IT Hero: DataON & Microsoft, The Perfect Solution for Quest’s Veeam Cloud Connect Service

Quest Technology Management, also known as “Quest” and DataON had been working together for about four years when Quest partnered with Microsoft to provide an Azure public cloud offering, and DataON was chosen as the storage to power the solution.

Interestingly, I had not known our Azure team had partnered with DataON. I was doing an independent search for our backup and archiving initiatives. After comparing pricing and capabilities from various vendors, I concluded DataON provided the most attractive price and the most flexible solution. It wasn’t until after I submitted the purchase order that I discovered our existing partnership.

DataON was pivotal in allowing Quest to provide customers an appealing price structure for our backup and archiving products by enabling us to purchase a dense, well-performing storage solution customized and tested to our specifications. As Quest’s partnership grew with Veeam, and Veeam released Veeam Cloud Connect for Managed Service Providers, I again went to DataON for a storage solution. Windows Server 2016 Storage Spaces Direct had just been released, with perfect timing for our new requirements. Quest was not only able to use the new certified Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct for backups and archiving, but was also able to integrate disaster recovery services using the new storage platform.

Again, DataON was willing to vet and deliver the exact prerequisites Quest had in mind for a storage platform to use with the Veeam Cloud Connect offering. The low latency made possible by incorporating NVMe drives, yielding 20µs or less latency on average, generated great Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) performance. The GbE Mellanox switches included in the DataON Windows 2016 Storage Spaces Direct certified solution create exceptional hyper-converged performance, and the benefits of utilizing RDMA to move the CPU and RAM requirements off the compute nodes allow the 8-node stacks we use to hum above 900,000 IOPS with 1PB of usable storage space.

Another aspect of the DataON Windows Server 2016 Storage Spaces Direct solution that made it perfect for Quest’s Veeam offerings comes from Storage Spaces Direct’s ReFS file system. Veeam has built-in ReFS support for both the Veeam Availability Suite and Cloud Connect with version 9.5. The fast cloning for backups allows for faster and more space efficient backups with better reliability via ReFS’s data integrity streams. With Quest offering both on-prem and cloud Veeam services, DataON’s Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct solution simplified and enhanced our capabilities.

If you’re in the process of designing and deploying a Storage Spaces Direct solution, here are three things to consider, that we learned from our deployment.

  • Maintain an even distribution of cluster shared volumes per node. If you have a five-node stack and you need 100TB total storage, don’t deploy a 100TB CSV. Because the ownership will reside with one node, you aren’t distributing your workload evenly throughout the stack. Instead, do five 20TB CSVs.
  • Using Windows Server 2016 Storage Spaces Direct inside your VMs helps distribute the load with larger VM storage requirements. In the example above, you may have a VM that requires all 100TB. Because you’ve created five 20TB CSVs, you wouldn’t deploy a 100TB VHDX. Instead, you could deploy ten 10TB VHDX files, two in each of the CSVs and use Storage Spaces Direct inside your VM to create a 100TB volume/drive for data usage.
  • Each Storage Spaces Direct stack has a recommended limit of 32 cluster shared volumes. If you are heavy on the compute requirements and looking to deploy all 16 nodes (recommended size limit for nodes), look to distribute two CSVs per node to evenly distribute the storage load throughout the stack.

DataON has the perfect blend of density, simplicity, performance, fault tolerance, efficiency, and manageability with an extremely attractive cost model. Their willingness to listen and customize solutions based on Quest’s asks has become invaluable. Hats off to the DataON team, and I look forward to strengthening our relationship for years to come.

About Quest

Quest is a worldwide leader in technology management offering a portfolio of professional, Cloud, and Managed Services. Either on-site or from one of over 25 secure global Service Delivery Centers, Quest offers Security, Disaster Recovery, Business Continuity, Data Backup and Replication, Desktops as a Service, and Infrastructure as a Service. Quest is listed on the most current Solution Provider 500 list.

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