DDN adds midrange hybrid box to IntelliFlash storage array line

DDN has added a low-end model to its IntelliFlash array line to broaden appeal for its hybrid NVMe SSD/hard disk drive range.

The IntelliFlash block+file storage arrays were acquired by DDN from Western Digital in September 2019 after the latter decided to exit the data centre storage array market.  DDN gained an all-flash array and a hybrid, 2-tier flash-HDD product set. It created the IntelliFlash line in September last year, with the all-flash N6100 and N6200, and the hybrid H6200. Now it has taken the N6100 controller and used it to create the H6100, a reduced performance and smaller capacity version of the H6200.

DDN told us the H6100 is “a new midrange hybrid system centered around simplifying the user experience and improving performance – bringing technologies that were previously only available in high-performance environments to midrange enterprises.”

This is how the N6nnn and H6nnn products compare:

B&F Table

We have no actual performance numbers, neither bandwidth nor IOPS, and no controller CPU nor DRAM details to provide a rough indication of the relative power of these H Series systems. But unlike the N6100 and N6200, which have the same maximum capacities, the H6100 has a lower disk capacity range – 96TB to 2,016TB compared to the more powerful H6200’s 360TB to 5,040TB.

That’s because the H6100 supports up to 6 x 24-disk drive expansion chassis – 144 drives with 8 or 14TB capacities – while the H6200 supports up to 4 x 90 disk drive expansion boxes – 360 drives with, again, 8 or 14TB capacities. The H6100 will be a lower-cost and lower-capacity entry to the product range but still provide an NVMe SSD performance tier with a disk drive capacity tier.

IntelliFlash controller chassis and bezel

The 24-bay expansion shelf is a short-depth box suitable, DDN says, for SME data centres. Modular H6100 configurations are available for on-demand growth, and DDN is targeting SAN (block) and NAS (NFS, SMB) AI, Life Sciences, and File Services use cases.

The new hardware is accompanied by updated IntelliFlash software for the H and N series providing:

  • Bigger block sizes for higher-capacity hybrid data sets
  • Faster, non-disruptive failover 
  • Higher-density 10 GbitE data IO ports
  • Intelligent data insights with cloud-based analytics 
  • Refreshed host OS and ecosystem plug-in compatibility

The IntelliFlash OS v3.11.3 supports VMware and Hyper-V virtualised environments, inline deduplication and compression, snapshots, read/write clones, thin provisioning, synchronous replication to other IntelliFlash systems for DR, and an S3 connector to object storage on-premises or in the public cloud.

We might envisage that there will be future upgrades adding large-capacity disk drives, 32Gbit/s Fibre Channel, and Kubernetes cloud-native app storage support.

There’s more IntelliFlash H Series information here.