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All-Flash Market Expands As Infortrend Introduces New All-Flash And Hybrid Models

By - Source: Infortrend
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Flash storage makes up only roughly 4 percent of the datacenter today, and All-Flash Arrays (AFA) make up around 1 percent. This may sound like a paltry smattering of flash, but according to IDC, the AFA market earned $1.3 billion in 2014. Hybrid flash systems are roughly ten times more popular, accounting for $10.3 billion in 2014. $11.3 billion is a small sum in comparison to the overall revenue generated each year, but the hybrid and AFA segments are expanding rapidly, and the most optimistic predictions peg hybrid/AFA market penetration to be around 20 percent by 2020.

In sum, the market is relatively small for the time being, but it presents a massive growth opportunity as time progresses -- particularly in the small and mid-range markets. This is incentivizing several new vendors to join the fray, which brings us to Infortrend's new offerings.

The company's new ESDS 3024B is a dual-redundant controller 24-bay appliance geared for the SMB market and SAN/DAS applications. It offers up to 1.3 million IOPS and 5,500 Mbps of throughput through a constellation of connectivity options, including 4 x 16 Gbps Fibre Channel, 4 x 10 Gbe iSCSI, or 4 x 12 Gbps SAS ports.

The ESDS 3024B accepts 2.5" SAS/SATA SSDs and HDDs, but a MUX board is required when using SATA drives. Expansion enclosures are available to boost the maximum number of drives to 360. The system offers a multitude of RAID options and several Sanwatch data services, such as thin provisioning, SSD cache capabilities, SED support, automated storage tiering, remote replication (synchronous/asynchronous) and local replication (snapshot - volume copy/mirror).

There is a notable lack of deduplication and compression services, which Infortrend offers with typical NAS storage units. When configured as a DAS, unit compression and/or deduplication tasks can be offloaded to the host system.

The company also brought forward its new hybrid offerings, which combine speedy SSDs with the capacity of HDDs. Users can select either an automated caching function or more standard tiering functionality for greater granularity. There are several models, with the ESDS 4016 offering the most capacity and performance. The 3U enclosure supports 12 Gbps (backwards compatible) SAS SSDs and HDDs, and tops out at 11,000/4,200 MBps sequential read/write speed. There are JBOD expansion enclosures available that expand capacity to 436 drives.

Infortrend designed the unit to offer up to 16 times more read IOPS with SSD caching and tiering enabled, and it supports a wide range of connectivity options, including 16 Gbps Fibre Channel, 10 Gbe iSCSI and 12 Gbps SAS.

Infortrend joins a growing group of companies attempting to elbow their way into the flash market, and like the others, much of its success will depend upon the sophistication of its software and services. Infortrend has vast experience in the NAS market space and an established global channel. It will be interesting to observe the evolution of its new product stack. The new systems are available through Infortrend authorized dealers.