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April 22, 2016 - DDN Enterprise NAS Offerings Set New Industry Standards in Performance, Scale and Economics

DDN Introduces new GS14K High-Performance NAS Solution Delivering Optimized SSD Storage and Complete End-to-End Data Life Cycle Management

Following this week’s Quality Awards announcement that DDN has advanced into the honorary position of being in the top three Enterprise NAS Solution providers,DataDirect Networks (DDN) today introduced the industry’s fastest and most flexible scale-out network attached storage (NAS) solution. The newest product in the DDN GRIDScaler® product family, the GS14K™, delivers the speed and scale that data intensive environments need to accelerate analytics, increase reliability and integrate into modern workflows such as Hadoop, OpenStack and scale-out NAS environments. The GS14K is offered as an All Flash Array or Hybrid Storage platform, delivering the advantages of NAS data access with the high performance benefits of parallel files systems to support today’s modern, big data demands in an economical, easy to manage appliance.  The GS14K revolutionizes the datacenter.

As compute power increases and high performance workflows quicken the pace of data generation and consumption, traditional NAS and scale-out architectures have fallen behind and don’t deliver the NAS performance required in many key Big Data workflows,” said Molly Rector, CMO and EVP product management and worldwide marketing, DDN. “DDN’s GS14K delivers unrivalled data ingest, access and distribution speeds, and the ability to provide seamless tiering across NVMe, SSD, disk, tape and cloud.  The GS14K raises the bar as the new standard for high performance scale-out NAS solutions. Our unrelenting focus on driving high performance innovation for large scale environments has allowed us to deliver a solution that is faster, denser and easier to manage at scale than any other product in the market.”

Tweet this: The @DDN_Limitless GS14K defines the next generation of scale-out NAS for #BigData workflows http://bit.ly/1M3R3kr

Leveraging the latest data storage technological innovations such as the fastest SSDs, the latest interconnects, and embedded PCI-e low latency fabric, the DDN GS14K delivers breakthrough performance and capacity.  The GS14K solves the critical performance, cost and management problems of traditional NAS in data intensive environments, providing the capacity growth and speed required by modern big data environments.  Benefits of DDN’s GS14K include:

  • Highest reliability and mixed IO performance with all SSD configurations and hybrid storage offerings.

  • Open source software integration delivering the reliability, performance and ease of support of an Enterprise-grade NAS provider with seamless integration to OpenStack and Hadoop environments.

  • Decouples performance and capacity for complete cost control, better support and lower TCO through its ability to scale up or out. It ingests data at scale, reliably, with room to grow data inputs to the workflow.  

  • Eliminates datacenter sprawl with the industry’s highest capacity per rack. By consolidating multiple data types for ease of access, the GS14K eliminates storage and data silos while reducing management cost, complexity and data risk.

  • Makes large data sets simultaneously available to multiple systems and users with support for Traditional NAS Protocols (CIFS, NFS) plus high performance NAS Client and optional Burst Buffer.

  • Simplifies management by presenting a single, unified data view to users, administrators and applications across over any tier of storage including high performance, active archive, tape and cloud.

  • Open Architecture means faster availability of new technology – EDR InfiniBand, Omni-Connect, NVMe SSDs – and simpler integration with new software tools such as OpenStack SWIFT and Hadoop.

To be competitive in today’s world of massive data, organizations need to be able to access data from a variety of sources and leverage their data using the highest storage and retrieval performance, efficiency and scalability,” said George Crump, Chief Steward for Storage Switzerland, LLC. “DDN’s GS14K is a solid example of how organizations can keep many of the appliance qualities that led them to choose scale-out NAS in the past, but with the ability to serve today’s commercial Big Data requirements.”

Designed for demanding commercial workflows that require more performance, scale and end-to-end data lifecycle management than traditional NAS and scale-out NAS can provide, the GS14K is ideal for financial services (back testing, risk management and anomaly detection), life sciences (sequencing, clinical research, pharma and agricultural organizations), web and cloud, cable and telecommunications providers, and manufacturing (aero and automotive design).

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April 22, 2016 - DDN Enterprise NAS Recognized as Market Leader; Ahead of IBM, HP and Dell

Ranked as Top Three NAS Storage Vendor Worldwide, DDN Offers Full End-to-End Data Life Cycle Management Merging File, Object and Block at Highest Scale.

DataDirect Networks (DDN) today announced that it has earned top honors in the Storage magazine/SearchStorage.com Quality Awards.  Enterprises have been rapidly adopting DDN Storage for data analytics, low latency network drives, content collaboration/distribution and compute intensive workflows.  The growing Enterprise preference for DDN Storage is highlighted by the user community recognizing DDN for the first time in the Enterprise NAS Quality awards.  An additional tribute to DDN’s capabilities is the strong ranking in the Top 3 providers with a position just 0.02 points behind EMC VNX and Isilon solutions. 
DDN jumped to the 2nd place position when looking at Initial Product Quality and Product Features, highlighting that DDN not only provides the innovative capabilities to manage today’s data intensive workflows but also makes it easy for users to install and integrate DDN Storage quickly and easily into data centers. 

DDN jumped to the 2nd place position when looking at Initial Product Quality and Product Features, highlighting that DDN not only provides the innovative capabilities to manage today’s data intensive workflows but also makes it easy for users to install and integrate DDN Storage quickly and easily into data centers. 

The objective of the Quality Awards is to identify the most reliable products in the market.  As a relative newcomer to the category DDN edged out past incumbents with end user respondents scoring the company highly in many categories including product features, fast and flawless deployment out of the box, product support and sales competency.

Enterprise workflows require “next generation NAS” solutions to provide extensive parallel access to a growing number of users and diverse applications while scaling seamlessly and delivering high performance mixed I/O support.

No longer is Enterprise NAS used just as a tool to deliver large file throughput and file sharing.  It is now strategically positioned at the center of the datacenter providing the tools to accelerate data analytics, move data across geographies and serve as the central point to manage entire workflows from SSD cache to archive and the cloud,” said Molly Rector, CMO and EVP of Product Management at DDN. “DDN has capitalized on the broadening demand for its performance optimized, Enterprise NAS end-to-end solutions GRIDScaler and EXAScaler – with more than 50 percent of new DDN customers and product revenue coming from the Enterprise market.
Tweet this: .@DDN_Limitless outpaces IBM, HP and Dell in Enterprise NAS Quality Awards http://bit.ly/1QNwrwW

2016 Quality Awards:  About the Survey

The Storage magazine/SearchStorage Quality Awards are designed to identify and recognize products that have proven their quality and reliability in actual use. The results are derived from a survey of qualified Storage/SearchStorage readers who assessed products in five main categories: sales-force competence, product features, initial product quality, product reliability and technical support. Products are rated on a 1.00 to 8.00 scale, where 8.00 is the most favorable score. This is the 10th edition of the Quality Awards for NAS systems; there were 505 valid responses to the survey providing 616 sets of ratings for vendors’ products/product lines.
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28 january 2016 - DDN unveils IME14K world’s first application and file system accelerator software with nvme and all-flash appliance

IME14K Makes HPC and Big Data Cluster Behavior Far More Predicatble While Delivering Significant Acceleration in Data-Intensive Applications

DataDirect Networks (DDN) today announced a major advancement enabling high performance computing (HPC) and large scale data environments to break free from I/O bottlenecks that are slowing entire data-intensive infrastructures. Today, the performance demanded by applications and computing has outpaced the performance delivered by traditional storage technologies, creating storage and file system I/O bottlenecks. The DDN IME14K® breaks through these bottlenecks and optimizes mixed application workloads to deliver game-changing I/O acceleration for data-intensive environments.

Leveraging the new DDN 14K hardware platform and IME software technology, the new IME14K appliance optimizes and accelerates the read and write I/O path from compute to persistent storage.

  • IME14K Acceleration of the Compute Cluster. The IME14K acts as a burst buffer and optimizes the compute cluster performance as it allows more simultaneous application jobs to run, shortening the job queue and enabling significantly faster application run time for the user.

  • IME14K Acceleration Writing to the Persistent File Storage. As data is moved from the IME14K NVMe cache to persistent storage, the IME software dynamically reorganizes data into sequential writes, eliminating the latency, thrashing and slow write times created by the fragmented I/O patterns of demanding mixed workload applications leveraging a shared file system. This approach enables the NVMe cache to be offloaded significantly more quickly and helps to avoid the requirement of overprovisioning the file system to achieve the performance needed.

  • IME14K Acceleration Reading from the Persistent File Storage. An out-of-band API is provided for configuration of the IME appliance with job schedulers and to warm the cache and accelerate first read.

The DDN IME14K all-flash array takes advantage of DDN’s high-performance, hyper-converged 14K hardware platform, which delivers the NVMe cache on a local PCI-3 embedded fabric, driving low latency, full device performance to each of the NVMe-enabled SSD devices. Each IME14K can be configured to start with a small number of NVMe devices and scales up to 48 NVMe SSD in each 4u appliance. IME14K delivers an expected throughput starting at 10GB/sec for entry performance and scales up to 50GB/sec in each 4U appliance. The IME14K is designed to accommodate additional appliances being clustered to deliver thousands of GB/sec performance for the most data-intensive workloads on the globe. The IME14K is powered by the intelligence of DDN’s patented IME application and file system acceleration software that runs within the storage memory of the appliance on the embedded PCI-e fabric. With IME14K, large scale data-intensive environments now have the tools to leverage untapped compute cycles and are able to run more jobs, achieving application efficiency and performance by minimizing I/O bottlenecks and accelerating applications and file systems, while reducing the erratic performance often found in large scale, mixed application environments.

Users benefit from the IME14K acceleration capabilities as it:

  • Speeds time to results by accelerating workflows, applications and bottlenecked I/O;

  • Eases data growth by optimizing usage of storage systems; and

  • Increases compute ROI by eliminating I/O wait times and increasing the amount of time that can be utilized for computation.

The IME14K offers customers flexible scalability and the choice of several of the latest, and soon to be released, high-performance interconnects, including: InfiniBand® EDR, Omni-Path® and 100Gb/E. Dual servers, distributed erasure coding and real-time health monitoring increase reliability, availability and serviceability (RAS) and provide high-performance data cache with many of the same levels of protection as disk-based persistent storage tiers.

Over the past few years the performance demanded by applications and computing has outpaced the performance delivered by storage technologies, creating storage system I/O bottlenecks. As speed and scale of environments and applications grow, the negative effects of I/O contention and latency are magnified. To combat this challenge, DDN’s IME14K is redefining the industry’s approach to data-intensive architectures and is enabling new levels of efficiency and capabilities, including higher utilization of compute, optimized use of storage hardware, and faster time to results in areas such as scientific and medical discovery, data analytics and market analysis,” said Molly Rector, CMO, executive vice president product management and worldwide marketing, DDN. “With IME14K, DDN is expanding on its mission to help solve the toughest challenges of Government Labs & Academia, the Enterprise and Web/Cloud organizations.


The IME14K All-Flash Array appliance powered by IME software is available for limited shipments in fourth quarter 2015 and will be generally available in the first quarter of 2016.


  • More on DDN IME14K
  • DDN IME14K Product Brief
  • Early Customer Evaluation of IME – Video
  • More on HPC Market Trends
  • More on DDN at SC15
  • More on DDN End to End Storage
  • More on DDN Big Data Platforms
  • More on DDN Customers
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28 january 2016 - DDN introduces the world’s fastest hybrid SSD and disk, high density embedded storage platform

Highly Versatile DDN SFA14K Hybrid and Hyper-Converged Platform Delivers Breakthrough Performance and capacity with NVMe, SSD and Intelligent Disk Tiering

DataDirect Networks (DDN) today announced the availability of the revolutionary new DDN SFA14K and SFA14KE; the highest performance hybrid storage and hyper-converged platforms in the industry today. The new SFA14K and SFA14KE deliver the world’s fastest, densest storage with more than 6 million IOPS and 60GB/sec in 4U with scalability to nearly 7PB of capacity in a single rack. The SFA14K delivers industry leading, hybrid block storage array performance. The SFA14KE hyper-converged solution allows users to leverage the power of the SFA14K performance while also leveraging the embedded processor power to run virtual machines, embedded applications and file systems within the storage array to significantly reduce complexity, latency and data center footprint.

Data intensive Enterprise and HPC organizations are requiring a groundbreaking new approach to data compute, storage and management that allows them to keep pace with the rapid acceleration of processor power and both machine and sensor generated data. Data is being created at a staggering rate and needs to be stored efficiently while being quickly available to analyze and leverage for strategic decision making. Today’s organizations need new architectural designs that can support the full power of advanced individual component technologies with efficiency and integration at scale.

While DDN delivers software-only options for both the IME application acceleration and WOS object storage offerings, and embraces the need for commodity hardware to fill a necessary space in the datacenter, proprietary hardware platforms are in increasingly urgent demand for environments requiring high density performance and capacity coupled with low latency for analytics and file storage.

Fast-paced growth in large-scale data workflows has created hardware sprawl and IO bottlenecks throughout the datacenter. Rapid growth and intensive usage patterns of data place rigorous demands on storage infrastructures,” said George Crump, president, Storage Switzerland. “Storage and server architectures based on decade-old technologies, retrofitted to include next-generation processors, interconnects and SSD are rife with performance bottlenecks, reliability challenges, and the inability to be integrated as a unified platform. We are excited to see DDN’s fresh approach and outside-the-box thinking as it delivers truly game-changing solutions that solve data access, workflow and analytics challenges.”

DDN is focused on solving data intensive challenges at large scale.  As the trusted storage infrastructure provider of two-thirds of the largest computing sites around the globe, we understand the magnitude of the challenges our users encounter in getting the most out of the latest processor and network performance capabilities,” said Molly Rector, CMO, executive vice president product management and worldwide marketing, DDN. “While many storage vendors have discontinued investing in hardware innovation, DDN consistently executes upon a product strategy to break through bottlenecks in the data center. And while DDN has embraced the movement to deliver software technology on commodity hardware, we also recognize that commodity storage platforms simply cannot keep pace with rapidly increasing compute power, network bandwidth and the latest generation NVMe and SSD speeds.”

DDN SFA14K and SFA14KE storage platforms
As the new flagship product in DDN’s most established product line, the DDN SFA14K provides customers with a simple route to take maximum advantage of a suite of new technologies including the latest processor technologies, NVMe SSD, PCIe 3, EDR InfiniBand and Omni-Path.

In today’s world of massive data, superior interconnect performance capabilities are critical for Big Data and HPC applications to provide the highest storage and retrieval performance, efficiency and scalability,” said Gilad Shainer, vice president of marketing, Mellanox Technologies. “Mellanox’s EDR 100Gb/s InfiniBand interconnect with onboard Multi-host and SR-IOV technology provides DDN with the highest interconnect performance compared with any other solution, as well as backwards and future compatibility. The SFA14K will help organizations keep up with the escalating demands for data retrieval and processing and will enable unprecedented performance on mission-critical applications.

By integrating the latest high-performance technologies from silicon, to interconnect, memory
and storage, the SFA14K changes the future of HPC architecture design. Building on DDN’s storage leadership, the SFA14K delivers groundbreaking latency reduction, IO acceleration and increases the power of the innovation that can be delivered from each rack of data center equipment. The SFA14K delivers many advantages including:

  • World’s fastest hybrid storage and hyper-converged architectures: More than 6 million IOPS and 60GB/sec in 4U and up to 16x higher per rack performance than its closest competitor;

  • Unprecedented high density storage: Nearly 7 PBs in a single rack, leveraging NVMe memory along with hybrid solid state and hard disk storage in a single system;

  • Highest efficiency for mixed workloads: Accelerates small, large and mixed IO workloads in a unified solution that alternatively would require a dedicated SSD array for small files and a scaleout system for throughput from alternative vendors;

  • Widest breadth of interconnect options: Options include InfiniBand, Omni-Path, Fibre Channel and Ethernet;

  • Embedded PCIe fabric: 10x to 100x latency reduction when replacing non-integrated alternative options from application to memory to storage;

  • Flexible, multi-dimensional scaling: Scales up or scales out to allow users to buy only what they need today to optimize performance, capacity or both;

  • Management simplicity at scale: With utmost simplicity at scale, the solution’s hyper-convergence benefits reduce administration costs by 50 to 70 percent over integrating and managing each discrete technology individually.


The SFA14K hybrid block storage and SFA14KE hyper-converged storage offerings are available and shipping today.


  • More on DDN SFA14K and SFA14KE
  • DDN SFA14K Product Brief
  • More on DDN End to End Storage
  • More on DDN at SC15
  • More on DDN Big Data Platforms
  • More on DDN Customers
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28 january 2016 - DDN storage enables national center for atmospheric research to move beyond studying weather phenomena to advancing predictions with big data simulations

New DDN SFA14K Uniquely Delivers Ideal Mix of Large File and Small I/O Performance to Enable Scientists to more Accurately Model the Long-Term Impact of Climate Change


DataDirect Networks (DDN) today announced that the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) has selected DDN’s new SFA14K® high-performance hyper-converged storage platform to drive the performance and deliver the capacity needed for scientific breakthroughs in climate, weather and atmospheric-related science to power its “Cheyenne” supercomputer. Sponsored by the National Science Foundation, NCAR brings together researchers from more than 100 North American colleges and universities along with thousands of scientists from the global scientific community to identify the risks and opportunities associated with changes in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Whether it’s protecting aircraft from wind shear, investigating changes in the earth’s ozone layer, determining sunspot behavior or linking weather to factors that shape epidemics, NCAR is on the forefront of major climate and weather research. Simulations from the organization’s most advanced models are used to study past, present and future changes in weather patterns in richer detail and with greater accuracy. With each simulation generating hundreds of terabytes of output, data management challenges scale up rapidly.
With the game-changing SFA14K, NCAR now has the storage capacity and sustained compute performance to perform sophisticated modeling while substantially reducing workflow bottlenecks. As a result, the organization will be able to quickly process mixed I/O workloads while sharing up to 40 PBs of vital research data with a growing scientific community around the world.

Having a centralized, large-scale storage resource delivers a real benefit to our scientists,” said Anke Kamrath, director of the operations and services division at NCAR’s computing lab. “With the new system, we have a balance between capacity and performance so that researchers will be able to start looking at the model output immediately without having to move data around. Now, they’ll be able to get right down to the work of analyzing the results and figuring out what the models reveal.”

NCAR plans to take advantage of DDN’s storage leadership and experience gained from broad global deployments in weather and climate modeling to support data-intensive research efforts such as the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 6 (CMIP6). CMIP6 is a multi-model experiment framework and involves the execution and analysis of high-resolution, interlocked climate models and global experiments. As such, NCAR will rely on DDN to support both large block I/O and lots of small I/O requirements. Additionally, the organization will leverage DDN’s proven ability with HPC workflows and long-standing successful technology partnership with SGI to optimize traditional climate codes, including the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF) and Community Earth System Model (CESM).

With its latest storage advancements, DDN also will strengthen NCAR’s ability to support a variety of extremely large ensemble research studies that will likely each generate petabytes of crucial research data. For example, scientists performing hydrology experiments encompassing snowmelt and watershed projects previously could model a single river basin with precision. Moving forward, they will be able to create highly detailed models of entire river systems that cross multiple states and basins to provide much greater levels of insight that can be accessed and shared globally.

The new system will enable us to keep pace with the increased number of people trying to do very large data assimilation problems,” added Rich Loft, director of technology development in the computational and information systems laboratory at NCAR. “Earth system research is very data intensive. NCAR will now be able to do more to help scientists go beyond just studying phenomena to actually making predictions through data-intensive simulations that require larger I/O bandwidth and storage performance.


  • More on DDN SFA14K
  • More on DDN End to End Storage
  • More on DDN Customers
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About DDN

DataDirect Networks (DDN) is the world’s leading big data storage supplier to data-intensive, global organizations. For more than 15 years, DDN has designed, developed, deployed and optimized systems, software and solutions that enable enterprises, service providers, universities and government agencies to generate more value and to accelerate time to insight from their data and information, on premise and in the cloud. Organizations leverage the power of DDN technology and the deep technical expertise of its team to capture, store, process, analyze, collaborate and distribute data, information and content at largest scale in the most efficient, reliable and cost effective manner. DDN customers include many of the world’s leading financial services firms and banks, healthcare and life science organizations, manufacturing and energy companies, government and research facilities, and web and cloud service providers. For more information, visit our website www.ddn.com or call 1-800-837-2298.


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