Exploiting RDMA to create a geographically dispersed storage network over the WAN with real-time access to data

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Tuesday, September 28, 2021
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Accessing data within an enterprise spread across geo-diverse locations challenges work productivity, time, and IT resources. Existing methods require data to be transferred and replicated leading to delayed business insights or even insights based on stale data. In addition, having to send a copy of data to every user that requires it leads to copy sprawl, data management challenges and compromised data security. Even with data transfer, data arrives at the destination in an unpredictable time and performance varies with data type/size and application. Utilizing network data mover appliances and applications is so cumbersome that even physical transportation of media or data is considered an acceptable solution. In summary, there is a need to access data without replication across geographic distances. It is commonly accepted that remote application execution is not possible when a high Bandwidth Delay Product (BDP), i.e., the product of a link's capacity (in [x]bits per second) and its round-trip delay time (in [x]seconds), exists between the compute location and the data location. The BDP between the compute and data when they are within a data center, on a LAN, or in the same Cloud provider, is acceptable for most common applications. However, as soon as the BDP increases traversing a WAN over even minor latencies, these same applications are functionally unusable due to the time required to get the data to the location of the compute. BDP has major impact on traditional networks using the TCP/ IP protocol; various methods have been used to optimize or tune TCP/IP to make it more efficient with moderate results. The Vcinity Data Access Platform™ (VDAP) enables enterprises to instantly access and operate on data sets over any distance, with local performance, and without copying them. This is accomplished by transforming the enterprise WAN into a Global LAN enabling local application performance on data over global distances. This capability lets enterprises leverage modern business tools such as machine learning modeling and artificial intelligence innovations leading to more efficient business processes and a greater competitive advantage. The concept of turning WAN into Global LAN and enabling a Global Fabric is achieved through RDMA over WAN. With over 32 patents as the underpinning to the VDAP portfolio, it’s the individual advancements that in aggregate achieve application reach-in to data over distance.

The solution is made up of an RDMA based network fabric at Layer 2 or layer 3 incorporating the following:

  • Routing at layer 3 supporting L2/L3 tunneling
  • Data inflight buffering / crediting creating a lossless WAN tunnel
  • Packet loss recovery for efficient error correction
  • End-to-end flow control for forward and backward congestion signaling
  • Tunnel monitoring, heartbeat and occupancy threshold support
  • Priority classification
  • Standard NFS / SMB/ S3 extensibility
  • Packet flow segmentation and reassembly
  • Security through in-flight encryption and multipath obfuscation

The result is the ability to sustain 90%+ of theoretical data throughput on global distances to provide applications the same performance experience as when the data is local to the application. As seen above the Vcinity Data Access Platform integrates with other HPC technologies and high-speed storage. It attaches to a standard NAS or transitional high-speed storage tier and, when connected over the MAN/ WAN, provides a high-performance, geo-diverse data exchange. VDAP enables a global federated data platform for accessing data without replication, using global namespace and network-mapped drive volumes across geographically distributed enterprise storage.

  • Learn how to achieve real-time access to remote storage on a global scale
  • Learn how leveraging RDMA can enable applications to perform on distant data without moving copies or caching
  • Learn how sensitivities to moving data (size, change frequency, sovereignty ) to the cloud can be overcome.

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