WDC Rearchitects the HDD

Pretty sketch of an HDD with a lightningbolt representing NAND flashWestern Digital today announced a change to the architecture of HDDs that the company showed can increase an HDD’s capacity and performance without changes to the heads, media, or mechanics.   Since the design, called OptiNAND, involves a good bit of NAND flash, The SSD Guy decided that it warranted discussion here.

That, and the fact that the company said Continue reading “WDC Rearchitects the HDD”

Computational Storage Hits the Mainstream

Chart showing two lines on a graph of performance vs number of SSDs. With "Scale In" the performance is proportional to the number of SSDs. With a standard server the performance diesn't change. With 16 SSDs the performance is 4 timeas as much, and with 32 SSDs it's 8 times as much.There’s an idea that has been kicking around for a number of years, and it seems now to be gaining traction.  The idea is to use the inherent smarts and high available bandwidth within an SSD to perform functions that would normally be done by a server’s processor thereby reducing the load on the processor while minimizing the amount of data that needed to make a round trip from the SSD to the processor and back for some trivial function.

Such data movement is said to consume a very Continue reading “Computational Storage Hits the Mainstream”

Why Did Intel Sell its SSD Business?

Intel recently sold its NAND flash business, which was mainly producing SSDs, to SK hynix, a Korean competitor.  Some people have asked the SSD Guy why did Intel do this? The company had highly-regarded products that could command top prices.  Since Intel’s NAND flash fab is in Dalian, China, one person even asked if the divestiture could have been in response to the US-China trade war.

A better question is: “Why did Intel Continue reading “Why Did Intel Sell its SSD Business?”

High Availability in an m.2 Format

Photo of finger pusing on hinge in center of m.2 HA SSDThe m.2 SSD format has become wildly successful in the data center for use as a boot drive and even in SSD arrays.  The m.2 format supports either the SATA or the NVMe interface,  Something that has been missing, however, is a version of this format for high-availability (HA) systems.  These are mission-critical systems that cannot fail, no matter what.

Until today HA systems had to Continue reading “High Availability in an m.2 Format”

Does Persistent Memory Improve Performance? Ask Oracle!

A model-by-model timeline of Oracle's Exadata product introductions with key specifications.At last month’s SNIA Persistent Memory Summit Oracle presenter Jia Shi, Sr. Director of Exadata Development, shared some statistics on the Exadata system’s history over the past ten years.  (Click on the graphic to the left to see the timeline.)  The speaker highlighted the fact that the system’s I/O performance has grown from 0.05 million IOPS ten years ago to 16 million IOPS today, a 320X improvement!  Shi said that Continue reading “Does Persistent Memory Improve Performance? Ask Oracle!”

SNIA Webcast: Emerging Memories

This shows the cover slide for the SNIA webcast presentation titled "What a Year it Was and Where We Need To Go in Emerging Memory"On Tuesday, January 14, Tom Coughlin and I were featured in a BrightTalk webinar hosted by the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA).  A recording of this webinar has been posted so that you can view it at your convenience.

This webinar looks at emerging memories and where they now stand, giving a Continue reading “SNIA Webcast: Emerging Memories”

Micron’s New XPoint SSD Finally Arrives

Micron X100 3D XPoint SSDAt its October Insight Conference Micron Technology finally revealed its 3D XPoint SSD, dubbed the X100.

While the company didn’t disclose too much about the device, it did brag about its speed, claiming that the X100 is the world’s fastest SSD, running three times faster than the fastest NAND flash SSDs and almost three times the speed of other XPoint SSDs.  The product is said to Continue reading “Micron’s New XPoint SSD Finally Arrives”

The Memory/Storage Hierarchy

Memory/Storage ThumbnailIt recently dawned on me that one of the charts that I most frequently use in my presentations has never been explained in The SSD Guy blog.  This is a serious oversight that I will correct with this post.

The Memory/Storage Hierarchy (also called the Storage/Memory Hierarchy, depending on your perspective) is a very simply way to Continue reading “The Memory/Storage Hierarchy”

Podcast: Flash Memory Summit 2019

GreybeardsThose of you who enjoy listening to podcasts may want to hear Ray Lucchesi (Silverton Consulting) and Keith Townsend (The CTO Advisor) interview The SSD Guy for their series “Greybeards on Storage.”

This interview is the series’ 86th episode covering the world of storage.  These guys do a fantastic job of probing this industry with great enthusiasm and insight.

This episode is a 40-minute compendium of the sights and goings-on at the August 2019 Flash Memory Summit along with observations on the industry in general.  It’s not strictly structured, and not strictly serious, but just three industry insiders having a lot of fun sharing their observations.

Some of the broad range of subjects that Continue reading “Podcast: Flash Memory Summit 2019”

Start-Up Fadu Launches New SSD Controller

Fadu, a startup out of Korea, made a big  splash at the Flash Memory Summit to announce its new NVMe SSD controllers that don’t compromise speed to achieve low-power operation.

The company’s products are focused on quality of service (QOS) in enterprise-style 24/7 workloads with the aim of enabling the transition to NVMe in Enterprise and Hyperscale data centers, the fastest-growing segments in the SSD market.  Some readers may recall that Fadu won the 2018 FMS Best-of-Show award in the “Most Innovative Flash Memory Technology” category for an earlier generation of products.

The company’s founding team comes from Samsung and Hynix with a CEO (Jihyo Lee) from Bain Capital.  Lee gave a keynote address at the Flash Memory Summit simply titled: “Enterprise SSD: The Future”

The new SSD controller, Annapurna, is a Continue reading “Start-Up Fadu Launches New SSD Controller”