DataDirect Networks Unveils Big Data Storage Appliances

By Pedro Hernandez

High performance computing (HPC) storage specialist DataDirect Networks unveiled new hybrid storage hardware that the company asserts can help organizations accelerate their Big Data applications.

DataDirect Networks' new SFA12KX series appliances are the "industry's fastest," claims the company. Built on the company's integrated, Big Data-oriented Storage Fusion Architecture, a single SFA12KX appliance delivers up to 1.4 million input/output operations per second (IOPS) and pushes data through at a rate of 48 GB per second.

Its stable mate, the SFA12KXE, takes more a converged approach.

It employs in-storage processing, providing the system with the power to run the company's EXAScaler and GRIDScaler parallel file systems. As a bonus, it enables customers to run virtualized applications directly on the array. The SFA12KXE can attain 23 GB per second of file system performance, according to the company's benchmarks. Processing power is derived by Intel Ivy Bridge processors chips on both SFA12KX appliances.

Rather than cram rack upon rack with storage to achieve that level of performance, the SFA12KX "allows customers to deploy Big Data solutions with the least number of systems – dramatically lowering the total cost of ownership," boasted the company in a statement. It's a feat that can take the budgetary sting out of pursuing Big Data projects, argues DataDirect Networks' Jean-Luc Chatelain, executive vice president of Strategy and Technology.

"[DataDirect Networks'] SFA12KX appliances are the foundation of many of the world's most demanding and data-intensive environments, each requiring massive performance and scale without high cost," said Chatelain in company remarks. Referencing the systems' "application-aware Flash caching, Real-Time I/O and in-storage processing," SFX12KX appliances are tailor made for IT organizations seeking to "accelerate Big Data applications and consolidate infrastructure while dramatically lowering the overall cost of data storage ownership," he added.

A single SFA12KX system can accommodate a mix of up to 1,680 SSD, SATA or SAS drives. The technology allows for file storage systems that can cross the 1 TB per second threshold in as few as 21 arrays. This enables massive consolidation (10:1 versus the competition), according to the company. Power consumption can drop by up to 50 percent.

DataDirect Networks isn't the only HPC company tackling Big Data. Last month, SGI unveiled its ObjectStore solution, which bundles the company's Scality RING software and modular InfiniteStorage Server to provide a shared storage pool with up to 2.8 PB per rack.

DataDirect Networks' SFA12KXE appliance goes on sale during the fourth quarter of 2013. Plans call for the SFA12KX to be generally available in early 2014.

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

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

This article was originally published on November 20, 2013