Infinidat Faster Than All Flash
Infinidat is devoted to helping our clients compete more effectively in the petabyte era
Infinidat was founded in 2011 by a team of storage industry experts focused on returning business value to customers by eliminating the compromises between performance, availability, and cost, at multi-petabyte scale for enterprise storage. The Infinidat team, spanning generations of storage industry experience and previous product successes, has become an industry leader by developing a better, faster way to store and protect multiple petabytes of data, with the highest possible availability, at the lowest possible cost. All of this work was done with a single goal in mind – enable customers to spend less on their infrastructure and focus more on innovation, growth, and competitive advantage.
The InfiniBox® enterprise storage array delivers faster-than-all-flash performance, high availability, and multi-petabyte scale for mixed application workloads. Zero-impact snapshots and active/active replication dramatically improves business agility, while FIPS-validated data-at-rest encryption eliminates the need to securely erase decommissioned arrays.
With InfiniBox, enterprise IT organisations and cloud service providers can exceed their service level objectives while lowering the cost and complexity of their petabyte-scale storage operations.
TECHNOLOGY — INFINIBOX
The Infinidat storage software architecture, as implemented in InfiniBox, embodies the next generation of highly optimised storage for multi-petabyte scale deployments, at a fraction of the cost of traditional solutions. InfiniBox addresses diverse workloads including traditional line-of-business applications, virtualisation platforms like VMware, high-performance computing (HPC) environments, cloud platforms like OpenStack, and many other data-intensive activities. This section describes the fundamental platform capabilities and values that enable this kind of large-scale, mixed workload consolidation for our clients.
The system was developed with scale in mind. InfiniBox scales to multiple petabytes of effective capacity in a single, standard 42U rack. Today, the most popular InfiniBox configuration includes over a petabyte of capacity; larger clients often choose to deploy more than 10PB of InfiniBox storage in their environments. The scale of the Infinidat architecture can both consolidate existing workloads—clients have consolidated as many as 11 legacy arrays to a single InfiniBox—as well as support new workloads like OpenStack, all on the same platform. Clients can also choose to start small and grow, with starter configurations available in the 115TB range. Flexible consumption models, including capacity on demand, allow clients with predictable growth rates to deploy a larger system than their current requirements and pay for capacity as they consume it.
Capacity and performance scalability typically go hand-in-hand. InfiniBox is designed from the ground up for unmatched performance, leveraging as much as 3TB of DRAM and 200TB of flash cache to achieve aggregate performance of over 12 GB/s and one million IOPS and sub-millisecond latency. Infinidat storage software maintains a “heat index” for all stored data, and dynamic machine learning processes ensure that the most active data resides in DRAM or flash, while the permanent copy of all data is stored on cost-effective hard drives. This data movement process happens proactively and continually, in contrast to “tiering” approaches, with no need for user intervention or excess data churn within the system. All storage systems implement some kind of caching or tiering layer, but doing so effectively at scale is extremely difficult, and Infinidat holds several key patents in this space.
Delivers (99.99999%) seven nines data availability through an innovative, self-healing architecture and best-in-class replication. This seven-nines availability—the equivalent of 3.15 seconds of downtime per year—yields a level of reliability that is 100 times better than five nines (99.999%) alternatives. InfiniBox achieves mainframe-class availability without incremental costs from proprietary hardware or excess hardware redundancy.
Protects data with a patented dual-parity, declustered RAID-like approach called InfiniRaid, which automatically distributes data across all the system’s enclosures and disk drives. InfiniRaid supports a concurrent loss of two drives without any disruption or performance impact. Since InfiniRaid uses all drives in the system at all times, recovering to a fully redundant state from a double failure of even the largest capacity drives takes only a few minutes. While InfiniBox is designed for performance, InfiniRaid requires next to no overhead to achieve this outstanding resiliency and maintain outstanding performance.
Some clients choose to replicate InfiniBox systems for data centre-scale disaster recovery purposes. The InfiniBox replication engine uses our innovative snapshot technology, minimising data transfer across replication links and allowing systems to perform most replication activities leveraging fast cache alone. To replicate volumes, the primary InfiniBox ships snapshot logs to the secondary InfiniBox periodically based on a RPO as low as four seconds. The resulting asynchronous relationship is responsive enough to replace synchronous replication in many client environments.
Overall, InfiniBox efficiency comes from several factors:
- Highly efficient InfiniRaid data protection—supporting overall seven nines data availability while improving raw capacity utilisation versus typical data protection implementations
- Optimised use of DRAM, flash and hard drives—effectively combining solid-state performance and capacity- optimised hard drive economics at multi-petabyte scale
- Data reduction software features without compromises—in-line compression, space-efficient snapshots and thin provisioning
While all data reduction features are important, the values of InfiniBox’s space-efficient snapshots and in-line compression, particularly stand out for many workloads. InfiniBox snapshots offer a combination of performance and scale (100,000 snapshots per system) that is particularly attractive for modern DevOps workloads which are designed around many copies of data. InfiniBox snapshots can also be easily integrated into environments from backup solutions like CommVault to active data layers such as OpenStack Cinder. Leveraging snapshots instead of writing redundant data dramatically enhances overall system efficiency. Meanwhile, Infinidat’s real-time data compression increases system capacity efficiency, regardless of workload layout, without impacting performance. Compression occurs as data is destaged to disk, after data is protected in mirrored controller memory. As a result, writes get acknowledged quickly, but the compression engine has more time to run before data is destaged, yielding higher
compression ratios. These advanced data reduction features multiply InfiniBox efficiency for many workloads.
Infinidat’s designed an efficient product that minimizes environmental impact and physical footprint during both the manufacturing process and product operations. A fully configured InfiniBox with multiple petabytes of effective capacity occupies a single 42U rack and consumes 8 kW of power under peak load, for a green energy footprint of under 4 W per usable terabyte. Other storage systems offer some combination of efficiency features; however, none provide all as effectively at scale as Infinidat.
InfiniBox has been designed to be easy to use and integrate into existing data centre workflows, regardless of desired consumption model, deployment environment, or level of storage expertise. The Infinidat data path already abstracts away many of the challenges of traditional storage and even new, build-it-yourself architectures, with no need to keep track of different storage media or physical data layout through the life of the system. Users also don’t need to worry about protocol choices, as InfiniBox delivers truly unified storage designed natively for multiple workloads and protocols, including Fibre Channel, NAS, and iSCSI, as well as mainframe FICON. Clients can easily deploy OpenStack
via iSCSI, VMware via NFS, and bare-metal workloads via Fibre Channel, all in the same InfiniBox.
Infinidat exposes that simplicity to the administrator via an intuitive HTML5 GUI that facilitates deploying storage within minutes of installing new InfiniBox systems—no training required. Lower-level automation for all InfiniBox functionality can also be controlled using a native non-blocking RESTful API, Python SDK, and command-line interface (CLI), and Ansible Playbooks are available. Server-driven workflows and related integrations are available for VMware, OpenStack, and many operating systems are also available through Infinidat Host PowerTools™.
Simplicity is also reflected in Infinidat’s business practices. All systems include 24x7 on-site hardware and software support, and software licenses and pricing are all-inclusive and predicated on usable capacity. Each client is covered by our included white glove service and assigned a technical advisor (TA) to help with deployment, support and any questions they may have about the system. Infinidat’s end-to-end simplicity allows today’s service providers to focus more resources on innovation and less on storage infrastructure.