TMS Unleashes High-Availability Flash Array

By Thor Olavsrud

Texas Memory Systems (TMS) Tuesday debuted a high-availability NAND flash array intended for hosting mission-critical data in heterogeneous, multitenant applications.

The flash array vendor introduced the RamSan-720 NAND flash array, which it said was designed to exceed user needs for capacity, performance, high availability, scalability and low power. The 1U rack-mountable unit offers 6 TB or 12 TB of storage, with sustained I/O rates up to 400,000 IOPS for reads or writes, and sustained, random bandwidth of up to 5 GB/s. It comes with dual-ported 8 Gbit Fibre Channel controllers and can be equipped with up to two dual ported QDR InfiniBand controllers.

TMS has also incorporated wear-leveling technology to protect the underlying flash media by spreading out writes to maximize the write life of the system. To further protect the flash media's longevity, TMS has engineered the array to use only about 300 to 400 watts of power and generate less heat, which could otherwise degrade the media.

"Data protection of digital assets is of paramount concern to enterprises," said Jeff Janukowicz, research director for Solid State Storage at IDC. "Not only is it necessary to securely store data, but that data must be accessible through multiple applications in a system without a single point of failure. TMS has incorporated high availability into a system with the high performance and reliability of SLC flash to make the RamSan-720 a complete SAN flash storage appliance for mission critical environments."

TMS said the secret to the RamSan-720's system-wide high availability is the incorporation of TMS 2D flash RAID technology and redundant components throughout the system.

The 2D flash RAID leverages chip-level flash RAID within each flash module and centralized system-level RAID across the flash modules. TMS has augmented the chip-level flash RAID with its Variable Stripe RAID (VSR) technology, which automatically bypasses failed flash devices.

"With 2D flash RAID, each flash module and its associated flash media is protected by RAID 5," said Tom Frana, president of ViON, a reseller and integrator. "Additionally, all the flash modules are RAIDed together to provide another dimension of protection across the flash modules."

To provide further insurance against single points of failure -- whether within data, control or power circuits -- the RamSam-720 leverages redundant hardware and failover technology, including redundant data paths from the external SAN interfaces, dual system-level RAID controllers and dual-ported flash modules. It incorporates two AC power units and three battery units as well as two independent power rails.

TMS said the RamSan-720 would be available at the end of January.

Thor Olavsrud is a contributor to InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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This article was originally published on December 06, 2011