by Adam Armstrong

SanDisk Updates FlashSoft And Introduces New Bundled Solutions

Today SanDisk Corporation announced that it has updated its server-side solid state caching software, FlashSoft version 3.7. The new software updates includes improvements in performance, usability, and compatibility for Windows, VMware, and Linux environments. SanDisk has also announced that it is bundling its FlashSoft sotware with its hardware, such as its Optimus Ascend SAS SSD and the CloudSpeed Ascend SATA SSD, as well as its Fusion ioMemory PCIe application accelerators (like the SX300 or the PX600).

SanDisk acquired FlashSoft a few years ago. Flashsoft is a software package designed to leverage small amounts of flash to accelerate hard drive based workloads. There is only so much data that is very active at any given time. Rather than place all of that application data on an expensive flash tier, the software sizes flash for the percentage of active data and enables smart software decide when to promote hot data to the flash cache. Many enterprises would rather stretch out the life of existing arrays and server hardware or make smaller new hardware investments, and can leverage FlashSoft to do so relatively economically. FlashSoft estimates enterprises can gain 3-5 times the performance of applications like SQL Server thanks to the huge gains in overall latency and responsiveness of the most in demand data. 

FlashSoft 3.7 enhancements and highlights include:

  • Windows Server:
    • Improved support for Microsoft Hyper-V with:
      • Support for Clustered Shared Volumes (CSV) to provide caching for Hyper-V hosts sharing storage volumes.
      • Accelerates applications with HA through Microsoft Failover Clustering
    • Optimized for use with ioMemory PCIe flash
      • Native support for hard disk drive and SSDs formatted with 4K sector size as well as 512K.
      • Performance enhancements to support very fast SSDs
    • PowerShell Commandlets for all configuration and monitoring operations
    • Microsoft WHQL Certification
    • Up to 4 caches per host, each cache can be up to 16TB
    • Write-back and write-through caching modes
  • VMware vSphere 5.x:
    • Certification by VMware as a Partner Verified & Supported Product (PVSP), providing customers with peace of mind that their software investment will have continued support and compatibility with VMware vSphere as new patches and updates are released.
    • Integration with ESXi 6 via new vSphere APIs for IO Filtering (VAIO) currently in Technology Preview in vSphere 6 (VMware Ready certified)
    • Support for accelerating VMs on ESX boot device
    • Support for vSphere v5.1 and v5.5
    • Performance enhancements to support very fast SSDs
    • Single cache device per host up to 16TB
  • Linux:
    • Broad support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) & SUSE kernels
      • RHEL/CentOS 5.5 to 5.9, 6.0 to 6.6, 7.0 & 7.1
      • SUSE 11, SP3
    • Support for RHEV/KVM (single node)
    • Optimized for use with ioMemory PCIe flash
      • Native support for HDDs and SSDs formatted with 4K sector size as well as 512K.
      • Performance enhancements to support very fast SSDs
    • Red Hat certified partner & SUSE SolidDriver certified
    • Up to 4 caches per host, each cache can be up to 16TB
    • Write-back and write-through caching modes

Along with the above update to FlashSoft, SanDisk is also refreshing its portfolio with Cache Device bundles. These bundles combine FlashSoft into SanDisk’s PCIe application accelerator’s and SSDs giving customers a broad range of server-side, solid-state caching options from a single vendor. FlashSoft software will continue to support SSDs from all vendors, so customers don’t have to worry about only reaping the benefits from SanDisk SSDs.

The bundles include:

  • Windows Server Offerings:
  • FlashSoft for Windows with Fusion ioMemory PCIe application accelerators
  • FlashSoft for Windows with Optimus Ascend SAS SSDs for stand-alone Windows Servers or Hyper-V implementations.
  • FlashSoft for Windows with CloudSpeed Ascend SATA SSDs
  • VMware vSphere Offerings:
  • FlashSoft for VMware vSphere with Fusion ioMemory PCIe application accelerators
  • FlashSoft for VMware vSphere with Optimus 2 Ascend SAS SSDs
  • FlashSoft for VMware vSphere with CloudSpeed Ascend SATA SSDs
  • Linux Offerings:
  • FlashSoft for Linux with Fusion ioMemory PCIe application accelerators
  • FlashSoft for Linux with Optimus Ascend SAS SSDs
  • FlashSoft for Linux with CloudSpeed Ascend SATA SSDs

Availability and pricing

The updated FlashSoft along with the new bundles are available now.

The pricing for each bundle type (software support is priced seperately):

  • 1.3TB PCIe ioMemory 3 with software: FlashSoft for Windows, FlashSoft for Linux, and FlashSoft for VMware vSphere will start under $9,000
  • 800GB SAS Optimus Ascend with software: FlashSoft for Windows, FlashSoft for Linux, and FlashSoft for VMware vSphere will start under $6,000
  • 960GB SATA CloudSpeed Ascend with software: FlashSoft for Windows, FlashSoft for Linux, and FlashSoft for VMware vSphere will start under $4,000

FlashSoft page

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