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Nimbus Data Goes All In With Flash-Only Storage

Storage vendor Nimbus Data is one of the first to introduce an all-flash network storage system. The market for flash--or solid-state disk (SSD)--storage is limited, because SSDs are typically more expensive than hard disk drive (HDD) storage. However, Nimbus calculates that the total cost of ownership (TCO) for SSDs is less than with HDD storage when the costs of power, cooling and software licenses are factored in.

The Nimbus S-Class system is a 2U rack-mounted storage appliance that features 800,000 input-output instructions per second (IOPS), 8-Gbps throughput, is scalable up to 250 Tbytes, and supports 10-Gbit Ethernet, 8-Gbit Fibre Channel and 40-Gbit Infiniband connectivity. It also uses 80% less energy and offers 60% greater rack density than a comparable HDD system.

Nimbus CEO and Founder Thomas Isakovich calls the all-flash solution "sustainable storage."

"We think the future of primary storage is flash, and we think the existing solutions on the market aren’t taking advantage of flash to the extent that is possible," Isakovich says.

Major storage vendors such as EMC, NetApp, Oracle and HP have limited SSD offerings, and they'e usually just a component of an HDD system, he says. But on Tuesday Nimbus presented a study produced by the e-commerce company eBay that showed it saved money when it replaced an HDD system with Nimbus’ all-flash technology.

Although the upfront hardware cost for Nimbus was twice that of an HDD solution, there is no need to have a file system or additional software licenses as with an HDD system because the Nimbus system includes its own proprietary operating system. So the upfront cost is $12.65 per gigabyte of storage capacity acquired versus $13.20 per gigabyte with the HDD system. The example in the eBay study was a 15,000-gigabyte system.

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