Alright here’s another company presenting at VFD5 in Boston that I recognize, but know very little about! Thankfully the Stanley Cup playoffs are done and I now have a little extra room in my brain to take in all the info that will be thrown at us. Anyways I started to do a little digging on NexGen and oh boy, what a story do they have! Stephen Foskett has a great article on his blog in regards to the journey NexGen has taken – it’s pretty crazy! Certainly read Stephens article but I’ll try to summarize the craziness as best I can…
Basically, a couple of the LeftHand founders got together and founded NexGen – ok, this story doesn’t seem all that crazy so far. Well, after a few years Fusion-io came in with their wallets open and aquired NexGen – again, not a real crazy spin on a story! Moving on, we all know that SanDisk walked in and acquired Fusion-io with that getting NexGen. Then, the next thing you know SanDisk spun out NexGen on their own, putting them right back to where they started! This just all seems wild to me!
So where do they stand today!
NexGen is a storage company, a storage company offering a hybrid flash array with software that helps their customers align their business practices with their storage by prioritizing the data they store. So what does that really mean? Basically it comes down to QOS and service levels. NexGen customers can use these two concepts in ways that they can define performance, availablity, and protection of their data by defining the IOPs, throughput and latency that they need for each and every application. Depending on the service levels assigned to a workload, NexGen can borrow IOPs from a lower tiered service in order to meet the QOS defined on a business critical application.
Another unique feature of NexGen Storage is in the way they use flash and SSD. Most arrays will place their flash behind some sort of a RAID controller, whereas NexGen utilizes the PCIe bus to access their flash, providing a redundant, high-speed, low latency caching mechanism for both reads and writes.
There is certainly a lot more bells and whistles within the NexGen arrays and a lot bigger of a story to be told here. The way NexGen is utilizing flash within the array is definitely peaking my interest, but honestly, I’m interested more in the story of the company and how all those acquisitions and spin-offs have helped them. I’m sure they will address both of them at VFD5 and believe me there will be more posts around NexGen and their offerings. If you want to follow along during the VFD5 presentations you can see them live both on the official VFD5 event page, as well as my VFD5 event page where all my content will be posted.