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INFINIDAT InfiniBox – Product Brief

Last updated June 18th, 2021 for updates to the SAA all flash model. Concise and unbiased 7-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 utilizes a three controller architecture with up to 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.
InfiniBox also supports mainframe attachment with models that have FICON interface cards rather than Fibre Channel but otherwise use the same hardware and underlying system software. Additional mainframe-specific software is included for those models.

While a notable design point for InfiniBox has been to utilize HDDs along with DRAM caching, in June of 2021, InfiniBox announced new SSD models focused on the most performance demanding workloads. These models, called InfiniBox SSA, include the same features and functionality of the traditional Infinibox models, however they replace HDDs for SSDs, and currently file support is not offered. Like the standard HDD-based models, neural caching with DRAM is still utilized, however the secondary SSD cache is no longer necessary, as the SSA models utilize a full SSD backend.

The design philosophy for all Infinibox models 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.
With the InfiniBox 5.6 update, the system added support for NVMe over fabrics in the form of NVMe/TCP. NVMe/TCP support provides a significant reduction in network latency compared to standard SCSI connectivity. Also added in the 5.6 update, InfiniBox received support for concurrent 3 site replication. This solution allows for a consistency group within an active-active cluster to be asynchronously replicated to a third, or fourth infinibox.

Additional 3-site data protection is enabled with use of a local Axxana black box called InfiniSync 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.

InfiniBox systems can also be purchased in an “as-a-service” offering called InfiniBox FLX. InfiniBox FLX offers a scalable, pay-as-you-go consumption and managed hardware for InfiniBox storage. INFINIDAT also supports a similar Elastic Pricing model that they refer to as a hybrid between CapEx and OpEx, allowing customers to buy an initial base capacity, and rent additional boost capacity as needed. Boost capacity can later be removed, or purchased into the existing base capacity.

INFINIDAT InfiniBox Product Brief Includes:

Highlights
Overview
Usage
Evaluator Group Commentary

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