Recently, WhipTail, maker of high-performance, cost-effective solid-state storage arrays, landed AMD as a customer, as well as a Series B round of funding. It announced that AMD's System Optimization Engineering Department has replaced 480 15K spinning drives with WhipTail's solid-state storage arrays. The move will help eliminate slow response times associated with traditional storage arrays.
Problem WhipTail solves!
The key question is: How are flash storage arrays changing enterprises?WhipTail addresses this question from the angle, “what problem does WhipTail’s technology solve?” According to Dan Crain, CEO of WhipTail, there is a unique problem in the storage industry right now. Hard disk drives (HDDs) are completely overprovisioned and have outlived their practicality for high performance applications.
Rather than fix the real problem (need for better performance), CIOs keep throwing money into hard disks, which have reached their capacity and cannot compete with the performance levels of solid state drives (SDDs). WhipTail has found a unique way to address the bottlenecks that have evolved beyond HDD capabilities.
WhipTail’s XLR8r (Note: this name will be changing in Q1) is comprised of an array ofSSDs, which are considered the next generation of data storage. Unlike traditional HDDs, the SSDs do not include spinning disks and are built fromfewer parts. Compared to an HDD, the SSD promises incredible increases in performance (nearly 30x faster), a dramatically lower total cost of ownership and an increased durability.
The XLR8r is the world’s first and most widely deployed all-flash enterprise class storage array. It leverages the advantages of SSD to solve three critical issues that face WhipTail’s customer base: performance, endurance and price.
Performance: The XLR8r delivers a read performance of 200,000 I/O per second and a write performance of 250,000 I/O per second, with 0.1 ms latency.
Endurance: Characteristic to SSDs, the XLR8r is inherently more reliable than an HDD because it has no moving parts. To increase the operational longevity of the device, the XLR8r uses wear-leveling technologies that are embedded on the drivers. These technologies evenly distribute data across all of the available storage space during write operations, eliminating the constant re-use of cells in your storage device. The XLR8r has a lifetime greater than seven years.
Price: WhipTail’s product has one of the most attainable prices in terms of investment for IT purchasers. The key to this price is that WhipTail uses multi-level cell (MLC), which is traditionally less expensive than single-level cell (SLC). While less expensive, MLC has historically also been less durable, but WhipTail found a way to extend the life of their MLC, allowing them to sell their product at an extremely attainable price.
Unique and proven SSD
The uniqueness of WhipTail’s SSD product — another way the company stands out from its competitors is through its proven track record. In the past 12 months, WhipTail has had tremendous achievements, including:
* Exceeded all sales goals every quarter and increased their customer base to over 100 satisfied clients.
* Expanded internally and brought on several key executives and other full-time employees.
* Continued to innovate and develop the technology to a point where there are zero failures.
* Grown and streamlined the VAR network, working to build out a customized business plan for each partner that incorporates that partner’s individual market strategies and preferred methods of selling.
As compared to its competitors, WhipTail has created a product that is easily attainable for an IT infrastructure in relation to the amount of performance that results from the investment.
WhipTail developed a scalable product that can be seamlessly integrated to work with any application used in the enterprise. Unlike many competitors, WhipTail’s product can run in a company’s existing SAN architecture, rather than forcing the company to change their systems to fit the storage array.
In the infancy of the company, WhipTail spent its funding dollars to create a superior product and has been deploying its XLR8r solution since 2009 to more than 100 customers. WhipTail has quietly built an extensive customer base and a track record for delivering performance results, two achievements competitors cannot claim.
Plans for 2012
By the end of Q1, WhipTail will release the next generation version of the company’s flash-based enterprise storage array. WhipTail also plans to greatly refresh the brand and continue to grow the company.