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Monday, February 06, 2012
EMC Launches VFCache PCIe Cards


EMC on Monday launched the "Project Lightning," now called the VFCache product line, an initiative to sell PCIe-based NAND flash cards for servers as a caching element to increase I/O performance by up to 4,000 times.

The EMC VFCache is a new server Flash caching solution. Together, VFCache and EMC Flash-enabled storage systems improve application performance by leveraging intelligent software and PCIe Flash technology - EMC's testing resulted in up-to 3X increased throughput while reducing latency by 60%. Now databases (CRP, ERM), OLTP, email, Web, and reporting - any read-intensive workloads with cacheable working sets - can benefit from the performance benefits of PCIe Flash.

VFCache combined with VMAX , VMAXe , VNX and VNXe storage delivers performance with the protection (high availability, data integrity, reliability, and disaster recovery) for which EMC storage.



VFCache cards install into a server's standard PCIe slot, and come with a filter driver that runs in the host server. As the host issues an I/O operation, the VFCache driver intercepts it, checks the table in its memory as to what data is in the cache, and if the data is on the flash memory it serves that I/O read request from the server; If the data is not in cache memory, the driver sends a read or write request through the storage area network to an EMC storage array.

Placing Flash technology in the server on a PCIe card can accelerate performance up 4000X faster data access than 15K HDD, according to the company.

Coming in the next year, EMC will add deduplication technology to VFCache, enabling its customers to achieve even more efficiency from Flash technology. Additional Flash capacity and form factors will also be supported. VFCache will also more deeply integrate with EMC storage management technologies, and additional integration with FAST architecture.

EMC also plans an early customer access program for "Project Thunder" in the second quarter of 2012. Optimized for high-frequency, low-latency read/write workloads, it will build upon the PCIe technology delivered in VFCache to leverage the power of Flash through a dedicated server networked Flash-based appliance. The appliances will be connected to server farms through the InfiniBand network protocol. They will hold five, 10 or 15 PCIe cards, according to EMC.


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