November 17, 2016

Infinidat, an unique story for a clear strategy

Infinidat (, leader in enterprise class storage, continues its rapid momentum. The IT Press Tour group were at the Infinidat R&D center in Herzliya a few days ago for a very dense moment. We learned lots of good things from a product and strategy perspective.
M. Yanai, CEO & S. Kenniston, VP Product Marketing
Originally the team had the tough mission to shake the market with a new architecture to beat Flash array in TCO and deliver same performance with a new software approach and intelligent memory and storage hierarchy. In details it's more than that with reliability, capacity, scalability and saving goals able to offer a very high performance for writes operations in intensive environment. For storage components, the choice was made to consider DRAM, Flash and HDD to support a compelling TCO with a pure software approach that makes the difference. It's pretty difficult to deliver an attractive TCO for all Flash array with huge capacity, I mean a TCO better than hybrid. With 500+PB deployed, Infinidat idea is confirmed and adopted by the market having demonstrated its value.

Infinidat Lab with 100s of PB
The product team have imagined several key innovations, among them:
  • Density and Disk Server Ratio: all the 480 disk drives on the cabinet are addressable by all the 3 controllers, there is no master. Il means that all drives can receive IO requests from all 3 controllers. - There is like a software switch or matrix between the controllers and the flat disk space.
  • Flash Ratio: approx. 3% representing 24 to 210TB of SSD.
  • Efficiency: I should say at all levels with 78% hit from DRAM, 93.7% from Flash and 72% from HDD. One key aspect is the dense cache layer based on 3TB of DRAM. The second aspect is the reliability with 99,99999%, 100 times more than the competition. Data are protected with Infiniraid offrant better results - speed and load - than replication, parity RAID or Reed-Solomon Erasure Coding.
  • IO Optimization: Write operations based on log structured write method, also things like inline checksum and misaligned write protection.
Thank to these key points, Infinibox is able to deliver 1M+ IOPS, 12GB+ throughput, 130-180usec latency, less than 4W/TB, 99,99999% uptime, block + file + mainframe, super easy deployment and management and above all a super efficient TCO.

Brian Carmody, CTO
During this session, Brian Carmody, CTO of Infinidat, gave us his vision of the future Infinidat SDS solution with the Hyperstorage systems approach in 6 points:
1. Any hardware,
2. Any media type,
3. Global API,
4. reliability > monoliths,
5. Performance > all flash array and
6. Areal/power density > Hyperscaler.

A question stays open: "Even if Infinidat does the job and delivers high performance, what about company's all flash strategy if any, just to participate in all flash RFP ? today they can't participate. It reduces their adoption rate so having an additional offering should be considered by the vendor to accelerate market penetration. Anyway today their key argument is to do better than all flash array at a fraction of the cost and it works very well. To conclude, it was a super session, we have met great people, learned lots of thing from the team and about the future.

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