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back to article Violin tunes up for billion dollar flash gig

Violin Memory CEO Don Basile reckons Violin can repeat what Connor Peripherals did in disk drives, Cisco in networking, and NetApp in file storage; become a billion dollar a year revenue platform company. He'll do it with flash array technology because spinning disk is going to become rust, failing to keep up with the I/O …

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Boffin

SSD's a great

Until they fail, which they do much more often than mechanical drives. While manufacturers claim both SSD's and HHD's have MTBF's of 1.5-2Mhours, all of the independent studies would claim theses numbers are highly exaggerated by a factor of at least x10. The life expectancy for the best HDD is 50,000 to 70,000hrs, significantly shorter than its MTBF. The exaggerations of MTBF and life expectancy for SSD's is even greater than for HDD's.

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Thumb Up

Re: SSD's a great

Indeed, and that is why I only use them for my OS. Perhaps I'm old fashioned but I have never SSDs liked them except for their speed as a boot drive. Like another respondent here I have some 4TB in storage, plus several TB for backup purposes. It's a bitch when they spin down for energy saving purposes, but it's acceptable.

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Holmes

$2 per GB?

I've a rather luxurious 4TB, of which almost 50% is in use. Granted very little of thats database, but even so, $8k (USD always seems to equal GBP for hard and software for some reason any way) to 'upgrade' compared with $130 to replace, those performance dividends had better show up long before that flash RAM hits it's lifecycle read/write limit or the beancounters will be calling open season on CIO scalp regardless of the performance advantages.

Advantages Dior small businesses/home users? Not seeing any tbh.

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Anonymous Coward

To be honest...

I think for the sort of applications that SME's are looking at then it probably makes more sense to use a striped RAID array.

I mean, that sort of upgrade is under £100, given that most servers and even home computers have an acceptable raid controller built in. As you say, complete replacement is a bit expensive in comparison.

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Anonymous Coward

Software solution

I still think the best solution is a software one, in this case presumably a filesystem like zfs that can use ssds as a cache for hdds which is pretty much what all these solutions do.

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FAIL

Somebody might want to tell Larry

Turtle != tortoise

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LOVEletter to Larry

"For both server system and storage array suppliers the questions becomes "How do we turtles transform ourselves into Oracle-chasing cheetahs?""

KISS .... Seed LOVE has AI Certain Capture. In Live Operational Virtual Environments is Constructive Future Intelligence/SMART Content for Present Future Product Placement, all than one needs. ITs Feed, of course, is Universal Source?

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WTF?

Hmm

Have \violin turned a profit yet?

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Silver badge

Should Be or Is?

Methinks Business Power is everything to do with creating dream streams rather than providing profits, for the former delivers the latter naturally, which makes it odd for profit to put in an appearance to spoil the methodology/simple truth made artificially complex .

How on earth would banks survive without business numbers to juggle and flash crash cash funds to recirculate and redeposit in the Creative Dream Stream System, which is what the Fed should be but presently isn't. There a vital spark missing, which hasn't gone unnoticed by all who look for signs of vital missing sparks.

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How annoying

I want to vote you up 'cos you describe a real sickness in the system, and I want to vote down the idea you describe. on average, then, null points

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A Point of Consideration in Explanation of Chaos and Disorder rather than Peace and Harmony

Is not the idea described, the present current failed system running badly, Hardcastle the ancient?

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Alien

ASICs abstract away the complexity

Your spinning rust drive isn't actually organized in the cylinders, heads and sectors presented by its controller. That's an abstraction. Sectors go bad on spinning HDD's too, and are dynamically remapped. The ASICs on the logic board remap the physical storage to logical storage in order to retain compatibility with some rather archaic drive technologies and improve MTBF.

The abstraction allows for certain other new features too, like on-drive encryption and hybrid drives with Flash cache for performance.

So too SSDs use application specific integrated circuits to basically lie about the underlying physical storage. In SAS and SATA form factors they also report "Cylinders" and "Heads" - neither of which they have. Successive writes to the same sector are actually written to different physical cells for wear levelling and performance. The operating system should not care. What the operating system cares about is that the data written is the same as the data returned when it's requested. And that's all. We don't care if the drive lies - just whether or not its lies are consistent.

Most of the G3 SSD technologies have sufficient reliability for datacenter use for five years or more. The price needs to start coming down now. It probably would have come down quite a bit more than it has if people weren't buying so many personal devices that utilize Flash chips.

The slow uptake of SSD in the datacenter has nothing to do with reliability issues, and certainly not performance. It has to do with the fact that the major server OEMs make billions a year selling racks of spinning disks too. HP last week finally came out with 800GB Enterprise SAS SSD drives for their servers. What they want for them is incredible, but at least they're finally available. This is the local disk that provides the IO requirements and capacity requirements of your modern server consolidation needs. But the pricing? That looks like it's about delaying the wholesale migration away from FC SAN for as long as possible.

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Boffin

Larry Ellison might brush up on zoology

The cheetah comparison might just mean blisteringly fast, but no good in the long run. This might actually be a good description of current SSDs, when compared to spinning disks.

Race horses only cover short to medium distances at high speed. All servers should really aim to be camels: excellent average speed in the long run, heavy load capacity, don't break down under extremely difficult circumstances.

Besides, turtles live much longer than cheetahs, and the latter have previously nearly gone extinct.

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