DDN reveals VMstore and Intelliflash updates for 2021

High performance computing and enterprise needs are converging, according to DDN, which is developing technology in response.

In a press briefing this week, the HPC storage veteran gave us a sneak peak into its product roadmap. DDN has two divisions: At Scale, the HPC, supercomputer and enterprise AI unit; and Enterprise, which includes the acquired Tintri, Nexenta and IntelliFlash businesses.

Tom Ellery, DDN’s SVP field operations and GM for the enterprise division, said DDN is the world’s biggest privately-held storage company in the world, with more than 11,000 customers, 10EB of shipped capacity, 21 years of profitability and a quarterly run rate “north of $100m”.

The roadmap sees the company cross-pollinating the two divisions with each other’s technology and and adopting an ‘intelligent infrastructure’ that incorporates AIOps-influenced management. In particular , Ellery said, it developing Enterprise Division products, specifically the Tintri VMstore and the Intelliflash array.


In early 2021 the VMstore gets a new all-NVMe drive platform offering more performance than existing VMstore arrays such as the T7000

Tintri T7000.

VMstore software adds Oracle database support, equivalent to the SQL database-aware functions announced in July. Oracle DMAS will be able to use Oracle concepts to manage and operate VMstore.

DDN will add Open Cloud data mobility, a data mobility service to move on-premises workloads to AWS S3. A Tintri AWS SpinUp service will converts them to EC2 format and instantiates them. 

It seems logical that DDN will over time extend Open Cloud Mobility to cover Azure and the Google Cloud.

VMstore management software will also get Intelligent anomaly detection to identify ransomware and other malware activity. The product roadmap includes the ability to archive snapshots on a networked IntelliFlash array and used there for disaster recovery.


IntelliFlash and DDN’s A3i system will get a Kubernetes CSI driver within a few weeks.

IntelliFlash rack.

More importantly, a new Tintri IntelliFlash hardware system is coming early in 2021. This will scale up to a 4 x 90-bay chassis system, offering 5PB-6PB capacity and 25GB/sec throughput

IntelliFlash 4.0 will release in 2021, adding erasure coding and encryption. The update has container support via CSI, VMware Tanzu and OpenStack. DDN thinks the latter will increase its appeal to telco customers. 

IntelliFlash 4.0 will also provide on-premises analytics and an S3 gateway. The technology can be consumed as a physical appliance, a virtual storage appliance (VSA) or in the public cloud. The VSA can be a VM or container on a virtual server or a VM/container in a hyperconverged system. It could be a virtual machine in the public cloud or run as a full stack in those clouds.

The DDN At Scale division will provide DDN-branded IntelliFlash for Structured data. DataFlow, an Atempo product, will move data between IntelliFlash and DDN’s Exa5 Exascaler unstructured data (file) array. It can also migrate data from the older GridScaler to ExaScaler.


DDN also discussed Firecrest, a software-defined storage that combines Tintri IntelliFlash and NexentaStor functionality. It will run as a VSA (virtual storage appliance) and should be ready around the middle of 2021.

DDN Firecrest, Inc. was incorporated in October 2019 by a company agent who also acted as the agent for the incorporation of Nexenta by DDN in September, 2019.

We think that Tintri is also looking to provide a unified management facility, with intelligent analytics, across its product lines.

WOS going on?

Not a lot has been heard about DDN’s WOS (Web Object Scaler) object storage system in the last couple of years. DDN added an S3 interface to WOS in 2014, but ExaScaler now also has an S3 interface and ExaScaler has the same capacity as WOS. No new hardware platform is planned for WOS and our impression is that WOS is in a care and maintenance mode.