Coraid optimizes EtherDrive for use as flash array

Coraid launches SRX6000 high-speed flash array, which can have any mix of solid-state drive and SAS and SATA hard drives.

Coraid this week boosted performance of its EtherDrive SRX block storage arrays, giving customers the ability to buy the systems with all flash or a hybrid combination of flash and hard drives.

The new SRX6000 series is the highest-performing line of the vendor's SRX series.

Coraid's EtherDrive products are based on a lightweight ATA Ethernet protocol and standard Ethernet switches to handle block storage. The vendor claims its systems perform better than iSCSI storage, and at a lower price.

Coraid positions its EtherDrive SRX arrays as building blocks for a scale-out Ethernet storage architecture, suited for cloud storage, big data, media backup and virtualized environments.

As with Coraid's other EtherDrive systems, the SRX6000 series has a shared storage capability of mixing SATA, SAS hard disk drives and solid-state drives (SSDs). The array can also be configured as 100% flash.

Coraid claims a rack fully loaded with 760 TB of SSDs can deliver 15 million IOPS. (One shelf, or about 36 TB, can deliver more than 700,000 IOPS.) Suda Srinivasan, Coraid's senior director of product marketing, said the new devices are priced at $350 per terabyte for hard drives and around $5 per gigabyte for flash.

The SRX6000 consists of the SRX6200 and SRX6300. The SRX6200 comes in a 2U form factor and scales to 24 drives and 21.6 terabytes (TB) of hard disk drive capacity. The SRX6300 device comes in a 4U form factor that holds 36 drives and scales to 144 TB of hard disk drives. The SRX6200 holds up to 38.4 TB of flash and the SRX6300 can have 57.6 TB of flash capacity if customers want to go all-flash.

The SRX6000 models support four Gigabit Ethernet or two 10 GbE ports.

Coraid does not support auto-tiering to move data between different media types on an array, based on usage. Customers can use flash as a cache or a tier for high-performance applications. Coraid software places applications on either flash or disk tiers.

Each SRX array runs on the CorOS distributed storage operating system to pool individual systems together into a single platform accessible via the EtherCloud Storage Manager.

The big focus of the 6000 is the improvement in flash performance," Srinivasan said. "There is considerable improvement in performance while keeping the price point in the same ballpark."

With the SRX6000, Coraid claims it more than doubled flash throughput over its other block storage systems.

"This is an evolutionary step for them," said Ashish Nadkarni, IDC's research director for storage systems. "This is so their existing customers can get more IOPS with a more economical solution."

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