A3cube Nanosecond Memory Network Solution

A3cube wideA3Cube, interview with CEO Antonella Rubicco
Date: 25 February 2014
A3Cube CrunchBase profile

Hereby an introductory piece on A3Cube, that will come out of stealth later today. After 5 years of intensive engineering, the founders of A3Cube are presenting their tremendously exciting new technology; in-memory networking. They use PCIE to create a very fast in-memory network with nanosecond latency between nodes.

Last week I had the chance to briefly speak with both the CEO Antonella Rubicco and CTO Emilio Billi, who ran me through the concepts.

According to CEO Antonella Rubicco: ‘Ronniee is a data plane technology, designed to build massively parallel storage and analytics machines. It is different from all other existing interconnection networks due to its hardware based shared memory facilities.’

Sub Microsecond In-Memory Network
Their technology centers on using the standard PCIE architecture to create an in-memory network between nodes. Their product line is called Ronniee Express and is comprised of PCIE Nics that can be used without a switch to connect nodes to one another.

CPU / Memory / IO are directly connected to each other with 800-900 Nanosecond latency.

The way it works, A3cube uses ‘memory windows’ to create a share global memory container. This facilitates very low latency CPU-to-CPU and IO-to-IO traffic.

ByOS parallel storage 4 Million IOPS
In addition, A3cube designed a storage OS called ByOs that leverages the in-memory Ronniee network to create a very powerful parallel computing system. The storage architecture is highy parallel with intelligent architecture between available CPUs and IO.A3cube 3
A3cube benchmarked a multipoint setup between 5 nodes with 40TB of low cost SSDs. Each node is supplied with a Ronniee 2S PCIE NIC, linking to 4 other nodes. They claim an astonishing 4 million IOPS and over with this setup. I hope to find out more about this setup in my next talk with Antonella

Comparison to Infiniband competitors
To get a handle on how their technology compares to Infiniband solutions, I asked Antonella to specificy how A3cube compares to Infiniband based virtual I/O solution Xsigo.

Antonella Rubicco: ‘Ronniee is a data plane technology. It is not designed to be a datacentre network, virtualize I/O, or substitute Ethernet. It is different from all other existing interconnection networks due to its hardware based shared memory facilities.

It is not designed to compete with IB. Rather, Ronniee is a complementary technology designed to create a data plane without the limitation that Infiniband has like the need for RDMA and the poor performance of the sockets.

Ronniee is designed to build massively parallel storage and analytics machines; not to be used as a “interconnection” as Infiniband or Ethernet. It is designed to accelerate applications and create parallel storage and analytics architecture. With some of our partners, Ronniee will play also a role as datacentre interconnection but at this point in time it is a complementary technology to Ethernet or IB not a competitor in that space.’

Go-to-market and VC status
Antonella explained her go to market strategy too. They have few direct customers that they work with, there are talks with channel partners as well. Most importantly, A3cube are in talks with a few big players that are interested to OEM their technology.

At the moment they have only private capital in the firm. They plan to raise venture capital and are looking to team with VCs at the moment.

Stay tuned for more info on A3Cube

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