Nimbus Data Unveils ExaDrive®, Powering the Next-generation of Intelligent Multiprocessor SSDs

08/07/17 11:00 AM EDT

Nimbus Data Unveils ExaDrive®, Powering the Next-generation of Intelligent Multiprocessor SSDs

Software-defined architecture will enable 500 TB SSDs by the year 2020

Nimbus Data today unveiled ExaDrive®, a powerful software and multiprocessor solution for next-generation solid state drives (SSDs). Based on a patent-pending architecture, ExaDrive enables OEMs to offer SSDs with record-breaking storage capacity, unmatched density, superior longevity, and the lowest energy consumption per terabyte. With an interface and form factor identical to HDDs, but with vastly more capacity, ExaDrive will accelerate flash adoption in the data center. Viking Technology and SMART Modular Technologies recently began shipping 50 TB and 25 TB ExaDrive-powered SSDs for cloud infrastructure, technical computing, and digital content storage.

“ExaDrive’s software-defined multiprocessor architecture for SSDs delivers a game-changing leap forward in capacity, density, and energy efficiency that HDDs will never be able to recoup,” stated Thomas Isakovich, CEO and Founder of Nimbus Data. “ExaDrive broadens the appeal of flash memory to tier 2 and nearline use cases, enabling flash to become the dominant data center storage media.”

Patent-pending Multiprocessor and Software-Defined Architecture

Conventional SSDs are based on a single flash controller. As flash capacity increases, this monolithic architecture does not scale, overwhelmed by error correction operations and the sheer amount of flash that must be managed. In contrast, ExaDrive is based on a distributed multiprocessor architecture. Inside an ExaDrive-powered SSD, multiple ultra-low power ASICs exclusively handle error correction, while an intelligent flash processor provides wear-leveling and capacity management in software. ExaDrive’s software-defined architecture will enable SSDs as large as 500 TB by the year 2020, achieving up to 600 petabytes in a single rack. This represents a 50x increase over what is possible with HDDs today.

Accelerating the Migration from HDD to SSD in the Data Center

40 million nearline/high-capacity HDDs are shipped per year, and all of them use the 3.5” form factor. HDD capacity, however, has plateaued, and performance per terabyte is in freefall. Migrating to flash is paramount, but existing SSDs do not match the form factor, interface, and power envelope of HDDs, forcing users to buy all-new systems. With ExaDrive, data centers can immediately rip-and-replace HDDs with flash. ExaDrive supports the standard SAS interface and is optimized to fully utilize the volume of the 3.5” form factor. As a result, ExaDrive-powered SSDs offer 5x the capacity of nearline HDDs in the same size and power budget, enabling a 5:1 reduction in rack space and power per terabyte.

Improving Tiered Storage and Data Center Standardization

For tiered storage use cases, ExaDrive-powered SSDs give users the flexibility to mix-and-match nearline HDDs and SSDs in the very same enclosure. When compared against 2.5”, U.2, M.2, or NVMe SSDs, the common 3.5” form factor and SAS interface shared between nearline HDDs and ExaDrive-powered SSDs enable data centers to standardize on one design for all tiers of storage. This standardization simplifies the daunting task of capacity planning, maximizes rack utilization, and cuts cost by reducing the number of storage and server enclosure designs. Equally as important, ExaDrive supports up to 10 years of write endurance, reducing support costs, improving quality of service, and extending return on investment.

Independent Lab Validation of ExaDrive

Demartek, a storage industry analyst organization with its own ISO 17025 accredited test lab, performed hands-on testing of the ExaDrive technology. “ExaDrive is by far the largest capacity single drive that Demartek has ever tested, either HDD or SSD,” said Dennis Martin, President of Demartek. “With a standard 3.5” form factor and SAS interface, the drive was plug-and-play in our 12 Gb/s SAS JBOD and came online immediately. Our Iometer tests found that the 50 TB ExaDrive-powered SAS SSD performed in line with Nimbus Data’s claims, consuming between 14.5 and 16.5 watts under various read and write workloads and a mere 7 watts at idle.”

ExaDrive-powered SSDs Shipping Now

Earlier this year, Nimbus Data forged strategic partnerships with leading providers of flash solutions. Viking Technology, a division of Sanmina Corporation, recently announced the UHC-Silo, a 50 TB and 25 TB SAS SSD powered by ExaDrive technology. SMART Modular Technologies, a division of SMART Global Holdings, Inc., recently announced the Osmium Drive™, available in 50 TB and 25 TB capacities, also powered by ExaDrive technology.

ExaDrive Reference Designs

For new design partners, Nimbus Data has developed several ExaDrive reference designs. These turn-key designs help OEMs accelerate time-to-market.

More Information

ExaDrive-powered SSDs are now generally available from our partners Viking Technology and SMART Modular Technologies. To learn more, visit vikingtechnology.com and smartm.com, respectively. ExaDrive reference designs are available for select engagements. To learn more, contact Nimbus Data at nimbusdata.com. Nimbus Data will demonstrate ExaDrive at Flash Memory Summit 2017 in Santa Clara, California, booth #313.

About Nimbus Data

Nimbus Data develops advanced flash memory solutions for cloud infrastructure. ExaFlash® offers infinite on-demand storage scalability, unmatched multiprotocol support, and market-leading energy efficiency. ExaDrive® powers the next-generation of software-defined multiprocessor SSDs, enabling flash memory to become the dominant storage media in the data center. For more information, visit nimbusdata.com, email us at info@nimbusdata.com, and follow us at twitter.com/nimbusdata.

Nimbus Data
Thomas Isakovich, 650-276-4500
info@nimbusdata.com