Infinidat: 21st century enterprise storage arrives

by Robin Harris on Wednesday, 3 September, 2014

Who would have thought, at this late date, that an upstart would appear to challenge high-end EMC, NetApp, HDS and IBM arrays with a fundamentally superior product. But when you don’t have an installed base – and a cash cow – to protect, you can go big.

That upstart is Infinidat. Read on and see if you agree.
As Nimble Storage has shown, founders on their 4th or 5th startup can move much faster than newbies. Storage is just different, and enterprise storage is the toughest part of the storage market.

That’s why the fact that the founding team’s deep experience from EMC, IBM, NetApp and XIV is important. They know the customer requirements and they know the technology.

They wrote their first code in 2008. Won their first customer in 2011. They have over 100PB installed in their QA lab – key to producing enterprise-ready storage – and an investment no VC backed firm would make.

They have earned over 90 patents, but are also big contributors to open source projects. They currently have systems in production in the US, UK, Europe, Israel and China.

Why you haven’t heard of them
Infinidat is self-funded. The founders have succeeded with prior arrays – Symmetrix and XIV among them – and haven’t needed or accepted venture capital.

They’ve been focused on winning strategic customers with a small, elite sales force. Also, they’ve been production-constrained and are looking to build a factory in the US.

Why you will hear of them
Infinidat’s flagship product is the InfiniBox, a petabyte scale enteprise array.

The InfiniBox has a number of advanced features:

  • 99.99999% uptime. Seven 9s of availability: turn it on and it never stops serving I/O over its useful life.
  • 2PB usable capacity. In a single 42U rack. Or start with 300, 1,000 or 1,500TB.
  • Natively supports block, file and object. No bolt-on NAS gateways.
  • FICON, FC, Ethernet. Integrates with OpenStack, VMware and others through native intefaces.
  • Active/active/active controller triplet. Infiniband mesh connectivity for maximum performance – with no switches. All controllers see all drives.
  • Massive caches. Up to 1.2TB of DRAM cache and up to 48TB of flash secondary cache per controller.
  • Automatic real-time data movement between DRAM, flash and disk.
  • 15 minute drive rebuilds. No limping along for hours after a drive failure. All data is protected against two drive failures.
  • End-to-end data authentication. Checksums ensure data integrity.
  • Balanced drive loads. No hot spots because due to advanced data layout.
  • Snapshots with no performance impact. No table locking during snaps virtually eliminates snap overhead.
  • HTML5 GUI. Simple system management.
  • 3 years 24/7 support included in base price.
  • Base price includes all software and system updates. No pricy extras.

Amazingly, all of this is done with NO custom hardware. All hardware is off the shelf – which is reflected in the pricing. Which is the next topic.

Of course, these features – and many more not listed here – are going to cost you.

Less. A lot less.

Street price, all in, with all software, 3 years maintenance, all system updates: 1/3rd to 1/2 of EMC.

A fraction of current enterprise arrays.

The StorageMojo take
The InfiniBox is the single most exciting product StorageMojo has seen in 10 years. Cloud IaaS and all flash arrays are flanking attacks on current enterprise arrays, while Infinibox is a frontal assault. It applies everything the industry has learned in the last decade to the problem of enterprise storage.

The availability, performance, management, density and pricing reflect the benefits of a modern architecture. The enormous investment – 100PB in QA! – behind Infinidat reflects the success of the founders with earlier iterations of enterprise storage.

Infinidat means business. If you’re looking at a new high-end array, take a moment to check out Infinidat. There is nothing else like it on the market: enterprise availability and performance; unbeatable density and efficiency; and excellent all-in pricing. All this thanks to a fully modern architecture and built by a deeply experienced team.

Courteous comments welcome, of course. I couldn’t go into all the details here, but ask questions and I’ll try to answer them.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Tommy September 3, 2014 at 2:28 pm

VVOL Support? We need this thing to play nice with policy driven provisioning.

adrian September 3, 2014 at 6:49 pm

VVOL support? Absolutely. Send us a note at and we’ll be happy to share our release details.

Jacob September 4, 2014 at 4:56 am

vVol support is coming (its not GA yet) , and thanks for the overall InfiniBox platform architecture – its going to set new standard as to how storage should support vVol.

The platform is best positioned for the vVol era – when taking into account its massive scalability to support 100,000+ volumes, zero-wait RESTful API (for instant policy driven provisioning) and snapshots with no performance penalty – you get a core architecture that is well aligned with vVol vision.

Joe Tietz September 4, 2014 at 6:59 am

VVOL will be supported when 6.0 is GA like many storage vendors they are ready for vVOL but not part of the beta program.

John (@Lost_Signal) September 4, 2014 at 11:07 am

I can already see the Toigo tweets about the fall of VMware to Z-Series…

mike September 4, 2014 at 11:57 am

With that price point this product compensates very well for its lake of maturity.

I definitely going to check it out for my tier2 environment.

Richard September 4, 2014 at 1:06 pm

@Robin – “the 21st century storage”?? HDD based product?

While the entire industry is shifting towards flash it feels like this could have been a great product for 2009 but not for today.

TimC September 9, 2014 at 7:55 am

There appears to be a distinct lack of technical details on the net about the product. Tough to get excited when it’s all marketing.

Kimo October 9, 2014 at 11:32 am

Moshe and company seem to have done it again. We got our 1st XIV in 2009 and it just works great. Now reading about Infinidat – this is exciting! Us storage guys would love to get our hands on one of these. thanks, Kimo

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