One doesn't hear the phrase "quality-of-service guarantee" very often in the data storage business. This is largely because storage is connected to everything else and there is a multitude of moving parts in systems that the storage controller cannot, well, control.
NexGen Storage—yes, no "t," the spelling is correct—bills itself as the industry's leading provider of quality of service (QoS)-enabled PCIe flash arrays. In an effort to provide a proof of concept, the company on Nov. 11 introduced the first multitier, all-flash arrays that come with a QoS service-level agreement (SLA).
The new NexGen N5-1500 and N5-3000 all-flash arrays utilize multiple tiers of flash storage: RAM (random-access memory), ultra-low latency PCIe flash and high-capacity solid-state drives (SSDs).
Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) solid-state drives enable faster and closer connectivity to the CPU and do not require protocol translation, as is needed running serial-attached SCSI (SAS) or serial ATA (SATA) through an HBA/RAID controller. PCIe also has lower latency and faster throughput capability, both of which are faster than SAS or SATA.
Louisville, Colo.-based NexGen's dynamic Storage QoS enables users to avoid unexpected latency spikes and resource contention inherent in every all-flash array. By governing performance targets, I/O prioritization and data placement, Storage QoS guarantees NexGen users meet all mission-critical application SLAs, CEO and founder John Spiers told eWEEK.
"By enabling the application of multiple storage performance policies on a single NexGen array, users can eliminate the cost and complexity of managing multiple storage silos," Spiers said. "For example, NexGen integrates natively with VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes [VVols]. Our all-flash and hybrid arrays easily apply predefined performance policies at a VM level using vCenter Server; users can change policies in real time with no vMotion data migration required."
The NexGen N5-1500 and N5-3000 multitier all flash arrays with Storage QoS are designed for mission-critical application environments that require consistent, predictable high performance and low latency, such as storage for virtual servers, large-scale VDI (virtual desktop implementation) and database applications.
These environments also benefit from NexGen data reduction technologies that provide multiple advantages, including wear-leveling life extension of SSDs, 2.5X performance improvement and a 2X data reduction ratio with no performance impact, Spiers said.
"Unpredictable latency spikes and resource contention need to be managed in a shared storage system, and one of the most effective ways is with a dynamic QoS system that is designed to manage performance targets, I/O priorities and data placement to ensure business priorities are met," said George Crump, president and founder of Storage Switzerland.
NexGen's multitier architecture is compatible with future-type technologies, such as NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory express), 3D flash, ReRAM (resistive random-access memory) and other storage-class memory technologies that will be introduced in the next few months.
NexGen also ensures compatibility with next-generation flash devices from industry leaders such as Intel, Micron, SanDisk and Samsung. NexGen can tier data across different memory technologies, allowing its QoS engine to optimize performance based on application requirements, Spiers said.
NexGen's new flash arrays are available now. Go here for more information.