Seagate Jumps into PCIe SSDs with Virident

Seagate adds PCI Express SSDs from ViridentSeagate Technology has made a $40 million investment in Virident Systems and has already begun to offer Virident PCIe SSDs to its customers.  This was announced on January 28 by the two companies.

Objective Analysis issued an Alert a few hours after the announcement to our clients. Some items we pointed out: Continue reading “Seagate Jumps into PCIe SSDs with Virident”

How to Locate a Storage Bottleneck

Screenshot of the WIOCP in actionFew Sysadmins really understand what’s happening in the storage interface of their systems, yet there’s a lot of talk about SSDs with wide-ranging IOPS figures along with case studies of how these have helped solve system slowdowns.  The big question is: “How do you determine what your storage bottleneck is, and even whether or not one exists at all?”

Tom Coughlin and I discovered a very low level of understanding of this issue when we performed the IOPS survey late last year that we documented in our report: How Many IOPS do You Really Need?  A disconcerting number of respondents gave replies that Continue reading “How to Locate a Storage Bottleneck”

How Software Can Hamper SSD Performance

UCSD: Latency of Various Media for 4KB Random ReadsMy company has received some questions lately asking why we think SSDs will cause a lot of software to need reconfiguration.  This can be relatively easily answered with the text below, which is copied out of our most recent report: How Many IOPS is Enough?  This report was co-authored with Coughlin Associates.  (The full report can be purchased for immediate download on the Objective Analysis website.)  Here it is:

Why Software Latency is an Issue

Although SSDs will usually provide a significant boost to system performance, the full speed advantage of an SSD cannot be realized Continue reading “How Software Can Hamper SSD Performance”

How Many IOPS Do You Really Need?

From Report: "How Many IOPS Do You Really Need?"

IT professionals find it difficult to determine which SSD or flash array to buy or even whether they can get the speed they need from standard HDDs.  There is an extraordinarily wide rage of IOPS (from hundreds to millions), latencies, and capacities, and this can be confusing.  A new Objective Analysis report: How Many IOPS Do You Really Need provides, through a survey of IT managers and other end users, an understanding of the performance needs of various applications including IOPS, latency, and capacity.

This report answers questions that have never previously Continue reading “How Many IOPS Do You Really Need?”

SSDs that Don’t Wear Out

The End of NAND Flash Wear?This is a bad day for The SSD Guy.  I just finished publishing an eight-part series explaining How Controllers Maximize SSD Life, then my evil twin The Memory Guy today published a post telling of a new flash design from Macronix that might just eliminate the flash wear-out mechanism!

But my concerns are inconsequential compared to the feelings of all those folks who have devoted phenomenal time and energy to develop wear management algorithms.

This all stems from an article in the IEEE Spectrum that details a flash chip design that Continue reading “SSDs that Don’t Wear Out”

Intel Intros Fast Datacenter SATA SSD

IOPS Over Time - Competing SSD vs. Intel DC S3700Today Intel announced a new SATA III SSD, the DC S3700 Series.  The new product is fast, supporting 75,000 random 4K read IOPS and 36,000 random 4K write IOPS.  Average read latency is 45microseconds (µs) with writes averaging 65µs.  Sustained sequential reads are 500 megabytes/sec with sustained sequential writes at 460.  The read performance of this SSD, although a SATA device, is twice that of Intel’s 710 PCIe SSD announced in April, and writes are a full 15 times faster.  Intel calls this performance: “Scary fast!”

Intel says this device is its best Continue reading “Intel Intros Fast Datacenter SATA SSD”

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 “SNW SSD Shortage”

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 “Storage Developer Conference Focuses on SSDs”

IOPS Survey – Still Seeking Participants

Please Take the 5-Minute IOPS SurveyTom Coughlin and I are still seeking IT professional inputs for our 5-minute IOPS survey.

Please take a brief moment to share your thoughts on the importance of I/O in your system. It’s only 5 multiple-choice questions.

Click HERE and let us know what kind of storage performance you need. Even a hunch is good.

Many thanks!

 

An ReRAM SSD Design

Chuo University EmblemA colleague pointed The SSD Guy to an ExtremeTech article about researchers at Japan’s Chuo University who have designed an SSD that uses a resistive RAM (ReRAM) as a buffer and is built using TSV technology.  The design was presented at the IEEE’s 2012 Symposium on VLSI Circuits this month in Hawaii.  A Nikkei article gives additional information.

The basic architecture reminds me of an FRAM + NAND SSD design that a Korean university presented at the Flash Memory Summit a few years ago.  Either approach gets past the problem of using a failure-prone battery, a temperature-sensitive supercap, or a big bulky bank of Continue reading “An ReRAM SSD Design”