WHIPTAIL CTO James Candelaria was asked to be part of Flash Panel: Going All-In on Flash, hosted by SiliconANGLE during VMworld 2012. The video features moderator Dave Vellante asking Candelaria what an all-flash storage array is, what WHIPTAIL’s software capabilities are and what customers can get from WHIPTAIL that they cannot find elsewhere.
James Candelaria: I consider an all flash storage array an array that optimized from top to bottom to deal with the intricacies of the media itself, right. We’ve been seeing the tier one vendor selling disk space arrays for 25-30 years. A flash requires a complete rethink of the technology stack end-to-end and there are unique properties of flash that require unique management capabilities otherwise you’re going to end up with endurance problems and random write performance problems, which are going to make it unacceptable for enterprise use.
Dave Vellante: Can you double click on that a little bit. What kind of software capabilities are we talking about here?
James: Yeah absolutely. You have to understand the media you’re dealing with. So, NAND as a general medium has an inherent inability to rewrite and already written page. One of the challenges you have is if you want to rewrite and already rewritten page, you need to erase an entire block. You need to optimize around that behavior continuously otherwise you’re going to run into the write cliff that some vendors are so prone to talking about extremely quickly and also wear your media out inappropriately.
Dave: Why do companies buy from you? What is it that is so compelling, and again we’ll start with James, that companies have to buy from you that they can’t get from traditional storage companies?
James: I think it comes down to tearing down the data site loads, right. Virtualization has always been about aggregating your pool of performance into one area where no one workload can overrule any other workload and provide a detriment to it. That’s really one of the great things that we can do at WHIPTAIL is provide a performance pool that’s large enough to run your ERP, your virtual desktop, your data analytics platform all simultaneously without short changing any one of them, without having to invest in four or five different arrays. That’s really our major message here at the show is break down those data silos and let’s go ahead and aggregate all of our workloads into one platform.
I also think that quality service is much more interesting and much more necessary for the disk space vendors who can’t provide adequate quality service for the existing workloads. Well, an all flash, purebred flash array doesn’t typically have the same performance challenges that an all disk array does. It becomes less and less important and less important to bake in to the actual product itself and, to Tom’s point, I think it’s more adequately solved at the equalizing layer, which is the hyper-visor side.
Dave: Because IO is not the scarce resource anymore.
James: Exactly. Why ration something that’s not scarce.