It has always seemed to me that solid state becomes a perfect platform for deduplication. While there may be some performance impact to implementing the capabilities, SSD for many environments has storage I/O capability to spare. To the user and the application, the impact of implementing deduplication and compression are often unnoticeable. The payoff is that you are gaining extra storage space on a tier of storage where capacity comes at a premium still today. A 10X gain on storage that is already inexpensive like SATA is interesting, a 10X gain on storage like Solid State is very compelling.

As you would expect in a solid state only storage system, performance is very good. The system has the ability to generate over 1 million IOPS but does so at a cost point that is within the reach of a very broad set of use cases. This could be an ideal platform for both desktop and server virtualization projects as well as high transaction database applications and even extends into the HPC market.

This performance also helps in maintaining system integrity. The Nimbus S-Class has RAID protection to protect from flash module failure similar to how a legacy storage system would use RAID to protect from a hard drive failure. The difference is the speed at which the S-Class can rebuild from a failure and the performance impact during that rebuild as compared to traditional storage systems. With traditional storage systems you have to wait hours and in some cases days for the rebuild to complete while trying to balance rebuild performance vs. user performance. With the S-Class rebuilds take about 30 minutes with little to no impact to overall performance and minimal exposure time. The S-Class is also remarkably scalable. Its advanced file system supports non-disruptive capacity expansion from 2.5 TB to 250 TB in a single namespace.

Where Nimbus is clearly focused though is on the overall power savings aspect of their Sustainable Storage System; the amount of power required to deliver an IOP. In high performance storage systems that need hundreds of disk drives to meet performance demands the cost to power and cool those systems can be staggering. The S-Class delivers up to 6,000 IOPs per watt and 675,000 IOPs per floor tile.

Storage Switzerland's Take

This is the first pure flash storage system we have seen with a complete complement of data services. It’s a full-featured SAN/NAS platform with multi-protocol support (iSCSI, NFS, CIFS, and more coming), replication, snapshot, thin provisioning, and dedupe -- a compelling tier 1 storage solution for data centers struggling with I/O bound workloads.

George Crump, Senior Analyst

Flash Memory Summit Briefing