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Nimbus puts up its new all-flash array against disk arrays

The E-Class array in one rack can match the performance of 14 racks of disk drives

January 31, 2012 01:21 PM ET

Computerworld - Nimbus Data Systems today announced a new all-NAND flash storage array aimed at enterprise-class data centers that it said matches disk arrays on price, but outperforms everywhere else.

Nimbus's new E-Class (enterprise-class) Memory System is a fully redundant solid-state storage system that scales from 10TB to 440TB in capacity in a single rack and costs about $10 per gigabyte.

The E-Class uses 5 watts per terabyte of capacity, which amounts to 80% savings on cooling costs when compared to standard 15K disk drive arrays, the company said.

Nimbus CEO Thomas Isakovich said in terms of I/Os per second, the E-Class can do in one rack what 14 racks of 15,000rpm disk drives can do. "When customers start to look at flash as a real replacement for primary storage, they're going to need a lot more capacity," Isakovich said. "...Our objective in the market is primary storage replacement, and we've got the scale to go along with that."

The biggest difference between Nimbus's existing S-Class Memory System is that the new E-Class has a higher capacity point and dual, 2U (3.5-in high) controllers, ensuring that there is no single point of failure. The E-Class can also store 10TB per unit (1.75-in high), while the S-Class stores 5TB per unit. Customers, however, do have to pay for that additional controller in the entry-level price of the units.

The S-Class System has a starting price of $25,000 for a 2.5TB configuration. The new E-Class starts at $149,995 for a 10TB configuration, which represents the company's standard $10 per gigabyte price plus $25,000 for each controller.

The E-Class can store up to 500TB under a single domain name space (file system), which roughly represents 25 2U enclosures, each with 20TB of capacity.

"The S-Class fits more mid-tier users and in the database arena with a lower entry cost and lower capacity. The E-Class is more high end, with no single-point of failure and a higher capacity," Isakovich said.

Pricing information
Pricing for the S-Class and E-Class SSD systems

As with the S-Class System, the new E-Class comes native with a 10:1 data deduplication algorithm and can store and serve up either block- or file-level data.

"The Nimbus E-Class sets a new standard for solid state storage scalability and operating cost economics," Benjamin Woo, a vice president at research firm IDC, said in a statement. "Large enterprises and cloud providers must consider the significant infrastructure consolidation possible with all-flash storage systems. Nimbus is well-positioned to not only capitalize on the need for high-performance systems, but also the significantly greater trend towards primary storage based exclusively on solid state technology."

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