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NexGen Storage offers performance guarantee for hybrid storage array

NexGen Storage will offer performance guarantees to new n5-150 series hybrid storage array.

NexGen Storage Inc. today declared it will back up its performance claims with a promise to upgrade customers for free if its hybrid solid-state storage array falls short.

NexGen guarantees that its n5-150 combination PCI Express (PCIe) solid-state and hard disk drive array will increase the performance of a customer's previous disk storage system by 10 times, triple the IOPS per rack unit of hybrid storage arrays, or triple the raw capacity per rack unit of all-SSD arrays.

"If you don't see the improvement over your existing storage, we'll provide a performance or capacity upgrade at no cost," said Chris McCall, NexGen's vice president of marketing.

List prices for Nexgen's n5 series range from $55,000 to $108,000.

If the NexGen system fails to live up to the guarantee, NexGen will either double the system's capacity or improve performance by 50%. That could mean providing a new array, with a list price of $55,000.

“We’re providing $55,000 worth of value to put our money where our mouth is,” McCall said.

Of course, there is some small print: the guarantee applies only to users with new NexGen n5-150 model arrays. The data must be highly available and able to withstand both a device failure - such as an SSD or disk - and a power failure. The capacity guarantee is for flash arrays with IOPS per rack equivalent to the n-150. IOPS will be measured by a NexGen sales engineer using an iometer, and the tests must be done within 60 days of purchase to qualify for the free upgrade.

Any conventional disk array, hybrid SSD and disk array, and all-SSD array with SAS, SATA, or Fibre Channel (FC) connected disks and SSDs qualify. McCall said NexGen defines a "conventional hybrid array" as one that leverages solid-state in a disk-drive form factor.

NexGen uses PCIe solid-state cards from Fusion-io within its appliances to boost performance and keep more slots available for lower cost, high-capacity disk drives. NexGen's ioControl Operating Environment uses real-time dynamic data placement between tiers to allow administrators to control performance like they control capacity.

NexGen's n5 operating system enables what the vendor calls "performance quality of service" (QoS). Its customers can provision performance in the same way they would provision capacity, so they can apply QoS to multiple applications simultaneously.

Jeff Boles, a senior analyst and director of validation services with the Taneja Group, said NexGen's prioritization features could help it fulfill its guarantee.

Boles said NexGen typically competes with midrange arrays such as Hewlett-Packard's LeftHand and Dell Corp.'s EqualLogic brands, but NexGen's performance control feature separates it from competitors.

"If you've got workloads that you have to protect performance for, hands down, [NexGen] would win in that battle because they are the only ones offering any type of mechanism to prioritize storage I/O for particular workloads," Boles said.

McCall said NexGen wants to show storage administrators exactly how much solid-state can improve their storage performance.

"We're trying to answer these [ROI] questions with our performance guarantee," McCall said. "So we can help customers clarify the ROI they should expect from investing in a solid-state system like NexGen."

Veeam Software integration

NexGen has also forged a partnership with Veeam Software to include Veeam's virtual machine (VM) data protection software with new n5 arrays. Veeam Backup & Replication will let NexGen customers replicate data offsite and repurpose existing storage systems.

Veeam provides VM data protection for VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V environments. The NexGen integration includes two socket licenses for free.

The Veeam backup and replication software will be available on new n5 systems starting next week.

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