back to article AWS says disk is to cloud as tape is to disk

Amazon Web Services (AWS) says magnetic disks cannot handle modern NoSQL-powered applications, which have such high throughputs and generate such weirdly bursty traffic that spinning rust looks and feels as slow and awkward as tape. Chief Technology Officer Werner Vogels says as much on his blog: “Magnetic disks are rapidly …


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  1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Aaron Em
    Thumb Up


    A bit of Ozzie slang to leaven the limey stuff? Nice. Keep it coming.

  3. jake Silver badge

    From my perspective, storage is "online" (local memory ... fast ... a workstation), "nearline" (tape/disk available over the network, without human intervention ... sometimes slowish) & "offline" (tape that isn't physically available to the Memorex robot and needs human intervention ...). But then I come from a real hardware background.

  4. Storage_Person
    Thumb Down

    Nothing to do with Modern Workloads

    “Magnetic disks are rapidly starting to exhibit tape-like properties and with modern workloads being increasingly random, they are becoming less and less suitable as a storage system.”

    It's not modern workloads, it's the size of hard disks. As a hard disk gets bigger the amount of data accessed over a given time period, as a % of the total disk, either drops to where the access patterns look like archive storage or stays the same and hits the IOPS limit of the hard disk.

    In fact HDDs are a fantastic storage system, just not so good at random access high IOPS storage.

    As to if modern workloads are any different from previous workloads in terms of data access patterns, it's more of a case of how well the database is designed by the developer than the type of database itself.

    All in all a pretty poor way to introduce a very useful addition to the EC2 family.

    1. Morg

      Re: Nothing to do with Modern Workloads

      No I think it's a perfect way to introduce it.

      All those cloud services are used by people who don't understand hardware, and are ready to pay to not understand it and have a running service.

      Now what they call "modern workloads" is mostly the kind of bullshit startup pitchers love and are indeed going to buy, since who except a startup would want to pay 20 times the hardware costs just to be "in da cloud baby".

      Nothing modern, nothing even huge there, just amazon waking up and selling ssd-equipped stuff. good to know but at 125K over 5 years they can stuff it down someone else's throat.

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  6. RonWheeler


    What is to stop me buying similar high end drives and cutting out the 2-3ms typical latency of the WAN link?

    1. jake Silver badge

      @RonWheeler (was: confused)

      Nothing is stopping you. I've been doing similar for thirty years or so ...

      "Cloud" is a marketing meme, not a rational solution.

      1. K Silver badge

        Re: @RonWheeler (was: confused)


        I'm currently planning the refresh of our Colo servers, we'll either replace the tin or move to the "cloud".. after much research, I can honestly say its cheaper and more reliable to simply replace the tin. And in actual fact I'm looking at getting a Nutanix ESX cluster, which not only offer ridiculous levels of IOps, but will also be safer from my perspective!

      2. stanimir

        Re: @RonWheeler (was: confused); "Cloud" is a marketing meme

        Cloud is the term used to convinced any non-tech person how cool the stuff is... the worst part is that it actually works.

  7. Just a geek

    Isn't the answer tiered storage then? SSD for cache for frequently accessed data, SAS then SATA with auto-tiering to handle it all?

  8. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Filesystems - why bother?

    If you only need a 1Tb for your database, keep the stuff in RAM

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Filesystems - why bother?

      Doh, you beat me to it. :P

      1. Tim Parker

        Re: Filesystems - why bother?

        In memory databases ? That's a fabulous idea, and the benchmarks would be amazing, and it's the perfect excuse to link to this again...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm not sure but...

    Don't those who want high IOPS (or whatever they are called) go straight to non-volatile memory, IE RAM 'disks'?

    I guess this is cheaper than the equivalent ram disk. So it's down to how much of a need or gap in the market there is.

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