Simplifying the User Experience for AI-Driven Workloads with Unified Storage
Last week marked the introduction of DDN IntelliFlash OS Release 3.11.3. Why does this matter?
For those of you who aren’t familiar with IntelliFlash let’s have a quick refresher. The IntelliFlash storage platform was introduced about 10 years ago and has been successfully deployed by several thousand customers worldwide. IntelliFlash is a unified enterprise storage solution. (What does that mean?) It can support multiple protocols – NAS and SAN. It can support multiple workloads – virtualized and native. And it can support multiple types of storage media – NVMe flash and HDD. And the icing on the cake is that it can support all of these different technologies concurrently with the same management interface. That flexibility makes IntelliFlash an excellent platform for consolidating multiple applications and workloads.
IntelliFlash is an enterprise-class general purpose storage platform with linear performance that exceeds 2 million IOPS, latency that’s under 200 milliseconds and resiliency that can deliver up to 6 nines of availability. Yet it’s one of the simplest storage systems to operate – with intelligent analytics and streamlined management that is well suited for non-storage experts.
The latest generation of the products – N6000 all-NVMe systems and H6000 hybrid systems – have been further enhanced with a new controller architecture – identical to the one used in DDN systems that power the most demanding high-performance workloads on the planet. This is not an exaggeration. It is a fact. DDN systems support 70% of the world’s largest supercomputing environments. Another recent IntelliFlash enhancement is advanced file protocol services, which integrates technology from the NexentaStor product, another flexible multi-platform software defined service offering from DDN.
Transition Toward AI and File Services
Although IntelliFlash products have been sold by both Tintri and DDN, representing Enterprise and At-Scale business divisions, respectively, the product line has recently become more closely aligned with the DDN side of the house in terms of customer solutions and use cases. Its linear performance at multi-petabyte scale and its multiprotocol support – specifically file services capabilities – make it an ideal complement to many DDN high-performance AI environments. For example, DDN A3I systems provide the power and scale for GPU-driven workloads, especially where AI data is used. This includes Life Sciences, Research, Financial Services, Manufacturing and more. IntelliFlash systems complement A3I solutions, with the versatility to support multiple stages for file and block services in the AI data lifecycle. These stages are represented by use cases such as home directories, containers, VMs, databases and backup and archival.
Now back to the significance of the IntelliFlash 3.11.3 OS release. This release focuses on DDN’s commitment to delivering an outstanding experience for IntelliFlash customers, and making the unified storage solution even more applicable for the AI-related use cases mentioned above.
The software enhancements driven by the 3.11.3 OS release simplify the IntelliFlash user experience and increase AI application performance and data availability in the following areas:
- Scalable Performance: bigger block sizes for higher-capacity hybrid data sets
- Availability: faster, non-disruptive failover
- Data Mobility: transparent data security and movement – on-premises or to the cloud
- Efficiency: higher density data IO ports for balanced performance and fault tolerance
- Intelligence: advanced, actionable data insights with cloud-based analytics
- Simplicity: refreshed host OS and ecosystem plug-in compatibility
All of the above enhancements apply to both IntelliFlash N- and H-Series product lines.
IntelliFlash H6100 – Best-in-Class Midrange Hybrid Efficiency and Performance
The most tangible aspect of this release is the introduction of the new DDN IntelliFlash H6100 system, which continues to incorporate technologies and capabilities that were previously only available in high-performance environments. The DDN IntelliFlash H6100 is a midrange hybrid system which uses an all-NVMe controller and supports capacity growth with new 24-bay HDD expansion shelves that are compatible with SME data center rack standards.
The H6100 provides best-in-class consolidation of both high-performance and high-capacity workloads and is designed for AI, Life Sciences, Video Surveillance / Media Production, and other emerging File Services use cases – either on its own or with DDN At-Scale products.
Customers who need greater storage capacity and density still have the option to choose the IntelliFlash H6200, a higher-capacity system that uses deeper 90-bay expansion shelves.