Skyera Unveils Flash Memory Storage Under $1/GB With Deduplication, Compression


Startup flash storage vendor Skyera Management on Tuesday introduced its first product, the Skyhawk series of solid-state storage systems, which feature a low cost of under $3 per Gbyte of raw capacity.

With compression and deduplication, the Skyera Skyhawk storage systems cost under $1 per Gbyte of capacity, making it one of the lowest-cost ways to take advantage of high-performance flash storage, said Tony Barbagallo, vice president of marketing for the San Jose, Calif.-based company.

The Skyera Skyhawk takes advantage of low-cost, consumer-grade MLC flash storage technology by focusing on building the controllers and other infrastructure needed to increase the life-cycle rating of that storage, Barbagallo said.

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The management team and R&D personnel at Skyera came from SandForce, which late last year was acquired by LSI, Barbagallo said.

"We built from the ground up a complete solid-state system, with the controller, RAID technology, array and FPGAs [field programmable gate arrays] all developed in-house," he said. "The only thing we don't make is the consumer-class flash memory."

While raw MLC flash storage is rated for about 3,000 write operations, Skyera's technology can stretch the MLC memory life cycle to about five years, he said.

The Skyera Skyhawk is 1U, half-depth storage device with 44 TB of raw flash memory-based capacity. The device includes 40 1-GbE ports with full LUN management, as well as three 10-GbE uplink ports.

As a result, the storage system can connect to up to 40 servers as a direct-attach storage array, Barbagallo said.

Skyera plans to offer smaller versions of its Skyhawk flash storage arrays with capacity levels of 5 TB, 12 TB and 22 TB over time, he said.

The 44-TB version of the Skyhawk is going into beta testing this quarter, and it is expected to be available for sale in the fourth quarter of this year, Barbagallo said. He said Skyera is planning a channel-only strategy. "At our price, we are really targeting the midmarket," he said. "And the midmarket is really a channel-only play."

Skyera has scheduled its first public demonstration of the Skyhawk flash storage system at the Flash Memory Summit, which is scheduled to run next week in San Jose, Calif.

PUBLISHED AUG. 14, 2012