Flash Storage Prices Falling: Skyera Offering Arrays at Under $2 per Gigabyte

Mike Vizard
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Five Best Practices for Disk Drive Storage Decisions

Last year Skyera introduced a Flash storage array based on consumer-grade Flash storage technology that made Flash storage affordable for a much wider array of customers. Now Skyera is taking that concept one step further. At the Flash Memory Summit conference, the company introduced a Flash storage array based on NAND Flash technology that will drive the cost of deploying Flash storage to under $2 per gigabyte.

To accomplish this, Skyera developed a Flash controller that embeds RAID functionality into the firmware of the controller. Because the controller is more intelligent, Skyera CEO Radoslav Danilak says it’s feasible to use next-generation Flash technology developed for consumer devices in a Flash storage system designed for enterprise applications. The end result, says Danilak, is a Flash storage system that is priced just under $3 per GB.

Most enterprise-class Flash storage systems rely on single-level cell (SLC) technology versus the multi-level cell (MLC) technology used in most consumer-grade smartphones and tablets. Recently, consumer-grade devices have been built around next generation NAND Flash technology, which offers greater capacities using the latest advances in MLC technology.

Danilak says the company’s new skyEagle Series Flash storage system provides a half a petabyte of storage in a 1u rack at a cost of $1.99 per GB. The system, which provides both Fibre channel and Ethernet ports, supports throughput rates of up to five million IOPs. Danilak says that when you add compression and data deduplication into the mix, the price of Flash storage falls to 49 cents per GB. The system can also be connected directly to a PCIe slot.

The good news is that both MLC and SLC Flash storage arrays are becoming much less expensive. At costs ranging between $2 and $5 per GB, they easily rival high-performance magnetic storage systems typically used in enterprise applications. By replacing those magnetic disks with Flash storage systems, even some of the most poorly written applications suddenly fly like never before, which will surely make some IT organizations want to replace most old magnetic storage with newer Flash systems.



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