SanDisk Pushes Flash Storage Below $1 per GB

Mike Vizard
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Five Innovations in the Data Storage Landscape

Moving to redefine the economics of Flash storage, SanDisk today unveiled a Flash storage system priced at under a dollar a gigabyte for uncompressed storage.

While providers of Flash storage have been able to get down to $2 per GB using compressed data, SanDisk Vice President and General Manager Ravi Swaminathan says the SanDisk InfiniFlash system is designed to make it affordable to put both primary and secondary storage on a Flash system that costs about the same as a high-end magnetic storage system.

Swaminathan says that SanDisk doesn’t envision a wholesale migration away from magnetic storage being used with existing applications. But for any new Big Data application, it no longer makes sense to use magnetic storage, says Swaminathan.

The InfiniFlash system is configured with up to 64 hot-swappable cards that each provide 8TB of Flash storage capacity. Together, the cards deliver half a petabyte (PB) (512 terabytes (TB)) of raw Flash storage in a 3-rack-unit (3U) enclosure, which in turn can connect with up to eight standard servers.

The SanDisk storage system can be deployed with the storage operating software SanDisk gained via the acquisition of Fusion-io last year or open source CEPH storage software that is optimized for block and object file storage. SanDisk is also making available a software development kit to allow organizations to customize their applications.

Because SanDisk actually manufactures Flash memory, Swaminathan says the company has a lot more control over Flash memory pricing than rivals in this category. The degree to which having Flash memory available for under $1 per GB drives other storage vendors out of business remains to be seen. But the one thing that is for certain is that the days when storage administrators spent their time trying to optimize I/O performance by figuring out where to best place data on a spinning disk are rapidly coming to a close.

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