eBay boosts virtual servers with 100 terabytes of flash memory


eBay boosts virtual servers with 100 terabytes of flash memory

Cliff Saran

Online auction site eBay has deployed more than 100 terabytes of flash memory to power its VMware virtual server infrastructure. The S-class flash storage from solid state disk provider Nimbus is believed to be among the world's largest consolidated deployments of network-attached flash storage for virtualisation.

The auction site moved to a completely flash-based system after evaluating its existing hard disk-based storage systems, flash-based caching and tiered storage architectures. The flash storage provides eBay with iSCSI connectivity over 10Gbit Ethernet, inline deduplication to reduce storage capacity requirements and integration with VMware.

"Nimbus's S-class solid state storage system delivers exceptional performance and response time that was not possible with traditional disk-based systems," said Michael Craft, manager of QA systems administration at eBay. "Most impressively, Nimbus delivered a solution based entirely on flash memory, not a hybrid approach, at a price point comparable to primary disk arrays and with no software licensing fees to boot."

Jim Handy, chief analyst with Objective Analysis, said CIOs are beginning to replace conventional hard disk drive arrays with flash because of its significant performance advantage.

Nimbus claims its flash-based storage offers 90% lower operating costs, at a comparable price to conventional disk-based primary storage.

According to Nimbus, the S-class solid state disk array offers near line-rate 10Gbit Ethernet iSCSI performance to the VMware hosts, and uses 78% less energy and 50% less rackspace than conventional disk-based systems.

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