SoftBank turns to SanDisk InfiniFlash for software defined storage


Western Digital Corporation (WDC) announced that SoftBank has adopted its SanDisk InfiniFlash all-flash storage platform for its software-defined storage solution.

SoftBank ran an in-house traditional storage system combining hard disk drives (HDD) and solid state drives (SSD) for some of its applications previously.

WDC, an international storage technology and solutions provider, announced that the new software-defined, multi-petabyte in-house system will use the SanDisk InfiniFlash platform as its core storage engine for real-time data transaction applications, enabling the installation of software in general-purpose servers.

“This is the first super-large-capacity flash storage platform that the SanDisk brand launched for data centers, based on its rich experience and know-how in flash development and production,” said Yasuyuki Kato, director, System Infrastructure, IT System Infrastructure, SoftBank.

SoftBank can now integrate operations of complex systems, solve the problem of silos, and eliminate vendor-specific tasks, enhancing efficiency of its platform.

The scalability and high density of the new system can process huge volumes of data, to slash the number of racks by 75 percent and power consumption by 83 percent within the data center, compared to traditional dedicated storage, the company said.

SanDisk InfiniFlash platform was selected after ensuring compatibility with diverse software-defined storage solutions and costs through a proof-of-concept process and will be deployed by PS Solutions.

The SanDisk InfiniFlash platform supports up to 512TB of recording density in one 3-rack-unit (3U) platform while also offering the economics of HDD-based storage and performance of flash memory storage to support the needs of mid- to massive-scale environments.

“In addition to high-speed I/O capability, it delivers higher density compared to traditional flash-based platforms, which means it does not need to take as much floor space in data centers as in the past, while still being able to scale processing from a few petabytes to hundreds of petabytes of data. Under our IT strategy to support further business growth, SoftBank will build highly competitive IT systems ranging from big data to enterprise systems by using the advanced flash technology of the SanDisk InfiniFlash platform,” added Kato.

The less-than $1-per-gigabyte price point without compression and deduplication, and improved scale and performance for flash technology in combination with software-defined storage, can bring development to the existing storage market.

Computing and storage can be joined individually with the SanDisk InfiniFlash platform connecting up to eight servers, claiming reliability and high performance of flash.

The company will also save on capital expenses and operational costs in the data center, with this move.

“While devices begin to feature artificial intelligence and we are fully entering the connected era of IoT, it is becoming essential to leverage the huge volume of data that is generated at a higher scale than ever,” conveyed Gary Lyng, senior director, Marketing, Business Unit, Western Digital Data Center Systems.

Softbank previously announced that it will be acquiring ARM for 24.3 billion pounds in July, 2016, for the latter’s potential in the Internet of Things (IoT). The deal will begin with the first stage of approval from investors this week.

Before the deal, SoftBank had sold $20bn worth assets, including shares in Chinese ecommerce group Alibaba, Finnish game developer Supercell and Japanese GungHo Online Entertainment.

SoftBank, with the net profit for the June quarter going up by 19.1 percent YoY compared to 254.16 billion yen in 2015, had also acquired control of Sprint, the fourth-largest US wireless group, for $21.6 billion in 2013.

The group also saw a revenue hike of 3 percent to ¥2.13tn owing to growth of its domestic telecoms business, generating free cash flow of nearly $5bn a year.

Vina Krishnan

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