by Adam Armstrong

Micron Introduces SolidScale Architecture

Today Micron Technology, Inc. introduced its new integrated platform to deliver low-latency and high performance access to compute and storage, the Micron SolidScale architecture. Micron states that its new architecture gives its customers agility to deploy next-generation, cloud-native applications while still giving them support for legacy applications they currently use. SolidScale also leverages NVMe technology making it a good choice for online transaction processing, virtual platforms and analytics, and machine learning.

Over the next decade worldwide data will grow into the hundreds of zettabytes. This will present a few issues to enterprises moving forward. For one, they will need more and better storage in order to store all of this data. They will also have a need to access this data in order to gain insights. Updating storage only will present new problems as all other aspects of the infrastructure will cause bottlenecks. Micron’s SolidScale leverages SSD coupled with NVMe and NVMe over Fabric (NVMeoF) to scale at near linear performance rates.  

Micron states that its SolidScale platform would enable companies to build a scale-out storage infrastructure that provides all the benefits of a centralized single pool of storage with the performance of local in-server SSDs. The new platform uses RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE) fabric with low-latency software to connect multiple nodes. Though a set of data services, the platform will deliver a converged infrastructure that performs as though it is local direct attached storage. The initial launch will be for Linux environments.

Key features of the new architecture include:

  • Flexible Infrastructure: The logical volume feature of the SolidScale platform provides flexibility to create and manage a single, centralized pool of storage that allows customers to create right size volumes for each server’s data repository.
  • Optimized Performance: The speed of Micron NVMe SSDs coupled with high-bandwidth Mellanox fabric delivers performance that scales by adding an average of five microseconds of additional latency to an application’s data path when compared to a local in-server NVMe. Micron SolidScale architecture is expected to reduce end-to-end latency under 200 microseconds. Preliminary tests of the Micron SolidScale platform measured over 10.9M IOPS with only three 2U SolidScale nodes. 
  • Simple Manageability: The Web-based management interface of the SolidScale platform provides a simple, graphical setup and configuration for key data services.
  • Seamless Scalability: Micron SolidScale architecture enables customers to easily scale storage capacity with, or independently from, compute; in addition, performance scales efficiently as more nodes are added.  
  • Breakthrough Data Center Efficiency: The SolidScale architecture pools the available storage together, providing a platform that can either do the same work with fewer servers or more work in the same number of servers. Overall, this allows compute servers to be thinner, allowing storage to scale independently of compute.

In order to pull off some of the above-mentioned feats, Micron will be leveraging its 9100 PCIe NVMe drives. Each of the dual CPUs per box, connect to 12 of the 9100s to cut down on QPI traffic. The RoCE fabric mentioned above will be provided by Mellanox with its 100G RoCE adaptor. Micron has partnered with Excelero on the software side. Excelero’s NVMesh enbales the SolidScale to meet the demands of the most demanding enterprise and cloud-scale applications by enabling what the company calls, true converged infrastructures by logically disaggregating storage from compute.

Availability

The Micron SolidScale architecture is currently available to key Micron customers and partners for testing. Volume production is expected to begin in early 2018. 

Micron SolidScale

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