5 posts • joined 25 Nov 2011
Correction. The NexGen guarantee does apply to any hybrid using solid-state in disk drive form factors so Tegile, Tintri among other start-ups are included.
Posting IOPs and capacity to spec sheets is easy, delivering under non-ideal workloads in a real environment is another matter. We look forward to being called out on our claims.
PCIe flash cards are just expensive disk drives
We're seeing the storage industry go full circle with flash.
The reason SAN/NAS was invented in the first place was that disk drives were the most expensive component in a server. By aggregating disks in a centralized location (outside of the server) capacity utilization and availability improved. A PCIe flash card in a server is just like a disk drive in a server, no other server can share it's capacity/performance resources = poor utilization of a very expensive resource; and for 99% of the implementations out there, if the card goes offline, you're data is offline or worse yet, you lose data.
PCIe flash cards still cost about as much as the entire server and are, again, the most expensive component of the server. It's a natural evolution that flash will migrate out of the server and into shared storage environments for economic efficiency.
Flash at a perpetual $/GB premium to disk
As flash continues to improve performance and reliability I can't help but think that the evil marketing people that work for the flash technology vendors will position these superior capabilities as advantages over disk and charge a premium for it. So even if the $/GB cost to mfg flash becomes equivalent to disk drives over the next few years, flash will be positioned as superior technology and maintain a price premium. That begs the question of when will Seagate, Hitatchi, and Western Digital start pulling the trigger on acquisitions in this space as a way to counter share shift and bolster portfolio margins.
Solid State and Scale-Out
Great article, I think you're exposing the next big debate in storage. Your point on scale out architectures that depend on Ethernet connectivity will limit solid state performance is right on. I spent several years working for a scale out storage vendor and am very familiar with that shortcoming. That brings up an interesting issue, will any of these new interfaces will allow connections between systems over moderate distances to enable scale out without limiting solid state performance?
where does external PCIe fit?
Great article and insight into the future of ethernet. I've been hearing a lot about switched pcie being used as a low latency top of rack interconnect, and can see where new ethernet technologies will be used for longer runs and between the racks. Curious about how others are thinking about this and how this will ultimately play out.
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