Just to be clear, we're talking about flash of the hardware variety, not the software behind those annoying animated ads. This is one of those topics that everyone has heard about, most people have opinions on, but where myths and misunderstandings are rife. In our next live Regcast on September 17 at 11:00 BST, we're going to …
Bring it on
Let's hope that, unlike the Reg's uniform coverage of flash until today, the panel will acknowledge and discuss the PCI variety of flash drives instead of completely disregarding it and focusing solely on SATA and SAS varieties.
I don't know why PCI mounted flash storage gets overlooked so consistently but it doesn't half deliver the goods!
Re: Bring it on
PCIe flash, while much faster than SATA/SAS has some drawbacks in servers:
- they always require drivers
- can you boot from any of them?
- they cannot be hot-(un)plugged
- they're even more expensive
- You would need at least two PCIe slots to have any sort of redundancy in a single server: the most common 1U/2U/Blade servers usually have 0-2 free slots anyway and in many cases the PCIe SSD would need a
10Gb or faster connection to feed it which probably eats one PCIe slot again. A server tower has many slots but towers usually have their places in offices and other places where no sort of SSD is required.
Re: Bring it on
I can positively answer three of your points but not others
- No drivers are needed
- You can indeed boot from them
- One PCIe slot from x4 upwards is more than enough for the enterprise SSD's I was referring to
Agreed on the cost and hot plugging; in fact I'm nearly certain you can't hot plug PCI cards and even the mechanics of it aren't too easy.
What I confess I wasn't aware was the lack of PCI slots on blades. The experience I have had was quite contrary in that PCI slots were freely available and not always taken. But then I haven't worked with blade servers so thanks for the tutorial.
Well I have been using a OCZ agility3 SSD flash drive for the last 2 years, no problems... certainly faster and quieter!! :)
The main problem with PCI flash drives is the large cost compared to SATA SSDs - they can simply be slotted in as a direct replacement for the current HDD, mostly in laptops!
"You would need at least two PCIe slots to have any sort of redundancy"
depends on the design of the pcie card
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