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Flash Vendors Cut Pricing

New Skyera, Tegile, SanDisk offerings make existing big data, analytics, and virtualization environments run faster at less expense.

Microsoft Office 2013: 10 Best Features
Microsoft Office 2013: 10 Best Features
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Skyera, Tegile Systems, and SanDisk this week announced a variety of solid state appliances and software that make existing applications run faster and are less expensive than other flash appliances.

Sykera introduced the Skyhawk Series storage systems, which are made up of less-expensive multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash. The Skyhawk appliances are available in a 1.75-inch-high (1U) form factor and contain 44 terabytes of flash. Before data is deduplicated, compressed, and stored on the Skyhawk arrays, the system prices out at $3 per gigabyte. When deduplicated and compressed data is stored on the Skyhawk arrays, the price decreases to $1 per gigabyte. The net capacity for deduplicated data is 100TB.

The Skyhawk Series storage systems are designed for big data, analytics, and server and desktop virtualization--environments that need high performance and low latency.

Skyera was founded by CEO Radoslav Danilak and Rod Mullendore, chief architect. Danilak previously founded Sandforce, which was acquired by LSI in 2011.

[ Read Big Data Means Big Storage Choices. ]

Working on changing and extending the write amplification--where memory needs to be erased before it can be rewritten and the rewriting shortens the life of the memory--of MLC flash was a challenge Skyera’s engineers undertook. They re-architected the entire stack including the flash and RAID controllers, storage blades, communication bus, and network interface to improve the life amplification of the flash. The resulting controller uses proprietary algorithms to tune the life of the flash and adjust its use as the flash ages.

The Skyera arrays also incorporate networking switching. The arrays are outfitted with 40 1GbE and three 10GbE ports.

Tegile Systems on Tuesday also rolled out two new flash arrays, the Zebi HA2400 and Zebi HA-2800. Each deduplicate, compress, RAID, and snapshot data. The HA2400 and 2800 use metadata accelerated storage system (MASS) technology to separate metadata from the primary data path, increasing IO performance as much as seven times. The new arrays sell at below $2 per gigabyte and use near-line SAS hard drives as well as solid state drives.

Tegile’s MASS architecture also now includes FlashVols to maximize performance. FlashVols are volumes pinned in solid state drives so the applications can run quickly without delays caused by caching algorithms or tiering.

The new arrays are available now. The HA2400 is $168,389. The HA2800 is $235,152.

Finally, SanDisk, which acquired FlashSoft earlier this year, released software for Windows and Linux servers that increases application performance and supports more virtual machines. The new software shows an increase of two to four times in application performance and supports two to three times the number of VMs. In addition, the software runs transparently within the hypervisor.

The FlashSoft software caches "hot" data on solid-state devices installed in the Windows or Linux server, thus reducing IO latency. It works with any Pie, SAS or SATA flash device from any vendor, both in storage area network and network attached storage configurations.

As much as 2TB of cache can deployed with the FlashSoft software. It costs $3,900 per server.

New innovative products may be a better fit for today's enterprise storage than monolithic systems. Also in the new, all-digital Storage Innovation issue of InformationWeek: Compliance in the cloud era. (Free with registration.)

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