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Infinidat boosts its all-flash storage with InfiniBox SSA II

Infinidat released a new all-flash array with an updated operating system and added InfiniSafe data protection to all its arrays.

Infinidat expanded its all-flash footprint and rolled its data protection into primary storage with the second generation of InfiniBox SSA.

Available now, the InfiniBox SSA II all-flash array offers a lower latency of 35 microseconds, compared with the earlier version of SSA with submillisecond latency.

The vendor also combined its InfiniSafe data protection with anti-ransomware to create a reference architecture to cover its entire portfolio. In addition, Infinidat updated its operating system centered around performance and efficiency.

Infinidat placed itself in competition with high-end storage systems, according to Randy Kerns, an analyst at Evaluator Group. He said the SSA II shows a continued commitment to solid-state technology while competing with Dell EMC's PowerMax, Hitachi Vantara's VSP and IBM's FlashSystem 9500.

"[Infinidat has] focused on latency, setting a new bar for competitors at 35 microseconds," Kerns said.

The InfiniBox SSA II is a singular box that does not scale out, as some of its competitors might, Kerns said.

InfiniBox SSA II

The SSA II offers a higher core count -- up to 144 cores from 96, according to Eric Herzog, chief marketing officer at Infinidat. The new version of the array also includes an additional InfiniBand adapter to improve bandwidth between internal controllers. It has the same capacity as the first-generation SSA.

[With the InfiniBox SSA II, Infinidat has] focused on latency, setting a new bar for competitors at 35 microseconds.
Randy KernsAnalyst, Evaluator Group

The SSA II is an all-flash array, though Infinidat says its original HDD-based InfiniBox is still suitable for most primary storage. The InfiniBox SSA II targets the same Tier 0 market as the first-generation SSA, Herzog said.

"For the bulk of the world, the original InfiniBox can meet the needs of 80% to 85% of applications," Herzog said.

The original HDD-based InfiniBox uses hard drives on the back end, and DRAM- and NAND-based Neural Cache -- the company's read/write caching system that uses a machine learning algorithm to lower latency and improve performance. The SSA and SSA II work in a similar fashion as the HDD InfiniBox, without the NAND-based cache. All three arrays share the same software.

New OS, capabilities

The new OS 7.0 uses parallelism to take advantage of the extra cores and internode communication, Herzog said. Infinidat also added new algorithms to its Neural Cache to further optimize workloads.

Along with the OS update, Infinidat added its InfiniSafe software to all its primary storage devices, including the SSA II, through reference architecture. First announced as part of its InfiniGuard purpose-built backup appliance, InfiniSafe software brings features such as immutable snapshots, logical air gaps and an isolated testing environment to ensure ransomware isn't restored.

Infinidat InfiniBox SSA II
The Infinidat InfiniBox SSA II all-flash storage array.

The InfiniSafe software is now part of all Infinidat's appliances at no extra cost for existing customers.

Adding ransomware protection gives Infinidat a way to compete with other vendors in the same space that also offer these protections, Kerns said.

"There is a level of protection in the defense in depth strategy where a protected copy with near-term RPO [recovery point objective] on the high-performance enterprise system is valuable," Kerns said.

Expanding the InfiniVerse

InfiniVerse, the management product included on all Infinidat storage systems, now includes AIOps, InfiniOps, as well as support for DevOps integrations such as with Ansible. The further integrations include support for the Container Storage Interface 2.1.0, enabling users to deploy containers with their choice of Kubernetes, VMware Tanzu or Red Hat OpenShift.

The Infinidat Neural Cache enables users to add workloads without having to do anything; the InfiniBox will tune itself to the workload. This ease of use can go a long way with customers, Herzog said.

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