Avere takes on NetApp, EMC with hybrid storage appliance

Avere is pegging itself as a member in a "wave" of flash storage startups trying to take on the likes (and reach) of networking and cloud enterprise giants.

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Avere Systems, a flash-based storage company, has introduced a new hybrid filer storage appliance aimed at enterprises that need to move large files quickly and efficiently.

Sounds simple enough, but to stand out from the crowd, Avere boasted that it is the "first vendor" to automatically tier data across four media types (RAM, SSD, SAS and SATA HDDs), which is promised to result in a faster, more affordable system than traditional flash solutions.

The Pittsburgh-based startup posited that this kind of tiering means every block of file data should be located in storage that matches its current level of activity.

Stacked with both flash/solid state drive media as well as serial attached SCSI hard drives, the Avere FXT 3800 Edge filer hosts 144GB of DRAM, 2GB NVRAM and 800GB of SSD space for reading and writing active data. The system also has a number of high-speed ports for connecting to other clients for accessing and filing inactive data.

With this release, Avere is pegging itself as a member in a "wave" of flash storage startups trying to take on the likes (and reach) of networking and cloud enterprise giants.

To prove that, Avere has published some new SPEC benchmarks intended to demonstrate that it sits above some of the largest storage vendors when it comes to efficiency and performance.

Specifically, Avere declared that it achieved record results with its SPECsfs2008 NFS file server benchmark for the second time in two years on the FXT3800 hybrid edge filer -- beating out EMC and NetApp, in particular.

Avere's chief technology officer, Mike Kazar, outlined in prepared remarks that there were two goals with the latest benchmark test:

The first is to demonstrate that you get the best performance at the lowest cost by using a combination of storage media in the most efficient manner. The second is to demonstrate that the only way to use cloud storage for anything other than backup or archive is to eliminate the WAN latency inherent in legacy storage solutions by moving to an edge-core design where the active data is held closest to the end users or compute farm.

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