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RamSan-330 Details

The RamSan-330 is the fastest, largest external cache around. It acts as a high speed buffer for any number of RAID devices to provide 100x less latency and 50x more bandwidth than the best mechanical disk drives. It does not require special software - simply attach it between server(s) and storage. The RamSan-330 automatically caches all accessed data writes and reads to drastically improve storage performance. Storage vendors and solution providers have struggled to meet the needs of end users with increasingly demanding application environments, such as large, write-intensive databases. The RamSan-330 provides the solution by invisibly accelerating storage to the speed of DDRRAM. By installing the RamSan-330 in front of RAID devices, bandwidth increases and response time decreases.

To order, please contact Texas Memory Systems Sales.


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Applications
While solid state disks are designed to have "hot" data actively placed on them by administrators for acceleration, the RamSan-330 RAID cache dynamically and automatically accelerates large capacities of storage according to use.

 A solid state RAID cache is most appropriate when:

  • Data needing acceleration constantly changes.
  • Large amounts of data needs acceleration.
  • Terabyte solid state disks are not an option due to cost.
  • Existing storage infrastructures need an "invisible" performance boost.
  • A storage area network (SAN) needs overall performance improvements.

Performance
The RamSan-330 turbo charges storage by caching the most popular data and distributing it at maximum rates of 3 GB/s bandwidth and 250,000 I/Os a second. End users can use the RamSan-330 to overcome the costly bottlenecks associated with slow read/write performance across a large segment of data. While some intensive applications need a terabyte of solid state disk to fully perform, many others could simply benefit from a large cache such as the RamSan-330 to make terabytes of RAIDs behave like solid state disk.

The state-of-the-art caching algorithms and firmware built in to the RamSan-330 support three widely used caching methods:

  • Write through caching: the server is not notified that a write is committed until it is written to disk.
  • Write-back caching: all writes are to the RamSan-330. In the background, the system uses available bandwidth to flush writes to the external storage.
  • Read-ahead caching: Optimizes reads by pre-fetching blocks from disk in anticipation of system storage requests.

These methods are configurable per system or per segment.

Reliability
The RamSan-330 offers an ideal mix of speed and data persistence. To ensure non-volatility, the RamSan-330 provides redundant cache destaging and internal battery support. In the event of external power loss, internal redundant batteries will keep the unit powered for 25 minutes-- long enough to copy all data to internal redundant hard disks and (if available) to an external storage device. This ensures the resumption of normal operation as quickly as possible after power failure.

The unit also features redundant hot swappable power supplies, redundant hot swappable disks for cache destaging, active:passive and active:active failover for Fibre Channel ports, ECC memory error protection, and redundant cooling fan banks (front/back airflow) to ensure the highest levels of reliability.

Manageability
One of the largest advantages of external cache systems such as the RamSan-330 is the exceptional manageability and versatility of such a unit. From a directly connected PC or over a standard ethernet network via an intuitive browser interface, and administrator can flexibly configure the RamSan-330 to meet current and future storage performance challenges.

The RamSan-330 can accelerate one or many RAID devices simultaneously, giving a virtually unlimited number of devices access to a large bank of cache as needed. Different devices can be configured with custom caching methods. The unit can be directly attached or communicate via a Fibre Channel fabric. Write-back priority, write queue depth, degree of read-ahead caching, and size of cache lines are all configurable on a per-device basis. Additionally, the unit is fully SNMP compatible.

Scalability
While 16 GB of RAID cache was once an expensive luxury to datacenters, the RamSan-330's 16-64 GB of fast RAID cache makes it available to any IT storage environment. While far larger than most integrated cache systems in terms of capacity, the RamSan packs it all into a mere 3U of rack space and provides far more scalability in terms of capacity, performance, and connectivity options.

A minimal RamSan-330 comes with 16 GB of cache and four Fibre Channel ports. Additional Fibre Channel ports can be added (up to 8 total) to either increase the number of connections available or to maximize performance from cache. By increasing capacity, real world performance is increased as the likelihood of getting data from cache instead of disk increases.

Connectivity
The RamSan-330's four to eight 2Gbit Fibre Channel ports can be flexibly allocated to servers, switches or storage products. This means that a single RamSan-330 can simultaneously serve as a cache for multiple Fibre Channel RAID, JBOD or other storage devices.

The RamSan-330 is transparent to the operating system. It automatically caches writes and frequently accessed blocks in its high-performance memory subsystem, improving read and write performance.

 


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