Nimbus Data Systems has expanded the capacity of its systems by announcing the S-1000, which provides up to 10 TB of solid state capacity per shelf, more than doubling the capacity of the system to 250 TB within a file system. Previously, the system supported up to 105 TB. In addition, the company announced FlexConnect, an embedded switch option for the device that the company says eliminates the need for a standalone storage-area network switch in most environments by providing up to 12 10GbE ports.
"They have a great idea, to just use low-cost flash, and produce systems that they sell for what other vendors charge for 15K RPM disk-based systems on a cost-per-gigabyte basis, but deliver a lot more performance," says Howard Marks, founder of DeepStorage.net and a Network Computing contributor. "Add in the dedupe, and they could actually be cheaper." The company had originally intended to market its product primarily to SMBs but has increased the capacity due to the interest the product is getting from enterprise users, Marks says.
The S1000 increases scalability to up to 600 blades and supports 10 TB per shelf, with each shelf holding 24 blades. The system offers the same 10-1 reduction using deduplication as the previous systems, and is expected to be used for the same functions: large-scale, private and public clouds, virtual machines, the high-performance computing market, oil and gas, and supercomputing. Because the system uses flash memory, it produces up to 90 percent lower energy, cooling, and rack space costs than spinning disk arrays, the company says.
The FlexConnect embedded switch option upgrades the system from four 10GbE ports to 12. Because most users have five to 10 servers, this eliminates the need for a standalone SAN switch in most environments. This helps reduce costs by up to the $50,000 cost of such a switch, as well as costs associated with the switch such as cabling, power, and administration, though the systems still support 10GbE switches, if 12 ports are insufficient. In addition, performance is improved because latency is reduced due to eliminating the additional hop to the network. The ports can use either optical fibre, or copper cabling that supports traditional Cat6, meaning users don't have to have different cabling types from 1GbE. The 10GbE ports are a fraction of the cost and higher performance than 4Gb or 8Gb Fibre Channel.
The S1000 10 TB model, with a HALO storage operating system license, is available now for $99,995. The FlexConnect option, which is available either in optical fibre or copper, costs $9,995. The 2.5 TB and 5 TB configurations continue to be available for $24,995 and $39,995 respectively. In addition, users can mix and match the three systems, because they all use the same software, and make it look like a single system.