StorageQuest Uses Flash Memory in VTL
June 18, 2013 Alex Woodie
StorageQuest recently launched a storage appliance that uses Compact Flash memory cards instead of spinning disk to store data. Called the Flash Storage Appliance, the Windows-based device can communicate with any host over the iSCSI protocol–including, presumably, the IBM i server.
Flash memory has been used as a high-speed replacement for spinning disks for some time. In the IBM i space, solid state drives (SSDs) can be used in place of internal DASD, or loaded on IBM or EMC SANs to provide an I/O boost in external storage.
According to Canada-based StorageQuest, its new FSA appliance is the first storage device that is made entirely of Flash storage. The device, which functions as a virtual tape library (VTL), can be equipped with up to 16 Compact Flash chips. With Flash chips topping 256 GB each, this gives the FSA appliance a total storage capacity of 4 TB.
StorageQuest says the FSA device is able to “provide network-based iSCSI connectivity to host systems and allows concurrent read/write access to each individual Compact Flash.” This gives the product the capability to back up as many as 16 hosts simultaneously.
While StorageQuest has not tested the device with IBM servers, the company expects it to work. “The FSA unit can be accessed by any server that supports the iSCSI protocol,” the company’s director of product development and operations Brendan Lelieveld-Amiro says via email” “We have not tested with IBM Mainframe products. However if they support iSCSI, I would expect it to work.”
Each FSA includes an optional copy for the company’s StorageQuest Archive Manager (SAM) software, which only runs on Windows. SAM allows users and applications to group multiple remote Compact Flash chips, and delivers other features, such as read and write caching, remote replication, and Flash chip cataloging and tracking.
The company recently announced support for IBM LTO drives and libraries with SAM. In addition to tape, SAM supports the movement of archives to other media, including Blu-Ray optical and HP‘s RDX removable disk technology.
Pricing for the FSA appliance starts at $7,995. For more information see www.storagequest.com.