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Nimbus Data Puts A Petabyte Of Flash In Half A Rack

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

Nimbus Data is adding a patent pending scale-out all-flash array to its catalog that will allow large enterprises and cloud service providers to deploy a petabyte of fully redundant all-flash storage capacity in half a rack of space.

The new scale-out all-flash array (AFA) Gemini X-Series provides full data and metadata checksums, snapshots, and replication for data protection and deduplication and compression for storage efficiency. The AFA includes redundant components throughout the system with no single point of failure (SPOF) and provides for nondisruptive component maintenance. For additional data protection, the X-series supports RAIN (redundant array of independent nodes) configurations.

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According to Nimbus, a 10-node Gemini X-series requires 24U of rack space, and with 48 TB per U density the AFA achieves approximately one petabyte (1 PB) raw capacity and several petabytes of effective capacity after deduplication, compression and thin provisioning.

The patent pending Gemini X1000 Flash Director combines a non-blocking 320 Gbps remote direct memory access (RDMA) switch, up to 40 user configurable ports for connectivity to the existing infrastructure, and centralized cluster management software. The storage clusters can be managed through the X1000 Flash Director, which builds a virtual pool of storage across the cluster into a single namespace, providing load balancing of Input/Output (I/O) across all nodes. According to the company, the Gemini X-series supports up to 40 Gbps of sustained throughput and four million 4K Input/Output operations per second (IOPS) with sub-100 microsecond latency across the cluster.

Flash nodes for the X1000 will be available in a 48 TB (X48) or 96 TB (X96) all-flash storage capacity and include redundant hot-swappable storage processors and a power/cooling module. The X96 Flash Node uses 4 TB enterprise flash drives. In a 2U rack space, the flash drive density is 24 TB per U and uses 400 watts of power. According to comparisons made by Nimbus against its closest competitors (EMC, NetApp, Violin Memory, PureStorage), the X1000 system density is up to as much as 30x greater.

"Nimbus Data is establishing a leading position in the all-flash array market, providing customers with a true scale-out AFA that delivers higher capacity, lower power and higher performance than alternative platforms. The Gemini X-series all-flash array enables data center administrators to linearly scale both performance and capacity by adding more Flash Nodes," said Russ Fellows, senior partner at Evaluator Group.

Nimbus Data's HALO operating system (OS) is purpose-built for flash memory and the software suite provides administration, analytics and performance reporting, in-line deduplication and compression, security, and monitoring of Nimbus all-flash systems. The OS supports all major virtualization and database platforms as well as block and file protocols that include iSCSI, Fibre Channel, NFS, SMB, and RDMA-based iSER and SRP for ultra-low latency.

One point Nimbus threaded through their announcement is cost savings. Although pricing for this new offering was not mentioned, the reduction in ongoing operating expense for direct power consumption, space, and cooling costs could be substantial. In one example put together by Nimbus, an X1000 48 TB 2U configuration compared to a competitor's approximately 50 TB configuration that required 30 U of rack space showed the annual cost to operate Nimbus X-Series at $3,000 compared to $45,000 for the competitor.

Comparisons like this are only valid in the short term since competitors in the space, such as EMC, Violin, NetApp and others, are continuing to develop new, denser, more cost-efficient products. However, if there is a need to expand storage, or a denser storage solution could keep a data center from having to expand its floor space, then the Nimbus X-1000 offering, when it is available, may be worth considering.

Nimbus will be sending its Gemini X-series all-flash array to strategic customers for evaluation in April 2014. General availability to all customers is estimated for the summer.


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