Hyper-converged server/storage/networking systems use disks for storage. This is a temporary situation and all-flash hyper-converged appliances will come soon.
We had a Vulture-ponder about how they might look and dreamed up a new Nutanix box, a high-end one in performance terms which, for the sake of convenience we'll call the NX-9000. We imagined that Nutanix and SanDisk got together and came up with this sort of configuration:
- x86 CPU, probably a multi-core Xeon E5000 something or other
- SanDisk flash DIMMs
- 6.4TB Fusion-io PCIe card with NVMe access
- Dual 40Gbit/s PCI4-40G Ethernet connectivity
It would run an updated Nutanix OS creating a single storage pool across a cluster of these speedy little suckers. Yes, it would be expensive but worthwhile for latency-sensitive and high-value applications. SanDisk would provide the flash and some flash-related software creating storage memory so the application and data could run effectively in memory.
Nutanix already has deduplication so the effective cost/GB of the flash storage would be lower.
The box would scale out and could conceivably scale up with the addition of another PCIe flash card. EVO: RAIL would trail behind this solid state supercharged sucker. But then it's set at a performance and scale level that doesn't threaten EMC's mainstream array business, a business that Nutanix and Simplivity have in their sights.
And then, let's think rack scale and have a rack of these. Wow, I mean just .... wow. EVO: FlashRACK is the kind of thing that comes to mind. Does EMC have a vision of this kind of thing? It should, because I'm pretty sure some hyper-converged appliance vendors with ambitions do.
This is a nice bit of tech imagining. I wouldn't be surprised if you might even have seen something like it on a Nutanix road map slide. ®