Skyera plans to pack 500 TB into 1U flash array

Skyera says its skyEagle flash array will hold up to 500 TB of 16 nm NAND flash, 16 Gbps Fibre Channel and 10 GbE connectivity for $1.99 per GB.

Skyera Inc. this week said it would expand its all-solid-state storage array portfolio next year with skyEagle, which will hold 500 terabytes (TB) of raw flash storage in a 1U array.

Skyera claims skyEagle can deliver 20 Gbps throughput and 5 million IOPS, and the product is priced at $1.99 per gigabyte for read-intensive applications.

SkyEagle will be startup Skyera's second all-flash array. The company released the skyHawk array with a mix of 19 nm and 20 nm NAND flash in April 2012. The skyHawk array was priced at $2.99 per gigabyte. Like the skyEagle system, the skyHawk utilizes consumer-grade multi-level cell technology and manages it with its proprietary flash optimization software the company claims can extend the life of flash by 100 times.

The skyEagle array will include a mix of 16 nm NAND flash from SK Hynix Inc. and 19 nm NAND flash from Toshiba America Electronic Components Inc.

"What we do is take 16 nm commodity components, the same components that are shipped with consumer products, and we work with the NAND flash vendor and change how they work together," Skyera CEO Radoslav Danilak said. "Enabling this new and exciting technology allows us to deliver a new generation of the product."

The skyEagle has a different controller than the skyHawk and holds 88 modules, with up to 6 TB of flash in each module.

"Compared with our previous product, we increased capacity by 11 times," he added.

After applying data reduction technologies such as compression and deduplication, Danilak said the 500 TB raw-capacity model will hold up to 2.5 petabytes, which would bring the system's effective price down to $0.49 per gigabyte.

Mark Peters, a senior analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group Inc., called the announcement "eye-catching, both in terms of the capacity density and the eventual price per gigabyte. This Skyera news certainly gives an insight into where we are imminently heading with all-flash arrays."

Unlike the skyHawk array, skyEagle includes high-availability features such as dual active-active controllers, hot-swappable redundant hardware components, and synchronous and asynchronous replication.

The skyEagle also expanded on the 40 Gigabit Ethernet and three 10 GbE network connectivity options available in the skyHawk. SkyEagle features 16 slots that can be used for 16 Gbps Fibre Channel or 10 GbE connectivity. It also includes up to 96 PCI Express lanes.

Skyera plans to begin shipping the 62 TB, 125 TB and 250 TB models in the first half of 2014, and the 500 TB model during the second half of 2014.

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