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Nimbus Launches New Flash Memory Arrays

The new platform delivers 10-year endurance, nonstop high availability, and advanced multiprotocol capabilities, according to the company. By ChannelPro

Nimbus Data Systems Inc., a provider of sustainable storage, has introduced its Gemini flash memory arrays. In unveiling this new platform, Nimbus debuts several patent-pending design achievements in hardware and software that the company says offer operational and economic advantages for virtualization, database, and cloud initiatives:

  • Nimbus Launches New Flash Memory Arrays10-year endurance that supports up to 1 PB of weekly data writes without performance loss
  • No single point of failure with hot-swap redundant controllers and self-healing flash drives
  • Patent-pending Parallel Memory Architecture capable of 12 GBps and over 1 million IOps
  • Software-configurable ports to support the highest Ethernet, Infiniband, and Fibre Channel speeds
  • Up to 48 TB of flash capacity in 2U, achieving 1 PB and 20 million IOps per rack

The new Gemini system meets the availability and performance requirements of server virtualization, databases, VDI, and IO-intensive data processing applications. The redundant “hot-swap everything” design offers dual controllers, non-disruptive software updates, and intuitive lights-out management in one system, with no external controllers, gateways, or cabling required.

Unlike IO-bound, off-the-shelf servers and disk arrays, Gemini offers 6x more bandwidth through a non-blocking design. This Parallel Memory Architecture (PMA) enables all flash drives to operate at full speed in unison, providing scalability for virtualized infrastructures that depend on low-latency, high throughput storage.

Gemini supports all major storage networking technologies at their fastest available data rates, including Ethernet (1/10/40 GbE), Infiniband (20/40/56 Gb), and Fibre Channel (4/8/16 Gb). Gemini’s ports are also software-programmable, switching instantly from Ethernet to Infiniband or from Fibre Channel to Ethernet simply by changing transceivers. This “dual-personality” capability offers flexibility should storage networking requirements change in the future.

All major block and file storage protocols are supported in-the-box, including iSCSI, FCP, SRP, NFS, and SMB, giving customers choice and the investment protection to adapt to changing needs.

To enable service providers to defer data center capital expenditures, Gemini packs 8x more capacity per rack than 15K RPM disk arrays, without resorting to top-loading designs that can complicate field service. Gemini also uses less power and generates less heat than 15K RPM disk arrays, cutting power and rackspace costs by 85 percent, according to Nimbus.

Delivering up to 20 million IOps in one rack, Gemini flash memory arrays enable a 30:1 consolidation in rackspace on a performance basis, giving customers a powerful weapon against unrelenting data growth.

Gemini incorporates Nimbus’ new Flash Lifecycle Management technology. Wear-leveling is performed system-wide, not just at the drive level, to help eliminate hot-spots and deliver consistent performance. The technology enables Gemini flash arrays to deliver up to 10 years of endurance, says Nimbus. A graphical dashboard displays real-time and historical flash utilization.

Gemini flash memory arrays feature Nimbus’ HALO software stack, a system management solution offering thin provisioning, deduplication, replication, snapshot, and encryption capabilities. HALO is included without any licensing fees.

Gemini flash memory arrays are available in single- and dual-controller configurations with either 4 x QSFP ports per controller (for Ethernet and Infiniband) or 4 x SFP+ ports per controller (for Ethernet and Fibre Channel). Capacity ranges from 6 to 48 TB per 2U system, before data reduction. The new Gemini flash memory arrays will be generally available in Q4 2012.

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