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Newisys bare metal NVMe box targets performance market

Former OEM supplier come out of stealth with dual-server box that can mount 56 NVMe drives for hyperscale datacentres or build-your-own NVMe shared storage hardware

Newisys has come out of stealth with a bare metal NVMe flash storage server that can be deployed to hyperscale environments or as a point solution for very fast processing needs.

The NSS2560 can house up to 56 NVMe drives from any supplier for maximum capacity of about 70TB in 2U of rack space.

That’s at current NVMe drive capacities, but is expected to increase to more than a petabyte as NVMe drive sizes increase. SSDs in “traditional 2.5” format are now up to 30TB in capacity.

The NSS2560 packages the 56 from any supplier drives with two dual (Broadwell now, Skylake to come) CPUs.

Performance is claimed to be 50GBps for reads, with 12.5 million IOPS via four ports of 100Gbps Ethernet. Drives are hot-swappable.

Use cases aimed at, said marketing vice-president Dan Liddle, are: “Really fast data, such as financial services, fraud detection, post-trade processing, high-performance computing, real time analytics, in-memory databases.”

Because the NSS2560 comes as hardware-only it would be possible to use it as a very well-endowed server or even to deploy it as a NAS device.

Read more about NVMe flash

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Newisys has been around since 2000 but has largely operated as a supplier of hardware to OEM suppliers, who would add software and badge it up as their own.

It has decided to “come out of stealth” said Liddle, although the bulk of its customer base are hyperscale-sized operations that like to use their own software.

hyperscale is the model devised by web giants like Google, Facebook et al in which datacentres are not populated with off-the-shelf vendor enterprise server and storage hardware. Instead, hyperscale computing uses commodity hardware (usually multiple, connected servers with direct-attached storage) and redundancy at device level, rather than components within the device.

Hyperscale datacentres were the inspiration behind the current wave of hyper-converged infrastructure, which sees a similar model of computing hardware but scaled down for the enterprise.

NVMe is a flash-specific protocol built for solid state drives and does away with legacy SCSI transports that were developed for spinning disk media. In so doing NVMe boosts I/O and throughput hugely by boosting the number of channels and queues possible.

The Newisys product comes into a market mostly comprised of attempts to provide shared storage on NVMe drives, but with no consensus about exactly how to provide the features provided by a storage controller without adding latency that NVMe had removed.

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