Mangstor CTO Paul Prince and I sat down at DellWorld 2015 to discuss Mangstor's flash array offerings and what they can do for you. If you've ever thought of diving into flash arrays for your virtual infrastructure storage needs, for your high-volume transactional databases, or for squeezing more performance out of your N-tier applications, this might be the perfect time to revisit the conversation. Flash arrays have enjoyed significant technology improvements over the past year and Mangstor's NVMe over fabric flash arrays are on the leading edge of that wave.
Prices on flash memory are falling faster than gasoline prices and that's a good thing, because the speed of flash storage is going the other way. (Intel's latest 750 series 1.2 TB drive is just over $1,000.) Mangstor's NVMe storage read and write access over RDMA networks approaches that of local PCIe SSDs.
And for disaster recovery (DR), you have the options of 10, 40, 56 Gb/s for rapid site-to-site recovery.
Mangstor is an Austin, Texas-based company that has developed its own intelligent storage controller for its storage array appliances.
Our solutions include removable Non-Volatile Memory PCI-Express (NVMe) cards, embedded products, and components. Mangstor's NVMe Solid State PCIe cards are used in Web-Scale and large enterprise data centers to provide breakthrough levels of performance and consistent low-latencies solutions that accelerate application workloads and data storage operations running on traditional and virtualized servers.
But what's so great about NVMe?
Good question. The answer is that legacy I/O buses, such as SATA and SAS, have relatively easy to reach performance ceilings. That's why you see 2.5-inch SATA SSDs always hitting a performance peak around 500 MB/s read and write speeds. It's the bus, baby.
And if you are about to say, "SAS is 12 Gb/s," don't go there. That performance tops out at 1.5 GB/s for SAS SSDs. Fast, yes, but these are SSDs--no moving parts.
So, if flash memory is "all that," why can't we get more performance out of it. If you said, "it's the bus, baby," you get a gold star, albeit a virtual gold star. Solid-state technology is being, or rather was being, held back by the bus. It's time to throw the legacy buses under the bus.
The something better is PCIe and NVMe technology. That's why companies like Mangstor can get such high throughputs from a remote flash array. For example, a Generation 3 PCIe card can deliver close to 4 GB/s local bus speeds.
For NVMe local bus performance, you're looking in the upscale neighborhood of 2.5 GB/s.
There's one thing to remember here. These speeds are for single drives, local buses, and standard hardware. Check out Mangstor's numbers in the graphic below for comparison.
If you use RAID configurations and high-end controllers like Mangstor's proprietary controller, the performance increases significantly. But, if you're thinking of assembling your own flash array, your mileage will vary--greatly. The reason is that not all SSDs handle RAID well and your controller, unless you're willing to shell out some bucks, just won't cut it. Unless you're a storage master and can do your own research, some things are better left to the professionals. This is definitely not the time for DIY.