SanDisk is making another push into the enterprise market with the introduction of FlashSoft for VMware's vSphere virtualization platform for building cloud infrastructures.
Essentially, the solution enables a solid state drive to be installed on the server where it can act as a cache for hot data. FlashSoft then takes solid state devices (such as a PCIe card), and rather than having the high-performance of that device in a storage system, it puts it up in the server.
So far, the product has already been installed with a number of early evaluation customers and partners to validate two key benefits: the ability to increase application performance on virtual machines, and that application performance is typically three to five times better with this solution.
Rich Petersen, director of marketing management on SanDisk’s FlashSoft team, explained that the impact of that is tripling the capabilities of a data center because the software itself installs on the host operating system -- and that's the only place there it is installed. There is no external management application required.
"Basically, it’s transparent within vSphere," Petersen continued, "The key benefit is finding a way to reduce I/O latency enough so that they can migrate enough business critical apps onto virtual machines."
The VMware version of FlashSoft is also a bit of an upgrade from the existing solutions for Windows and Linux servers. Petersen explained that the Windows and Linux editions are still running version 2.0 products with 1TB of cache space, but the VMware version is first to use the 3.0 caching engine. FlashSoft for VMware supports a cache size up to 2TB, meaning it can handle data sets larger than 10TB.
Petersen added that FlashSoft automatically ensures optimal cache usage per virtual machine, and assigns cache space dynamically even as new VMs are added. Thus, the IT administrator doesn't need to keep an eye on it as the cache will automatically see where input and output is needed, and will proceed accordingly.
For reference, the flash memory software maker was acquired by SanDisk in February, opening the door wider for SanDisk to get into the enterprise market for solid state disk drive storage.
SanDisk FlashSoft for VMware vSphere is available immediately for $3,900, and software licenses are handed out per server.
Screenshots via SanDisk