Nimbus Data Systems, Inc., the leading provider of unified all-flash storage systems for enterprise and cloud infrastructure, today unveiled its fourth-generation all-flash arrays: the Gemini F400 and F600.
These systems break new ground as the first arrays to utilize 1x nanometer MLC flash, directly challenging hybrid HDD/SSD arrays on cost-per-gigabyte for server virtualization and VDI while delivering the superior reliability, consistent performance, and lower operating costs of all-flash storage. The Gemini F400 and F600 also set new performance records, deliver 2-5x greater IOps and lower latency than competing offerings, extending Nimbus Data’s market leadership in low-latency applications like databases, analytics, and OLTP.
“Cloudmark heavily benchmarked and evaluated a number of hybrid and all-flash storage solutions to increase our virtualization density in order to slash OpEx costs, stated Ryan White, VP of Operations at Cloudmark, the global leader in messaging threat protection for communication service providers. “Nimbus Data was the clear winner in our evaluations, and the Gemini’s performance and value has given us plenty of headroom for further expansion.”
Enabling Mainstream All-Flash by Tapping 1x Nanometer Flash
The key to reducing the cost of all-flash systems is reducing the cost of the flash silicon itself. This is accomplished by reducing the lithography of flash. By unlocking the potential of 1x nanometer MLC flash, the new Gemini F400 and F600 systems offer the industry’s best cost per gigabyte, a 35% cost reduction over the prior generation. Nimbus Data achieved this through three technology advancements:
- A powerful hardware DSP in each enterprise flash drive that provides the perfect amount electrical current based on the age of the flash, minimizing flash wear,
- New Nimbus Data software that reforms random small-block writes into sequential large-block writes, reducing write amplification, and
- Cell-level, rather than chip-level, wear-leveling algorithms that detect variations in flash endurance and adapt write patterns accordingly, eliminating hot-spots
With these advancements, the new Gemini F400 and F600 systems increase the endurance of 1x nanometer flash to that of 2x nanometer flash, reducing cost while offering a 10-year comprehensive warranty. Combined with Nimbus Data’s deduplication, compression, and thin-provisioning software, cost per usable gigabyte is reduced to as little as $0.78, undercutting hybrid HDD/SSD arrays. This significant achievement marks a tipping point that will dramatically broaden the reach of all-flash technology, making hybrid HDD/SSD arrays obsolete for server virtualization and VDI.
Extending Performance Leadership in Latency-sensitive Applications
Nimbus Data has further optimized its system software to increase write performance by 4x and read performance by 2x with the new Gemini F400 and F600 systems. By reforming small block random writes into sequential writes, the new Gemini systems are the fastest all-flash arrays available today.
- Up to 1 million 100% write IOps at 4 KB
- Up to 2 million 100% read IOps at 4 KB
- As low as 50 usec latency at 4 KB
By combining such high performance and 1x nanometer flash economics, only Nimbus Data is uniquely positioned to target low-latency applications that demand absolute speed as well as general purpose enterprise storage use cases focused on software features and affordable capacity.
Multiprotocol and Unified All-Flash Storage
The new Gemini F400 and F600 systems offer fast and versatile connectivity options: up to 56 Gb FDR InfiniBand, 40 Gigabit Ethernet, and 16 Gb Fibre Channel, with backward-compatibility to slower speeds. As a unified platform, SAN and NAS protocols are natively supported, including FC, iSCSI, NFS, SRP, and CIFS. With RDMA technology, Gemini systems are ideal for mission-critical databases, a compelling alternative to costly and proprietary database appliances.
Enabling Disaggregated Racks of Flash with High-speed Interconnects
Connected over InfiniBand or 40 Gigabit Ethernet, the Gemini F600 challenges the latency performance of PCIe flash cards while offering the benefits of centralized storage: clustering support, more capacity, better throughput, and component redundancy. Instead of PCIe flash cards in every server, customers can build a flash grid using RDMA and low-latency interconnects, providing economies of scale and centralized management to reduce power consumption, data center rack space costs, and administration costs.
No Single Point of Failure and Comprehensive Software
The new Gemini systems meet the rigorous availability and performance requirements of server virtualization, databases, VDI, and IO-intensive data processing applications. The fully-redundant “hot-swap everything” design offers dual controllers, non-disruptive software updates, and intuitive lights-out management in one system – no bulky external controllers, gateways, or cabling required. Gemini all-flash arrays feature Nimbus’ HALO software stack, a total system management solution offering thin provisioning, deduplication, snapshot, and easy to use administration tools.
Availability and Pricing
The new Gemini F400 and F600 all-flash arrays will be generally available in Q4 2013. In a 2U fully-redundant system, the F400 and F600 provide 3 TB to 48 TB of flash using hot-swappable industry-standard form factor drive modules. Combined with Nimbus Data’s inline data reduction software, one Gemini system can hold up to 385 TB of data. The F400, which features 8 x SFP+ ports, supports 16 Gb Fibre Channel and 10 Gigabit Ethernet and starts under US$60,000. The F600, which features 8 x QSFP+ ports for ultra-fast InfiniBand and 40 Gigabit Ethernet, starts under US$80,000. Customers can choose a support contract up to 10 years in duration that provides 24 x 7 x 365 support, a comprehensive hardware warranty, free software updates, and 4 hour onsite service worldwide.