Infinidat offers all-flash within a hybrid lineup
Customers looking to combine critical workloads and production loads on the same storage system now have a choice from Infinidat.
SSA Express allows users to run an all-flash array within a hybrid, unified InfiniBox storage system without purchasing more hardware for different types of workloads.
The new software will be available in Q4 2023. The supplier’s all-flash InfiniBox SSA II kit It’s also getting an upgrade, offering twice the capacity in the same space, with the ability to purchase partially manned models as needed.
Consolidating different types of workloads is a demand among premium storage customers, according to Scott Sinclair, an analyst at TechTarget’s Enterprise Strategy Group. Infinidat is taking a different tack by adding more capacity to its all-flash product and offering an all-flash option within existing hybrid arrays.
“Infinidat is delivering the consolidation features of mission-critical enterprise arrays more cost-effectively with hybrid arrays and now the all-flash option within this system,” Sinclair said.
An array within an array
SSA Express provides low-latency applications, such as SQL Server, and workloads with access to the flash layer of the hybrid InfiniBox. The application operates as if it were on an all-flash array, avoiding issues such as latency spikes that hard drives can cause in a mixed storage environment. The app is also located close to Infinidat’s neural cache, which uses machine learning to increase performance and reduce latency by optimizing data placement and making adjustments as needed.
The SSA Express program enables Infinidat to compete with smaller flash arrays by allowing its three high-capacity offerings to be fit-for-purpose, according to Sinclair. Competitors in the high-end performance market, such as Dell, often offer discrete, smaller all-flash array products, he said.
“Within the hybrid array (Infinidat), they have a full virtualization array for custom workloads,” he said.
Historically, hybrid arrays have allowed users to install workloads on flash only, according to Randy Kearns, an analyst at Futurum Group. While the idea of consolidating workloads into a single system is not new, Infinidat’s implementation is due to the fact that it allows applications to take advantage of Infinidat’s caching capabilities.
“Infinidat has DRAM, SSA and a spinning disk, all of which use their own neural cache,” he said. “This is more advanced than previous implementations (from other vendors).”
Regardless of the different implementation, adding other devices drives up costs in both administrative overhead and the size of their footprint, which requires more energy to operate and cool, Kearns said. He added that creating an all-flash array within Infinibox would be easier to manage and more cost-effective than adding another all-flash array, even if it is smaller in capacity.
Larger with storage trays
The latest version of the Infinibox SSA II doubles the maximum usable capacity to 6,635 petabytes per rack, according to the vendor. By increasing rack capacity, customers can reduce their overall footprint, cooling and energy costs, Infinedat said.
Scott SinclairAnalyst, Enterprise Strategy Group
The vendor introduced a denser architecture and expanded arrays in the pay-as-you-grow model. Instead of filling portable storage units completely, customers can choose between 60%, 80% or 100% full options. This new portfolio adds a larger, smaller version of SSA II to Infinidat’s offerings, according to Mark Staimer, founder and president of Dragon Slayer Consulting, an IT analysis firm in Beaverton, Oregon.
“SSA II has a higher capacity overall, but users can now purchase it in batches,” he said.
This is Infinidat’s way of going after a smaller market by splitting its existing product rather than creating a new one, Stemmer said.
Partially populated arrays add generally less expensive entry points when considering SSD costs as well as power and cooling needs, Kearns said. This is ideal for customers who previously had a larger Infinibox and didn’t need all the capacity and costs associated with it.
Adam Armstrong is an editorial news writer at TechTarget covering file and block storage devices and private clouds. He was previously at StorageReview.com.