Red Hat and SanDisk announced a strategic alliance today that addresses the burgeoning market for flash-based, high-performance cloud storage.
SanDisk will begin offering Red Hat Ceph Storage software as the favored implementation of the storage software on its InfiniFlash arrays. Ceph is a distributed, open-source object storage platform with object, block and file storage interfaces. It runs on commodity hardware and is often used as the storage backend for the popular OpenStack cloud software platform.
Red Hat is Ceph’s leading commercial sponsor. In 2014, the company acquired Inktank Storage, a provider professional services and support founded by Ceph’s creator, Sage Weil.
“Our alliance aims to deliver the power of scale and performance of flash technology as never before, and we believe it has the potential to disrupt today’s traditional, proprietary storage market,” said Ranga Rangachari, vice president and general manager of Red Hat Storage, in a March 29 announcement. “Our customers now have an expanded portfolio of best-of-breed platforms, as SanDisk’s InfiniFlash System and Red Hat Ceph Storage have been tested, optimized, and certified together for optimal stability and performance.”
InfiniFlash is SanDisk’s line of all-flash storage arrays. Available in three flavors (IF100, IF500 and IF700), the systems pack up to 512 terabytes of flash capacity in a 3U enclosure and are designed to compete with enterprise HDD-based storage systems with a starting price of less than $1 per gigabyte. The IF500, designed for OpenStack and Ceph environments, can reach 780,000 input/output operations per second (IOPS) and features a data throughput rate of 7 gigabytes per second.
For SanDisk, the alliance has the potential to heighten its profile in an increasingly competitive all-flash array market currently dominated by the likes of EMC, HP Enterprise and EMC. The flash storage specialist is currently in the midst of being acquired by Western Digital. Earlier this month, the companies announced that their respective shareholders had approved the $19 billion deal.
Ravi Swaminathan, vice president and general manager of SanDisk systems and Software Solutions, remarked that the partnership “further builds on our continued commitment to the open source community across mobile, cloud, and enterprise deployments,” in a statement. “Combining SanDisk’s flash optimization and product-specific innovations with the leading stacks and standards of open source software like Red Hat Ceph Storage enables InfiniFlash to deliver breakthrough scale, performance and agility for Hyperscale and large-scale OpenStack environments,” he said.