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Whiptail Reinvents Performance Flash

Whiptail's Invicta, called the world's first scale-out, modular, enterprise-class solid state storage platform, offers up to 72 Tbytes of NAND flash capacity, sustained bandwidth beyond 6 Gbytes per second, sustained IOPS beyond 600,000 and a latency that's so low it's virtually undetectable in a multitenant, multiprotocol environment.

Whiptail is relaunching its XLR8r flash storage array as Accela and introducing its big brother, Invicta, called the world's first scale-out, modular, enterprise-class solid-state storage platform. The company, which has been around since 2008, says the next-generation Invicta silicon storage array offers up to 72 Tbytes of NAND flash capacity, sustained bandwidth beyond 6 Gbytes per second, sustained IOPS beyond 600,000 and a latency that's so low it's virtually undetectable in a multitenant, multiprotocol environment.

Accela, a technology update to XLR8R, features RAID protection, hot spares, and asynchronous replication, optional protected write buffers and VMWare vCenter management, including the industry’s first complete implementation of native vStorage APIs for Array integration (VAAI). Certified by both Citrix and VMware, both arrays are powered by Racerunner, the company's software architecture for all block and file protocols. The products will start shipping by the end of this quarter.

"We are a high-performance array vendor, a new category that is entirely around performance," says Max Riggsbee, Whiptail VP and chief marketing officer. The four key performance criteria are IOPs, bandwidth, latency and symmetry--read and write are not in sync, he says. "What we're hearing from customers, they're very interested in having a performance storage tier with those four value propositions." Applications include virtual desktops, databases and an emerging market, development. "It's every customer that's running into performance challenges."

IDC is expecting continued big growth in the solid-state storage market through 2015. Year-over-year growth of the SSD market represented a 105% increase from the $2.4 billion market of 2010 to $5 billion in 2011. IDC reports that a number of environments--from tiered solutions to virtualized environments to databases to the cloud--can all benefit from the use of SSDs.

Enterprise flash and SSDs have been largely deployed to help with specific workloads (such as databases, OLTP and generic server virtualizations), but Mark Peters, a senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, says ESG is seeing a pretty rapid shift toward flash/SSD being used in a cache manner, meaning that the workloads become that much broader. He says Whiptail's new products add high availability and impressive scale to an already highly featured, unapologetically high-performance system. "Put this together with their lengthy in-field experience with production systems, and they have a real shot at catching the eye, and then the heart, of performance-focused users."

The Invicta has combined a high-availability architecture that can scale with multiple Accela nodes behind dual storage routers, all tied together with InfiniBand, says Jim Bagley, senior analyst and business development consultant, Storage Strategies NOW. "External communications feature iSCSI, Fibre Channel and InfiniBand, so it is pretty unique. Also, the ability to split an Invicta over two sites on a campus is very cool [called stretch mirroring]." He says enterprise customers demand the high-availability features and will find the Whiptail pricing to be compelling. The company says that when you compare disk to flash, it offers comparable pricing.

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