In a joint press release, SanDisk and IBM announced support for each other’s products. The IBM Spectrum Scale filesystem will support SanDisk’s InfiniFlash all-flash array to provide a high-capacity high-speed software-defined storage system.
At first glance this may seem a little odd, since IBM sells its own all-flash array, the FlashSystem, which became an IBM product line when the company acquired Texas Memory Systems (TMS) back in 2012. That is not the case, though. IBM has been validating that its Spectrum Storage products will work with just about any storage type that its customers may want to use. Rather than narrowing this software’s support to only IBM storage systems, IBM is showing that Spectrum Scale is flexible enough to work with a multitude of solutions, supporting InfiniFlash the same as it does other internal server capacity and other external storage in the form of JBODs (“Just a Bunch of Disks”) or JBOFs (“Just a Bunch of Flash”).
In this case IBM has worked with SanDisk to validate that its Spectrum Scale storage management software works with InfiniFlash, just as it does with those many other storage solutions.
In the announcement IBM explains that Continue reading “IBM Software + SanDisk Hardware”
Seagate announced last week that the company had shipped a total of 10 million Solid State Hybrid Drives (SSHDs) over the lifetime of the product. This is far short of expectations by The SSD Guy and a number of other analysts and industry participants.
Why were our expectations higher? There were a few reasons:
- The hybrid drive can be viewed as an evolution of the DRAM cache already incorporated into nearly all HDDs today. Replacing or augmenting an expensive DRAM cache with a slower, cheaper NAND cache makes a lot of sense.
- An SSHD performs significantly better than Continue reading “Hybrid Drives Not Catching On”
IBM today announced its FlashCache Storage Accelerator, a software product that supports flash caching in a broad range of systems. FlashCache operates over three families of IBM servers (System x, BladeCenter and Flex System) and a variety of flash types to accelerate any back-end storage, including non-IBM storage arrays.
Although the cache’s data is dynamically updated to match the random workloads of virtualized systems (i.e. to accelerate VMware), it also improves the performance of Windows and Linux environments.
The cache uses a Write Through policy to solve a number of Continue reading “IBM Adds Server-Side Caching”
Today 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 Continue reading “White Paper: Using Flash as Memory”
Diablo Technology has just introduced a new set of DIMMs that put flash memory right onto the DDR3 memory bus.
I can already hear readers saying: “Wait! You can’t do that!” Well, you’re right, but the new module comes awfully close to that by putting the NAND behind an ASIC that interfaces between the DDR3 bus and the NAND.
Why do this? Quite simply because you can get more “Bang for the Buck” by adding NAND to the system once you’ve reached a certain DRAM size. The Diablo “Memory Channel Storage” (MCS) approach supports the addition of terabytes of NAND at the loss of Continue reading “Diablo: Flash Belongs on the Bus”
OCZ has just introduced a new software/hardware combination aimed at accelerating the performance of Microsoft SQL Server. The OCZ ZD-XL SQL Accelerator combines a custom PCIe SSD with caching software optimized for the SQL Server workload. The company boasted that this product won the “Best of Interop 2013” award, a distinction certainly worth crowing about!
How does this product differ from standard caching software? OCZ tells us that the key elements required to Continue reading “OCZ Launches Database Accelerator”
I had the opportunity to participate in a round table webinar covering the best practices for solid state storage on July 18. The hour-long session (including Q&A) can be replayed at BrightTalk.
In this round table webinar entitled Best Practices for Solid State Storage Implementation storage analyst Tom Coughlin moderated three of us, Radoslav Danilak of Skyera, Esther Spanjer of SMART Storage Solutions, and The SSD Guy (Yours Truly) in a Continue reading “Webinar: Flash Best Practices”
SanDisk has rolled out a new revision of its FlashSoft server-side enterprise caching software that includes multiple improvements over the prior versions. The new release adds:
- Support for multiple SSDs of mixed sizes and types
- Concatenation of two or more SSDs into a single caching volume
- SSD mirroring for “Safe Write-Back” caching
- A maximum cache size increase from 1TB to 2TB
- 2,048 accelerated objects can be stored in each cache, up from the earlier release’s 255
The company prides itself in the ease with which the software and a server-side SSD can be added to a system without otherwise changing its storage architecture.
With the “Safe Write Back” feature the FlashSoft software has been upgraded Continue reading “SanDisk Upgrades FlashSoft Cache”
Seagate made two important statements on two successive days – March 4 and 5: First, the company disclosed plans to phase out its 7,200 RPM 2.5″ notebook HDDs, and second, Seagate announced a new line of Momentus XT hybrid hard drives, which the company calls: “Solid State Hybrid Drives” or “SSHDs.”
Are these two announcements related? Well, The SSD Guy thinks they are!
Higher-RPM HDDs help to accelerate disk accesses by a small percentage while a hybrid can boost speeds significantly. According to Seagate, Continue reading “Seagate Upgrades Hybrids, Phases Out 7,200RPM HDDs”
On October 23 along with the highly-anticipated announcement of the iPad 4, Apple rolled out new Macintosh computers that for the first time in an Apple product pairs an SSD with a conventional HDD to get the best combination of capacity, speed, and price. The company calls this its Fusion Drive, not to be confused with Fusion-io’s highly-regarded products.
The SSD Guy did not attend the announcement, and there is little on the Apple website. I contacted Apple, and they don’t have very much detail to share at this time. This is important to note, since Continue reading “Apple’s Fusion Drive – An SSD Cache for the Macintosh”