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back to article TMS flash array blows Big Blue away

Texas Memory Systems has absolutely creamed the SPC-1 storage benchmark with a system that comfortably exceeds the current record-holding IBM system at a cost per transaction of 95 per cent less. TMS submitted a RamSan-630, a 3U box holding 10TB of single level cell flash that delivers – according to TMS – one million IOPS (10GB …

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news flash, memory is faster than disk

somehow I fail to find this all that impressive.

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Boffin

"memory is faster than disk"

For reading, maybe...

But once a flash memory device runs low on free blocks, sustained write rates can suffer greatly, and in many cases SSDs end up being slower on writes than a good mechanical hard disk drive:

-- AnandTech: The SSD Anthology: Understanding SSDs and New Drives from OCZ

-- -- http://www.anandtech.com/print/2738

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FAIL

No?

How about the part where it's 95% cheaper, substantially smaller, and has a vastly reduced power draw?

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Yeah and Disk is cheaper than Flash... Wait

Look at the reports, Go ahead and I'll wait:

http://www.storageperformance.org/benchmark_results_files/SPC-1/TexMemSys/A00105_TMS_RamSan-630/a00105_TMS_RamSan-630_SPC1_executive-summary.pdf

http://www.storageperformance.org/benchmark_results_files/SPC-1/IBM/A00087_IBM_DS8700_SVC-5.1-6node/a00087_IBM_DS8700_SVC5.1-6node_executive-summary-r1.pdf

For the tested ASU storage capacity. Which is cheaper per GB?

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Re: "memory is faster than disk"

The SPC-1 benchmark runs for long enough that it captures something approximating steady-state performance of the flash.

It will not capture what might happen to the flash days, weeks, or months, down the road.

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and cheaper

usually disk is cheap but slow, solid state is fast but expensive. Having solid state faster and cheaper is impressive.

Admittedly, this does not scale down to our mere mortals' devices :-(

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RTFA

the news flash is that it is cheaper.

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FAIL

It is Cheaper...

...than IBM. But the IBM system is a classic example of a benchmarking product built for a big headline number but not something that anyone would purchase in the real world. Their costs for capacity and performance are both stupidly high.

I can see a place for the TMS unit where ultra-high performance over a relatively small amount of storage is required, but given it is still coming in at up to 5x the cost of capacity of other SPC-1 results it isn't exactly what you would call general-purpose storage. Saying that it is cheaper than IBM for both capacity and performance is no more of an accolade than "not in a position to stiff customers who have no idea what they are buying but know it needs to be blue".

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not really

One reason the TMS system is cheaper is that there has always been a niche to get a good $/IOP score with a small quantity of flash. Few vendors occupy this niche, because there isn't a huge market for it.

The SVC config tested is over 97TB and has a "minimum" of 25% headroom to scale the performance as it only has 6 out of a possible 8 nodes, it's not an unrealistic config for Enterprise. Will the RamSan scale ten times and see a linear increase in performance or will it top out and simply add cost and capacity, but not performance, hence ruining it's $/IOP..

Horses for courses.

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