In a prior blog, we provided insight into Datera’s patented Lock-Less Coherency Protocol and how it enables customers the ability to architect a heterogeneous data infrastructure with different generations of servers and brands as well as different classes of media; all managed seamlessly and transparently to users.

Why does that matter? Because as time passes, and customers scale their infrastructure, they need to deal with changes in technology and requirements. Datera software allows them to absorb all these changes seamlessly and dynamically.

In this blog we will provide insight into another Datera innovation; easily managing a heterogeneous data infrastructure by Intent. This is critical as our customers scale the infrastructure over time and need to manage constant change, whether that be in technology or business requirements.

As a refresher, below is that high level view of the Datera architecture: a hybrid cloud, software-defined platform implemented for both block and object data enabling a data infrastructure that is heterogeneous, elastic, dynamic, and autonomous.

The Datera architecture has three distinct layers :

  • A heterogeneous software defined storage layer for block and object data
  • A data management layer to make the infrastructure dynamic
  • A programmable layer to make the infrastructure autonomous and easily programmable/extensible

In this blog I want to take you back under the Datera hood and share another of the core technologies that enables Datera’s architectural differences, distinct from any other company in the space.

Architected for Managing Constant Change

Since the 1960’s, storage products were built for performance and resiliency and nowhere is this more prominent than in products targeting enterprise storage.  Datera acknowledged those imperatives but felt it was necessary to include one more; the ability to adapt to change.  Performance and resiliency remain important, but Datera was built to reflect the modern enterprise, a place where being agile in response to opportunity or threat are of equal importance.

Datera is based on a scale-out shared-nothing distributed system architecture. Many modern applications are based on this approach, including many first-generation software-defined storage products.  While scale-out, shared-nothing architectures provide an important backbone, they are not enough.  The Datera architects recognized the need to enable enterprises to provide developer velocity and operational agility without being forced to utilize public cloud service providers.  With this in mind, the architects made several crucial choices in architecting the Datera software that have resulted in Enterprise class storage capabilities, while uniquely fulfilling the agility / velocity promise of software-defined storage.

Policy Driven, Managing by Intent

Datera provides a volume service akin to Amazon Web Services Elastic Block Storage, but with a key distinction – the preferred method of provisioning storage for an application is via the use of application templates that specify the storage needs and policies for the application. The templates describe the application’s data volumes, their access protocols, resiliency profiles, security settings, efficiency, fault domains, tenancy, performance, data reduction, and data protection / replication schedules.  In the  Datera system, this is referred to as an Application Instance and codifies the intent of the users without requiring them to be experts in data storage.

Inside the system, the templates map to policies driving service-level objectives (SLO’s). SLO’s are part of a closed loop, feedback system of reading / writing data, gathering telemetry, comparing to the SLO’s and then adjusting the placement and management of the data to meet the application SLO’s. The administrator needs to specify the applications intent via the templates, and the system will automatically adjust to meet the intent. The most compelling part of managing by intent is that the policies can be changed at any time. As part of the closed loop system, a change to the SLO’s will be detected, and any needed changes will be initiated and managed transparently / non-disruptively to the application. Unlike previous enterprise storage systems, the ability to change the policies is not a simple management veneer over a rigid architecture.  Datera software was built from the ground up to support the dynamic nature of modern data centers.

The One, Two Punch!

In summary:

The combination of innovations like lock-less coherency and management by intent, is the one two punch that enables enterprises the ability to achieve the highest operational agility, velocity, efficiency and best economics. Without sacrificing any performance and availability, compared with traditional enterprise arrays.

  1. The need for a heterogeneous data infrastructure — Lock-less coherency enables customers to build a seamless heterogeneous infrastructure with different classes/brands of servers and media.
    • This is an inevitable need as time passes and customers need to scale the infrastructure, deal with new requirements and technological changes.
  2. Managing by Intent for ease, velocity and autonomous adaptability — The data management layer is where the magic occurs, radically simplifying management, and enabling customers to easily adopt whichever media technology is best suited to meet the need of their applications.
    • If the intent is for very low latency, then the application will be directed to an NVMe or Optane server, if the intent is for the data for the application to be cost effective, the data will be directed to a SATA/SAN server. Totally automatic and transparent.
    • What if the data that was on the high performance and more expensive nodes can now be stored on less expensive media? This is the magic! Change the intent and the data will automatically be moved, live to the lower cost servers!

This is just another innovation that Datera has developed to deliver on broader outcomes that customers are looking for as they architect for the next generation data infrastructure. Stay tuned and will provide more insight on other critical technologies that make Datera a truly unique architecture…

For more information, we recommend reading our white papers:

Built for Performance
Built for Constant Change
Built for Autonomous Operations
Built for Continuous Availability

We can schedule a demo at any time. Please reach us at and share any specific capability you would like to learn more about. We look forward to the opportunity!