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    Nimbus: No Fast HDDs

    San Francisco’s Nimbus Data Systems launched a solid state storage system in late April that is intended to replace all the HDDs used in a system except for slow disks used in near line storage.  Nimbus holds a viewpoint that solid-state drives eliminate the need for fast disk storage, and that in future times all data centers will be built using only SSDs for speed and capacity drives (slow HDDs) for mass storage.  This viewpoint is gaining a growing following.

    Nimbus’ S-Class Enterprise Flash Storage System uses a proprietary 6GB SAS flash module, rather than off-the-shelf SSDs, to keep the costs low in their systems.  Storage capacity is 2.5-5.0TB per 2U enclosure, and can be scaled up to 100TB.  Throughput is claimed to be 500K IOPS through 10Gb Ethernet connections.   Prices are roughly $8/GB.

    Although Nimbus previously sold systems based on a mix of SSDs and HDDs, they have moved away from using HDDs, and expect for data center managers to adopt this new approach.

    There’s merit to this argument, but it will probably take a few years before CIOs agree on the role of NAND flash vs. enterprise HDDs vs. capacity HDDs in the data center. There’s a lot more detail on the approaches being considered for flash in the enterprise data center in Objective Analysis’ new Enterprise SSD report.  See the Objective Analysis Reports page for more information.

    You can find out more at  NimbusData.com

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