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Fujitsu launches petabyte-scale DS8700 and 8900 S3 enterprise flash arrays

Fujitsu replaces DS8700 S2 array with two enterprise class arrays, the DS8700 and DS8900 S3, with all-flash and hybrid flash capability and scalability into multiple petabytes

Fujitsu has launched two enterprise class storage arrays that can be all-flash, hybrid or spinning disk. The Eternus DS8700 S3 and DS8900 S3 replace the existing Eternus DS8700 S2 array.

The DS8700 S3 scales to 4.6PB and from two to eight controllers, with a maximum of 1,536 drives. The DS8900 S3 scales to 13.8PB and up to 24 controllers, with a maximum of 4,608 drives. The Eternus S3 arrays will be available from 1 August 2015.

The S3 can connect via Fibre Channel, iSCSI, Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and Fujitsu mainframe connectivity. Infiniband connectivity is planned for future releases.

The S3 arrays can be populated with SAS, nearline-SAS and MLC flash drives and there is a 12GBps SAS interface. There is no limit on the number of flash drives, so the arrays can be all-flash, hybrid or all spinning disk.

Fujitsu said the S3 arrays can handle up to 4 million IOPS, although that is when populated with all flash and with 24 controllers.

According to Fujitsu senior product marketing manager Frank Reichart, nearly all controller hardware has been refreshed in the upgrade from S2 to S3.

“Nearly everything in the hardware is new, with a complete change in the internal architecture and multiple redundancy across all components,” he said.

But Reichart gave no detail about flash-specific changes to controller hardware. “The controller has to understand both ways [flash and HDD], but there is firmware on the flash drives to deal with garbage collection and wear levelling, for example.”

Flash storage doesn’t deal with writes and erases in the same way as spinning disk. Writing data to flash necessitates reading an entire block from flash and into the memory of the controller, updating it with new data, erasing the existing block and writing the data back to the flash device. This process is known as a program-erase (P/E) cycle.

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