Introduction to Storage Quality of Service (QoS)

Quality of service (QoS) is a critical enabling technology for enterprises and service providers wanting to deliver consistent primary storage performance to business-critical applications in a multi-tenant or enterprise infrastructure. The type of applications that require primary storage services typically demand greater levels of performance than what is readily available from traditional storage infrastructures today. However, simply providing raw performance is often not the only objective in these use cases. For a broad range of business-critical applications, consistent and predictable performance are the more important metrics.

Quality of service (QoS) is a critical enabling technology for enterprises and service providers wanting to deliver consistent primary storage performance to business-critical applications in a multi-tenant or enterprise infrastructure. The type of applications that require primary storage services typically demand greater levels of performance than what is readily available from traditional storage infrastructures today. However, simply providing raw performance is often not the only objective in these use cases. For a broad range of business-critical applications, consistent and predictable performance are the more important metrics.

Unfortunately, neither is easily achievable within traditional storage arrays.

There is a large imbalance today between the performance and capacity resources within traditional storage systems. Capacity is plentiful and low cost; conversely, input/output per second (IOPS) are scarce and very expensive. From a provisioning perspective, performance and capacity are rigidly bound together, which only makes matters worse. This bind forces administrators to unnecessarily add storage capacity to increase the amount of IOPS available to a particular application. What results is a wasteful allocation of resources in an effort to overcome the limitations of existing storage architectures.

For service providers and enterprise IT, the promise of delivering storage resources predictably to a broad set of applications without worry has been nothing more than a pipe dream.

The history of storage QoS

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