Whiptail Pushes Flash Arrays to 360 TB

Whiptail, a manufacturer of flash storage arrays, has announced an Infinity hyperscale architecture it says will scale up to 30 nodes and a full 360 terabytes of all-flash storage.

The Infinity architecture, expected early next year, represents an improvement over the company’s existing Invicta modular storage array, which can handle six nodes and up to 72 terabytes of flash memory.

Naturally, replacing traditional spinning disks with flash memory saves power and dramatically increases performance, pushing IOPS levels far higher than an enterprise disk drive. Flash storage has typically been used as a performance cache for frequently accessed data—but as prices of individual flash components continue to fall, so does system pricing, allowing flash-based solutions to creep farther into disk-drive pricing territory.

With the Infinity option, enterprise customers can apparently scale performance and capacity as needed. In initial testing, a 180-Tbyte, 15-node Invicta Infinity array produced performance numbers of 2.1 million IOPS and 21.8 Gbytes/second throughput. Whiptail specs its Invicta line at 7.5 GB/s while reading, and about 5 GB/s while writing.

“We expect a fully-populated, 30-node, 360-TB Infinity to exceed 4 million IOPS and 40GB/second throughput in real world use,” Whiptail chief technical officer James Candelaria wrote in a statement. “We’re breaking down the data silos, but more importantly, we’re allowing the enterprise to think about flash strategically rather than tactically. You no longer have to worry about hot and cold data when you can have everything available on Whiptail solutions.”

Pricing remains up in the air at this time, corporate marketing manager Kevin Balentine wrote in an email: “I expect we’ll have pricing information mid-December or early January.”

Whiptail uses multi-level-cell (MLC) flash, which typically offers tradeoffs: additional storage per cell (or greater storage density), albeit usually accompanied by higher error rates, too. Whiptail’s RaceRunner OS is designed to overcome the latter; the company released version 4.1.1 in November.

“Our RaceRunner OS increases read and write throughput and adds a level of protection to mitigate any longevity shortfalls associated with consumer level flash,” Balentine wrote, adding that RaceRunner supports disaster recovery with replication and features industry standard parity RAID and hot sparing.

Whiptail offers both the Accela flash storage array as well as the modular Invicta line, plus the Infinity Invicta enhancement. Executives said there’s more to come next year.

“This is just the beginning for us when it comes to the product roadmap,” Whiptail chief executive Dan Crain wrote in a statement. “With the latest version of our RaceRunner OS, we focused on solving a huge IT headache by allowing data replication across heterogeneous platforms. Now we’re moving into the high capacity space. I think it’s easy to see that we’re dedicated to giving our customers more flexibility and will be delivering a steady diet of enhancements throughout 2013.”

 

Image: Katharina Wittfeld/Shutterstock.com