White Paper: Using Flash as Memory

DRAM, Flash, and HDD HierarchyToday NAND flash is being shoehorned into HDD formats simply because it is persistent – the data doesn’t disappear when the lights go out.  This approach fails to take advantage of NAND’s greatest strength – its low cost relative to DRAM – and this prevents it from fully meeting the needs of most data centers.

Since 2004 NAND has been cheaper than DRAM, and today its price per gigabyte is an order of magnitude lower than that of DRAM.  NAND is cheaper and slower than DRAM, and HDD is cheaper and slower than NAND.

A role better suited to NAND flash technology is to use it as a new layer in the memory/storage hierarchy.  A good number of system administrators already know that they can improve their systems’ performance while shrinking overall cost and power budget by actually reducing the system’s DRAM and adding an SSD to the mix.  If the NAND can be tied to the memory bus, rather than be hidden behind an HDD interface, it will have lower latency, supporting higher performance.

In this light Objective Analysis has published a new white paper titled: Using Flash as Memory – A More Straightforward Way to Boost Performance.  The white paper can be downloaded free of charge from the Objective Analysis home page.

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