Written by Rahul Pradhan, Product Management, Emerging Technologies at EMC DSSD


These are exciting times to be part of EMC and DSSD for anyone who is passionate about working on cutting-edge, innovative technologies that deliver real business value to customers. Earlier this year – on leap day – DSSD launched an innovative Rack-Scale Flash product that broke all storage performance records and led to the creation of a new product category of Rack-Scale Flash for addressing ultra-high-performance low latency use cases. With an innovative co-design of hardware and software, DSSD blurs the distinction between memory and persistent storage. This represents a new class of storage that offers the best of networked storage (shared access, enterprise reliability, and availability) and direct attached server storage (high performance, low latency) without the drawbacks of either approach. Applications can now have access to extremely large data sets at near memory speeds. This will significantly accelerate existing applications while opening up the possibilities for real-time analytics on larger in-flight data sets which weren’t previously possible.


Since the DSSD product launch, one of the top requests we hear from a lot of our customers as they start deploying Rack-scale Flash in production – is to consume it as a converged infrastructure that is engineered, validated, tested, managed and supported as an integrated system. This isn’t a surprise to us here at EMC since we have the leading converged infrastructure brand (VCE) in the world as part of EMC’s Converged Platform Division. Analysts predict that Converged Infrastructure is the direction that the majority of IT infrastructure will be consumed as in the future.

In response to the customer demand and market trends, the teams at VCE and DSSD came together to engineer the industry’s first Rack-Scale Flash (RSF) converged infrastructure product on the market and we've now announced a VxRack System with DSSD built for high-performance databases and data warehouses. As with all VCE converged systems, it will be engineered, manufactured, managed and supported as a single product.

Some of the highlights of the system include:

  • Industry’s first Rack-Scale Flash converged infrastructure system that delivers near memory like performance for dense shared flash that can be pooled and consumed by a rack of servers.
  • The world’s fastest all-flash converged system comprising of industry standard dense compute and high-performance networking connected to DSSD’s Rack-Scale Flash platform.
  • The system offers an aggregate of up to 288 compute cores with 2TB of RAM, up to 3.2 Tb/s of network switching capacity and up to 144TB of ultra-dense flash storage that delivers 10 Million IOPS, 100 GB/s of bandwidth at less than 100 microseconds of latency all in less than 20 RU which is less than half the size of other competitive all-flash solutions. The ability to stripe two DSSD D5 systems together for increased performance (2X the IOPS, bandwidth, and capacity) will also be available as part of the converged infrastructure offering.


The Rack Scale Flash Converged Infrastructure system is built to address customer challenges with current infrastructure for high-performance databases and data warehouses. We are experiencing an unprecedented growth in the number of users, devices and data due to trends in social, mobile and the Internet of Things. This is offering businesses a unique opportunity to gain insights and customer intimacy by analysing this variety and volume of data from disparate data sources in real-time. However, this also puts a significant burden on the underlying infrastructure. Today, customers employ several workarounds in order to analyse the data – ranging from analysing a smaller data set to reducing the scope of the analysis to splitting data across multiple data marts – all of which results in suboptimal processing and impacts decision making.


With EMC’s Rack Scale Flash Converged Infrastructure customers can significantly accelerate transactional workloads, shorten the Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) process and make Data Warehouses run faster while reducing operational expenses by consolidating different analytical and transactional workloads on one storage device. The high performance of the system across all vectors (Bandwidth, IOPS, Latency) and its density (compute and storage) makes it the best platform available for both transactional and data warehousing workloads. It will enable customers to analyse more data in real-time, produce faster results to drive business decisions while providing consistent service levels at all times. Some example use cases include – real-time business dashboards, large order processing systems, risk analytics and fraud detection, credit card transaction processing etc.


The product will be generally available later this year, in multiple configurations offering customers the flexibility to start small and grow as needed. It can be deployed as a standalone converged infrastructure or as an extension to existing VCE systems and will be managed by the same management software that VCE customers love and are familiar with. All components of the system will be tested, pre-installed, cabled and racked ready to be deployed in the customer environment. This will result in a faster time to deployment while dramatically reducing time to analysis and results. All databases and applications can be deployed as is on the RSF CI system and will run faster without any need for modifications of the application or rewrites of queries and stored procedures.

With this announcement, EMC customers now have a choice of deploying their Rack-Scale Flash platform either as a ‘do-it-yourself’ system based on our published server and network compatibility matrix or as an engineered Rack-Scale Flash converged infrastructure that will combine the unprecedented performance, reliability and flexibility of the DSSD Rack-Scale Flash architecture with VCE’s integrated management and support portfolio for increased system availability, reliability, and productivity.