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We wuz right: Big Blue ARE stuffing System x boxen with ULLtraDIMMs

Cheap and fast - just don't mention the IP lawsuit

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Confirming our story about IBM stuffing ULLtraDIMMs into its an X-series servers, storage news upstart EnterpriseTech*reports that Big Blue's coming X6 servers, supporting Xeon E7 v2 processors, will have eXFlash memory channel storage: flash memory on a DDR3 module running on the memory bus.

A SanDisker confirmed it was supplying the 200GB and 400GB parts, meaning acquired SMART Storage's ULLtraDIMM product based on Diablo Technology's IP. This places flash memory closer to the CPU than a PCIe flash card, thus lowering data access latency to 5 microseconds, and speeding the server apps using it.

These flash DIMMs cost less than traditional memory DIMMs, providing a cheap way to extend a server's memory and have application working sets in the extended memory rather than on PCIe or networked flash storage.

Flash Cache Accelerator technology assesses data activity levels and stuffs hot data in the flash DIMMs. WriteNow puts data into flash DIMMs up to 50 per cent faster than before.

IBM has been beta testing its eXFlash servers with Wall Street firms to see if they deliver the goods and, it seems, they do.

ULLtraDIMM

SanDisk/SMART ULLtraDIMM

There is IBM information about older eXFLash technology here, which states: "A single eXFlash unit accommodates up to eight hot-swap SSDs, and can be connected to up to two performance-optimized controllers."

That appears to be a different form of eXFLash than the ULLtraDIMM one. (More here about this separate eXFLash box technology, launched in 2011.)

SanDisk is apparently developing ULLtraDIMMs that look like main memory to the host server, enabling the extension of in-memory data set processing more affordably than with pure DRAM memory. ®

Bootnote

EnterpriseTech's story was penned by top ex-Reg man Timothy Prickett Morgan, aka TPM. Vulture Central's backroom gremlins remember his cakes fondly.

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