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GreenBytes joins all-flash storage parade with Solidarity

GreenBytes get into the all-flash storage game with Solidarity, which offers primary storage data reduction and scales to 13.5 TB of MLC SSDs.

GreenBytes Inc., today launched Solidarity, its first all-flash storage iSCSI array for SMBs that offers primary storage deduplication, compression, as well as a combination of single-level cell (SLC) and multi-level cell (MLC) flash drives.

Solidarity is a 3U dual-controller system that scales from 3.5 TB to 13.5 TB of MLC solid-state drives (SSDs) from STEC Inc. GreenBytes claims Solidarity’s effective capacity can run from 15 TB to 60 TB with deduplication and compression. The company also says its system can deliver 120,000 4K IOPS. The system is aimed at small enterprises that are heavily virtualized.

GreenBytes CEO Bob Petrocelli said he sees Solidarity as an alternative to midrange hard drive arrays rather than a high-priced, high-performance option.

“Our goal isn’t to be one of those flash vendors who want to operate in the enterprise as tier 0,” he said. “We’re not Fusion-io, Texas Memory or Violin that will roll out a Ferrari box that achieves other-world IOPS. Our objective is to replace magnetic disk with solid-state storage for the mainstream, and to make it cost effective. We take low-cost NAND storage, and take it as close to the capacity and cost of magnetic storage as we can with the clear advantages for random read and write performance that flash brings.”

Petrocelli said the list price will start at under $100,000 for a 13.4 TB system. He expects the systems to begin shipping in March.

Solidarity uses GreenBytes’ GO OS (globally-optimized operating system) to handle in-line deduplication and the system offers software-based and hardware-accelerated compression options. GreenBytes software also replicates reduced data. Petrocelli said the hardware option increased GreenBytes’ compression ratio to 3.3 to 1, up from 1.8 to 1 for software compression. Using hardware compression also lets Solidarity dedupe and compress data simultaneously, he said.

GreenBytes uses only higher-cost SLC SSD in its other storage systems, but claims Solidarity’s Smart Write technology manages writes to the array to extend MLC beyond its typical write endurance life. Solidarity includes 48 GB RAM cache, two high-performance SLC SSDs for log drives and MLC drives for bulk storage. Petrocelli said the SLC SSDs log writes as they come in and pass them off to the RAM drives, which sort them out to the MLC flash.

Storage Strategies Now analyst Jim Bagley said GreenBytes’ data reduction makes it a player to watch among all-flash storage and hybrid flash storage vendors. “GreenBytes is focused on density and hardware-based compression to make its box competitive,” he said. “Their claim is they’re price-competitive to high-RPM Fibre Channel arrays.”

GreenBytes previously launched the X-Series for primary storage and backup for SMBs, as well as the dual-controller HA3000 primary storage system. Those systems use SSDs and hard drives in hybrid architectures.

With the all-SSD system, GreenBytes joins other vendors which offer 100% flash SANs, including Kaminario, Nimbus, Pure Storage, SolidFire, Violin Memory, Texas Memory Systems, Whiptail and Hewlett-Packard LeftHand.

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