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Avere Systems

Avere provides Demand-Driven Storage™ solutions that dynamically organize data in response to business demand. The Avere FXT series enables faster application performance at dramatically lower cost by intelligently moving active data between traditional storage devices and FXT appliances. The FXT series appliances tier data on SSD and HDD media and can be clustered for maximum scalability. www.averesystems.com

see also:- Avere Systems - editor mentions on STORAGEsearch.com, Avere's NAS blog

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Avere mentions in SSD market history

In October 2009 - Avere Systems unveiled its FXT Series of clusterable 2U rackmount hybrid NAS appliances (SSD ASAPs).

Each module contains upto 8x 3.5" SAS hard drives, 64GB DRAM and 1GB of nv RAM. The embedded Avere OS provides storage acceleration by dynamically tiering between the internal rotating and solid state storage. List pricing starts at $52,500.

Avere is the 3rd company in recent weeks to announce an automatic solution for the age old problem of accelerating legacy hard disk array applications with solid state storage. There are some interesting differences in approach and target markets.

Avere's product is aimed at NAS systems. It's a complete end user solution which includes the hard disks which are to be accelerated. Avere says the new product can be configured with upto 1.6TB of DRAM per cluster.

Dataram's product is aimed at SAN systems. It's an end user upgrade solution which fits between the customer's FC switch and pre-existing SAN rotating storage arrays. In some cases where users have already over provisioned hard disks - the XcelaSAN may also, as a side effect, increase the usable storage capacity as well as speed up the apps.

Adaptec's product is aimed at DAS systems. The MaxIQ SSD Cache Performance Kit is an integrator / oem solution which simplifies the task of building a hybrid storage pool.

Key questions for customers with this new wave of self tuning SSD accelerators are going to be:-
  • Does it work?
  • How does the price / performance compare to vanilla SSDs and human tuning?
  • And how reliable are the new products going to be?
Understanding the failure modes in large SSD arrays is not something that traditional storage designers know very much about.

In September 2009 - Avere Systems announced it has secured $15 million in Series A funding from Menlo Ventures and Norwest Venture Partners. Avere founders were members of the team that created Spinnaker Networks, an innovator in scalable grid storage solutions, acquired by NetApp in 2004 for $300 million.

In December 2009 - Avere Systems' CEO, Ron Bianchini contributed his expert opinions to a new article penned by the editor of StorageSearch.com - the Problem with Write IOPS - in flash SSDs.

In January 2010 - Avere Systems announced it is shipping new SLC flash SSD options in its FXT Series 10GbE NAS compatible SSD ASAPs. The 2U FXT 2700 appliance features 64GB of DRAM, 1GB of NVRAM, and 512GB of SLC flash SSD. FXT clusters can scale to 25 appliances and support millions of operations/sec and tens of GB/sec throughput. Pricing starting at $82,500.

In April 2010 - SSD companies Avere Systems and Pliant Technology were 2 of 5 companies named in an 8 page report published by Gartner - Cool Vendors in Storage Technologies, 2010 ($495).
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"If there are hundreds or thousands of application servers, at what point does it stop making sense adding flash to each server?"
Bernhard Behn, Avere Systems

in his blog - What's Better than Server Flash? - June 7, 2012.

My comments won't be a surprise if you've already read some of my articles and in particular:-
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civil wars in enterprise flash
First you learned about SLC (good flash).

Then you learned about MLC (naughty flash when it played in the enterprise - but good enough for the short attention span of consumers).

Then MLC SSDs learned how to be good.

Now some MLC is much nicer than others. - When it's preceded by an "e" (extra-good). But it costs more.

It's going to get even more complicated.

......from sugaring MLC for the enterprise
1.0" SSDs 1.8" SSDs 2.5" SSDs 3.5" SSDs rackmount SSDs PCIe SSDs SATA SSDs
SSDs all flash SSDs hybrid drives flash memory RAM SSDs SAS SSDs Fibre-Channel SSDs

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