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BiTMicro PCIe SSDs join all-flash array market

BiTMicro takes on the all-flash array market with its MAXio appliance family that uses 8.8 TB PCIe solid-state drives.

BiTMicro Networks Inc. this week jumped into the all-flash array market with two MAXio arrays, including one that uses the vendor's PCI Express (PCIe) solid-state drives (SSDs).

The company introduced two MAXio appliance models. The 1U N1A6 holds 20 800 GB SSDs for 16 TB of raw flash capacity. The 3U rackmount N3P4 includes eight BiTMicro MAXio E-Series PCIe SSDs or higher-capacity Z-Series PCIe SSDs. N3P4 can hold 26 TB raw with the E-Series SSDs and 70 TB raw with Z-Series SSDs.

The iSCSI systems target enterprise applications that include database, high-performance computing, virtual desktop infrastructure and media production.

Until now, BiTMicro operated in the SSD and application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) component industry, targeting the military and mission-critical IT industries.

"The timing was right for us," Zophar Sante, vice president of marketing at BiTMicro, said of his company's move to all-flash systems. "Now, there are more applications that can run on SSDs. We needed to create a foundation using the PCIe SSDs. Now, we are starting to direct our resources in the all-flash array."

The N1A6 is now available, priced at $5,500 per TB. The N3P4 is due to ship next month and will be priced at approximately $1,250 per TB.

BiTMicro's new, high-capacity Z-Series PCIe SSDs are available in 4.4 TB and 8.8 TB cards -- E-Series is a 3.3 TB card. The half-eight Z-Series SSDs are built on the company's Talino ASIC, which includes two BiTMicro ASIC flash controllers that offload the Flash Translation Layer (FTL) from the host server to the SSD.

We needed to create a foundation using the PCIe SSDs. Now, we are starting to direct our resources in the all-flash array.
Zophar SanteVP of marketing, BiTMicro

"The key to getting the 8.8 TB was the Talino architecture," Zophar said. "It allowed us to build high-capacity SSDs. It's very fast and very big."

George Crump, president of IT analyst firm Storage Switzerland LLC, said BiTMicro is selling hardware appliances for customers who want to add their own software-defined storage (SDS). Although the all-flash array field is crowded, Crump said BiTMicro isn't too late, because widespread adoption is just beginning and it has a lower-cost approach.

"SSDs are just picking up steam," Crump said. "Plus, the competitors in this space have SDS built-in with the hardware."

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