Feeds

GridIron jiggles MLC flash box, penetrates million IOPS barrier

Won't blab on sordid details...

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A start-up called GridIron says its MLC flash technology has broken though the million IOPS barrier, leaving existing products maxing out at 800,000 IOPS behind.

Multi-level cell (MLC) flash is cheaper and slower than single level cell (SLC) NAND. Some SLC flash array products reach the million IOPS mark: the TMS RamSan-630 and Violin Memory's 6616 for example. No MLC products do, and single enclosure MLC products range from 120,000 IOPS (GreenBytes Solidarity) to 450,000 (TMS RamSan-820) and on to 800,000 IOPS (Nimbus Data E-class).

GridIron says it has reached the million IOPS level by not treating its MLC flash as a solid state drive (SSD) replacement for hard disk drives. Its current TurboCharger product is a flash and DRAM-based SAN accelerator box.

Exactly how it is tweaking its MLC flash box to reach the million IOPS mark is not disclosed. We are told: "Rather than handling Flash media as a substitute for hard disks, GridIron is designing solutions that are built around Flash’s special characteristics and capabilities. For instance, GridIron accesses and configures the Flash media to maximise performance while minimising or completely eliminating issues such as wear, performance degradation or the processing and bandwidth limitations of storage controllers."

The beauty of a fast MLC array from GridIron's point of view is that it can store twice as much data as an SLC array with the same number of NAND cells – assuming GridIron is using 2-bit MLC – for less than twice the cost, and the company says this is good for the big data market which is where it targets its products. Kaminario's K2-F MLC flash array stores up up to 100TB and is rated at 600,000 random read IOPS. We can imagine a potential big data-oriented GridIron array that has a similar capacity and runs at 1,000,000 plus IOPS.

GridIron says its caching algorithms, as used in the TurboCharger product, are better than competing products:

Most cache approaches are based on data behaviour for just the data being accessed and then only during the current access. The TurboCharger uses many days of history of the entire data set to decide how to best manage each data access.

Most caches focus on loading the most frequently accessed data. While that may be useful, GridIron uses a much more powerful concept – load data into cache that will most improve the performance of the application.

The TurboCharger determines importance by measuring how much the aggregate I/O bandwidth requested by the application increases as a result of reducing the access time. If improving the access time doesn’t increase the rate at which the application requests data then that data doesn’t need to be a high performance tier. On the other hand individual data such as indirection pointers are often the most critical items to application performance. They are bottlenecks to loading other data and thus may be very critical even though they are accessed infrequently.

The historical importance metadata is used in a feedback loop to ensure that the most importance data is retained in the caches each time it could be used.

It would be good to have some benchmark data to backup these claims.

GridIron says its caching accelerator box can scale by adding so-called booster packs or by clustering several boxes together using a 10GbitE cluster interconnect. It's TurboCharger data sheet (registration required) does not say what the capacity of its GT-1100 product is, coyly remarking that it can accelerate a back-end database of up to 64TB size.

GridIron says it plans "to announce a new type of big data acceleration product" that incorporates its million-IOPS MLC flash performance technology in the first half of this year. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
IBM storage revenues sink: 'We are disappointed,' says CEO
Time to put the storage biz up for sale?
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.