WildFire Hard Disk Storage Stack

Hard disks linear-write about 100 megabytes a second but can only perform 120 IOs a second. This IO limitation can reduce transfer rates to as little as 500 kilobytes a second when random 4KB blocks are written - a 200-fold reduction.

WildFire Hard Disk Storage Stack (WildFire HDSS) solves poor hard disk write performance by converting clusters of random writes into a memory mapped linear stream written at linear write speeds. WildFire HDSS increases the random write performance of small 4KB writes as much as 200-fold, and typically increases random write performance of average data mixes 10-fold to 20-fold.

WildFire HDSS is particularly useful if you are trying to reduce storage costs through the use of low cost MSR (Shingled) hard disks. Here, write performance is improved by a further factor of five, raising the write performance of shingled disks to parity with standard hard disks.

While WildFire HDSS has a cost, it has been engineered to reduce other expenditures. For instance, the design eliminates the need for intelligent controllers. WildFire HDSS achieves linear write rates without a smart controller, and works fine with both HBAs and software RAID. Similarly, the memory map used by WildFire HDSS has been virtualized and needs only a small amount of memory for proper function. Finally, WildFire HDSS supports compression, reducing wear and tear to the storage media.

WildFire also increases data security. All data is written to unused space, assuring that existing data cannot be corrupted. Similarly, all data is written FIFO, and does not rely on specialized reordering of data for speed. Finally, WildFire HDSS does not suffer performance loss if used with Raid-5 or Raid-6, and as such can serve as fast redundant storage.

We expect that WildFire HDSS will be available in the third quarter of 2015. While formal pricing has not been set, we anticipate that the product will cost around $10 per terabyte of managed storage.


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