Nimbus Data Adds Flash To eBay, Intros New Flash-based Primary Storage


Nimbus Data Systems this week unveiled a new version of its S-Class flash memory storage system family that features considerably higher performance and support for high-speed Ethernet, Fibre Channel, and InfiniBand protocols.

eBay has deployed 100 terabytes of Nimbus' S-Class flash storage systems, and this represents one of the largest deployments of Flash storage in a virtual environment, said Thomas Isakovich, CEO and founder of San Francisco-based Nimbus.

"This really signals the maturity of Flash as a true alternative for storage, not just as a tier or as a cache," Isakovich said. "There is no disk behind the Flash. The Flash is the storage."

Isakovich said Nimbus' agreement with eBay is a "seven-figure" deal that was closed in conjunction with a solution provider, but he declined to offer specifics on the size of the deal or the partner involved.

Nimbus' S-Class Flash memory storage systems are designed as primary storage systems built entirely around NAND Flash memory technology. They are based on the company's own HALO operating system, which provides for unified SAN and NAS storage.

Nimbus, which entered the unified SAN and NAS storage market in 2006, earlier this year released its initial S-Class Flash memory storage systems.

The latest version features a new 6-Gbps SAS interface and a new Flash memory processor, giving it a performance boost to 800,000 IOs per second and throughput of 8 GBs per second, or about three times that of the previous generation. "Those are really high numbers," Isakovich said.

The S-Class family, which previously supported Gbit Ethernet and 10-Gbit Ethernet, also now support InfiniBand as well as 8-Gbps and 4-Gbps Fibre Channel connectivity, he said.

"Now we can target the high-end of the market where customers use Fibre Channel for performance, and the high performance computing market where InfiniBand is popular," he said.

Nimbus Data does most of its business through its indirect sales channel, and solution providers have only begun scratching the surface of opportunities for high-performance Flash-based storage systems, Isakovich said.

"This is as potentially disruptive today as iSCSI and deduplication were when they first came out," he said. "But Flash storage is probably the most disruptive of the three technologies because it goes to the heart of primary storage, which is a margin-rich opportunity."