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During the last IT Press Tour (the 14th), in the Silicon Valley (December 1-5, 2014) we met several companies in different categories (Cloud, Storage and Big Data).

The third day has started (and also ended with a dinner) with Diablo Technologies, a privately held company, headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, with additional teams throughout the United States and Europe.

ITPressTour-LogoFounded in 2003, Diablo is the creator of a Memory Channel Storage (MCS) platform that can accelerates virtualization, database, financial services, big data/analytics and other low latency workloads.

In the introduction part, Alex Yost (President) has explain the company origin and their vision and mission. After this session Kevin Wagner (VP Marketing) has told us the history and the evolution of memory and how the Memory Channel Storage has born.

As already written in in previous post, Memory Channel Storage (MCS) is a new approach to host based flash memory, where flashes are no more connected to a SAS bus (like in the SSD) or a PCIe bus, but are directly connected to the CPU using traditional DIMM popolated not with DRAMM, but with special flash memories:

Diablo-Carbon
Diablo how 25 patents pending or granted and 10 industry awards in first year after the product launch and has a great technical advisory board with people coming from storage (EMC, Pure, ZFS), and analytics (Cloudera) space.

This kind of solution is suitable for blades, microservers (considering for example the EVO:RAIL platform), but also traditional rack mount server and workstations. Compared to other flash solutions it can provide shorted and wider paths to data, avoid the latency spikes. All for solving the I/O response time issue:

Diablo-Latency
Currently there are OEM partnership with SanDisk, IBM, SuperMicro e Hauwai for building complete products and solutions. For example like the IBM x3850 X6 with up to 4 processors, up to 96 (24 per processor) DIMM slots, up to 32 eXFlash DIMMs for a maximums of 12.8TB eXFlash DIMM Capacity.

OEM is also for MCS production: Diablo’s MCS architecture can be found in the form of two currently available products: the IBM® eXFlash™ DIMM and the SanDisk® ULLtraDIMM™ SSD. Both MCS-based products are available in 200GB and 400GB capacities with power fail protection.

Of course those kind of new DIMMs required both new BIOS in order to handle them not as common DIMM memories, but as a block storage, but also specific drivers (actually available for Linux, Windows and VMware ESXi) to provide the storage access:

Diablo-Architecture

More DIMMs could be aggregated locally with a RAID0 or RAID1 configuration (depending of the performance and the availability needs) transparently to the operating system or the hypervisor (this is useful for some solution that could be limited to handle only one flash device).

Actually Diablo does not provide any software for data availability and redundancy across multiple nodes, but you can use 3rd part solutions, like for example VMware VSAN, SanDisk FlashSoft or PernixData.

But is not finished… Diablo has announced also the NanoCommit technology that will represents the next innovation. Planned for release in conjunction with the Carbon2 RDK, NanoCommit will catalyze fundamental changes in the way “memory” and “storage” are perceived in the enterprise.

This new technology will permit Memory Expansion in order to provide (transparently) more RAM (cache persistent) to an host. New applications (like big data analytics) can dramatically gain benefit from this kind of approach. So be prepared of a new wave of revolution in the storage/compute world.

For more information see also those other posts/articles:

Disclaimer: I’ve been invited to this event by Condor Consulting Group and they have paid for accommodation and travels, but I’m not compensated for my time and I’m not obliged to blog. Furthermore, the content is not reviewed, approved or published by any other person than me.

Andrea MauroAbout Andrea Mauro (2413 Posts)

Virtualization & Cloud Architect. VMUG IT Co-Founder and board member. VMware VMTN Moderator and vExpert (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015). PernixPro 2014. Dell TechCenter Rockstar 2014. MVP 2014. Several certifications including: VCDX-DCV, VCP-DCV/DT/Cloud, VCAP-DCA/DCD/CIA/CID/DTA/DTD, MCSA, MCSE, MCITP, CCA, NPP.