NexGen Debuts New Hybrid Flash Arrays in Wake of SanDisk Spin-Out

By Pedro Hernandez

NexGen Storage has come full circle.

Earlier this month, flash chip maker SanDisk announced that the company had spun-out NexGen, a provider of flash hybrid storage systems for small and midsized businesses (SMB). NexGen had first been acquired by PCIe flash storage innovator Fusion-io in 2013. Last year, SanDisk snapped up Fusion-io for $1.1 billion.

Today, NexGen once again stands on its own and largely unscathed. The company is now "completely owned by new investors," said McCall.

In a rare outcome, at least in the world of tech acquisitions, NexGen emerged intact from the acquisition spree, even a little stronger, Chris McCall, senior vice president of Marketing for NexGen, told InfoStor. His company is "better positioned" in the wake of the ownership changes.

"We really tripled the R&D [research and development]" under SanDisk's stewardship, McCall said. In addition, "the entire team basically stayed intact." The hybrid storage systems specialist "experienced very little turnover," in the single digits, he reported.

On Jan. 21, that team unveiled the company's new N5 hybrid array portfolio with PCIe-based flash storage and the company's latest ioControl software.

ioControl now ships with a new Prioritized Active Cache feature that allows the company's hardware to place 2.5x more data on flash compared to competing hybrid arrays outfitted with plain (non-PCIe) solid-state drives (SSDs), according to company estimates, a capability that boosts flash utilization rates and enables organizations to speed up more of their applications.

The software also "reduces flash capacity required by 10x versus all flash arrays," boasted the company in a statement. NexGen's arrays also gains improved VMware integration courtesy of a vSphere plug-in and support for VMware's vStorage APIs for Array Integration (VAAI).

Finally, the company has focused on packing more flash storage into less rack space. Its arrays can how provide 15.2 terabytes (TB) of flash and 64 TP of storage space in 3 rack-units (RU).

In a statement, NexGen's founder and CEO John Spiers said that his company "is committed to delivering storage solutions that provide IT administrators the real time agility they need to adapt to ever-changing business requirements and priorities. The product portfolio we've unveiled today reflects our commitment and exemplifies customer-centric solutions that are the heart of NexGen."

The new NexGen N5 slate of arrays, which includes the N5-200, N5-300, N5-500 and N5-1000, are available now. Prices start at $55,000.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

This article was originally published on January 27, 2015