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8/21/2012
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Storage Players Try To Improve Solid State

NetApp, Astute Networks, GreenBytes, and Whiptail Technology venture more deeply into solid state technology with new products that boost its performance.

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NetApp, Astute, GreenBytes, and Whiptail Technology stepped more deeply into the solid state drive market with announcements of hardware and software that accelerate application performance and decrease latency.

NetApp unveiled Flash Accel, a server-caching technology for its ONTAP operating system. Flash Accel is part of the company's virtual storage tiering (VST) portfolio of products, which also includes Flash Cache and NetApp Flash Pool. With NetApp's VST, IT administrators can manage flash memory at the server level, controller level, or disk level.

Flash Accel is deployed as software on any server containing a PCIe-based flash or solid state drive. It off-loads IOPs at the server and accelerates applications by storing hot data in server flash memory. The product is expected to be available in December.

The company also announced a partnership with Fusion-io where it will resell Fusion-io's ioDrive, ioTurbine, and other acceleration products.

[ Read Solid State Storage Can Save You Money. ]

Astute Networks announced on Tuesday the ViSX G4 Flash VM storage appliance, which uses all-flash memory to improve performance in virtual desktop infrastructures (VDI) and increase the number of virtual machines that can be supported.

ViSX's 10GbE DataPump Engine deduplicates data at wire speed. ViSX works with VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer, and Red Hat RHEV in existing SAN or NAS infrastructures.

ViSX is a 2U (3.5-inch) high rack-mounted appliance that can be shared by virtual machines residing on host computers across the network. The DataPump Engine contained in the ViSX is an ASIC that provides hardware offload for iSCSI and TCP network traffic. The appliance has a capacity of 9.6TB enterprise multi-level cell flash memory and two 10GbE ports and four 1GbE ports. It is capable of being RAIDed at levels 0, 1, 10, 5 or 6 and performs inline deduplication of primary data.

The ViSX G4 is expected to be available as soon as October starting at $50,000.

GreenBytes, which started out as a deduplication company, Tuesday rolled out an IO offload appliance for accelerating virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) implementations. Called the IO Offload Engine, the appliance handles the virtual machine booting, provisioning, and disk drive swaps from the storage system, thus freeing the SAN to handle lower-priority workloads.

Each IO Offload Engine is capable of supporting 1,000 VDI users. It can be configured as a pair of highly available appliances and performs inline deduplication of primary data. The IO Offload Engine is available now.

Finally, Whiptail teamed with Micron to use Micron flash memory in all of its Accela and Invicta arrays.

New innovative products may be a better fit for today's enterprise storage than monolithic systems. Also in the new, all-digital Storage Innovation issue of InformationWeek: Compliance in the cloud era. (Free with registration.)

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