Texas Memory Systems Introduces RamSan-720 Flash Storage System That Scales to 500-TB within a Single Rack

Texas Memory Systems, Inc., provider of The World’s Fastest Storage®, has once again raised the bar for feature-rich Flash storage with its new RamSan-720 system. It provides high capacity, extreme performance, and high availability with no single point of failure. It operates at very low power levels that users demand, but usually cannot get, in a single 1U system. The RamSan-720 was designed to exceed user needs for capacity, performance, high availability, simplicity, flexibility, scalability, and low power, while delivering a quick Return-On-Investment (ROI). The RamSan-720 is the ideal building block to deliver in all of these arenas.

The RamSan-720 offers new system-wide high availability due to TMS 2D Flash RAID™ technology and redundant components throughout the system. The 2D Flash RAID technology incorporates chip-level Flash RAID within each Flash module, plus centralized system-level RAID across Flash modules. In the unlikely event that chip-level RAID fails, then system-level RAID across Flash modules will correct the failure. As with all TMS Series-7™ products, chip-level Flash RAID is augmented by patented Variable Stripe RAID™ (VSR) technology to automatically bypass failed Flash devices. Both RAID techniques, chip-level and system-level, are implemented in hardware to eliminate performance bottlenecks.

Redundant hardware and failover technology within the RamSan-720 system complements the 2D Flash RAID to ensure that there are no single points of failure within data, control, or power circuits. The system employs redundant data paths from the external SAN interfaces, through dual system-level RAID controllers, to dual-ported Flash modules to ensure that data is never lost due to component failure. Redundant power is achieved through the use of two AC power units and three battery units. Each board in the RamSan-720 is powered by two independent power rails. If AC power is completely lost (a complete blackout, for example), batteries facilitate saving all user data and metadata to Flash as part of an orderly shutdown.

Heterogeneous multitenant applications lacking application-based high availability features, e.g. popular cloud platforms and virtualization/VDI environments, are perfectly suited to the high availability architecture of the RamSan-720. Hardware-based high availability in the RamSan-720 provides lower latency than general-purpose software layers, external gateway systems, or even competing Flash storage arrays. Additionally, the RamSan-720’s system-level RAID functionality provides cost savings of up to 80% versus mirrored systems. The RamSan-720 offers the perfect combination of performance, reliability, and value to replace Tier-0 performance storage arrays in today’s data centers.

Two important features of the RamSan-720 are its low latency (25-100µs) and its low power (300-400 watts). Since TMS has been delivering low latency DDR-based storage for 20 years, the company excels at minimizing latency. TMS has reduced latency in the RamSan-720 by keeping all data flow operations in hardware and only using embedded CPUs for bookkeeping operations. Additionally, the use of low power embedded PowerPC chips (2 watts each) allows the RamSan-720 to operate very efficiently and deliver large power savings. By combining these techniques, TMS is able to deliver Flash storage with low latency and low power within a small 1U enclosure.

“Texas Memory Systems, our partner, today throws down the gauntlet with the introduction of its new RamSan-720 Flash storage system. It combines blinding speed (5 GB/s) with full, failover redundancy and another breakthrough concept in SSD storage, 2D Flash RAID. With 2D Flash RAID, each Flash module and its associated Flash media is protected by RAID 5. Additionally, all the Flash modules are RAIDed together to provide another dimension of protection across the Flash modules. We are very excited about this groundbreaking technology and are confident that our customers will be as well,” said Tom Frana, President of ViON Corporation, a Washington, DC-based reseller and integrator who, for more than 30 years, has provided their customers with only the finest enterprise computing and storage solutions.

“Data protection of digital assets is of paramount concern to enterprises,” said Jeff Janukowicz, Research Director for Solid State Storage at IDC. “Not only is it necessary to securely store data but that data must be accessible through multiple applications in a system without a single point of failure. TMS has incorporated high availability into a system with the high performance and reliability of SLC Flash to make the RamSan-720 a complete SAN Flash storage appliance for mission critical environments.”

The RamSan-720 will be available at the end of January 2012.

Texas Memory Systems (http://RamSan.com) designs and builds solid state storage systems that accelerate demanding enterprise applications. Its award-winning RamSan product line, known as The World’s Fastest Storage®, has continually delivered fast, reliable, and economical solutions to a broad range of enterprise and government clients around the world. Since its founding in 1978, all product design and manufacturing have taken place at Texas Memory Systems facilities in Houston, TX, allowing Texas Memory Systems to meet the highest standards of engineering excellence and product quality.