface.   Key value propositions include acceleration, expansion and migration while maintaining a single namespace for migrated or expanded data.  To achieve this, the appliance mounts and re-exports existing network shares.  This allows the appliance to leverage up to 6TB of solid state disk or 3.6TB of NVMe PCIe flash storage at speeds of up 7,200MBps and IOPS of up to 1,320,000.

The appliance can also have up to 25TB of internal spinning disk offering a deduplicated storage pool that is used for caching large amounts of data that has been migrated to the cloud. Expansion can seamlessly expand one storage device into another storage device at a share level without altering the original namespace. See Figure 3.

Figure 3: Typical HyperQ deployment for storage acceleration, expansion or tier migration.

HyperQ can also be used for WAN acceleration at remote offices and disaster recovery sites.  In this case, up to 25TB of de-duplicated storage can be used to pre-fetch frequently used files to the remote location to provide that location with rapid access to files while keeping the main data center synchronized with any changes that are made at the remote site.

Where and why to use HyperQ

The HyperQ appliance can be used in place of storage typically deployed at the network edge or remote locations. The HyperQ has enough intrinsic disk and flash storage to replace traditional storage systems at remote locations, where storage expertise and a suitable place to operate storage arrays may be difficult to find locally. HyperQ also works well in conjunction with data center or standalone storage systems that need a performance boost.

HyperQ capitalizes on the fact that only a small fraction of production data is accessed on a regular basis. By moving rarely-accessed data to cheaper tiers in your storage infrastructure, you save money on the storage of that data, plus you open up additional capacity in your existing storage infrastructure for accessing data that is time-sensitive. 

Our Take

Parsec Labs’ HyperQ offers stunning performance increases and economies of cloud scale that can positively impact your data storage infrastructure performance and accompanying budgets. Parsec Labs estimates that HyperQ can give IT about ten times the performance of traditional storage subsystems at one-tenth of the price of those proprietary storage systems. HyperQ devices are storage vendor-agnostic and include enough flash in the appliance that you may not have to add flash drives to your storage arrays to increase performance. The performance gains with HyperQ are that significant. We are very impressed with the specifications and performance of HyperQ and we anticipate that your ROI for HyperQ will be extremely quick.

But the real benefit is that HyperQ allows your storage admins to concentrate on analysis and design of their overall storage landscape, letting HyperQ perform the day-to-day drudgery of data storage optimization and tiering. ●

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