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White-boxer joins flash array wars: SanDisk teams up with Amazon supplier

To InfiniFlash and beyond with Quanta Cloud Technology?

A white boxer is working with SanDisk to flog flash arrays, making SanDisk even more desirable to WDC.

Taiwan-based Quanta, actually Quanta Cloud Technology (QCT), along with Foxcon and SuperMicro, is a so-called “white box” computer supplier, making notebooks, servers and switches to be branded by its customers. Apple is one of its customers, and Amazon, Dell and HP are others.

NAND component and system supplier SanDisk is being bought by WDC for $19bn, and has developed an InfiniFlash array, characterised as a JBOF, Just a Box of Flash, and, like a JBOD, lacking array controller hardware and software. Pricing is said to start at less than $1/GB for the raw flash box, before any data reduction software or hardware functionality is added.

It is partnering with CloudByte, Nexenta and Tegile to develop complete controller HW + SW + JBOF systems usable by customers.

An InfiniFlash array offers up to 512TB of capacity in a 3U enclosure, using 8TB InfiniFlash cards, meaning up to 6PB per rack. With flash chip density increasing we can expect this to double. This means it can be used for high-capacity all-flash array use cases. Quanta and SanDisk are looking at pairing Quanta servers with InfiniFlash for OpenStack and Ceph environments, hyperscale ones, and saying they can provide “massive scale, efficiency, and resiliency.”

QCT general manager Mike Yang said: “With access to SanDisk’s all-flash storage solutions, we can now deliver even more enhanced and integrated cloud systems with hyperscale efficiency to data centre customers.” The company will be able to knock on its server customers’ doors and suggest they might like a server + JBOF combo to meet competition from all-flash array vendors, or to add a hyperscale AFA to their product set.

This product combo might well meet NetApp/Solidfire and other scale-out flash arrays when being pitched to cloud service providers. With the white boxes involved, SanDisk will be hoping for a knock-out. ®

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