IBM and SanDisk join forces to create software defined flash storage for cloud

Sandisk infiniflashFlash storage maker SanDisk and IBM are working together on a new software defined, all flash storage system for data centres. News of this collaboration comes days after BCN revealed that EMC had introduced a new category of flash storage for the same market.

SanDisk’s new InfiniFlash, a high capacity and performance flash-based software defined storage system, features IBM’s Spectrum Scale file system. The joint product is the two manufacturers’ answer to the increasing demands faced by data centres who can never get enough capacity and performance and will need more flexibility in future. An all flash system gives the requisite computing power and the IBM-authored software definition provides the agility, according to SanDisk.

Flash is the only technology that can support the many variables of the modern hybrid cloud, according to SanDisk, which listed bi-modal IT, traditional and cloud native applications and the increasing workload created by social, mobile and real-time processing as drivers for the need for a powerful storage infrastructure. The InfiniFlash for IBM Spectrum is described as ultra-dense and scalable, meaning that it can be bought in small increments that can be easily snapped to together to quickly build a hyperscale infrastructure. SanDisk claimed it offers the lowest price per IOPS/TB on the market and the option for independent storage.

SanDisk claims InfiniFlash has five times the density, fifty times the performance and four times the reliability of traditional hard disks, while using 80% less power. Pricing starts at $1 per gigabyte (GB) for an all-flash system. When used with software stacks designed to reduced data (through de-duplication and other techniques) the cost of storage could fall to around 20 cents per GB, claims SanDisk.

The IBM Spectrum Scale, meanwhile, uses software definition to create efficiencies through file, object and integrated data analytics designed for technical computing, big data analysis, cognitive computing, Hadoop Distributed File System, private cloud and content repositories.

Ravi Swaminathan, SanDisk’s general manager of System and Software Solutions, promised the ‘best of both worlds’ to data centres. “Customers can afford to deploy flash at petabyte-scale, which drive business growth through new services and offerings for their end-customers,” said Swaminathan.