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iXsystems, Inc., a leading manufacturer of FreeBSD and FreeNAS solutions, announced the expansion of its unified storage product portfolio with the addition of three new units today. In addition to the new hardware configurations, the entire line is refreshed with the latest version of firmware, TrueNAS 9.2.
The new appliances start at a maximum capacity of 240TB and scale all the way to 1.15PB. Each unified appliance is capable of supporting CIFS, NFS, AFP, and iSCSI. In addition, they are all also available in high availability configurations with optional redundant storage controllers.
The 2014 Samsung Global SSD Summit 2014 in Seoul, South Korea, was somewhat of an SSD nirvana. Samsung touted their industry-first 3D NAND (V-NAND), the first 3bit MLC SSDs for the datacenter (the 845DC EVO), the world's first M.2 SSD for the datacenter, and to top it all off we were finally able to take a peek at Samsung's NVMe offerings.
Samsung has the distinct advantage of being the first to receive NVMe interoperability certification from UNH-IOL, but the OEM market has kept the drive hidden from the retail space.
We start with the SM1715 and its unique heat sink that encompasses the entire side of the drive. The SM1715 utilizes the standardized NVMe protocol. NVMe provides numerous advantages with its simplified driver stack, command set, and enhanced queue/pairing mechanisms. For an in-depth view of NVMe, reference our recently released Defining NVMe article.
The SM1715 delivers up to 750,000 random read IOPS and 180,000 random write IOPS via its PCIe Gen3 x4 connection. The incredibly dense package comes in the standard HHHL form factor with capacities of 1,600 GB and a whopping 3,200 GB. The drive also features enhanced power loss protection in the form of the discrete capacitors that are hiding under the heat sinks.
Samsung is on a roll with V-NAND and 3bit MLC datacenter products making a huge splash at the 2014 Samsung Global SSD Summit in Seoul. The SM953, the world's first M.2 SSD designed for the datacenter, was yet another exciting Samsung-exclusive product on display in the product showcase.
The chains of legacy HDD form factors have been binding SSDs into large bulky cases that are not required for today's dense NAND. M.2 provides a new standardized form factor that limits the device to the size of the NAND, controller, PCB, and other components. This will allow for denser deployments and enable even smaller blade and microserver designs. Storage and performance density are paramount in the datacenter and SSDs provide the ultimate in both respects. It is encouraging to see these new designs finally making their way into the datacenter.
Other than the 1,800 MB /s sequential read performance, there is precious little information publicly available at this point. We do know that the SM953 comes in one capacity of 480GB. M.2 also has standardized designs that are longer, which will allow for even more NAND per device. The inclusion of V-NAND, with its enhanced density, will also provide much more capacity in these 'gumstick' devices. There is no mention of the NAND employed on the SM953.
A few interesting details were outlined briefly during the presentation. The first is that the SM953 will deliver incredible power efficiency. Power is always a big concern and can lead to excessive heat generation. Active power is rated for 6W, whereas the competition is rated for 10-25W per device. Compatibility with NVMe v1.1 assures that the SM953 provides the latest in power optimizations from the NVMe spec. NVMe revision 1.1 includes enhanced autonomous sleep state functionality for NVMe devices, which will enable lower idle power draw much like DEVSLP. NVMe provides even more streamlined efficiency by allowing the device to automatically transition into lower sleep states without host initiation.
The 2014 Samsung SSD Global Summit took place last week in Seoul. With tight schedules, long international flights, and a holiday weekend as well, our detailed analysis will begin rolling today. Chris will dive in on coverage on the consumer side, and also post video of the entire Global Summit presentation. I will be weighing in on some of the datacenter storage solutions provided by Samsung.
The majority of the Global Summit presentations focused on the innovative new V-NAND products from Samsung. V-NAND is 3D NAND that achieves better density, performance, endurance, and power consumption, via vertical stacking of the NAND cells. This runs counter to the established norm of increasing density through NAND shrinks, and with good reason. Shrinks provide more density, but actually reduce endurance. V-NAND provides a revolutionary path forward, and Samsung is the first to mass-produce and bring to market 3D NAND-based solutions.
While other major storage vendors have quickly entered the all-flash market via acquisitions, NetApp is finally making its mark with the release of the homegrown, brand new FAS8080EX. NetApp claims this new unified storage array is capable of scaling to 4 million IOPS and is configurable as an all-flash array with a capacity of 4.6PB. Alternatively, configured as a hybrid array, it can scale to over 70PB with more than 600 I/O connections.
In addition to announcing the FAS8080EX, NetApp has also launched a new entry-level system that is also capable of both NAS and SAN, the FAS2500. This new system has expanded flash support that increases performance and capacity by over 40%. There are three flavors of the new 2500 series with a max configuration up to 576TB and support for FC, iSCSI, NFS, SMB and FCoE.
SanDisk is adding one more acquisition to its flash play with the latest announcement to acquire Fusion-io. Over the past two years, SanDisk has been rounding out its flash portfolio by acquiring Pliant Technology, Smart Storage Systems, and Schooner, but this latest acquisition is nearly twice the value of all three of those combined.
While the Fusion-io stock price has been on a steady decline over the past few months, the company still possessed a significant portion of the enterprise flash based PCIe market. SanDisk is looking to capitalize on this strength of Fusion-io in combination with its own capabilities from a component manufacturing standpoint. According to Sanjay Mahrotra, SanDisk president and CEO, "Customers will benefit from the addition of Fusion-io's leading PCIe solutions to SanDisk's vertically integrated business model."
Nimble Storage is expanding its reach into the SSD market by introducing an All-Flash Shelf and a more powerful hybrid-flash array, the CS700, to its portfolio. The combined new solution is capable of scaling up to 500,000 IOPS, 64 terabytes of flash, and a petabyte of capacity.
In conjunction with the introduction of these new products, Nimble is highlighting a set of features for the intelligent handling of data they are dubbing, "Adaptive Flash". This is a combination of the Nimble CASL (Cache-Accelerated Sequential Layout) architecture and the cloud based management software, InfoSight. The CASL technology includes dynamic flash-based read caching, inline compression, and snaphots. And with InfoSight, customers can monitor and manage their Nimble systems via a cloud-based platform.
With the HP Discover event scheduled to kick off tomorrow in Las Vegas, HP is getting an early start by announcing enhancements to its backup, recovery and archive (BURA) product family. The latest additions to the HP StoreOnce Backup solutions reduce the time required by administrators to manage the backup process by up to 75 percent by eliminating physical mapping of backup jobs to individual backup appliances. As an extension to the HP StoreOnce Backup portfolio, HP is calling this new solution the HP StoreOnce Federated Catalyst.
At the heart of this new feature set is the ability to aggregate multiple backup stores to a single pool of total backup capacity that can expand across multiple nodes. Depending on a customer's particular workload, this can scale up to more than 17PB assuming a 10:1 deduplication ratio. Also, via HP unique innovations such as adaptive bidding and adaptive routing, workloads are analyzed so that data is sent to the most optimal physical location. This includes more than just standard appliances, but also the ability to aggregate across hybrid cloud environments.
HP has announced a new set of feature enhancements for its all-flash HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450 array along with the claim that this marks the end of spinning disk. The new features include hardware-accelerated, inline primary deduplication, thin cloning software, Express Indexing and support for a new 1.92TB commercial multi-level cell (cMLC) SSD. By coupling these new drives with HP's data compaction technologies, customers can now achieve a $2/GB price for an all-flash array solution.
At this price target, HP believes they are creating a major market shift to allow customers to move from traditional spinning disks to all SSD arrays, no matter what the workload. Up until this point, all-flash arrays have mostly been utilized for niche workloads requiring the highest possible performance. At these prices though, HP believes all-flash arrays can be the only storage tier necessary. In fact, according to Vish Mulchand, senior director, Product Management and Marketing, HP Storage, with this release, "HP is predicting the end of auto-tiered arrays".
Comparing a 7450 configured with 250TB of 1.92TB cMLC drives and the latest OS enhancements to a similar VMAX configuration, Mulchand says the 3PAR solution is three times less expensive, takes up 1/25th the Rackspace, and consumes eight times less power. For current owners of an HP 3PAR 7450 on a support contract hoping to get similar results, they can expect a free upgrade to the new OS in September 2014. The new 1.92TB drives will be available in July 2014 at a price of $14,315.
Computex 2014 - Supermicro's booth was buzzing with activity as they displayed its diverse line of products at Computex 2014. Perhaps most impressive were high density server designs that provide a ton of compute muscle in a small footprint.
The 6U 112-node MicroBlade Server is a good example of maximizing rack space for datacenter and hyperscale applications. This impressive box features 28 hot-swap micro blades. Each blade holds four nodes that house an 8-core processor.
Each blade holds four 8-core Intel C2000 processors, RAM, and storage. The beauty of the design lies in the shared power, networking, and cooling in the rear of the unit.