DriveScale Unveils Industry's First Software Composable Infrastructure for Flash

Game-Changing Approach to Flash Looks to Accelerate Adoption in Cloud Infrastructure

SUNNYVALE, California, July 3, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- DriveScale, the leader in delivering Software Composable Infrastructure (SCI) for modern workloads and a 2018 Cool Vendor by Gartner for Cloud Infrastructure, today announced the market's first Software Composable Infrastructure for flash. This latest breakthrough from DriveScale makes deploying flash affordable and flexible for cloud infrastructures and targets modern applications such as NoSQL, Spark and Containers. DriveScale's SCI for Flash is available as software, capable of being deployed on a variety of hardware systems. Its addition to DriveScale's product suite helps solve the over-provisioning, flexibility and lifecycle management issues that plague IT teams using flash-based NoSQL databases and similar cloud-native applications.

Flash is crucial for the performance and scale of hyper-growth, modern workloads because it provides higher performance and density, as well as a smaller footprint and lower power usage than disk storage. Meanwhile, the value of modern, cloud-ready applications such as NoSQL, containers and Spark continues to rise, underscoring the need for flexible, commodity-priced flash solutions not currently being met by storage vendor flash array offerings on the market, which have unneeded features at high cost. Further compounding this, new flash drives are becoming so large that it is becoming difficult to "right size" the storage to the application when using direct-attached flash drives within each server. This leads to expensive over-provisioning while providing IT administrators with no flexibility to change storage-to-compute ratios after installation and then leading to underutilization of expensive data center resources.

Using SCI technology, DriveScale's Software Composable Infrastructure for Flash is radically changing how flash storage is deployed. Utilizing the throughput and low latency of 100-Gbit Ethernet, it delivers direct-attached performance at a low cost with the flexibility and "pay as you grow" characteristics of a storage system. This eliminates underutilization and expensive over-provisioning of storage resources, provides flexibility to apply just the right amount of flash storage to each server and allows administrators to tune data center applications or upgrade processors without ever touching the flash drives. DriveScale allows businesses to add new drives to existing servers via software control. The system combines the speed of up to 24 dual-ported NVMe™ drives, four 100-Gbit Ethernet ports and a dual-server architecture to deliver to IT operations high performance and high availability flash storage in a composable system.

"Extending SCI to take advantage of the native performance of flash is a major step toward addressing the cost and execution of large-scale, cloud-native application workloads – a mission critical need for businesses managing modern workloads today," said Brian Pawlowski, CTO at DriveScale. "Flash is expensive. The ability of Software Composable Infrastructure to optimize flash use by rightsizing initial deployments, providing for incremental additions, and preserving flash investments when upgrading processors makes the use of flash much more cost effective than ever before."

As a part of this new offering, DriveScale has also added support for third-party EBOF (Ethernet-attached Bunch of Flash) products, enabling these systems to deliver SCI with flash storage. The company will immediately offer support for Western Digital's Ultrastar® Serv24-HA flash storage server, and plans to support additional EBOF products in the near future.

Cloud-ready applications like NoSQL, Spark and containers require cloud-like provisioning. DriveScale's unique composable architecture ensures the optimal ratio of compute and storage resources while providing cloud-like elasticity and performance at a fraction of the price, ultimately improving overall resource utilization and responsiveness to workload needs in real time. DriveScale has already pioneered the disaggregation of hard disk drive (HDD) storage, giving customers the ability to combine the right mix of "local disk" with compute resources. DriveScale now enables composability for flash without compromising on performance and with significant improvements in scalability, agility and total cost of ownership (TCO).

"Using flash arrays in Spark, NoSQL or container environments is expensive, slow and burdened with unused features. On the other hand, direct-attached storage, while distributed and performant, lacks flexibility," said Satya Nishtala, founder and chief architect at DriveScale. "DriveScale allows enterprises to optimize flash deployments to the best dollar per gigabyte and rightsize flash storage based on application needs. Our goal is to provide native NVMe storage to servers for modern applications used to manage enterprise-scale, big data workloads in an all-flash environment."

Key benefits of DriveScale's Software Composable Infrastructure for Flash include:

  • Disaggregation of expensive flash storage allowing it to be shared by multiple applications
  • Faster performance for applications dependent on flash storage, compared to flash storage arrays
  • Lower TCO due to decoupling of flash storage and compute, enabling accurate provisioning and independent scaling and life cycle management
  • Ease of deployment driven by software configuration and DriveScale Management System
  • Increase in reliability and reduction in downtime

Supporting Quotes

"One of the biggest pain points our customers face when it comes to flash deployments is flexibility to optimize workloads for best efficiency, performance and TCO," said Scott Hamilton, senior director, product management, Western Digital's Data Center Systems business unit. "Utilizing our Ultrastar Serv24-HA flash storage server with DriveScale's Software Composable Flash product gives customers a new flexible approach to modernizing their infrastructure, and allows them to utilize every resource purchased. We look forward to continuing our relationship with DriveScale and offering a qualified composable platform for NVMe."

"DriveScale's SCI technology has significantly changed the way we manage the disk drive-based products in our data center. We have been able to optimize our storage and compute resources, saving us time and money in the long run," said Tim Smith, SVP & GM, Global Technical Infrastructure & Operations at AppNexus. "By bringing that same SCI technology to the flash world, the DriveScale team is going to change how the storage industry buys and uses flash drives – driving down costs and improving overall resource utilization."

"Applications like Cassandra, Hadoop or Spark require fast storage systems. These are typically deployed directly in the server through NVMe-attached flash memory to avoid the cost and network traffic associated with traditional SAN systems. However, with this direct connection to the server, unused space in the NVMe drive is wasted," said Torsten Volk, Managing Research Director at Enterprise Management Associates (EMA). "This is where DriveScale comes in. Using its SCI, administrators can 'redirect' the locally installed flash storage in DriveScale's Software Composable Infrastructure for Flash to servers where the applications require it."

Join the Webinar

What: Accelerating the Adoption of Flash in Cloud Infrastructure Solutions

Who: Jean Bozman, VP and Principal Analyst at Hurwitz Associates, Gene Banman, CEO of DriveScale, and Brian Pawlowski, CTO of DriveScale will discuss this exciting new addition to the DriveScale Software Composable solution that transforms the economics of Flash to make it affordable for cloud infrastructure supporting modern workloads.

When: June 6 at 10am PT / 1pm ET

Where: Register for this 45-minute webinar and Q&A session here.

Meet DriveScale at Cisco Live
DriveScale is achieving higher performance, lower costs and increased flexibility for cloud infrastructure supporting modern workloads with composable infrastructure. Stop by Booth #2127 at Cisco Live, June 10-14 in Orlando, Florida, to meet the DriveScale team and learn more.

About DriveScale
DriveScale is the leader in Software Composable Infrastructure for modern workloads. Our innovative data center solution empowers IT to disaggregate compute and storage resources and quickly and easily recompose them to meet the needs of the business. Enterprises can respond faster to changing application environments, maximize the efficiency of their assets, and save on equipment and operating expenses. DriveScale supports modern workloads such as Hadoop, Spark, Kafka, NoSQL, Cassandra, Docker, Kubernetes and other distributed applications at a fraction of the cost of alternative platforms. DriveScale, based in Sunnyvale, CA, is founded by technologists with deep roots in IT architecture that built enterprise-class systems for Cisco and Sun Microsystems. Investors include Pelion Venture Partners, Nautilus Venture Partners and Ingrasys, a wholly owned subsidiary of Foxconn. Visit or follow us on Twitter at @DriveScale_Inc.

Media Contact
Jocelynn Stidham
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