Feeds

TLC NAND could penetrate biz with flash-to-flash backup

Who'll lead the dash to flashedy-flash?

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

VMworld Barcelona Violin co-founder and CTO Jon Bennett identified a potential enterprise role for three-level cell (TLC) flash at VMworld Barcelona today: flash-to-flash backup. TLC is currently seen as pure consumer technology.

The first TLC NAND SSD has been announced by Samsung. But TLC NAND has a short working life, with 500 - 750 phase/erase cycles, rendering it unfit for enterprise flash storage which is reckoned to need program-erase cycles of 2,500 and up at least.

Bennett suggested that TLC flash could be used for backup, not because it would shorten the backup window but because its restore time would be very fast compared to disk-based backup systems.

He thinks that enterprises backup changed data and that is around 5 to 10 per cent of system data written to backups per day. He calculates that this could equate to thirty full device writes a year and, with a 1,000 PE cycle TLC product, that would give you three to four years of working life; good enough.

Bennett reminds us the enterprises use D2D (disk-to-disk) backup systems mostly for the vastly faster restore time compared to tape.

The short working life wouldn't matter because the write rates would be low: "With just 5 to 10 per cent of system data backed up per day then TLC endurance is okay. … Backup time to TLC should be shorter, but restore rate is where it matters the most. Restore is random, unlike (backup) ingest and that's where the real benefit would come. Shrinking restore time from the hours of disk systems to minutes could have real benefits for the enterprise."

Could we see a backup TLC flash tier inside existing flash arrays? "You would have backup to flash products. If it's backup to flash in the array it's not a backup, it's in the same array – it's not protected." Basically, if the array goes down, the backup goes down with it.

Bennett said: "We may also see TLC used in a nearline storage mode." He emphasised that these are technology visions and there is no commitment by Violin Technology to use TLC flash or have TLC product on its roadmap. This is just a CTO thinking about technology.

Still, F2F, SLC and MLC flash to TLC flash backup – it has a ring to it. Maybe there's a flash-focused start-up somewhere thinking Data Domain 2 is on the way. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
VMware builds product executables on 50 Mac Minis
And goes to the Genius Bar for support
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
Microsoft says 'weird things' can happen during Windows Server 2003 migrations
Fix coming for bug that makes Kerberos croak when you run two domain controllers
Cisco says network virtualisation won't pay off everywhere
Another sign of strain in the Borg/VMware relationship?
Forrester says Australia, not China, is next boom market for cloud
It's cloudy but fine down under, analyst says
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.