Infinidat arrays go faster, play nice in hybrid clouds

Infinidat, the high-end array maker, today launched subscription programs, software with enhanced performance, extended array connectivity, and cloud-delivered array monitoring and analysis.

The company also signalled its intention to enable workloads to move between on-premises and cloud storage in a single fabric.

Infinidat develops hybrid InfiniBox arrays with disk-based capacity storage and SSD and memory caching. The systems deliver performance equivalent to or better than all-flash arrays.

Infinibox and beyond

Let’s run through today’s announcements:

Elastic Data Fabric: the aim is to deliver a fabric supporting seamless workload mobility between systems, data centres, and cloud storage. Infiinidat proclaimed its goal to relegate data migrations to the IT list of extinct technologies and services.

  1. InfiniBox Software v5.0 features:
  • Network Lock Manager (NLMv4) for NFSv3 filesystems
  • Active/active replication for 100 per cent data availability
  • Non-disruptive data mobility for workload relocation between any two InfiniBox systems
  • Reduction of its sub-millisecond latency, enabling upwards of 2m IOPs
  • Increased throughput up to 25GB/sec

2. InfiniBox networking and memory extensions:

  • 16Gbit/s and 32Gbit/s Fibre Channel support
  • 25GbitE support
  • Groundwork laid for NVMe-over-fabrics and faster cache expansion with Storage Class Memory support

3. InfiniVerse cloud-based, AI-driven advanced monitoring, predictive analytics and support system. This includes customisable dashboards for all InfiniBox systems, wherever they reside, as a single system in a SaaS-based offering.

4. InfiniBox FLX subscriptions for on-premises storage and InfiniGuard FLX subscriptions for backup.

Both FLX offerings allow customers to pay for what they use, when they need it, scaling capacity up, or down, as workloads grow, retire, or relocate to other systems. Both provide 100 per cent data availability guarantees, and a full hardware refresh every three years is included in the subscription cost.

Discussion

NVMe-oF support, previewed in March 2019, could be delivered via RoCE or NVMe/TCP over Ethernet, or NVMe/FC. No word yet from the company on what it will plump for.

Together with upcoming SCM support, this will allow Infinidat to deliver the same class of low-latency access as other NVMe-oF and SCM-supporting all-flash arrays and offer multiple petabyte capacity using cheaper-than flash disk storage. Monster 16TB and 20TB disk drives are coming this year and they should enable a capacity jump over the current 10, 12 and 14TB drives.

Subs drive

Infinidat aims to deliver all-flash array levels of performance at hybrid array costs, and to mix and match new technologies such as NVMe-oF and SCM.

It is also taking on board best practices from other suppliers for a public cloud-influenced storage world, with SaaS-based array management, subscription-based array use, and the data fabric idea. We expect Infinidat to establish InfiniBox software beachheads in the main public clouds.

Blocks & Files sees echoes here of Infinidat extending its offering to take on board SaaS-based array management. This concept was pioneered by Nimble and is seen in elements of Pure’s Evergreen service and NetApp’s Data Fabric.

Availability

InfiniVerse will be available this quarter at no charge to supported customers.

InfiniBox Software v5 delivery starts in the third quarter, 2019. The 16/32Gbits FC and 25GbitE options for InfiniBox arrays are available this quarter. New InfiniBox systems shipping in the quarter will be NVMe-oF and SCM-ready. Certain elements of the Elastic Data Fabric are here now and others will be delivered in mid-2020.

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