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Hyper-converged DDN storage unveiled with upgrades to WOS 360

DataDirect Networks announces plans for a hyper-converged system that can scale to petabytes, along with capacity improvements for its WOS platform.

High-performance computing specialist DataDirect Networks (DDN) today previewed a hyper-converged system -- codenamed "Wolfcreek" -- that it expects to launch late this year, and upgraded its WOS 360 object storage platform.

DDN CEO Alex Bouzari said Wolfcreek will scale to 13.7 petabytes (PB) and achieve 60 GB per second (GBps) throughput and five million IOPS in a 4U system that supports OpenStack and Hadoop.

The hybrid DDN storage system can hold 1,752 hard disk drives and solid-state drives (SSDs). It is designed to manage more than 100,000 virtual machines and supports VMWare, Citrix and Microsoft hypervisors.

"It's a high-performance platform, so it gives customers a way to slice and dice IOPS any way they want," Bouzari said. "It also can be deployed as software on third-party hardware or they can do it on our Wolfcreek platform."

Bouzari said Wolfcreek can be viewed as a massive cache. Performance and capacity can scale separately, based on application needs. The device is integrated internally with a PCI Express interface for networking and externally supports InfiniBand and Ethernet. It supports thin provisioning, snapshots, asynchronous replication, inline deduplication and compression.

"You can gang them up together in a single data center or multiple data centers," he said. "They can change SSDs and hard drives as needs evolve."

The company has tested the DDN storage software on HP, Dell and Supermicro Computer hardware and the company will provide a reference architecture to customers who want to configure the software with third-party hardware.

DDN also previewed its Infinite Memory Engine (IME) application-aware I/O accelerator. IME will run on the Wolfcreek platform, a compute cluster, or an SSD-based appliance. It is expected to support IBM's General Parallel File System and Luster upon release in late 2015 with support for NFS, CIFS and object storage on the roadmap.

"We re-order the I/Os and take out the fragmentation and optimize it to write to the file system," said Molly Rector, DDN chief marketing officer. "IME will get most acceleration from unstructured data. It will also accelerate structured data to a lesser degree."

The WOS 360 2.0 object platform is available as software only or on the vendor's WOS7000 appliance that is tuned for performance with SAS drives. DDN updated its Global Object Assure erasure coding to reduce storage overhead, and added a high capacity node. The new node holds 96 drives in a 4U enclosure, up from 60 drives in its previous highest capacity node. With 8 TB drives, the appliance scales to 768 TB.

Randy Kerns, senior strategist and analyst at Evaluator Group, said DDN is taking technology developed for HPC and modifying it to move into more mainstream verticals.

"I don't think the product is the lead here," he said. "The lead is they are entering into additional markets that they had not focused on previously. They are taking their products from where they have had real success and now taking it into a new customer base."

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