Marvell Unveils Dragonfly NVDRIVE – World’s First NVRAM-Powered PCIe SSD Cache Solution

Marvell has announced availability of the Marvell DragonFlyTM NVDRIVE – the world’s first NVRAM-powered PCIe SSD cache solution.  This turnkey enterprise-class caching solution with built-in SSD modules extends the company’s award-winning DragonFly NVCACHE and NVRAM adapter product offerings that were released last August.  The DragonFly NVDRIVE is targeted to large-scale Internet and cloud computing datacenters.  It will dramatically scale both bare metal and virtualized server applications, including web servers, OLTP and analytic databases, including NoSQL and big data distributed applications.

DragonFly-NAS-SAN-CachingThe DragonFly NVDRIVE is powered by Marvell’s SoC technology, and seamlessly merges large capacity non-volatile DRAM with onboard SSD modules.  This enables up to 100 times the random read and write application workloads compared to normal HDD-based solutions.  This automated caching solution removes guesswork, maintenance, and the higher capital costs associated with manual tiering methods.  Unique to the industry, DragonFly’s writeback caching is fully powered by ARM-based storage processors, and gives storage administrators the ability to configure cache polices at either the file level or the block level.  Data protection and reliability are ensured via intelligent RAID software and peer-to-peer synchronous mirroring, thus preventing data loss against any failure; whether it be server, adapter, SSD module, or NAND component related.

According to Alan Armstrong, vice president of marketing for Marvell Semiconductor’s Storage Business Group, “The NVDRIVE is a game-changing extension of the popular DragonFly NVRAM and NVCACHE family.  It delivers the same unprecedented application acceleration as the existing NVCACHE solution, but now seamlessly integrates with onboard SSD modules for plug-and-play ease of use.  The innovative application of non-volatile DDR memory, highly optimized caching algorithms, and entry enterprise SSD modules creates a converged solution that is ideally suited for mixed-workload cloud data centers.  The NVDRIVE raises the bar on affordability and performance, and its unique cache automation and consistent write latency capabilities will be sought after by both OEM and cloud computing customers who require predictable  performance at reasonable costs.”


The DragonFly NVDRIVE utilizes SanDisk X100 mSATA SSDs for the SSD modules.  Kevin Conley, senior vice president and general manager for Client Storage Solutions at SanDisk, states “The SanDisk X100 mSATA SSDs provide small form factor, low-latency, high-performance and cost-effective non-volatile storage for the Marvell DragonFly NVDRIVE.  Optimized for entry level enterprise workloads, the Marvell NVDRIVE based on the X100 SSDs provides an ideal solution for customers seeking performance-demanding business-critical data center applications.”

Feature highlights of the Dragonfly NVDRIVE include:

  • Up to 1.5 TB of usable SSD capacity with the industry’s largest integrated non-volatile DRAM cache.
  • Highly predictable performance across mixed write/read workloads. Cache mode sustained performance exceeds 200,000 4K random IOPS, 3GBps throughput and sub-10us average latency.
  • Enterprise-class embedded write-back cache software. Simple, smart and fully automated.
  • Robust data protection, including RAID and HA peer-to-peer synchronous mirroring software.
  • Rich command line interface (CLI) and cache policies for granular file/block object level configurations.
  • Application-transparent OS filter driver supports all major protocols – SCSI, iSCSI, NFS, FCoE and FCP.
  • Hypervisor integration enables virtual machine migration, HA, snapshots, clones and more.
  • Fully integrated DragonFly Manager for GUI-based administration and performance monitoring.

Marvell’s DragonFly NVDRIVE will sample with cloud computing customers and OEMs later in Q1 of 2013.  The DragonFly NVDRIVE will be offered in capacities of 750 GB and 1.5 TB.  Pricing will start at an MSRP of $2995 USD.  The press release can be viewed here.


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