October 7, 2016

Cache better than Flash with InfiniBox 3.0

Infinidat (www.infinidat.com), the alternative enterprise-class storage vendor, continues its journey to disrupt the market. Founded in 2011 by Moshe Yanai, the genius behind EMC Symmetrix and XIV, the company just introduced a new major iteration of its core software, represented by InfiniBox 3.0.

Some of you for sure remember the announcement of InfiniBox 2.0 in September 2015 and it helps to understand the progress during last 12 months. The team has grown from 300 to 400 employees and moved from 200+PB to 500+PB installed. In term of revenue, since the first commercial quarter in H2 2013, each quarter doubles the previous one... I let you do the math it means +600% per year !! Wow.
Back to InfiniBox 3.0, this release introduces several fundamental features:
  • Inline compression exactly inline asynchronous compression as the data reduction process is fully independent of the data input transaction and does not reside in the data path so there is no impact on the latency (less than 190 micro secs for a write operation). Inline because the compression activity is running before data touch the persistent layer. The architecture uses 64kB blocks for the common storage pool and for each of these segments the logic chooses the best compression library based on the content. Vertical domains perfectly illustrate this as genomics uses different compression library than traditional databases for instance. The compression is active by default but admin can switched it off via the GUI. The granularity is at volume and file system level. The net result is the final usable capacity almost double on average and reach a new level with 5PB per rack (42U).
  • iSCSI left its infancy with a dedicated node for such access and the company has built its own stack in order to boost access flexibility and performance. Now IOPS breaks the 1,000,000 barrier and still offer a throughput of 12.5GB/s. The hardware config continues to be 3.2TB of DRAM and 210TB of Flash system wide for 480 7.2k RPM HDDs. Other protocols are FC (gen 6 soon), FICON, NFS and SMB based on Visuality Systems NQ. Object API have disappeared from the message and slides.
  • Analytics for performance monitoring and analysis of course to drill down to a very deep granular transaction level. These informations are fully visible in the GUI and also accessible with a REST API.
Infinidat demonstrates the value of software with commodity hardware delivered as an unified hybrid storage array. We can summarize this as the first Enterprise-class SDS unified array. InfiniBox 3.0 will be available in Q4/2016.
The IT Press Tour will visit early November the Infinidat R&D facility in Herzliya in Israel so we'll learn more about all these brilliant ideas. Super session in perspective.

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