While flash is becoming prevalent in storage arrays, these six finalists in the enterprise hard disk/hybrid storage systems category for the Storage magazine/SearchStorage.com 2014 Products of the Year award still make use of traditional spinning disk. All but one includes some flash, as well. Three of the finalists are hyper-converged platforms that combine storage and compute in one box.
Products eligible for the hybrid-storage systems category include hybrid flash arrays, Fibre Channel (FC) and iSCSI SAN, NAS, multiprotocol systems, converged and hyper-converged infrastructure products, DAS, hard disk drives, disk controllers, caching appliances, storage virtualization appliances and Cloud-integrated storage.
Coho Data DataStream 1000h
Coho Data's scale-out storage software runs on commodity servers and enables multiple generations of hardware to be used in a single cluster. The software is optimized for PCI Express flash to deliver a predictable 180,000 random IOPS for every node added to the cluster. A built-in analytics model prescribes the optimal mix of flash per application.
EMC Corp. VNXe3200
The VNXe3200 entry-level unified storage array marks a major upgrade from the EMC VNX3150 Series, with three times the IOPS performance and high-end, MCx multicore optimization. Other enhancements include flash caching, auto-tiering capability with solid-state drives, and FC-host connectivity to go with iSCSI and NAS support in the previous system.
Gridstore Inc. HyperConverged Appliance
Gridstore's 2U HyperConverged Appliance combines its Microsoft Hyper-V storage nodes and servers in the same box. A hybrid version with flash and spinning disk scales to 250 nodes. An all-flash version supports up to four servers, which each contain 5 TB of solid-state storage and 1 TB of flash cache.
Nimble Storage Inc. CS700
The high-end array in Nimble's branded Adaptive Flash hybrid storage platform is designed to enable independent scaling of performance and capacity. The CS7000 array scales to a four-node cluster that can potentially deliver up to 500,000 IOPS with petabyte capacity, integrated data protection and cloud-connected management.
Nutanix Inc. Virtual Computing Platform NX-3460
The NX-3460 hyper-converged platform bundles compute and storage in a 2U appliance that supports ESXi, Hyper-V and KVM hypervisors. Billed as a building block for Nutanix's Virtual Desktop Bundle, it enables companies to pay for virtual desktop infrastructure on a per-user or per-desktop scheme.
Scale Computing Inc. HC4000
The HC4000 is powered by version 5 of Scale's HyperCore operating system for its hyper-converged platform. The latest update includes no flash, but adds rolling updates, virtual machine (VM)-level snapshots, bootable thin cloning, single-click functionality to import/export VMs and system nodes with twice the VM density, I/O performance, and CPU and memory resources of previous versions.
Implementing your hybrid storage strategy
How a hybrid system can improve performance and cost less