The fastest growing storage segment is big storage. This covers unstructured and semi-structured large objects, which includes images, videos, surveillance scans, and scientific data. The niche for DataDirect Networks (DDN) is big storage solutions for high-capacity and high-bandwidth environments, which has allowed them to grow consistently and profitably to a projected revenue of $250M in 2011. DDN is well known in its application areas, which vary from high performance computing (HPC) to video surveillance, as well as cloud service providers.
DDN has been very successful with block-base devices, and a recent case study by Wikibon showed that their environmental efficiency (space, power and cooling) was the best in the industry at $222,000 over five years.
DDN has now announced a NAS Scaler version of the storage, as shown in Figure 1.
The NAS solution uses the same DDN storage technology with NAS controllers added to the stack, as shown on the left-hand side of Figure 1. The system specifications are shown in the right-end side of Figure 1. The DDN NAS architecture is very well suited for large object and file environments. It competes with high-end offerings such as Ibrix from HP, Isilon from EMC, and SONAS from IBM. DDN will be most competitive in high-bandwidth, large file/object environments, especially where high speed guaranteed reads and writes are required. The Ibrix, Isilon, and SONAS architectures have additional components such as InfiniBand, which becomes more useful when the file sizes are small and the size and complexity of the metadata is extreme.
Action Item: DDN’s NAS scaler solution expands DDN’s capability to compete in the very fast growing markets for large files and objects. Many applications (e.g., in the video surveillance area) expect to use NAS protocols such as FTP. Wikibon believe that DDN’s solutions are currently best-of-breed for big storage environments that require high density, very large files, and high bandwidth, and should be included on the shortlist for enterprise and service providers.