Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Review of QLogic's FabricCache QLE10000 Adapter

The QLogic FabricCache QLE10000 adapter delivers shared server-based SSD caching to the Storage Area Network (SAN). The QLogic QLE10000 adapter is the first product built on Mt. Rainier technology; it combines a Fibre Channel host bus adapter (HBA) with a Flash-based cache.  The QLogic FabricCache adapters utilize a single HBA driver and standard management software, so no additional skill set or software is required to install and manage the QLogic QLE10000. TheQLogic QLE10000 is deployed as a traditional SAN HBA, and the FabricCache technology is transparent to the SAN and existing management software.

As a combined HBA and cache solution, the QLogic QLE10000 provides a number of benefits for servers running an extremely broad range of enterprise applications.  QLogic FabricCache adapters are in constant communication with one another, providing clustered caching for shared storage that is typically not available with conventional server-based SSD solutions.  Common storage traffic is offloaded from the SAN onto the FabricCache adapter, reducing precious I/O requests to the shared storage. Cache processing is transitioned from the CPU to the HBA, freeing processing resources.

To ensure cache consistency, each LUN is owned by a single FabricCache HBA; when data is requested from a different LUN, the FabricCache HBA will check with the LUN-owner cache.  If the data is cached, the response time for the data is reduced to microseconds.  If the requested data has not been cached, the data is retrieved from the source LUN.  Consistency between the cache and the LUN is maintained and I/O latency is minimized by the 1:1 relationship.

A demonstration video has been published on YouTube to show a multi-server cluster with shared storage.

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