Metadata is data describing data. A rough analogy would be looking at thumbnails of your pictures in a directory. Metadata tells applications the status and state of data. Things like: last access time, file size, when was the last time a file was saved, or is a file open or closed.
As data growth rates have exploded, metadata requests being made to storage systems have skyrocketed. It is common to have over eighty percent of all transactions flowing in and out of a storage system to be metadata requests. The problem is storage systems are not very efficient at responding to metadata request because they were designed to move data in and out – not respond to queries about the state of data.
As metadata activity increases storage performance plummets.
Unlike a storage system which needs to transverse through several file and system layers to extract and respond to metadata, infinite io installs like a network switch in front of existing storage and serves metadata directly out of memory. Deep packet inspection is used to respond directly on the network to metadata requests at rates multiple times faster than a state-of-the-art all-flash storage system.
Storage performance will typically increase by a factor of 5x to 100x after installing infinite io, depending on the storage system and workload.
Metadata is served on the network directly out of memory