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GridIron Systems

GridIron Systems is a Big Data Acceleration company based in Sunnyvale, California. Formed in 2008 by a team of networking, storage and SAN innovators, it has focused on bringing the benefits of new technologies like solid state disk to improve data center performance and costs with the LEAST amount of operational disruption. GridIron has 24 patents pending in areas related to big data storage, access-behavior analysis and management. GridIron offers the most comprehensive solutions to speed up multi-terabyte databases including clustered and virtualized environments at a fraction of the cost of alternatives. Additional information is available at Follow GridIron on Twitter: @gridironsystems.

see also:- GridIron's blog
GridIron - editor mentions on

In January 2013 - GridIron Systems was acquired by Violin.

editor's earliercomments:- April 2012 - GridIron Systems markets an FC SAN fat flash SSD ASAP / caching appliance - which has low latency (tens of microseconds) and is intended to be used in what the company calls "Big data" installations.

Although conceptually similar to Dataram's 2009 vintage XcelaSAN - GridIron's product is scaled to work with much bigger storage capacities - and includes more dedicated silicon.

Also - unlike most other caches - GridIron says its hot data stores and recognizes peaking data patterns over many days - and not just short term real-time data spikes (good cache age symmetry). That makes it better able to respond more quickly to cyclical business demand patterns.

Re SSD availability and backup? - GridIron says the TurboCharger "only accelerates read I/Os and "passes through" all write I/Os and status commands."

GridIron has strong views regarding what I call - the SSD Heresies - where's the best place to put your SSD etc.
GridIron mentions from recent SSD market history

In January 2011 - I commented on GridIron's (then) newly unveiled TurboCharger - which sits between a server and traditional storage network and uses its intelligence to speed up iSCSI or FC SAN I/O upto 1,000x. At that time - the company stated categorically their product is not an SSD. But it sounded to me functionally identical to an SSD ASAP (caching appliance) - and that's the market it will compete with - regardless of the internal ratio of internal controller hardware to memory or absence of non volatile memory or internal flash SSD storage.

In April 2011 - Readers of a blog by Storage Switzerland - learned that - "GridIron's TurboCharger appliance models provide 2.5TB or 6.5TB of SSD capacity, 1.6GB/s of bandwidth and 100,000 IOPS through 2 front-end and 2 back-end 8Gb FC ports. Appliances can scale linearly, accelerating up to 64TB of primary storage. GridIron uses custom FPGAs to drive the performance..."

In September 2011 - GridIron Systems announced general availability of its TurboCharger - an FC SAN fat flash SSD ASAP / auto-tiering cache - which has low latency (tens of microseconds) and is intended to be used in what the company calls "Big data" installations.

In April 2012 - GridIron Systems announced that it is approaching petabyte scale FC SAN SSD capability with its OneAppliance auto-tiering product family which will be shipping next month. The company's RackPack includes 250TB of Flash.

In January 2013 - Violin acquired GridIron Systems.
how fast can your SSD run backwards?
SSDs are complex devices and there's a lot of mysterious behavior which isn't fully revealed by benchmarks, datasheets and whitepapers.
SSD symmetries article Underlying all the important aspects of SSD behavior are asymmetries which arise from the intrinsic technologies and architecture inside the SSD. to read the article

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Violin acquires GridIron
Editor:- January 21, 2013 - Violin today announced it has acquired GridIron Systems.

Editor's comments:- in October 2012 I listed GridIron as 1 of the 3 main contenders to Fusion-io in the enterprise SSD software stakes -with the qualifying comment...

"GridIron - probably has the most sophisticated SSD ASAP software in the industry. But it's a shame it has been tied (until recently) to their hardware - an SSD HDD hybrid box."

Today's announcement - which adds to the growing list of notable SSD acquisitions in the modern era of the SSD market - will enable Violin to strengthen its already established authority in the enterprise SSD rack market.
"Multi-zone behavior profiling, historical analysis and high performance table lookup are crucial to success - because traditional cache schemes (designed for CPUs and HDDs) aren't good enough for enterprise flash systems."
Turbocharging caches for enterprise apps (pdf) - by Som Sikdar, Founder and CTO GridIron Systems - (August 2012) - presentation at the Flash Memory Summit
"Most cache approaches are based on data behavior for just the data being accessed and then only during the current access. The TurboCharger uses many days of history of the entire data set to decide how to best manage each data access. most improve the performance of the application."
...from:- GridIron's TurboCharger - key features
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GridIron's SSDs can serve hundreds of concurrent databases effectively
Editor:- May 30, 2012 - GridIron Systems describes the setup required to exceed 1 million (4kB) IOPS in a 40x MySQL environment with mirroring - all in a single cabinet (including servers) using its FlashCube SSD systems (upto 80TB in this configuration), and some 10GbE and 16GbFC fabric switches in a new whitepaper (pdf) published today.

"In large-scale MySQL environments it's not uncommon to see hundreds or even thousands of database servers," said Dennis Martin, President of Demartek (which tested this configuration). "This reference architecture opens a new, more efficient architectural approach for serving increasing numbers of users and database queries per cabinet."
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