Understanding Storage Delays

Jim PappasJim Pappas of Intel, a fellow member of SNIA (the Storage Networking Industry Association) shared a really intuitive way to understand storage delays at the last Storage Developer Conference (SDC).  It’s very simple.  First consider these two facts:

  • The difference between the speed of system memory and that of a hard disk drive (HDD) is roughly 6 orders of magnitude, or 1 million times
  • SSDs split the gap.  An SSD is about 1,000 times faster than an HDD, and is about 1,000 times slower than system memory.  Memory access times are measured in nanoseconds (ns), SSDs in microseconds (µs) and HDDs in milliseconds (ms)

The problem with understanding this (ns, µs, ms) is that Continue reading

Storage Developer Conference Focuses on SSDs

SNIA's 2012 Storage Developer ConferenceLast week the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) hosted its 2012 Storage Developer Conference (SDC).  There was a strong focus on SSDs at this forum, with 15 papers, one keynote, and a panel devoted to the subject.

Consider that the 2008 SDC was the first such conference in which SSDs were discussed.  This year I commented to another participant: “Some day we will look back on this transition and be amazed at how suddenly SSDs became fundamental to the way storage is configured!”

Many of those papers and keynotes made it clear that the PCI Express (PCIe) interface has Continue reading