Research Library

INFINIDAT InfiniBox – Product Brief

Last updated June 20th, 2019 for FIPS certification for encryption. Concise and unbiased 5-page overview of the features and functionality of INFINIDAT InfiniBox. Product Brief includes EvaluScale Reviewing Methodology. Download the free Product Brief now!

Overview

The INFINIDAT InfiniBox storage system is an evolution of architecture from the Israeli-American company headed by Moshe Yanai, drawing upon experience learned in delivering EMC Symmetrix and IBM XIV systems previously.  The InfiniBox has models that provide storage with disk drives and DRAM and Flash as cache.  The system is a scale out architecture but the first models are configured with three controllers and eight drive enclosures.  The controllers are interconnected using InfiniBand with RDMA access between them.

The InfiniBox not only supports block storage but also includes NAS functionality with an INFINIDAT developed file system using the same underlying storage functions.

The design philosophy is for a very highly available system and uses an N+2 redundancy for toleration of failures.  The architecture of the storage functionality is to deal with data as 64K sections and a 14+2 RAID groups where sections are written sequentially as log-structured across the 14 data devices.

The InfiniBox Storage System uses nodes of Intel-based servers and attached disk storage enclosures that are connected to the controllers with SAS.  The nodes are identical and provide the host connectivity over Fibre Channel or Ethernet.  The interfaces have floating World Wide Names and MAC addresses to eliminate any trespass or affinity requirements and allow for servicing of any I/O from any node.  The device enclosure contains up to 60 top-load NL-SAS disks that are 7,200 RPM for a total for 480 disks per system.

The NAS function supports attachment with NFSv3 and SMB 3.1.1 protocol and can have 4,000 file systems for up to the entire physical capacity of the InfiniBox in a 42U rack.

3-site data protection is enabled with use of a local Axxana box called InfiniSync Black Box for changed data and use of IP-based synchronous replication to another system.  After a failure, data from InfiniSync is sent to remote system by cellular, wi-fi, Ethernet, or physically moving SSDs for recovery point of 0.

INFINIDAT also offers Neutrix Cloud as a managed cloud storage service powered by InfiniBox connected to major cloud providers.  Another offering is InfiniGuard, which is an InfiniBox with deduplication nodes in front of an InfiniBox in a single rack as a backup to disk appliance.

Usage

The INFINIDAT InfiniBox is targeted as a general purpose block and file storage system for use in environments where scaling of capacity and performance is required up to the maximum capacity 480 disk drives can support.  INFINIDAT has focused on the system providing storage for environments with high performance and high reliability with the low cost of using disk drives to store data.  The InfiniBox with its easy to use HTML5 GUI fits in customers where IT generalists manage storage.

  • Characteristics
    • Performance – The system has a performance of 2M IOPs for a 8.298 PB usable capacity with 25 GB/s bandwidth. DRAM and Flash storage are used to accelerate I/Os.
    • Availability – The system is designed for high availability with three base nodes and N+2 power, cooling, and data paths.
    • Replication for BC/DR – Synchronous and asynchronous replication over IP are supported along with consistency groups. Active/active stretched clusters over IP are supported for business continuity.
    • Snapshots and clones are supported – capacity limited only. SnapSecure are snapshots that retention periods and cannot be altered or deleted.
    • Up to 200TB of SSD read and write cache and up to 3.2TB of DRAM read and write cache.
    • File system support NFSv3 and SMB protocol, Quotas, and advanced services.
    • Notable – The system uses InfiniBand with RDMA for interconnection between nodes.
  • Applications
    • The InfiniBox is targeted at any block and/or file storage application including databases. As a general-purpose storage system, most applications can use the system with standard drivers.
  • System environments
    • The InfiniBox supports a wide range of operating systems and hypervisors.
  • Deployment and Administration
    • The InfiniBox has an intuitive HTML5 GUI that would allow it to be installed by a customer with moderate storage skills.
    • Both REST APIs and CLIs are supported.

Evaluator Group EvaluScale™: INFINIDAT InfiniBox – SAN Storage

Evaluator Group product review methodology “EvaluScale” assesses each product within a specific technology area.  The definitions of the criteria and explanations of how products are reviewed can be found in the  Evaluator Series Evaluation Guide. Download the product brief now to view the Evaluscale for this product.

Evaluator Group Opinion: Differentiating elements for INFINIDAT InfiniBox

INFINIDAT InfiniBox was initially offered as a block storage system using spinning disk for data storage.  Filesystem software capability makes it a unified system.  The NAS implementation with NFSv3 as the protocol supported.  Most customers looking for NAS will require additional protocol and features such as file tiering.

The INFINIDAT system is designed for spinning disk.   SSDs and DRAM are used for caching.  At some point, INFINIDAT will use SSDs in the place of disk for storage and may introduce some optimizations for use of flash.  Sales have targeted customers that previously purchased IBM XIV systems with a variety of messages, which has been effective.  There are design changes from the XIV so it is not an evolution of that product.

Evaluator Group expects a major update to INFINIDAT InfiniBox at some point.  Meanwhile, INFINIDAT will continue to be successful selling to enterprise customers familiar with disk-based designed systems. Offering the InfiniBox as a backup system (InfiniGuard) with deduplication engines is a good idea and will expand the opportunity.


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