As our press release announced, we’re pretty excited that DDN’s SFX™ (Storage Fusion Xcelerator) technology won the award for the ‘Best Visionary Professional Class System’ at Storage Visions 2015.

A lot of companies talk about advanced caching, but we at DDN truly put our money where our mouth is with massive investments in advanced caching from in-system memory to intelligent SSD caching to burst buffer layers between compute and storage.

I had a lot of fun at Storage Visions in Las Vegas a few weeks ago talking about DDN’s SFX™ which is a customer configurable extension of system level caching into an SSD layer. SFX can act just like a simple caching layer like those offered by other products in the industry, but also goes well beyond delivering application aware IO acceleration.

These days every organization is tackling or trying to tackle the challenge that Big Data brings forth. Big Data has demanding data access patterns that can turn otherwise fast storage systems into bottlenecks making the system(s) sub-optimal. Buying more and more memory and faster storage systems does not seem to be an optimal option. Organizations are struggling to find new and innovative ways to establish a symmetry in price/performance. To strike the perfect balance between performance and cost, SFX™ storage acceleration technology combines spinning and solid state disk storage media with application aware technology to intelligently accelerate block and file-based data access. As part of the SFA® Operating System, SFX extends the functionality of the storage system’s cache by selectively front-ending traditional rotating media with the appropriate amount of flash memory.

DDN SFX technology is a highly efficient and cost-effective hybrid approach that combines spinning and solid state disk storage media with our own application aware technology to intelligently accelerate block and file-based data access. SFX allows customers to realize the performance promise of flash for big data sets, at a price point that’s closer to lower-cost, high-density hard disk drive solutions.

Typical benefits observed with SFX:

• Reduction in IO bottlenecks and performance boosts with up to 300x more IOPS

• Higher cache utilization

• Quicker response times and IOPS for same capacity at lower cost and power consumption SFX offers several modes of data control, which enables the system to load the right data into flash, at the right time. This maximizes cache hit rates and delivers quicker time to results. SFX data control modes work together with DDN’s innovative Real-time Adaptive Caching Technology (ReACT) to further optimize cache utilization. ReACT analyzes incoming data streams by directing large aligned block writes to stream directly to rotating media, while caching small block IO to improve performance. This eliminates the need to repopulate the cache because of these large writes. ReACT, combined with the SFX mode that best fits a big data workflow, significantly increases performance and reduces the number of high capacity HDDs required in any solution. This lowers acquisition costs, saves power and delivers unmatched TCO, so you can save cash too.

More resources:

SFX white paper

SFX technology

  • Shreyak Shah
  • Shreyak Shah
  • Senior Product Marketing Manager
  • Date: February 6, 2015