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Datrium Intros 'Insane Mode' For Its Server-Based All-Flash Storage Tech

Insane Mode grabs more of the host server's processing capacity to improve performance of the flash storage installed in industry-standard servers, the company said.

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Datrium has added what it calls "Insane Mode" to its flash storage technology as a way to boost performance of flash memory in a server used as storage to up to 100,000 IOPS.

Datrium, a startup whose technology turns industry-standard servers into high-performance hybrid flash array solutions, uses Insane Mode to grab more resources from a server's CPUs to increase storage performance in the server, said Hugo Patterson, chief technology officer and co-founder of the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based vendor.

Datrium's DVX technology turns standard flash memory inside customers' industry-standard servers into high-performance flash storage, the company said. The flash storage from up to 32 servers connects to a Datrium Netshelf appliance featuring up to 48 TBs of raw hard drive capacity. Datrium DVX uses the flash in the servers for scalable capacity and performance, and ties them to the 2U Netshelf appliance for larger capacity, according to the company.

Related: [Datrium DVX Manages Server SSDs, External Disks As One]

With Insane Mode, applications can dynamically go to an individual server host and grab up to 40 percent of the processors' compute capacity for use with storage, up from the default use of 20 percent of the compute capacity, Patterson told CRN.

"In Insane Mode, customers can get up to 100,000 IOPS per server, or just over 3 million IOPS in the maximum 32-server configuration," he said. "That's an awful lot of IOPS to get with spinning disk."

The Insane Mode comes at no additional charge.

Datrium DVX allows easy scale-out of performance and flash storage capacity for applications, Patterson said. "Our scale-out approach provides more performance without the need to buy a new controller," he said. "Just add a server, and get 100,000 more IOPS."

With Datrium DVX, customers have an opportunity to get more flash performance without the price premium associated with new all-flash arrays or hybrid flash arrays, Patterson said.

While Insane Mode grabs up to 40 percent of the servers' compute resources, for must customers, there should be no tradeoffs in terms of performance available to run the applications, he said.

"If the host is at the limit of its CPU capabilities, then yes, there may be a tradeoff," he said. "So we don't run Insane Mode all the time. But typical CPU usage is about 20 percent. So applications in the vast majority of cases won't miss the CPU performance."


Datrium provides speed and simplicity, and is extremely easy to integrate, said Alec Taylor, partner and consultant at Ivoxy Consulting, a Kirkland, Wash.-based solution provider and Datrium channel partner.

Ivoxy already has one paying customer and several deals in its sales funnel, Taylor told CRN. "That's not bad with a product that became available early this year," he said. "It takes time to seed the market."

Ivoxy has found that Datrium DVX technology offers better performance than all-flash arrays, Taylor said. "The I/O doesn't have to leave the host, or go between hosts," he said. "That adds overhead. With Datrium, it's not necessary."

Datrium DVX really excels when it comes to latency, which is touted as under 1 millisecond, Taylor said.

And while Ivoxy has yet to test Insane Mode, it looks impressive, he said.

"We have customers who are sensitive to database latency," he said. "For instance, they need instant access to transaction logs in SQL and Oracle. That's the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to latency. I also see Insane Mode improving VDI [virtual desktop infrastructure] in the medical market where customers are talking to PACS [picture archiving and communication system] equipment."

Craig Nunes, Datrium's vice president of marketing, said Datrium DVX is a good technology for solution providers with a strong server business.

"Datrium DVX works with whatever servers partners sell," Nunes told CRN. "Partners can upsell servers with more cores and flash. And services are handled 100 percent through partners. For partners used to selling compute, Datrium is a much easier sale than typical block-based storage."

The Datrium DVX technology lists for about $125,000, which includes a fully configured Netshelf appliance, software to run in the servers, and all the licenses needed to scale to up to 32 servers.

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