Green Computing & SSDs

Comparing Samsung’s Planar and V-NAND SSDs

Samsung 3D V-NAND Press PhotoSamsung recently introduced  its 3D V-NAND-based 850 SSD which, according to The Tech Report, uses the same MEX controller as the company’s 3-bit planar SSD, the 840, introduced last year.

Samsung said in its keynote speech at the 2013 Flash Memory Summit that V-NAND consumes an average of 27% less power and runs at least 20% faster than its planar counterpart in an SSD application, all while providing ten times the endurance.  It’s only natural to assume that this would allow designers to produce a V-NAND SSD that would significantly outperform its planar NAND counterpart.

The SSD Guy had an opportunity to review Continue reading

A New Way to Use SSDs

Micron's View of Computing - Speaker is the CPU, Audience is StorageIn his Flash Memory Summit keynote on Wednesday, Micron VP and Chief Memory Systems Architect Ed Doller made a compelling demonstration of the power and performance advantages of a new approach to computing.

With true showmanship, Doller had his co-workers hand out buttons with LED lights to the entire audience.  The LEDs in these buttons were either green or blue, with the colors randomly dispersed among the crowd.  Doller asked the entire audience to turn on their lights, then called one row of the audience to file up to the stage so he could determine whether each person’s button was blue or green.

He pointed out that this was like having a single CPU check the contents of a drive.  He then asked why things should work this way – wouldn’t it be more sensible to Continue reading

Webinar: Replacing DRAM with SSDs

Objective Analysis Presents at BrightTalk Enterprise Storage SummitI will be presenting a webinar at BrightTalk’s Enterprise Storage Summit on Wednesday, June 12, to discuss how to use SSDs to reduce DRAM usage in the enterprise.

DRAM?!?  Yes!  Many experienced SSD users already take this approach, and it does a great job of cutting cost, power, and other resources while improving system response time.

The presentation is titled SSDs: Not Just About Storage.  You can view it by clicking on the title.

Join me at 11:00 Pacific Time to hear the webinar including participation in the Question & Answer session at the end.

Can’t make it?  A recording will be available shortly afterwards with the full slides, the recorded conference, and the Q&A.  The major difference is that you won’t be able to participate in the Q&A yourself.

Join me and check out the other presentations that will also be available from this event.

IBM to Invest $1B in Flash Promotion

The following is excerpted from an Objective Analysis Brief e-mailed to our clients on 15 April, 2013:

Comparison of 3-Year Operating Costs: Flash vs HDD (Wikibon)On April 11 IBM kicked off “The IBM Flash Ahead Initiative”, committing to spend more than $1 billion for flash systems and software R&D and to open twelve IBM Flash Centers of Competency around the world staffed with flash experts armed with flash systems to help clients test drive flash in their own situations.

This follows from IBM’s August 2012 agreement to acquire privately-held Texas Memory Systems (TMS), a very low profile manufacturer of high-performance flash-based memory arrays and PCIe SSDs. TMS is the world’s oldest SSD maker, founded in 1976, to manufacture RAM-based replicas of HDDs. About four years ago TMS used its Continue reading

SSDs and TCO

Shed some light on your SSD decisionOne of the best arguments to use an SSD is also one of the most difficult ways to sell anything.  This is the Total Cost of Ownership, commonly abbreviated to “TCO.”

TCO has been used as an argument for buying anything from compact fluorescent bulbs to Jaguar automobiles.

The argument usually revolves around an item whose initial price is higher, but which has lower ongoing (or operating) costs, and when these costs are combined, the higher-priced item proves to cost less to own over the long run.  In the case of a compact fluorescent (CF) bulb, the bulb may cost $7, versus $1 for an incandescent bulb, but it consumes 18 Watts compared to the 75 Watts consumed by the incandescent bulb it replaces.  In addition the CF bulb lasts ten times as long (10,000 hours vs. 1,000 hours.)  This works out to a savings of 470 kWh – or about $50 – plus $3 in bulb costs. Continue reading

Why Don’t HDDs Spin Faster than 15K RPM?

Some claim this to be a pohoto of a jet breaking the sound barrierSome folks who look at the speed difference between HDDs and SSDs ask themselves why HDD makers don’t defend their market against the SSD menace by cranking the speed beyond 15,000 RPM.  An unfortunately popular answer is that the edge of the HDD would have to break the sound barrier and the HDD would shatter.  Is this true?

With a little back-of-the-envelope calculation The SSD Guy can rapidly disprove this. (Forgive me, but I am going to mix metric and English measure here.)

The speed of sound is Continue reading

SNW SSD Shortage

Some IT Managers are Risk AverseAt this week’s Storage Networking World (SNW) conference there was no shortage of SSD presentations, but none of the keynoters who shared their data center experiences had deployed any SSDs in their systems.

This seemed particularly odd to The SSD Guy since the MySQL conference I have been attending for some time has fewer SSD presentations simply because almost everyone who attends that conference already uses SSDs.

Why is there such an odd disparity?

The simple reason is that Continue reading

Avnet’s SSD Virtual Summit

Avnet's SSD Virtual SummitOn April 3 & 4 Avnet Embedded will host an on-line conference called the SSD Virtual Summit.  This free on-demand seminar will feature a keynote by Yours Truly, The SSD Guy, and presentations by leading SSD makers and related firms including Adaptech, Crucial, Dell, HGST, Intel, Kingston, LSI, Micron, OCZ, Rorke Data, Seagate, SMART Storage, STEC, and Toshiba.

Come join in to learn the latest information on SSDs.