Gridiron keeps DRAM tight lid on boxes of flash chips

Post by Chris Mellor (thank you) over at El Reg on Gridiron’s IOPS monster

Blocks and Files Gridiron, the flash array startup that announced a million IOPS from its coming box of MLC flash chips, won’t give us any flash details of its existing TurboCharger appliance, keeping its basic capacity and IOPS ratings to itself.

We asked VP of Marketing Prasad Pammidimukkala the questions.

El Reg: I managed to get the data sheet after registering, and, surprise, it did not tell me the capacity of the TurboCharger GT-1100 appliance, the type of flash used, or its IOPS rating. Can you get me that information please?

Prasad Pammidimukkala: The GT TurboCharger appliance controller is sold separately from the flash package. Our standard selling model is TWO controllers in a high-availability cluster plus a flash package for each controller. The flash package varies due to different factors; for example, the default flash package is 6.5TB per controller. We do not disclose type, vendor or IOPs rating of the flash package in our datasheets because our performance depends on the software and controller features.

We use flash very differently than most other vendors – and raw IOPS or other parameters of the flash cannot be directly correlated to a specific workload. [The] currently shipping TurboCharger controller is capable of pushing over 350,000 IOPS and can boost up to 64 TB of storage.

Also, it’s pretty common for users to deploy multiple applications of widely varying workloads in one (pair of) TurboChargers. Resources such as flash are consumed and used at varying proportions determined at runtime.

El Reg: Concerning the million IOPS set-up, how much MLC flash is needed to reach 1 million IOPS, and is it 1 million read IOPS, write IOPS, or a read-write mix? Also, is it one box that reaches 1 million IOPS or several aggregated together?

Prasad Pammidimukkala: This depends on the application workload, user settings, analytics history and quite a few other things including host configuration. Since this work was done with partners and an independent test organisation, we are currently not at liberty to disclose the specifics. The specifics about the configuration will be forthcoming in upcoming announcements with partners and we’ll be delighted to brief you as they come out.

El Reg: What is the working life of the flash?

Prasad Pammidimukkala: Due to the unique Set-ranking analytics that we use, the working life of flash in our TurboCharger appliances can get extended up to 10X of their component level warranty. Free replacement of hardware components (including flash) is included in our support package. Unlike many other flash system vendors, all of our flash components are hot swappable.

Read on here

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