Storage Field Day 6 – Day 1 – StorMagic

Disclaimer: I recently attended Storage Field Day 6.  My flights, accommodation and other expenses were paid for by Tech Field Day and their sponsors. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

For each of the presentations I attended at SFD6, there are a few things I want to include in the post. Firstly, you can see video footage of the StorMagic presentation here. You can also download my raw notes from the presentation here. Finally, here’s a link to the StorMagic website that covers some of what they presented.


StorMagic know their limitations, and are really looking to address storage problems at the edge. The “Distributed enterprise” is:

  • Virtualising remote infrastructure;
  • Introducing new remote services;
  • Systems in harsh environments;
  • Operating without local IT;
  • Seeking to reduce support costs; and
  • Experiencing downtime of critical, remote applications.

They ‘ve found that the average remote site has:

  • 2TB average data capacity;
  • 7 or 8 key applications;
  • separation of servers on site;
  • no computer room; and a
  • set and forget mentality.

What these businesses need is

  • High Availability;
  • Centralised Management;
  • A Small IT footprint; and
  • Simple, automated deployment.

Traditional storage does not fit at the remote site. Adding a traditional SAN in these environments leads to:

  • A single point of failure;
  • Complexity;
  • Specialist staff;
  • Depreciating value;
  • High capex and opex; and
  • Tied in to hardware vendor.

StorMagic have basically taken this on board in the design of their SvSAN product, and also claim to get around a number of the current limitations of VMware Virtual SAN. In a nutshell, SvSAN is a VSA that:

  • Uses shared storage (internal or DAS);
  • Provides synchronous mirroring between nodes;
  • Runs as VSA independent of storage hardware;
  • Provides HA – withstands server or storage failure; and is
  • Scalable – 2 nodes to many nodes.

The StorMagic guys were asked whether their focus on beating VMware Virtual SAN at the smaller end of the market was a mistake. They seemed to think that, moving forward, VMware would be a lot more interested in the mid- to high-end of the market, leaving them to play in the two-node, edge storage scenarios. It seems like a solid strategy, and it seems like a solid bit of technology. I recommend looking at them if you have this kind of use case come up.