It seems not so long ago that there were frequent press releases, and showings at trade shows, of “Hero” SSDs. These demonstration models (which weren’t always released as products) always had some unique and impressive attribute. They may have had a higher capacity than any SSD known to humankind, or perhaps they had phenomenal endurance. Some broke the IOPS barrier.
The SSD Guy doesn’t remember anyone Continue reading “Whatever Happened to “Hero” SSDs?”
Over the past year there has been a rash of SSD failures unmatched by any prior year. This came to a head a month ago when Apple’s M1 Mac started to show undue SSD wear. It seems that people trapped at home and working remotely have taken up new habits on their notebook PCs (most of which now use SSDs) and these habits are causing their SSDs to wear out faster than they have in other, more normal years.
The “Work from Home” phenomenon has not only caused Continue reading “Failures Plague SSDs”
The 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”
At January’s SNIA Persistent Memory Summit Intel was promoting a book titled: Programming Persistent Memory. This book, aimed at programmers, explains how to develop applications programs that take advantage of persistent memory (PM) to avoid slower persists to SSDs, and also shows how to use Intel’s Optane DIMMs to increase a system’s main memory size.
On the software side the book explains Continue reading “New Book Explains Persistent Memory Programming”
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!”
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”
Those 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”
I was recently reminded of a presentation made by GoDaddy way back in the 2013 Flash Memory Summit in which I first heard the statement: “Failure is not an option — it is a requirement!” That’s certainly something that got my attention! It just sounded wrong.
In fact, this expression was used to describe a very pragmatic approach the company’s storage team had devised to determine the exact maximum load that could be supported by any piece of its storage system.
This is key, since, at the time, GoDaddy claimed to be the world’s largest web hosting service with 11 million users, 54 million domains registered, over 5 million hosting accounts, with a 99.9% uptime guarantee (although the internal goal was 99.999% – five nines!)
The presenters outlined four stages of how validation processes had Continue reading “Failure is Not an Option — It’s a Requirement!”
A recent Storage Newsletter article argues that SSD prices are approaching HDD prices, and that the gap has narrowed to only a 2.7 times difference.
Upon closer inspection, though, the reader will note that this is only true at lower capacities. The narrowing price gap at lower capacities has always existed in this market. The SSD Guy was making that argument back in 2007!
This post’s graphic shows a chart from the first report ever published by Objective Analysis over a decade ago: The Solid State Disk Market – A Rigorous Look.
The point of this chart was to illustrate that, at low capacities, SSDs are cheaper, while at higher capacities HDDs provide lower-priced storage.
The concept is simple: It’s uneconomical for an Continue reading “Are SSDs Approaching Price Parity with HDDs?”
The Storage Developer Conference in September gave a rare glimpse into two very different directions that SSD architectures are pursuing. While some of the conference’s presentations touted SSDs with increasing processing power (Eideticom, NGD, Samsung, and ScaleFlux) other presentations advocated moving processing power out of the SSD and into the host server (Alibaba, CNEX, and Western Digital).
Why would either of these make sense?
A standard SSD has a very high internal bandwidth that encounters a bottleneck as data is forced through a narrower interface. It’s easy to see that an SSD with 20+ NAND chips, each with an 8-bit interface, could access all 160 bits simultaneously. Since there’s already a processor inside the SSD, why not open it to external programming so that it can perform certain tasks within the SSD itself and harness all of that bandwidth?
Example tasks would include Continue reading “SSDs Need Controllers with More, NO! Less Power”