50 Smartest Companies of the Year 2016

Combat Storage Bottlenecks with AccelStor’s Flash-Based Storage Solutions

“AccelStor was selected as the Top 10 coolest storage startups in 2015 and 20 most promising HPC solution providers in 2016.”

Established in November 2014, AccelStor is young compared to its competitors. When the company was focused on making all-flash array products, it saw a great opportunity to design and think about flash storage from a whole new perspective and to enhance it through software technology. It quickly launched the NeoSapphire all-flash array series in 2015, and by the end of 2015, the series had already offered a range of models supporting Ethernet and InfiniBand environment. Ethernet is widely used in SMB and enterprises and the InfiniBand is generally adopted by HPC (High Performance Computing), datacenters, and semiconductor industry. By June 2016, AccelStor launched another range of models supporting Fibre Channel, which is focusing on some higher-end market, such as financial industry. AccelStor proudly claims that its products met most of the needs and demands from different types of users, in just 2 years.

AccelStor’s product line
The company’s currently engaged with NeoSapphire All-Flash Array Series. The series comes in a range of models, form factors, and configurations to meet the needs of outstanding performance and a reliable system from end users. Powered by flash memory and AccelStor exclusive FlexiRemap technology, the NeoSapphire series features significantly high IOPS even for 4K random writes. With up to 600K IOPS, the NeoSapphire series significantly reduces time of data access and
processing, power consumption and has better space utilization. It is the ideal choice when faced with the random read/write operations that traditional storage systems are likely to find difficult to process, or a huge volume of data that needs to be processed instantly. The series promises to resolve the performance bottlenecks for I/O-intensive applications

AccelStor’s centre of attention
Virtualization, high-performance computing (HPC), database, cloud and media-processing applications are the targeted market segments of the company. Its clients are from various fields, such as financial, enterprise, education institution. Due to the arrival of IoT, Cloud and big data, many enterprises have expressed interest in value-added services targeting end-user needs and behaviors. This trend also motivates enterprise to upgrade their service as well as the IT infrastructure and they find that the storage performance will serve as an obstacle. The NeoSapphire all-flash array is the solution to overcome this challenge.

Embracing technology
AccelStor defines itself as a software-based all-flash array provider. Adopting the methodology of software-defined flash, the company harnesses the power of modern processor architecture with its FlexiRemap technology, which manages the underlying flash memory directly from the kernel level of operating systems. This approach also allows AccelStor to stay above the latest SSD technology and to easily integrate with the existing IT Infrastructure.

Differentiating factors
The company adopts a smart way to build the all-flash array. Using standard SSDs with its own FlexiRemap flash management technology, the company achieves better performance with low TCA and TCO. Although some of its competitors offer proprietary flash modules with customized firmware which can achieve high performance, they turn out to be very expensive. Few others replace HDDs with SSDs in conventional disk arrays. The RAID algorithms make the appliance poor performance and short SSD lifespan. AccelStor provides hardware appliance products but, unlike its competitors, it also offers exclusive flash memory and storage acceleration software technology, as well as an in-depth understanding of this field. Its customers enjoy the best product experience, regardless of whether it is for hardware or software.

Case study
The Taiwan Chemical Engineering Research Team focuses on chemistry research and testing various materials, with fundamental research into innovative surfaces, contact surfaces and nano science at the core. The team carries out research into various chemical materials and tests them repeatedly, and will often use various computational chemistry softwares to prove research assumptions and certainties; hence they use quantum chemistry and materials science simulation software, such as Gaussian, DMoL3, CASTEP and VASP. However, as the complexity of the experiments increases, and due to different researchers needing to share the same IT equipment, it often takes a long time to produce experiment results. Following discussions between AccelStor and the research team, it was realized that the traditional hard disk storage devices originally used by the laboratory were built using an SAS HDD RAID 0 configuration. The laboratory used 15 compute nodes and integrated these with the hard disk storage devices using an NFS protocol. AccelStor suggested replacing the back-end storage devices with a NeoSapphire 3401 (NS3401), and adding a 10GbE network switch to increase the data exchange bandwidth. The NS3401 is an all-flash array that uses a solid-state drive (SSD) as a storage unit. The main feature of an SSD is that its access speed is faster than that of a traditional hard drive. The NS3401 is also equipped with AccelStor’s exclusive FlexiRemap software technology, which targets the random write data that is likely to cause system storage performance bottlenecks, and improves performance acceleration operations.

Future Focus
By segment, AccelStor will focus on virtualization, high-performance computing (HPC), database, cloud and media-processing applications.

“Through FlexiRemap, we harness the power of modern processor architechture.”

Meet the Key Executive –

Charles Tsai, Ph.D. President – Prior to his current position, Tsai was senior director of Innodisk, heading the Cloud Storage Technology Center and Software Technology Service Center. He drove the spin-off of AccelStor from Innodisk, and led the team that founded AccelStor. With more than 15 years’ experience in the IT industry, Tsai has held positions at several companies, including Microsoft, Getac, and AscenVision, honing his expertise in people management, software technology, product planning, and business development throughout his career. He earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from National Taiwan University.