Feeds

AWS says disk is to cloud as tape is to disk

Spruiks flash-powered cloud services with backhander for spinning rust

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Amazon Web Services (AWS) says magnetic disks cannot handle modern NoSQL-powered applications, which have such high throughputs and generate such weirdly bursty traffic that spinning rust looks and feels as slow and awkward as tape.

Chief Technology Officer Werner Vogels says as much on his blog:

“Magnetic disks are rapidly starting to exhibit tape-like properties and with modern workloads being increasingly random, they are becoming less and less suitable as a storage system.”

The comments need to be taken with a pinch of salt, given that the cloudy company has just announced “High I/O EC2” instances, which it says pack “2 TB of local SSD-backed storage, visible to you as a pair of 1 TB volumes”.

Performance looks sharp, at “120,000 random read IOPS and between 10,000 and 85,000 random write IOPS, both with 4K blocks” when working with PV virtualisation. If using HVM and Windows AMIs “you can expect 90,000 random read IOPS and 9,000 to 75,000 random write IOPS.”

The numinous nerds at AWS are spruiking the new flash-powered instances as ideal for large scale web apps, as Vogels says “DBMS’s can be very demanding. Increasingly randomized access and burst IO through aggregation put strains on any IO subsystem, physical or virtual, attached or remote. One area where we have seen this particularly culminate is in modern NoSQL DBMSs that are often the core of scalable modern web applications that exhibit a great deal of random access patterns.”

The new servers don’t seem cheap, given the pennies-per-hour standards some cloud services offer. But at either US$3.10 or US$3.41 an hour, depending on whether you chose AWS’ US East (Northern Virginia) or EU West (Ireland) sites, there’s a lot of grunt for the buck on offer.

We’re assuming the Ireland-based service is more expensive because it is not prone to the electrical storms that recently took down an AWS data centre in Virginia, taking Netflix with it. AWS is staring us all down on that score: Vogels’ post links to a Netflix testimonial about its love for AWS. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
Intel, Cisco and co reveal PLANS to keep tabs on WORLD'S MACHINES
Connecting everything to everything... Er, good idea?
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Oracle hires former SAP exec for cloudy push
'We know Larry said cloud was gibberish, and insane, and idiotic, but...'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.