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WhipTail promises no bull 6TB SSD

A 2U whopper

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Start-up WhipTail Technologies has announced a whopping 6TB solid state drive (SSD).

This fits into a 2U rack enclosure, WhipTail says, making it the highest-capacity SSD appliance available to mid- to large-sized enterprises, with this footprint. You can use the 2U case for 1.5TB, 3TB or 6TB of flash, multi-level cell (MLC) flash that is.

WhipTail says poor MLC random I/O performance is circumvented by having incoming data written sequentially to a cache which, when it reaches a pre-set level, is flushed to the main body of the flash. The cache is sized in proportion to the overall product's capacity, 48-100MB with 1.5 and 3TB products.

There is a continual background defragmentation process to ensure free space in full block chunks is available. The combination of this and the caching of incoming writes gives the products a minimum 7-year life.

The company says its product software makes the MLC flash out-perform single-level cell (SLC) flash which is inherently faster than MLC product. In fact the competing Texas Memory Systems RamSan-620, which uses SLC technology and has up to 5TB of capacity, provides much higher performance: 250,000 IOPS and 3GB/sec throughput.

Another competitor is Violin Memory with its 1010 4TB SLC flash product. This offers up to 200,000 read IOPS, with 4K blocks, a 10-year lifespan and price of less than $50/GB. Whiptail, with slower performance numbers would have to come in below this.

WhipTail envisages its product being used for running I/O-bound databases, virtualisation storage pools or e-mail systems. Up to 10,000 users could be supported with a 3TB product.

The company was founded in December 2008 and provides two other products. The WT1536HA has up to 1.5TB of capacity and offers more than 100,000 IOPS, a 1.7GB/sec bandwidth, and RAID levels of 0, 5, 6, 10 and 50, and two 1GigE or 10GigE interfaces. The WT3072HA has up to 3TB of capacity and the same IOPS, bandwidth, RAID level support, and interfaces.

Pricing starts at $60,000 for a 1.5TB system. That is a $40/GB price which should be below the Violin Memory pricing. ®

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