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IBM puts SSD cache in XIV

Headlines: IBM launches a solid-state drive caching option to its XIV storage system. IBM’s XIV Gen3 now includes an option for up to 6 TB of fast-read cache for hot data.

Storage channel news roundup for Feb. 9 to Feb. 15, 2012

IBM puts SSD cache in XIV

EMC rolled out its VFCache (“Project Lightning”) server-side flash caching product to great fanfare last week. IBM made a quieter launch, adding a solid-state drive (SSD) caching option to its XIV storage system.

IBM’s XIV Gen3 now includes an option for up to 6 TB of fast-read cache for hot data. IBM offers SSD drives and automatic tiering software as an option for other storage systems, but this is the first SSD option for XIV. XIV systems include one tier – either SATA or high-capacity SAS drives.

Although IBM’s caching option is limited to one of its products, the concept is similar to what EMC is doing throughout its storage array lineup with VFCache. It is speeding read performance for data that needs it while passing writes through to the array.

Check out this tip on implementing SSD in a cache appliance.

Starboard Storage offers unified storage system with SSD storage tiers 

Starboard Storage Systems came out of stealth this week with a unified storage system -- the Starboard AC72 Storage System -- designed to dynamically pool capacity and deliver mixed workloads of unstructured, structured and virtualized data to appropriate storage tiers.

Starboard is driven by what it calls a Mixed-workload, Application-Crafted Storage Tiering (MAST) architecture. Its operating system will dynamically pool capacity from tiers that include multi-level cell (MLC) solid-state storage, and SAS and near-line SAS hard disk drives.

Each system has a solid-state drive (SSD) accelerator tier and built-in I/O detection technology, so a virtualized database workload with random I/O will be automatically stored on the SSD tier, while a workload with unstructured files with sequential reads and writes will be stored on less expensive near-line SAS drives.

Read the full story on Starboard’s unified storage system with SSD storage tiers.

Startup Tegile launches with unified storage on hybrid SSD arrays 

Tegile Systems came out of stealth this week with a lineup of unified storage hybrid SSD arrays that use DRAM, two types of flash, and hard drives.

Tegile’s Zebi arrays also perform data deduplication and compression on primary data. Tegile targets the systems at highly virtualized environments, citing storage for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) as a prime use case.

Zebi systems support Fibre Channel, iSCSI, NFS and CIFS protocols. Zebi’s hybrid architecture utilizes DRAM and flash in the data path for high-speed cache. DRAM serves as first-level read cache with flash SSDs used as a secondary cache for nonvolatile reads and writes. The systems also store all data on 2 TB nearline SAS hard drives.

Read about the pros and cons of storage array-based automated tiered storage products.

Red Hat brings GlusterFS to Amazon cloud

Red Hat has been tweaking and expanding the NAS storage products it acquired from Gluster last October. Last week Red Hat brought GlusterFS to the cloud with an appliance for Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Last December, Red Hat released a Storage Software Appliance (SSA) that Gluster sold before the acquisition. Red Hat replaced the CentOS Gluster used with the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) operating system. Last week’s release — Red Hat Virtual Storage Appliance (VSA) for AWS -– is a version of the SSA that lets customers deploy NAS inside the cloud.

See the benefits and challenges of cloud gateways in this tip.

Texas Memory Systems, Nevex partner for flash cache management 

Texas Memory Systems Inc. announced last week a partnership with Nevex Virtual Technologies for flash cache management. The companies will pair Nevex’s Cacheworks memory cache management product for Windows servers with Texas Memory’s flash offerings.

Nevex says its CacheWorks uses flash and Windows server memory to create a multi-level cache that automatically sets the best cache level for active data for I/O-intensive applications such as Microsoft SQL Server and Exchange that operate on Windows servers, VMware or Hyper-V.

Read the full story on Texas Memory Systems and Nevex’s flash partnership.

Hitachi ships enterprise-class single-level cell SSD

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies announced last week that its new Ultrastar solid-state drives will incorporate 25 nanometer single-level cell NAND flash.

The company’s new SSDs for its Ultrastar enterprise drive lineup – officially, the Ultrastar SSD400S.B, which comes in 100 GB, 200 GB and 400 GB capacities – are equipped with 6 gigabits per second (Gbps) SAS interfaces in a 2.5-inch form factor.

Check out this expert video on the pros and cons of SSD.

Arkeia launches channel campaigns in the Americas targeting MSPs, VARs

Arkeia Software, a backup solutions provider that specializes in midmarket storage, this week announced an accelerated channel campaign in the Americas, including outreach and recruitment efforts for MSP and VAR partners interested in reselling Arkeia’s solutions. The tiered, progression-based program includes special pricing, deal registration, technical training, marketing collateral and demand generation.

Additional storage news

Check out last week’s storage channel news roundup.

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