Feeds

Battle of the SSD strategies: Sun vs. EMC

Living information takes on the dot in dot-com

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Flash bigger than VMware

Sun EVP John Fowler and Michael Cornwell, Sun's lead on SSD technologies, think 'that the introduction of flash would have a broad impact on server and data center infrastructure, and predicted that solid state disks will have a larger and more rapid impact on servers and data center efficiency than virtualization, creating the largest change in storage price/performance this decade.'

Fowler has said: "We're far down the track of rethinking servers and storage, and speeding up the I/O subsystem is a huge efficiency boost."

That's the key differentiator. Sun sees flash as speeding up the server I/O subsystem. EMC sees flash as speeding up the storage array's I/O.

Which way will other vendors in the storage market jump?

Storage array vendors will only be able to use flash to accelerate their array's I/O rates. Where they use proprietary controller architectures then it is possible they could use flash as a form of cache between the controller's DRAM and the disk drives. But they cannot optimize the general server-storage array I/O area because they don't have any control over server hardware architectures.

Other storage market vendors with server product lines are surely bound to understand the same flash accelerative effects on a server's I/O subsystem as Sun. The likelihood here is that Dell, HP and IBM will all add in similar flash level 3 or 4 caches between main memory and storage. They will be able to, as it were, combine the Sun and the EMC approaches.

Dell, for example, might add a flash cache to its servers and also add a flash tier zero to its EqualLogic PS storage arrays getting a double benefit. HP could do the same with its in-house arrays. Any server/storage supplier using OEM-sourced arrays from, say, Dot Hill, LSI or Xyratex, is going to have to work with them to achieve a flash tier zero storage element in those arrays.

A server-only vendor, and Intel can loosely be characterised as such, not making hard drive arrays, can follow the Sun route and add flash cache to its server motherboards. We might expect an effort similar to the Storage Bay Bridge working group to standardise a flash cached server's interface with a storage array and make this an open and standard interface.

Logically we could envisage flash cache-enabled PCs as well.

Exciting times, and it's going to stay exciting for many, many months yet.

Copyright © 2008, Blocks & Files.com

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Bitcasa bins $10-a-month Infinite storage offer
Firm cites 'low demand' plus 'abusers'
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
Pssst. Want to buy a timeshare in the clouds?
The Google dilemma — controller or spreader of knowledge?
CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz
Whole new species of XaaS spawning in the antipodes
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.