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Taneja Blog / Data Center Systems

Flash Gets Faster: Avalanche Technology Intends To Dominate

Flash Summit 2014 runs this week, and we expect to hear a lot about how flash is poised to take over the IT storage world. One of the key new entrants to keep an eye out for is Avalanche Technology. While they are ultimately aiming to develop STT-MRAM solutions that could totally change the way IT infrastructure works, right now they are busy rolling out their new "solid-state" first array built from the ground up to intimately leverage available NAND flash.

This first storage array from Avalanche claims to deliver IO at 40% or more lower latency than other flash storage. Like Violin, it's designed from the chips up to provide ultra-high performance. But unlike Violin, who is just now in the process of layering on key enterprise storage features, Avalanche is claiming to have baked everything essential inside. Their combined low-level hardware design and tightly integrated software is promising to provide a full end-to-end storage stack, leveraging every ounce of possible performance.

As to details - we've been told this first array will come in 4U boxes, each with 400TB of raw capacity. Each unit should deliver 2M IOPs at 12.5 GB/s, with latencies less than .5 msec.  The design should be highly available throughout the stack, avoiding any single points of failure.

The end result is aiming to provide not only extremely low latency and high IOPS (and very high reliability), but with a lower power and smaller footprint at higher density and with native storage features built-in, would seem to present a real challenge to the incumbents both at the ultra-high performance end of the market, but also in the mid-market all-flash territory.

Part of the excitement we feel is that with Avalanche's STT-MRAM tech (mainly today for Internet of Things systems-on-a-chip type solutions), we can speculate that this array design will be capable of taking quick advantage of any new solid-state advances coming down the road.

We eagerly await actual specifics, and hope to get our hands on a system for validation soon to help prove out some of those claims. In the meantime, an Avalanche is worth watching out for.

  • Premiered: 08/04/14
  • Author: Mike Matchett
Topic(s): Avalanche Technology Flash Storage


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