SAN JOSE, Calif. – Startup Nimbus Data Systems has announced a flash-based storage system for high performance computing and database applications. The Nimbus S-class aims to deliver faster throughput and lower power consumption than the hard disk arrays it is geared to replace.
The S-class packs 2.5 to 10 terabytes flash storage in a 2U-sized appliance that uses an Intel Westmere processor and a four- to 12-port 10 Gbit Ethernet controller. The systems are available now at prices starting at $24,995 for a 2.5 terabyte model.
Thomas Isakovich, chief executive of Nimbus, claims the appliance's cost of about $10,000 per terabyte is similar to that of large hard disk arrays when costs of enterprise storage software are included. The Nimbus Halo software supports similar functions such as mirroring and snapshoting provided in disk arrays.
"We include software and maintenance in the price of our product and our operations costs are lower than those of disk arrays," Isakovich said. "We are offering better performance and lower power for that priced and positioning this as spending the same money for more performance," he added.
The systems include 24 hot swappable flash modules based on a 2.5-inch hard disk form factor and using a 6 Gbit/s serial-attached SCSI interconnect. The modules use 34nm 16, 128 or 256 Gbit flash chips from Micron to deliver 100-400 Gbyte density per module.
Nimbus offers up to a five year warranty on the system, although it claims they have been simulated to last more than ten years. A merchant flash controller chip on each module handles wear leveling of the flash chips, and the Halo software buffers and balances read and write operations.
The company claims its systems can be daisy chained over 6 Gbit SAS links to support storage of 100 terabytes or more.