Short and sweet – DDN opens up about rulers, subscriptions and SCM

DDN is looking favourably at supporting ruler-format flash drives and a subscription business model, but doesn’t think storage-class memory is needed quite yet.

These points came across when we got the opportunity to send a few questions to Dr James Coomer, DDN’s VP for product management.

James Coomer.

Blocks & Files: Will DDN support the EDSFF ruler format drives?

James Coomer: Yes, we will switch to EDSFF form factor as soon as enough viable media in large capacity points is available, which is the main inhibitor today. 

Which particular formats look to be the most appropriate for you?

We are primarily looking at E1.S and E1.L support.

Do you think there are too many EDSFF product formats, compared to the current M.2, AIC, U.2 and 3.5-inch storage drive formats?

Yes too many, and too many competing standards. The market conditions regarding supply are already a bit difficult, so the additional complexity of too many formats doesn’t help.

Will the EXAScaler base system hardware be used in the Tintri enterprise storage product line?

The EXAScaler base system hardware is already being used as the mainline platform for both VMStore and IntelliFlash. The VMStore T7000 series and the IntelliFlash N6000 and H6200 both use the same underlying hardware as the DDN EXAScaler appliances.

Will DDN move to a subscription business model?

Yes. With our upcoming software offerings we are adding subscription. Also we are seeing requests for customers for private cloud managed by DDN at their side or other datacentres, for which we have offerings.

How do you view the storage-class memory (SCM) product scene, with Optane SSDs and DIMMs, and the fast SLC-flash-based drives from Samsung and Kioxia? What is DDN’s view on using SCM technology?

SCM at this point are niche products as the cost is too high, capacity too low and the application-level performance improvements are not high enough for most customers to move in this direction aggressively. As prices will come down they will be used in our efficient hierarchical storage management stack when we see more customer demand, but nothing prevents us from using it today. We just don’t see enough demand yet.


Excellent answers – short, direct and clear. Thank you Dr James.