* Posts by Jim O'Reilly

286 posts • joined 16 Apr 2011

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NAND chips are going to stay too pricey for flash to slit disk's throat...

Jim O'Reilly
Pint

Golf cart versus BMW

This type of comparison is too shallow. SSDs are so much faster that you can compress data in real time, reducing the cost/TB by around 5X. I suppose a tiered SSD/HDD hybrid might get that advantage, but then we need to factor the reduced number of appliance boxes we need with 2.5" SSDs or the new ruler drives, versus what will always be 3.5" HDDs.. I figure this gives SSDs a reduction $.10/GB.

Next, the massive performance difference reduces server count dramatically, perhaps by 3x on average. That yields another $.20/GB and operating cost savings will cut $.10/GB or more.

As 3D NAND ramps in 2018, with QLC coming to the bulk secondary storage market we are comparing, the numbers are a lot closer, especially with the new fabs Samsung and others are opening. HDD capacity is stuck till HAMR comes at end 2019 and HAMR will increase $/GB.

Bottom line is the compairon is loaded to support HDDs.

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Seagate's HAMR to drop in 2020: Multi-actuator disk drives on the way

Jim O'Reilly
Pint

And the band played on!

With 32 TB SSDs already shipping, HAMR looks to be a sideshow. Heck, we'll get 100 TB 3.5 inch SSDs by Xmas. The best we can hope for with HAMR is very slow IO and 10X the number of racks to hold a given capacity.

Yes, SSD will cost more per terabyte, but that 10X factor in appliance count offsets much of that!

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Trump White House mulls nationalizing 5G... an idea going down like 'a balloon made out of a Ford Pinto'

Jim O'Reilly
Holmes

Was that the"Horst Wessel" the Marine Band was practicing?

Only under a wanna-be authoritarian president would an idea like this be touted. Of course sensible people can see an encroachment on privacy here. After all, if you control the communications system, you control the people! All we need now is for Admiral Poindexter (og "Total Information Awareness" fame) to be appointed project manager!

I was amused to see the CNN article on this juxtaposed with an article on a major security shortfall due to a GPS jogging app. That says it all! Why would we believe that security is the real reason for this, when it's clear that the government hasn't a magic shield to protect us?

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Cool disk drive actuator pillar, Seagate – how about two of them?

Jim O'Reilly
Holmes

Re: SSD wins! Who cares if HDDs have 16 actuators?!

If you were buying a car would you expect to pay KIA prices for a Ferrari?

That's the comparison you just made.

In the consumer market, you should be buying 256 GB to 1 TB SSDs as your primary desktop storage. The performance difference is really noticeable. Bulk storage should either be in the cloud or on the slowest drive around. Dual actuator drives don't make sense. Use compression on your slow drive...1TB raw capacity will hold around 6 TB of data.and performance will also be faster.

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Jim O'Reilly
Holmes

SSD wins! Who cares if HDDs have 16 actuators?!

I've heard all this before. IBM tried dual actuators, and so did Hitachi. There's a reason they are all history. Multi-actuator drives are expensive to make and not as reliable (vibration etc.). There have been attempts to make drives with even more actuators (drums) also ancient history.

It's all academic anyway. By the time these drives hit Main Street, QLC SSDs, 3D NAND and a glut of dies will make HDDs obsolete altogether Sure, SSD drives will still cost more, but only maybe 2x, but 2.5" or M2 ruler form factors,coupled with 32-64 TB capacities will reduce appliance counts by as much as 4x for a given capacity...heck, Intel has announced 1 petabyte in 1U using ruler drives. Overall, SSD has to be cheaper!

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All the AIs NVMe, says IBM: Claims POWER9s + InfiniBand brainier than COTS

Jim O'Reilly
Holmes

What's the price?

I hate these hype pieces. The issue isn't if Power is 10%, 20% or even 100% faster. It's $$$/thought in AI that matters, so two X86 with GPU accelerators may still trounce a Power unit but still be 1/2 the cost.

Anyway, this isn't really about the CPU engine. The real speed-ups are in NVMe and NVMe over InfiniBand. Here, the playing field with X86 is level ... both can have Mellanox NICs!

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Seagate's lightbulb moment: Make read-write heads operate independently

Jim O'Reilly
Holmes

This has been done before. Hitachi tried it in the 1980's. Not much interest!

Anyway, this improves IOPS from 150 per secomd to maybe 300 per second...only 44,700 more to catch up with an SSD!

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China claims to have turbine-powered drone carrying 200kg payload

Jim O'Reilly

Duck!

And next! Amazon will be delivering sofas by air.

Tin helmets, anyone?

Seriously, getting hit by 200 KG from any height would ruin your whole day!

Safety and reliability on drones makes IoT look like a mature technology..

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Seagate sponsors re-fashioned IDC digital data-flood blather

Jim O'Reilly
Holmes

Reaally! 70+ percent HDDs in 2025?

Seagate laying of 2,217 employees at disk factory....that says it all! The HDD business is in a death spiral and that's going to speed up fast once 100TB SSDs arrive next year. Makes one wonder what data was used for the halcyon prediction of huge HDD market share in 2025!

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Intel reveals Optane SSDs: 375GB to start, at surprising speed

Jim O'Reilly

Is it really that fast?

Intel has released a datasheet for the 4800.

It's a bit slower than Chris estimated...Just "up to 500K 4KB random IOPS"

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Double-DIMMed XPoint wastes sockets

Jim O'Reilly

Re: Whats up with those numbers? A bigly problem!!!

If I were designing this, I would have two flash DIMMs instead of one X-Point DIMM plus its DRAM DIMM. With parallel accesses, this effectively halves the time for 1 million IOPS. X-Point isn't fast enough to be worth 5x!

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PC sales sinking almost as fast as Donald Trump's poll numbers

Jim O'Reilly
Headmaster

Whoa IDC needs a math checker!

If you look at the total shipments in the first table a drop from 79 million units to 68.9 is a "5.7% reduction".

Someone needs basic math lessons. That's should read 13%.

13% is a whole lot worse reduction folks!

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EMC: King of storage needs to shore up defences

Jim O'Reilly
Holmes

Look at box count, not revenue

The ODMs only had 9% market share, but this translates into perhaps 20 to 25% of units shipped, since ODM boxes are really inexpensive compared with EMC and HPE. Another factor here is that the customers of the ODMs typically buy drives direct from their makers, while the others include expensive drives in their revenue numbers.

In other words, ODMs are eating up the market faster than we think. IDC needs to get up to date on how it reports all of this.

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California to put all your power-hungry PCs on a low carb(on) diet

Jim O'Reilly
Holmes

Seems so pointless!

Saving the cost of several power stations is very laudable, but this may be a case of uninformed bureaucracy at its best. Let's face it. The IT industry is changing fast. We are just getting announcements of terabyte SSDs with 4 W operating power and 0.4 W on standby. HMC brings 30 to 40 percent saving in CPU/memory power and 3D X-point will bring more. Hyper-converged systems mean no need for storage boxes.

More important, desktops and workstations are going away. They no longer fill the use cases when compared to tablets. Even CAD and advanced video-editing has moved to the cloud, and just uses tablets to display results. There are power savings galore in the future of computers! We don't need an out-of-date and out-of-touch standard to get there. (I bet prices in California go up a lot!).

Anyway, the technical options are much better than the standard. We can get power supply chips that are better than 99 percent efficient...mandate those! We have storage compression that cuts capacity use by 80 percent. Mandate that!

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Windows 10 pain: Reg man has 75 per cent upgrade failure rate

Jim O'Reilly
FAIL

Incompetence or conspiracy

Microsoft advertised free upgrades...no small print!

When I tried to upgrade a 7 year old desktop, the online upgrader stuck at "99 percent complete" for 3 days. The clean upgrade options using USB and DVD both failed. These reported they couldn't see my new SSD. Likely all the failures are due to missing drivers or BIOS.

These existed for Win 7 a year ago...I did a clean build from DVD and upgraded to current level. We must therefore ask if Microsoft messed up or if they deliberately removed old elements to force some obsolescence. Either way, they fail a truth in advertising test and I suspect that there are many other Windows 10 upgraders who've had similar problems. Perhaps Microsoft should extend the upgrade window (no pun!) and fix the problem.

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Capacity limits are utter tosh: Toshiba fattens SSD, disk with flash layers, helium

Jim O'Reilly
Holmes

They got their own price wrong!

I thought this useful right until I saw the Toshiba price per drive data in the first chart. Their SAS enterprise drive clocks in at around $30,000, based on $30/GB. That may be Toshiba's system price, but it beats even EMC's massive markups.

SATA SSDs good enough for enterprise work are around $300 (forget all the enterprise and near-line hoopla). That's Dell's price for such a drive! The differential sort of makes mincemeat of Toshiba's whole presentation.

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Spinning rust fans reckon we'll have 18TB disk drives in two years

Jim O'Reilly

Re: Price is a myth!

Head in the sand!

Dell sells a 1TB SSD online for $300. Try getting an enterprise hard drive for that price (Hint $500 for 500GB)

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Jim O'Reilly
Holmes

All wishful thinking!

Large size drives won't work. Tolerances won't allow the bit densities we get with 3.5 or 2.5 disks. Even if we had them, there are no servers that can accomodate them. Server density would be half what it is today, too, while drive power would be more like 30 to 40 Watts.

Tall stacks are more feasible, but tolerances are again an issue. Those actuator head arms can't get much thinner, and that's a real limitation on how many platters are possible. We might see one more platter in a standard full-height drive. Bit densities are at their limit, while going to HAMR will probably mean one fewer platter because the head structure is bigger.

With 16TB SSDs already announced, with SSDs cheaper than enterprise hard drives (at least in distribution and from Dell!) and with Google stating that MLC drives wear as well as SLC drives in real life, spinning rust is in a battle for relevance. Prices are dropping fast and even bulk storage will be challenged next year by 4-bit-per-cell technology and 3D NAND. Oh, and I forgot to mention that SSDs are 100x faster!

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Jim O'Reilly

Price is a myth!

Currently, SSDs are cheaper than the enterprise hard drives they would replace...just don't buy from EMC...go to distribution or the Internet!

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Jim O'Reilly
Holmes

Re: I don't think 8 inch drives fly!

The reason we went to 3.5in drives was that tolerances are far tougher to achieve with bigger disks. Also, spin power goes up roughly as the square of the diameter, there are no systems with space for these drive sizes, and the cost will be a whopper.

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Jim O'Reilly

SSDs moving faster than light

Samsung just announced a 16TB SSD. I bet we'll reach 30 TB in 2018....rust is already behind the curve

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IBM has to give Indiana some pocket change after $1.3bn web fiasco

Jim O'Reilly
Holmes

$1.2 billion?

How can you spend $1.2 billion on a "Web portal"?

It probably uses Z-series to talk to the internet and other money-wasting solutions.

Sounds like a visit from the state auditor is needed!

PS Ask any commercial firm how much they spent for their whole website....I bet it was just a bit cheaper!

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IBM to erase 14,000 people from the payroll – Wall St analyst

Jim O'Reilly
Pint

iS THE MATH WRONG?

IBM has apparently changed their layoff compensation policy so that many employees get 1 month's pay rather than the 6 months average traditionally given. $70,000 sounds more like the 6-month number, so if anything IBM will be hitting as many as 84,000 staff, based on the article's premise of the total amount to be spent in layoff pay.

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Google wants new class of taller 'cloud disk' with more platters and I/O

Jim O'Reilly
Holmes

Google challenges physics

Whoever wrote this at Google seems to be a naive. Basic HDD technology has hit a wall. Getting more density on a platter will mean HAMR, which looks very hard to fabricate commercially. so what are the alternatives? More disks? That means helium-filled drives, but that's OK. But it also means stabilizing the spindle runout and we are at the limit for that already with current track densities.

HGST tried dual actuator drives and dropped them. The actuates interact via vibration, and they also create turbulence that messes up smooth flying by the heads. Anyway, that only increases IOPS to 200 which isn't in the same league as SSD.

Maybe we need to bring back the 5.25 in form factor. But wait! That has disk stability problems on the outer tracks, so it's a non-starter at current densities.

Any way you look at it, HDD speed and capacity growth are effectively at a standstill, which makes me wonder if Google's engineer knows what he's talking about. Perhaps the idea is to bluff competitors into staying with HDD!

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Public enemies: Azure, Amazon, Google, Oracle, OpenStack, SoftLayer will murder private IT

Jim O'Reilly
Alert

It's worse!

Chris is pretty well on-point with his predictions about the cloud winning, but he missed a couple of other things. First, the Chinese ODMs are well positioned to attack the US incumbent traditional vendors...that's because they supply AWS etc with huge quantities of gear already and also because they make most of the gear for those US vendors! If they roll into the market with distribution and end-user sales, they'll undercut the US "vendors" by 60 percent or more on price...a classic "cut out the middleman" scenario.

Second, the poor state of WAN connections in the US and EU makes the hybrid cloud model awkward to implement. We need fiber connections, but it takes bullying by Google to get Verizon and ATT to budge.

If hybrid cloud isn't attractive and ODMs are cheap, the traditional vendors are going to hurt a lot.

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The field at the centre of the universe: Cambridge's outdoor pulsar pusher

Jim O'Reilly
Pint

I was at the announcement of the pulsar

I had just started my BA senior year radio-astronomy project and remember walking into to an impromptu demonstration of the pulsar with Jocelyn Bell and Tony Hewish playing a bleeping sound over a loudspeaker, interspersed with excited explanations....heady stuff!

I spent several months going back and forth to Lord's Bridge,, gathering data using some dipoles spread over two metal frames. Two of us created sort of an equivalent of the railroad antennae in the field next to the One-Mile setup, carrying the frames back and forth manually and using a theodolite to position them.

Having learnt FORTRAN and written a huge program to process the results, we had a bit of spare time and sat down with Steven Hawking to figure out all sorts of corrections, including Einstein's relativistic adjustments.

Looking back, it was one heck of a great time!

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US government's $6bn super firewall doesn't even monitor web traffic

Jim O'Reilly
FAIL

Buying Symantec

For $6.8 Bilion, the gov could have bought Symantec, gotten decent systems, provided NSA with backdoors galore and still have change

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Eight budget-friendly 1TB SSD data packers for real people

Jim O'Reilly
Pint

Good qulaity, low price

It looks like we are still on course for price parity between SSD and HDD in 2017. At $300 list for the Transcend 1TB drive, will we see $200 by July as 3-D NAND and TLC or even QLC hit the market? We'll certainly be there by the end of 2016 and 2017 promises to see big drops too.

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American cable giants go bananas after FCC slams broadband rollout

Jim O'Reilly
Holmes

Time for some competition

Many states have ridiculous laws (paid for by the ISP lobbies?) to limit cities from offering infrastructure. all of these should be struck down as impinging on Federal rights to regulate communications. Then the cities could solve the fiber problem and offer a la carte services across the wire...now that's real competition!

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Gartner sees enterprise SSD-HDD revenue crossover in 2017

Jim O'Reilly
Holmes

The comparison is a bit self-serving

The SSD market is, despite the best efforts of drive makers, NOT slavishly following the "enterprise" classification beloved of HDD makers. Enterprises are moving to appliance level redundancy and that implies cheaper SSDs are good enough.The figures from Gartner don't include this large SSD segment and so understate the impact of SSD on "enterprise" HDD sales by a considerable factor.

What is surprising is that there are still good sales levels for those very expensive "enterprise" drives. Prices are 2 to 3x those of comparably sized mid-range SSD, which makes any rationale for staying with these HDD unfathomable!

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'Powerful blast' at Glasgow City Council data centre prompts IT meltdown

Jim O'Reilly
Pint

They should use G-Cloud!

Can't afford a backup system?

Go to the cloud!

Amazon would have saved them, if G-Cloud couldn't!

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Amazon now renting physical servers you can cuddle and love

Jim O'Reilly
Holmes

Perhaps the future of the private cloud

With the now-apparent problems of moving data between private and public clouds in the hybrid cloud model, is this the future of the private cloud...rented long-term gear in AWS hosting space?

This likely puts the remaining hosting companies into a death spiral, but smart CIOs will see that this assured renting is no different form using hosted gear to make a private cloud.

Will storage follow down this path too....I'd bet on it. We do live in interesting times.

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White box servers? We can do that, says HP Enterprise chief

Jim O'Reilly
Holmes

Yes Ryan, Whiteboxes are really cheap!

HP's Ryan hasn't quite got it. The whiteboxes account for 7 percent unit share because they are so cheap. If they are only 2 percent of revenue, that means they are roughly 1/3rd of the price.

If sales continue to grow at the current pace, or even turn up, whiteboxes will break the back of HP's pricing scheme when they reach roughly 40 percent share.At that point, the price per unit will drop drastically for all vendors and whitebox revenue as a share will move up.

What Ryan is dissing is in fact the ultimate demise of HP's server business!

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PC sales will rise again, predicts Intel, but tablets are toast

Jim O'Reilly
Holmes

Get real!

So everyone will rush out to get a laptop with 3D so that it will recognize them instead of typing a password??? No way! It's just as likely as we'll all embrace Windows 10.

As for 2 in 1's, it's far cheaper to get a $150 tablet, add a $30 keyboard and enjoy Android! Google docs are as good as Office and collaboration is much easier, which is increasingly important.

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What upgrade cycle? Tablet sales crater for fourth straight quarter

Jim O'Reilly
Holmes

A tablet is not a laptop

Tablets are displays...they don't really store programs or data much.

Because of that, a tablet lasts until the display breaks, which is turning out to be a long time!

Desktops and notebooks needed to be upgraded to keep up with Windows and other applications...every 2 to 3 years

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Jim O'Reilly
Holmes

Winter is Here!

Apple isn't immune! As a model of what is happening, the hype-driven upgrade cycle drove PCs for a while, then crashed as the models tended to blur into each other and no longer offered incremental value.

Tablet sales decline follows the same path, with the added pain of being a much more reliable product and of being ousted by smartphones somewhat.

Pressure on the phone space is coming from cheaper phones with identical features, while iPhone innovation has essentially stalled (gold colored cases don't count!). Prediction is that Apple will struggle a bit next year.

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El Reg celebrates Back to the Future Day

Jim O'Reilly
Holmes

Try this new Nescafe Pure - Everything is removed except the caffeine!

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Some like it hot ... very hot: How to use heat to your advantage in your data center

Jim O'Reilly
Holmes

Data centers can be run much warmer

With today's servers there's no reason NOT to raise the maximum inlet temperature to 40C (104F). Airflow is typically well-designed, so this means that for most of the year, most places DON'T need chillers!

Disk drives used to restrict temperatures a bit, but recently drives running up to 65C have been the mainstream, so they are able to handle the inevitable temperature increases inside a server or storage box OK.

I've delivered COTS servers with specs up to 50C inlet air, without excessive cooling support, so 40C is safe in the general commercial space. The lack of chilling is a huge saving in power costs. The only issue is filtering ambient air to keep out the dust of the prairies!

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Microsoft now awfully pushy with Windows 10 on Win 7, 8 PCs – Reg readers hit back

Jim O'Reilly

I complained to Oracle's ethics exec about the ASK toolbar that Java updating added automatically...it took me two hours to purge its pieces from my system. Oracle cleaned that one up quickly.

This Microsoft thing is far more egregious. It's probably a bit like that Volkswagen fiasco...instituted by low-level guys to get ahead. Will complaining to Sadya Nadella get this monster cleaned up before we all are driven insane? After all, he said, "We set high ethical standards at Microsoft and we expect every employee to live up to those standards."

Can Microsoft do as well as Oracle?

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Will flash save the data centre? Don't spread your wings yet, Vultan

Jim O'Reilly

Re: Seems a little apples vs oranges

Except regular hard drives do seem to show wear-out. After 4 years or so, failure rates tend to climb, sometimes steeply. So much for HDDs wearing better than flash!

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Jim O'Reilly

Re: Seems a little apples vs oranges

Execept regular hard drives do seem to wear out after around 4 to 5 years. The failure rate tends to climb, sometimes steeply. So much for being better than flash!

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Jim O'Reilly

Re: Seems a little apples vs oranges

Flash isn't more expensive than 15K hard drives. It's most definitely the other way round. A 1TB flash drive is around $360 today. Sure, it isn't the fastest "enterprise" flash drive, but it's still 1000x faster on random IOPS and 5x on sequential.

A 500GB 15K HDD is around $650.

Puts things in a different perspective!

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Jim O'Reilly

Enterprise disk sales off 13 percent.

Chris must be feeling a need to defend the drive vendors after the huge drop in enterprise disk demand this last quarter. 15K RPM drives are dead already and 10K seems destined for the same fate perhaps by the end of this year, though we'll always find people with nostalgic desires to use spinning rust. Violin is essentially right for primary tier storage!

That leaves the thorny question of what happens to the bulk storage tier, The "media evolution" comment above is close to the mark...economics will decide, and if there is a sure profit, the market will fund the foundries. With prices closing fast, the economics start to become compelling even before price parity is reached..

But will we need Chris' trillions. Data compression and deduplication will reduce space demand by as much as 5x. And, once 3D NAND gets out of the lab properly, the incremental cost to add 2 or 4x the layer count will be small. New error correction will move the sweet spot to TLC.

1 Trillion now looks like $40 Billion and possibly less! That's not much given market size.

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Obama endorses 3D TLC flash. How else can you do exaflop computing?

Jim O'Reilly

Re: probably mostly spinning disk

4x the sequential perfomance isn't much?

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Jim O'Reilly

Roll out the new crosspoint memory?

Micron's new crosspoint memory may have a place in the sun here, at 1000x faster than flash. Package it in Hybrid Memory cube modules close to the DRAM/CPU/GPU complex and that is a screamingly fast solution - timeframe to able to do that is about 3 years which is when real money starts getting spent on the new super.

Note that HMC could be touching 1 TB/s bandwidth for DRAM in that timeframe, and that's per CPU/GPU module.

NVMe may form the second tier memory, but it really isn't enough on its own. The data has to go to networked storage, so compression accelerators are needed to get the data rate down, assuming there is reasonable compressibility in the data. Then we'll need some rally fast networks to move data out.

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Is Nexenta exposing a vast core storage market vulnerability?

Jim O'Reilly

Who makes those expensive arrays?

Let's get real! The traditional large storage vendors get their gear built by ODMs in China. There is NO secret sauce in the hardware, though quality varies depending on supplier. The same is true of drives. The large vendors do quality control (which costs maybe 1%) and then mark up the drive price 10X.

Appliance based redundancy has made much of the storage mantra redundant. We don't need enterprise drives with 2 interfaces. We don't need RAID.

The mega CSPs figured this out 5 years ago and they buy storage platforms direct from China. They roll there own code, but that's beyond most companies.

Traditional vendors have a lot of code, but it was designed in a different era with proprietary architectures and RAID as the focus. By starting from a blank sheet, Nexenta and others are offering a modern code base with today's design focus, and ultimately that should be better than the traditional code sets.

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Will the PC glory days ever return, WD asks as its finances slip

Jim O'Reilly
Holmes

Re: Density play only

If you look at the numbers, you'd question that reliability statement. The facts support SSD as being reliable, while HDD show high early life failures and also batch-related or model-related failure.

Now SSD do wear out, but a bit of care in getting the right class SSD to match your write rates will give 8 years useful life, if you need that much.

Any hard drive over 8 years old is wearing out fast, too. In fact failure rates seem to increase after 4 to 6 years of operation and then rise rapidly after a couple more years. IT's a wash on wearout, and late this year we'll see improvements in error-correction in SSD that will increase wear life by as much as 100x. That will put SSD well in front of HDD on reliability!

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Jim O'Reilly

Re: Density play only

I think the workstations argument is wrong. Even with the pitifully slow Internet that US Telcos provide, it's a wash to use a cloud-based compute cluster for a job and just have a display on a tablet...there are many articles on that issue - just google Adobe!.

With faster Internet, the balance swings in favor of using cloud clusters instead of workstations, especially as that solves collaboration and parallel working on a job.

Even the gamers are going to the cloud for that reason!

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Jim O'Reilly
Holmes

Density play only

There's no room to remove cost from a drive. We are not going to see any major component disappear form the parts list. The only play for the drive makers is density, but here they are slowing down as the technical barriers for each step get greater.

Hard drives can't get faster, and they are already way slow compared with SSD. Add to that, SSD are lower power, silent and robust.

The demise of the hard drive is inevitable, just as PCs will be replaced by mobiles and tablets. It's happening faster than WD or Seagate would like.

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