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Whiptail promises four million IOPS all-flash array performance

Antony Adshead

All-flash array maker Whiptail has announced an upgrade to its Racerunner operating system that will allow its Invicta NAND flash arrays to scale to 30 nodes and up to 360TB of storage.

The all-flash array company claims that scaling to such capacities could bring up to four million IOPS (input/output operations per second) and throughput of around 40GB per second.

Currently such levels of performance represent an extreme that is only required by a handful of organisations worldwide. But Whiptail is aiming its new capabilities at organisations that want to move all their high-performance storage requirements onto a single array.

Max Riggsbee, head of products and marketing at Whiptail, said the platform is designed for multi-tenant storage requirements. 

“Where you might see organisations buy a different array for different needs – say Oracle on one, VDI [virtual desktop infrastructure] on another, batch processing on another, none of which needs one million IOPS – we suggest they could consolidate onto one array with a smaller footprint and not worry about performance.”

The Invicta Silicon Storage Array is a NAND MLC flash-based all-flash unified storage (file access plus Fibre Channel and iSCSI) array product.

It comprises Whiptail Silicon Storage Routers that provide some processing power, connections to networks and other storage nodes, and some features such as RAID management, replication and snapshots. Meanwhile, Silicon Storage Nodes comprise capacity and storage controller with functions such as RAID and snapshotting on board.

Previously, Invicta scaled to six nodes. The announcement marks an upgrade to Racerunner version 4.2 that will see it scale to 30 nodes. Routers and nodes can be mixed and matched to scale capacity or performance.

All-flash arrays have risen in prominence over the past year or two to meet a need for very fast processing, in use cases such as financial transactions and for virtual desktop environments. 

Initially, start-ups such as Whiptail and Violin Memory blazed the trail, but more recently the big storage suppliers have taken notice and made acquisitions, such as EMC’s purchase of XtremIO, IBM’s buy-out of Texas Memory Systems and Hitachi Data Systems’ addition of an all-flash module to its VSP enterprise arrays.

Riggsbee gave examples of organisations Whiptail is aiming the product at. They include financial services for batch processing, transaction processing, market data and analytics; customers that want to boost website response times; file conversion in the media industry; and CAD drawing processing in construction.


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