back to article So everyone's piling into PCIe flash: Here's a who's who guide

The PCIe flash card suppliers are heading towards a battle royale: there's too many of them for a commoditising hardware business. There are at least 15 suppliers of PCIe flash cards, gear that tightly couples a wad of non-volatile NAND storage to a computer's backbone: EMC, Fusion-io, IBM-TMS, Intel, LSI, Micron, OCZ, OWC, …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Business, meh.

I'm much more interested about these companies pulling their fingers out and releasing consumer PCIe SSDs, although I would guess they're afraid to cannibalize their massive markup on enterprise products.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Business, meh.

Why? Why would they do that? It's a completely different business model.

0
0

Re: Business, meh.

Now that I actually think about it, it does seem strange that pc makers hook up SSDs to SATA and not PCI/E. Why is that? wouldn't it be much faster to ditch SATA? Or is there some big disadvantage to PCI/E?

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Business, meh.

The disadvantage is you need available and fast PCIe channels to use them. Servers do come with spare 8x PCIe slots, desktop motherboards do not and those that do cost a premium.

0
1

Re: Business, meh.

'zactly. Desktops are lucky to have two, and even luckier if the case and cooling configuration actually allow both to be used with the massive size of today's video cards.

0
0

Re: Business, meh.

Most modern motherboards have at least 2pcie16 slots, and I bet that not very many people actually use multiple GPUs. Plus even a 4x or 1x slot will give SATA a run for its money.

1
1
Go

Having used a standard Intel 320 consumer drive in a high volume webserver for a while now, I can quite safely say I don't give a monkeys about PCI/E devices.

0
0

MajorTom

EMC already have integration between their arrays and flash cards. Unisphere for VMAX can treat the flash card as a tier of storage as if it was part of a FAST VP pool. This will be coming to VNX soon too.

1
0

Just a word on EMC vs Fusion-io...

Just a couple of words on the first one: EMC is very late with this. As they are a Storage-only vendor competing against ALL major server makers storage portfolio except Cisco (well, actually they are not a major server vendor and their partnerships starts to have some cracks) it's very questionable if the DELLs, HPs, IBMs or Fujitsu's of this world will ever officially support their XtremeSF cards in their boxes. So it goes with XtremeSW. Customers really don't like messy support situations where something fails in a box and vendors start finger pointing.

XtremeIO is very interesting though and easier to EMC's known audience and installed base.

However the XtremeIO architecture has not changed since when it was still a startup. x86 boxes tied together with Infiniband virtualizing direct-attached SSDs? This is not how you leverage the density and energy consumption advantages of NAND. Look at RamSan or Fusion-io ION where the same or double the performance is served at a lower or equal footprint.

Thin Provisioning, Dedupe and Snapshots are very good arguments to the traditional storage guy. But if you look where AFAs are sold today this is not a must. You don't need any of this for your shared redo logs in a RAC cluster for instance, nor does it make sense.

Most of this stuff is sold to companies who either have this scenario or use very sophisticated software that intrinsically provide these features already. Fusion-io is selling mostly to these kind of hyperscale and innovative shops today and EMC will have a hard time to fight their position. The Fusion guys are way ahead of them offering memory-like access APIs to their storage and specialised IO stacks and filesystem where EMC is just supplying some sheet of metal and NAND. It was very funny to watch yesterday when EMC was beating dead horse that they supply 200k vs. 120k IOPS on brand F where brand F showed well over 9M 'IOPS' (yes that's an M for million) having the ioDrive act as a memory tier. Imagine this being used in modern hyperscale software like Hadoop or Database software and you see that this is not quite playing in the same ball park.

Just my 2 cents

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Just a word on EMC vs Fusion-io...

Err...

" it's very questionable if the DELLs, HPs, IBMs or Fujitsu's of this world will ever officially support their XtremeSF cards in their boxes"..

Well, they already do! A cursory look at the EMC Support Matrix for these cards would have shown that one. As for initimating that vendors such as HP, IBM or Dell might start to get fussy about allowing 3rd party PCIe cards into their enterprise servers, this is the 21st century. Any vendor that does not allow a 3rd party PCIe card to be plugged into a PCIe slot in their server would be dead in the water......

Its exactly the same argument as when vendors realised that they could not veto their customers choosing NetApp, EMC, HDS etc as their 3rd-party SAN supplier !

1
0
Coat

RunCore

There's also RunCore. I reckon they should merge with EMC, to form...

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: RunCore

Heh... (^^)d

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums