Jan 072013
 

Original Article by Brian Beeler at Storage Review

Excerpt…

Skyera has launched the SkyHawk, a half-depth 1U rack-mountable box that provides up to 44TB of flash storage with an Ethernet switch built in. Not only is the system ridiculously full-featured for such a diminutive box, Skyera is also attacking price. By leveraging 19/20nm consumer MLC NAND flash Skyera is able to drive pricing of roughly $3/GB for native storage, with the value proposition reaching as high as $1/GB with data compression and deduplication enabled. The SkyHawk also includes all the expected software features like thin provisioning, snapshots, cloning and storage QoS.

While Skyera isn’t yet a household name in the enterprise storage market, they do have a deep set of engineering chops as much of the team drove the development of the initial SandForce SSD controllers. By taking a renewed look at all of the components in the technology stack; flash controller, RAID controller, storage blades and network interface, the Skyera team was able to generate a 100X life amplification for the NAND. This longevity of course is what drove the ability to use low cost consumer MLC NAND, instead of more expensive eMLC or SLC NAND, while still providing the endurance and reliability that the enterprise requires.

Getting More out of MLC NAND

The drive to reduce cost in flash-based enterprise storage arrays is nothing new, almost every startup in the storage array market offers some take on MLC NAND as the driver of lower cost performance storage solutions for the enterprise. Where Skyera believes they have an edge though is they’ve crafted their own proprietary flash controller complete with proprietary algorithms that allow the controller to adapt to the flash as it ages. As a result, Skyera expects to deliver five years’ worth of enterprise endurance with the consumer-grade MLC flash being used. Another core advantage is that since Skyera owns the architecture, they can easily adapt their firmware and controller to work with future generations of flash that will require different write parameters.

Networking Too

Not typically found in flash arrays, the Skyera SkyHawk also includes a built-in network switch. The switching feature includes 40 GbE ports and three 10GbE ports and is designed to give compute servers a more direct path to the Skyera flash storage tier. The array does not require the switch to be used, but by Sykera providing the option, users can eliminate another hop in the data path that can introduce latency.

Pricing and Availability

Skyera offers the arrays in three capacity points of 12TB, 22TB and 44TB with pricing of $48,000, $77,000 and $131,000 respectively. The early access program begins in Q3 of this year, with general availability scheduled for Q1 2013.

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Jun 142012
 

Excerpt only, see complete article from StorageSearch

Note: the pricing mentioned here is part of Whiptail’s history and is probably outdated. As always, the manufacturer is your best source for current budgetary pricing…if they will provide it!

In February 2009 – WhipTail Tech announced details of its iSCSI compatible 2U rackmount RAID protected SSDs. Available with 1.5TB (price approx $60,000) or 3TB capacities the systems internally use COTS flash SSDs managed by EasyCo’s MFT technology which significantly improves write IOPS and endurance….

In July 2009 – WhipTail Technologies announced a 6TB version of its 2U SSD appliance. Pricing starts at $46,000 for a 1.5 TB system.

WhipTail’s CEO, Ed Rebholz said “One of Tier 0 storage’s downfalls to date has been the perception within the industry that it’s too expensive. Since WhipTail’s introduction earlier this year, we’ve already made significant strides in helping our industry peers to gain a new perspective. And in introducing the 6TB capacity, not only is WhipTail setting the bar for performance, footprint and affordability, but now we’re the SSD capacity leader.”

Editor’s comments:- it’s certainly the highest density server acceleration SSD I’m aware of. But you should be aware that the internal flash is MLC (and not SLC) which is a bird of a different feather. The memory type wasn’t stated in the original text of the press release.

A company spokesperson assured me that WhipTail manages the write cycle to ensure that the MLC disks last a minimum of 7 years when under load.

Other competing 2U SSDs in this capacity range include:- the RamSan-620 a 5TB SLC flash SSD from Texas Memory Systems and the Violin 1010 a 4TB SLC flash SSD from Violin Memory.

In October 2009 – WhipTail Technologies became the 1st SSD appliance company to market integrated in-line deduplication. WhipTail announced it will ship its newly renamed Racerunner (6TB) NAS SSDs with Exar’s Hifn BitWackr deduplication and compression solution in Q4 2009. Racerunner has demonstrated deduplication performance in excess of 1Gbps.

In February 2010 – StorageSearch.com published a new directory on the subject of – Solid State Storage Backup (S3B).

In March 2010 – WhipTail Technologies announced a Europe wide distribution and support agreement with Consolidate IT.

In April 2010 – WhipTail Technologies published a white paper which discusses how SSD acceleration can economically close the scaling performance gap which comes from virtual desktops and compares the SSD vs HDD array costs for a 5,000 virtual user system.

Although there’s nothing in this article which introduces new SSD acceleration architectural concepts – the 13 page document is a clearly written modern introduction to anyone interested in learning about how SAN centric SSDs can accelerate common applications. …read the article (pdf)

In August 2010 – in an effort to improve its prospects in the datacenter WhipTail Technologies announced a new name for its NAS SSDs – Datacenter XLR8r instead of Racerunner – and also unveiled HA options which involve dual failover systems. The little lizardy creatures are still on WhipTail ‘s site. Serious SSD buyers aren’t scared by animal brands.

In September 2010 – WhipTail Tech’s CTO, James Candelaria shared his SSD Bookmarks with readers of StorageSearch.com.

In August 2011 – Enterprise Strategy Group published a test report on WhipTail Technologies’ 2U iSCSI SSD appliance in a simulated 300 desktop VMware / W7 environment. Applications ran glitch free – even when a flash drive was removed.

In January 2012 – WhipTail announced it has secured a Series B funding round led by RRE Ventures, with Ignition Partners and Spring Mountain Capital also participating.

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