IBM’s DeepFlash 150: Got half a million bucks for a fat, fast JBOF* box?

WHOMP: Half a petabyte


Combine WDC’s SanDisk InfiniFlash with IBM’s Spectrum Scale and you have the DeepFlash 150 array: probably the world’s fastest parallel file system box.

WDC’s InfiniFlash IF150 has from 128TB to 512TB of capacity in its 3U enclosure with up to 64 x 8TB MLC flash cards. It has a 12Gbit/s SAS interface.

SanDisk claims it can deliver up to two million raw IOPS and support up to eight (SAS) connected servers. There is no traditional storage array controller function with this flash array, it being the flash equivalent of a JBOD.

At launch Ceph and SanDisk’s ION Accelerator software were available for it. Basically the thing needs a server box to provide storage array controller functionality and turn it into a useful system component.

Grab a datasheet here.

Where'd this pop up from, then?

SanDisk has partnership deals with Tegile (Intelliflash), Nexenta, RedHat for Ceph software, CloudBytes, Quanta and IBM.

The resulting IBM system is the DeepFlash 150. It’s appeal is that you can get up to half a petabyte of data in flash and access it, via Spectrum Scale’s parallel access functionality, at blistering speed. IBM says it offers “breakthrough economics with an All Flash array at a disk-like acquisition price for large scale, unstructured data.”

Think less than $2/GB pricing for DeepFlash 150 with Spectrum Scale and less than $1/GB without.

Ironic, as Spectrum Scale has its roots on GPFS which was designed to overcome slow disk array speed by providing parallel IO streams. Now flash solves that problem and Spectrum Scale on the IF150 should be faster than a standard external access file protocol like NFS or SMB.

Big Blue positions it as an entry-level all-flash array “to meet all unstructured and big data storage requirements.“ You scale it out to get towards 7PB in a rack. Sample use case areas are big data, media and entertainment streaming, virtual desktop, high-speed database (SAP HANA), life sciences/genomics, financial services, e-commerce, telecommunications, Big Data (Hadoop, HBase and Spark) and hyper-scale environments; workloads needing low latency, high performance and sustained throughput.

Spectrum_Scale_diagram

Spectrum Scale graphic

It seems to El Reg that the IF150 is a prime 3D flash upgrade candidate and we should/could see a 1PB capacity or greater in a few months time. IBM talks of the DeepFlash 150 being “a petabyte-scale all-flash array combined with IBM Spectrum Scale for Exabyte-scale big data workloads.” Any use of 3D flash should lead to higher-capacity component cards: think 16 and 24TB, and a lower per-GB cost.

With WDC now having access to SanDisk/Toshiba flash fab output the old bugbear of proprietary flash cards taking longer to adopt new technology than commodity SSDs should be weakened. The roll call of proprietary flash card users includes IBM/WDC/SanDisk, EMC's DSSD, Pure Storage and Violin Memory.

WDC will be well pleased to have Big Blue’s channel punting the DeepFlash 150 box, especially with Pure Storage’s FlashBlade system helping to educate customers about the need for such systems. WDC's other system partners for the Infiniflash box, meaning CloudBytes, Nexenta and Tegile, will be able to point to Big Blue's validation of the hardware and hopefully reap sales benefits from that.

A 512TB DeepFlash 150 with Spectrum Scale could cost around a million dollars, with half a million of that being for the software alone. That should give Nexenta, Tegile and any other software suppliers a lot of pricing headroom for their own IF150-based products.

Get an IBM DeepFlash 150 datasheet here and solution brief here. ®

* Certain storage vendors would have you believe that they coined the backronym JBOF. But no, it was our own Chris Mellor, while writing about Sun's flash efforts back in 2008, in an article titled: "This SSD thing is really catching on".

Similar topics

Narrower topics


Other stories you might like

  • Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns
    Forget dark-web souks, thousands of these are already being traded on public bazaars

    Russian crooks are selling network credentials and virtual private network access for a "multitude" of US universities and colleges on criminal marketplaces, according to the FBI.

    According to a warning issued on Thursday, these stolen credentials sell for thousands of dollars on both dark web and public internet forums, and could lead to subsequent cyberattacks against individual employees or the schools themselves.

    "The exposure of usernames and passwords can lead to brute force credential stuffing computer network attacks, whereby attackers attempt logins across various internet sites or exploit them for subsequent cyber attacks as criminal actors take advantage of users recycling the same credentials across multiple accounts, internet sites, and services," the Feds' alert [PDF] said.

    Continue reading
  • Big Tech loves talking up privacy – while trying to kill privacy legislation
    Study claims Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, Microsoft work to derail data rules

    Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft often support privacy in public statements, but behind the scenes they've been working through some common organizations to weaken or kill privacy legislation in US states.

    That's according to a report this week from news non-profit The Markup, which said the corporations hire lobbyists from the same few groups and law firms to defang or drown state privacy bills.

    The report examined 31 states when state legislatures were considering privacy legislation and identified 445 lobbyists and lobbying firms working on behalf of Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft, along with industry groups like TechNet and the State Privacy and Security Coalition.

    Continue reading
  • SEC probes Musk for not properly disclosing Twitter stake
    Meanwhile, social network's board rejects resignation of one its directors

    America's financial watchdog is investigating whether Elon Musk adequately disclosed his purchase of Twitter shares last month, just as his bid to take over the social media company hangs in the balance. 

    A letter [PDF] from the SEC addressed to the tech billionaire said he "[did] not appear" to have filed the proper form detailing his 9.2 percent stake in Twitter "required 10 days from the date of acquisition," and asked him to provide more information. Musk's shares made him one of Twitter's largest shareholders. The letter is dated April 4, and was shared this week by the regulator.

    Musk quickly moved to try and buy the whole company outright in a deal initially worth over $44 billion. Musk sold a chunk of his shares in Tesla worth $8.4 billion and bagged another $7.14 billion from investors to help finance the $21 billion he promised to put forward for the deal. The remaining $25.5 billion bill was secured via debt financing by Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Barclays, and others. But the takeover is not going smoothly.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022