Flash storage

Nimble Storage launches flagship CS700 hybrid flash storage

Antony Adshead

Nimble Storage has revamped its hybrid flash storage array family, launching the flagship CS700 series with boosted performance and new Intel Ivy Bridge central processing units (CPUs), as well as options for increased flash ratios.

The CS700 series is dubbed the Adaptive Flash platform by Nimble, which it says can scale from small, low-performance applications to around 500,000 IOPS and approaching a petabyte of hybrid flash storage.

NimbleCS240.jpg

The base unit in the CS700 family comprises dual controllers with four Intel multi-level cell (MLC) flash drives, plus 12 7,200 SAS hard disk drives (HDDs). Connectivity is only iSCSI at present, but Fibre Channel is a planned addition before the end of January 2015.

Each CS700 base unit can be scaled with the addition of ES series expansion shelves – up to three per base node – that house 45TB of spinning disk each. 

A new option is the possibility to add one 16TB ES series All Flash Shelf as part of the maximum three added units.

Up to four CS700 base units with three expansion shelves each can be clustered together to provide just under 700TB of capacity with 500,000 IOPS. A higher proportion of data can be retained in flash if the 16TB flash shelves are used.

In a cluster of four CS700s with expansion shelves, maximum I/O performance tops out at 500,000 as it is not possible to load the system with any more CPU resources than those in each of the four head units.

The CS700 series tops off Nimble’s existing product lines, the CS200 series and CS400, that also marry bulk storage capacity on Sata spinning disk with MLC flash.

Nimble uses compression to pack the maximum amount of data into disk bulk storage, while speeding access times on flash cache.

The CS200 entry-level models start at 8TB total raw capacity (expandable to an effective 95TB) with 640GB of flash. The family then spans several iterations of disk capacity, and with a jump in CPU performance becomes the CS400 series that tops out at the CS460 with 36TB of raw capacity (expandable to an effective 312TB) and 2.4TB of flash.


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