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Nimbus Data Systems on Monday unveiled a new line of flash memory arrays with a 10-year warranty and new ways to manage flash memory the company claims provides future-proof flash storage.
The new Gemini array, the third generation of Nimbus Data's all-flash S-class array family, uses a new controller that actively manages the device's MLC flash memory to provide long-term performance, said Thomas Isakovich, CEO and founder of the South San Francisco-based storage vendor.
The Gemini also includes dual controllers to eliminate any single points of failure, and it supports non-disruptive software updates and servicing, Isakovich said. "We can deliver better than 99.999 percent availability," he said.
Central to Gemini's 10-year warranty is a new technology Nimbus Data developed to augment flash memory for writes to the flash drives, which the company develops for its own use, Isakovich said.
"Flash storage writes are typically slower than reads," he said. "Most companies add DRAM in the controller to increase write performance. But, that requires mirroring for high availability. We add DRAM to each flash drive in the array, which lets the controller access the DRAM in multiple devices. There's no need for battery backup in the Nimbus system."
Having a 10-year warranty is an important statement for a flash storage-based array vendor to make, said Amir Fouladgar, major accounts manager at InterVision Systems, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based solution provider and Nimbus Data partner.
"It says, 'We believe in our technology,'" Fouladgar said. "But, we know no one will run technology for 10 years. Will a customer pay for 10 years of support for technology? Probably not. But, it's an important statement for our customers. And, we'll be vetting the technology carefully."
Nimbus Data's controller also includes flash lifecycle management technology, which identifies particular MLC flash memory cells with higher endurance than others and then uses those high-endurance cells more extensively, Isakovich said. As a result, customers can achieve up to 1 petabyte of data movement a week with the device, he said.
The Gemini's HALO software stack provides such features as thin provisioning, auto reclamation of unused space, inline deduplication, and unified SAN and NAS capability, all at no additional charge.