SolidFire targets cloud providers with all SSD primary storage

SolidFire recently revealed the details of its all solid state storage technology targeted at cloud storage providers.

The system has features that make it useful in cloud applications, including a REST API and a scalable architecture that allows from 1TB to over a petabyte of useable storage in a single system.

As we reported in our recent Outlook Report on Cloud Storage: Adoption, Practice and Deployment, (Download PDF) cloud storage and compute implementations cause tremendous challenges due to the requirements of automatic provisioning, multi-tenant quality of service agreements and costs and latency of sharing conventional storage area networks across an elastic network of virtualized server resources. These implementations require access speed and the ability to establish high availability and self-healing capabilities that drive storage costs through the roof and a forklift controller upgrade is not feasible in a 24/7 x 365 service.

The SolidFire SF3010 appliance is a 1U node with 10 solid state drives (SSD) of 300GB each, an 8GB NVDRAM write cache, two Xeon 2.4GHz six core CPUs, 72GB of memory and read cache, two 10Gbps Ethernet ports and two 1GBps Ethernet ports. The 3TB of raw capacity, due to in-line compression and deduplication is about 12TB of useable capacity per node. SolidFire has developed self-healing and node aggregation algorithms that allow scaling from a minimum of three nodes to a maximum of 100 nodes. Of note is the use of the Intel 320h SSDs at 300GB each. This is a drive built from Intel's 25nm 'compute grade' 2 bit per cell multi-level cell (MLC) flash. The drive is not targeted by Intel for enterprise applications, but in the context of SolidFire's algorithms, which manage the drives with a large write cache and minimal erase-program cycles per drive, the use of the high density, low cost drives makes a lot of sense.

SolidFire has announced an early-availability program that can be accessed by cloud service providers.

SolidFire is funded by New Enterprise Associates, Valhalla Partners and Novak Biddle Venture Partners for $12 million. The company's founder Dave Wright is the founder of Jungle Disk, which was acquired by Rackspace.

Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.

Deni Connor is principal analyst for Storage Strategies NOW and host of Network World's Masters of Storage and Masters of Servers Solution Centers.

This story, "SolidFire targets cloud providers with all SSD primary storage" was originally published by Network World.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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