SanDisk Corporation, a global leader in flash memory technology, is announcing the release of FlashSoft 3.2 for acceleration of enterprise and data center applications. FlashSoft 3.2 will integrate with any server, storage and network infrastructure. This release follows on the heels of FlashSoft 3.1 for VMware vSphere that was released in April.
SanDisk’s acquisition of FlashSoft, announced in February of last year, put SanDisk in a unique position. In addition to “owning the fab” (the advantages of providing your own NAND), being able to offer acceleration software services as part of their own enterprise product offerings is a significant advantage. SanDisk has recognized that enterprise and data center is the OTHER hot market-growth opportunity for flash and SSDs (beside mobile devices). Few realize that SanDisk now controls the world’s fourth largest intellectual property portfolio, behind only IBM, Samsung, and Google/Motorola.
Employing FlashSoft in a storage architecture offers a number of key benefits, not the least of which is dramatically improved CPU utilization. This aspect alone is key to being able to consolidate servers into a more streamlined storage configuration. More efficient use of memory is enabled, as DRAM is no longer used as a memory cache. Caching SSDs are more efficiently utilized, as FlashSoft is optimized for SSD I/O throughput.
client workload comparison
FlashSoft creates a single constantly looping cache for the hottest data and applications. The size of this cache changes dynamically as data and application requests fluctuate. Main storage efficiency is also dramatically improved as I/O traffic is moved from the SAN to the SSD cache, and buffer flushing is far more efficient.
average response time in seconds comparison
Compatibility-wise, FlashSoft requires no changes to applications, operating systems, or virtual machines. No changes to storage systems, network or policies are needed. FlashSoft requires only 2-4% of CPU resources. Any PCIe or SAS SSD(s) can be utilized with FlashSoft, from any vendor. It is fully scalable to 100’s of volumes or virtual machines.
transactions per second comparison
On the application acceleration front, Linux and Windows Server databases realize a 300-500% improvement in online transaction processing (OLTP) performance. OLAP batch processes see 400-500% speed improvements. Enterprise applications can support up to 3 times as many concurrent users or virtual machines.
Enterprise application acceleration software is all the rage of late. A number of the companies offering variations of this software have been acquired by larger companies and storage vendors; as has occurred with FlashSoft and SanDisk. We will likely see more such acquisitions in the next 12-24 months. SanDisk already has FlashSoft partnerships with other enterprise storage vendors that include the likes of Dell, Virident, SCSK (Japanese market), VMware, and most recently NetApp. With the release of FlashSoft 3.2, SanDisk is well-positioned to achieve significant gains in its enterprise market share. The SanDisk press release for FlashSoft 3.2 can be viewed here.