Nimbus launches 10TB solid state blade storage

High performance computing may get a boost from Nimbus’ new product line.

Solid state storage

Solid state storage startup Nimbus Data Systems is releasing a scalable appliance, aimed at the high performance computing (HPC) market.

The S1000 is a 2U-sized module, housing between 2.5TB and 10TB of flash storage.

Flash storage offers higher access speeds than conventional disk drives making them suitable for HPC applications, such as oil and gas exploration, biotech, genomics, and medical imaging.

The lack of moving parts not only cuts down access times but also avoids the wear and tear involved in these high data access applications.

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The blade housing takes up to 24 of the 400GB storage blades which are hot-swappable and guaranteed for five years. The company actually claims simulated tests imply a 10-year lifespan.

One criticism of solid state storage is chips have a lifetime dependent on how often they are accessed. If a memory unit is used more than its neighbours, it less likely to fail long before the unit's natural span.

To combat this, the control system is deigned to handle "wear levelling" to ensure the reliability of the system.

For higher storage requirements, the blade systems can be daisy-chained together to provide up to 250TB in what appears as a single file system. Each blade housing contains three controllers based on Intel Westmere processors to provide load balancing and redundancy.

The units are priced from $24,995 (16,484) for a 2.5TB model to $99,995 for the full 10TB. Thomas Isakovich, chief executive (CEO) of Nimbus, claimed the cost per terabyte is comparable to conventional storage because the proprietary Halo operating system and maintenance is included in the price.

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