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Savage IO promises blazing performance with software-agnostic system

Savage IO's SavageStor is a software-agnostic brick of storage, servers and controllers that leaves storage management and data protection to open software.

Savage IO today launched its first storage system, SavageStor, a software-agnostic combination of servers, storage and controllers designed to run software-defined storage.

Savage IO does not supply the storage management software for its SavageStor system. The startup concentrates on hardware designed for high throughput. Its first system, the SavageStor 4800, is built mainly for high-performance computing (HPC), big data analytics and cloud storage.

The 4U data brick has dual 12-core processors with 512 GB of memory, 12 dedicated SAS lanes to four high-speed backplanes, and Gigabit Ethernet (GigE), 10 GigE, InfiniBand and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) connectivity. There are four solid-state drives (SSDs) in the back for caching to speed performance and up to 48 drives in front that can be a combination of SSDs, SAS and SATA hard disk drives.

The product uses silver-lined twinax cabling with 25 GB throughput instead of standard 6 GB throughput, and has a proprietary circuit board designed for performance. It can hold 192 TB of capacity in an enclosure.

SavageStor supports Fibre Channel and iSCSI block protocols. The vendor claims the array can support 800,000 IOPS.

"We believe in thinking inside the box," said Phil Roberto, CEO at Savage IO. "Whatever software stack runs on top of our server, it always outperforms the competition because we don't mask any hardware deficiencies."

The software-agnostic system is in a category analysts are calling "OPS" for Open Storage Platform, but OPS could also stand for "Other People's Software." SavageStor is designed to run either commercial storage management software or open source applications, such as Lustre, OpenStack or CentOS.

"We run on any open software," Roberto said.

"Basically, this is the hardware you would need to run your software-defined storage on," said Russ Fellows, senior analyst at Evaluator Group Inc. in Boulder, Colo. "Savage IO is designed with higher bandwidth than most alternative platforms. I believe their target markets are a good fit, which are HPC and data analytics, video surveillance and video repositories, along with generic cloud storage platforms."

While Savage IO will sell direct to start, the startup is looking for channel partners and OEM deals to deliver systems with integrated software.

Savage IO's Roberto said the alternative is largely white-box systems that are not built for high performance. "What you get with a white box is commodity hardware performance," he said. "We don't subscribe to that. We're designed for the fastest hardware you can have. If you can combine storage, server and controller [in one chassis], your performance will be closer to the theoretic max than anything else on the market."

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