Despite a rubbish name Mangstor makes super-fast NVMe-based flash arrays

Top prize this week for rubbish company name goes to Mangstor.

The Texas-based all-flash array provider’s CTO Paul Prince told me the “Mang” part alludes to “mango”, ie the fruit, and was chosen in a hurry to meet trademark inspection deadlines (while the “stor” bit is obvious). The idea had been to use mango branding but that seems to have fallen by the wayside.

So, it might not have a great name but Mangstor makes bold performance claims for its so-called “NVMe over fabric” and “network-optimised storage”.

Mangstor provides its NX6320 storage nodes, which are based on Dell R730 servers with capacity via its own MX6300 2.7TB NVMe PCIe cards, with four of them per box. The company offers four models in capacities of between 8TB and 32TB and claims between 1.5 million and 3 million IOPS read IOPS for 4K blocks (1.1 and 2.5 million IOPS are the write figures).

Mangstor’s chief selling point is blistering performance. It claims to provide this by the use on its MX cards of storage controller software that manages flash operational and maintenance functionality in conjunction with a Coherent Logix 100-core CPU.

“It’s about being extra-efficient in parallel operations,” said Prince. “The software schedules reads and writes so queue and device management are optimised. The 100-core CPU dedicates cores to manage different functions.”

Mangstor also applies intelligence higher up the stack, at the network traffic level of the controller, where it optimises traffic in and out of the device.

So, what’s the chief advantage of using PCIe cards in place of flash drives with connects such as SAS?

Prince says, “The primary advantage of our cards is performance; high throughput and low latency. You could get cards from Intel, Toshiba, Samsung, but they’d be slower.”

That’s Mangstor’s tilt at the market, with claimed blistering speeds and feeds. Prince admits there are a lot of contenders in the all-flash array space already, but believes Mangstor is, “highly differentiated in terms of storage numbers. Across every vertical there are businesses with some apps where performance is important.”

Currently, like many first generation all-flash arrays, replication is not built in but can be effected with a third party product. Mangstor is in partnership with Caringo to offer object storage.