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SolidFire brings out new Carbon, says it'll make data centres more like clouds

In a good way, of course

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Cloud all-flash array startup SolidFire has announced Carbon, v6.0 of its Elements operating system - claiming it is the "most feature-rich, enterprise-class all-flash storage on the market."

For a quick review of SolidFire features read this previous Reg story and this one about its SF 9010 array.

With the new v6.0 release, SolidFire is emphasising its credentials as both a cloud service and enterprise data centre storage supplier. The supplier sees enterprise data centres taking on cloud characteristics and needing the same storage attributes as cloud storage service providers (CSPs), such as guaranteed and predictable service levels and dynamic expansion.

Dave Wright, SolidFire's founder and CEO, talks of "internal storage services that are more agile, scalable, automated, and predictable than ever before.”

New features include:

  • 16 Gbit/s Fibre Channel (FC) support on top of current 10GbitE iSCSI connectivity; run both simultaneously.
  • Real-time replication - no need for third party hardware or software. A cluster can be paired with up to four other clusters and replicate data in either direction allowing for easy failover and failback.
  • Mixed-node cluster support - customers can use existing (SF3010, SF6010, and SF9010) and new SolidFire arrays in a cluster with, in effect, separate logical pools for performance and capacity resources.
  • Integrated snapshot-based backup and restore "compatible with any object store or device that has an S3 or SWIFT compatible API" - no need for third-party backup products.

Clustering requires a minimum of five nodes:

  • A 5-node SF3010 cluster with Element OS 6 has 60TB effective capacity and runs at 250K IOPS.
  • A 5-node SF6010 cluster with Element OS 6 has 108TB effective capacity and runs at 250K IOPS.
  • A 5-node SF9010 cluster with Element OS 6 has 174TB effective capacity and performs at 375K IOPS.

SolidFire says the new backup facility dramatically accelerates backup performance, and both "CSP and Enterprise customers can now effortlessly scale backups for thousands of hosts and applications." Additional details about the backup facility:

  • Automatically resumes if interrupted;
  • Sends data in stateless chunks making it easy to resume if interrupted;
  • Syncs differentials after initial transfer.

The FC support should help SolidFire's arrays pass the enterprise data centre entry test, with the replication and backup/restore features sidestepping any problems over customers' existing replication and backup/restore systems supporting SolidFire's arrays.

The sixth version of the Elements OS should be generally available in the second quarter of 2014. ®

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