Infinidat Uses New Software To Carve All-Flash Array From Hybrid

‘It allows you to consolidate workloads, which allows you get rid of small all-flash arrays so you can reduce floor space, rack space demands, and cost. If you can put it in our hybrid array, you have the power and cooling already in our array. And the cyber protection works,’ says Eric Herzog, Infinidat’s chief marketing officer.


Infinidat, a developer of hybrid technology for storing and protecting data of all types, Tuesday unveiled new software that lets customers configure part of its array to act as if it were a standalone all-flash storage array.

Infinidat also increased the capacity of its flagship SSA II all-flash array, and added new entry capacity points for the SSA II.

Infinidat’s new SSA Express software, which is now available free of charge with the company’s hybrid flash and spinning disk storage array InfuzeOS operating system, is designed to provide something akin to an all-flash array of up to 320 terabytes inside of a hybrid array, said Eric Herzog, chief marketing officer of the Waltham, Mass.-based company.

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Using the SSA Express software, a business can configure up to 320 terabytes of an Infinidat InfiniBox array to act as a separate all-flash array, Herzog told CRN.

“It behaves exactly like an all-flash array,” he said. “It has all our data services: snapshot, replication, the cyber resilience with our InfiniSafe technology. But the value of it is, you don’t need to buy another array. And in fact, if you’re an existing customer and you have a hybrid array, it likely already has enough flash so you won’t need to buy anything. You don’t need to buy extra flash. The software is absolutely free. And if you need additional flash, we have acceleration kits.

When setting up the internal flash array, partners can tell Infinidat how many apps are set to run in flash only and Infinidat will make sure there is enough capacity, Herzog said.

“And we will guarantee that it will run in flash only,” he said. “You assign that application to the SSA Express layer, and it behaves as if on an all-flash array. This will work with 95 percent of our installed base. For the exceptions, they need to reach out to their partner or to us. Obviously, if you buy a new InfiniBox, it’s easy.”

With SSA Express, customers don’t need to buy another separate flash array for certain workloads that really need flash, Herzog said.

“You can do it inside of a hybrid array,” he said. “And 320 TBs is a pretty big midrange all-flash array. So it allows you to consolidate workloads, which allows you get rid of small all-flash arrays so you can reduce floor space, rack space demands, and cost. If you can put it in our hybrid array, you have the power and cooling already in our array. And the cyber protection works.”

Infinidat’s new SSA Express software is a pretty exciting technology, said Bob Elliott, vice president of storage sales for Mainline Information Systems, a Tallahassee, Fla.-based solution provider and one of Infinidat’s premier channel partners.

“Infinidat SSA Express gives customers the flexibility to maximize the use of their system,” Elliott told CRN. “With the ability to carve out an all-flash array within the InfiniBox, customers can address multiple workloads in one footprint.”

Elliott, who has been working with Infinidat for years, said “Infinidat has the vision of what customers need, and the engineering power to make it happen.”

Stan Wysocki, president of Mark III Systems, a Houston-based Infinidat channel partner, said that customers are embracing AI and large language models, and having the right data storage is the key to gathering all the data needed for those technologies.

Infinidat, Wysocki told CRN, has the right storage, and the SSA Express software makes it even better.

“Infinidat is smart to make SSA Express a free upgrade,” he said. “Brilliant. So many storage companies require payments for important upgrades like this. This increases the value of the single footprint idea. One of the worst things you can have is storage sprawl.”

Trying to use multiple all-flash arrays instead of carving out an all-flash array from an InfiniBox increases complexity, Wysocki said.

“With SSA Express, customers can manage storage without bringing in a new resource,” he said. “With the software and InfiniBox, maybe add a bit of flash and customers can get a new all-flash array. You couldn’t do that without drastically impacting performance.”

Also new from Infinidat is the company’s new InfiniBox SSA II, which doubles the capacity of the array to 6.6 petabytes of effective capacity compared to the current InfiniBox SSA II. It does this while maintaining the same floorspace and power as the previous array, Herzog said.

Infinidat is also introducing its first scale-up all-flash array, Herzog said. Previously, its InfiniBox SSA arrays could only be purchased with full capacity. However, he said, customers can now purchase the arrays with 60 percent or 80 percent capacity, and add more capacity as needed in a non-disruptive fashion, he said.

Infinidat’s InfiniBox series continues to be a hybrid offering combining all-flash storage and spinning disk storage in a single box. Herzog said that despite the fall in flash storage prices, and despite what all-flash storage vendors like Pure Storage say about all-flash arrays being ready to take over all the use cases of spinning disk arrays, flash storage pricing is still not low enough for every application.

“When you talk to the storage analysts and the semiconductor analysts, they will tell you that flash is not cheaper than a hard drive,” he said. “And on top of that, what’s happened recently is all the major flash manufacturers have dramatically cut back on their manufacturing. So pricing is expected to go back up starting no later than the beginning of 2024.”