The Guide to Selecting Flash for Virtual Environments

Good post by George Crump (thank you)

High performance flash based storage has dramatically improved the storage infrastructure’s ability to respond to the demands of servers and the applications that count on it. Nowhere does this improvement have more potential than in the virtualized server environment. The performance benefits of flash are so great that it can be deployed indiscriminately and still performance gains can be seen. But doing so may not allow the environment to take full advantage of flash performance. It may also be a much more expensive deployment model and put data at risk. Modern data centers need to understand which forms of flash and which deployment models will show the greatest return on investment while not risking any data.

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OCZ’s NVMe SSDs provide Lower Latency and Faster, more Consistent Performance

Post by George Crump (thank you)

When non-volatile flash memory-based solid-state drives (SSDs) were introduced, the protocol support included SAS/SATA. These interfaces were designed for hard disk drives (HDDs) and had more latency than was ideal for flash, but it made for easier integration of SSDs into enterprise storage systems and servers since the existing infrastructure was built around HDDs. SSDs were forced into the mold of HDD storage including the physical interface, host control interface and storage logic. Though PCIe flash drives became a step in the right direction, they lacked the ease of implementation that SAS/SATA SSDs have and do not fully expose the performance that NAND flash can offer.

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Today’s Storage: Same As It Ever Was

Good post by Stephen Foskett (thank you)

Data storage has always been one of the most conservative areas of enterprise IT. There is little tolerance for risk, and rightly so: Storage is persistent, long-lived, and must be absolutely reliable. Lose a server or network switch and there is the potential for service disruption or transient data corruption, but lose a storage array (and thus the data on it) and there can be serious business consequences.

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IDC Predicts Increasing Cost of Enterprise Hard Disk Drives

Good post by Hu Yoshida (thank you)

IDC’s Worldwide Hard Disk Drive Forecast for 2015 to 2019, published in May 2015, predicts that “Slow HDD areal density (capacity per disk) growth means that a steadily increasing number of components per drive will be needed on average to reach higher capacity points, particularly for the enterprise segment. This dynamic will push the overall blended average HDD ASP higher each year over the forecast period….”

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3D NAND Poised to Break Down Flash Barriers

Good post by Scott D. Lowe (thank you)

In the early 2000s the Flash NAND manufacturers decided we were almost at a flash scaling brick wall. They assessed that 60nm was the maximum scaling they could ever achieve, but were looking into other creative solutions to allow for higher capacities without using smaller NAND cells. Here we are more than 10 years later and we have not hit a brick wall of flash NAND scaling yet, although it’s common knowledge that we are getting close to flash scaling limitations. The manufacturers can hear the familiar drum beat of progress getting ever fainter with each new generation of NAND flash.

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Docker: What do Storage Pros need to know?

Good post by George Crump (thank you)

Docker was created to solve the problems that organizations face when they implement server virtualization on a wide scale; overhead and inefficiency. These challenges occur because virtualization is a sledgehammer to the problem it was designed to solve; allow multiple applications to run simultaneously on the same physical hardware in such a way that if one application fails the rest of the applications are not impacted. This is the real goal of virtualization, isolation of applications so that a misbehaving application does not impact another application or its resources.

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Getting to know the Network Block Device Transport in VMware vStroage APIs for Data Protection

Post by Abdul Rasheed (thank you)

When you backup a VMware vSphere virtual machine using vStorage APIs for Data Protection (VADP), one of the common ways to transmit data from VMware data store to backup server is through Network Block Device (NBD) transport. NBD is a Linux-like module that attaches to VMkernel and makes the snapshot of the virtual machine visible to backup server as if the snapshot is a block device on network. While NBD is quite popular and easy to implement, it is also the least understood transport mechanisms in VADP based backups.

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The Benefits of a Cloud Integrated Hyper-converged Architecture

Post by George Crump (thank you)

Hyper-converged architectures (HCA) consolidate compute, storage and networking onto a single server and then through software, aggregate these servers, creating a shared pool of resources. These resources can then be allocated to virtual machines (VMs) based on their performance and capacity demands. The goal is to simplify the purchasing, implementation and operation of the data center by consolidating or converging it. The logical next step for HCA is to extend its capabilities to the cloud allowing data centers of all sizes to achieve greater flexibility and resilience from disaster.

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When Solid State Drives are not that solid

Post by Adam Surak (thank you)

It looked just like another page in the middle of the night. One of the servers of our search API stopped processing the indexing jobs for an unknown reason. Since we build systems in Algolia for high availability and resiliency, nothing bad was happening. The new API calls were correctly redirected to the rest of the healthy machines in the cluster and the only impact on the service was one woken-up engineer. It was time to find out what was going on.

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Faster Ethernet Gets Weird

Good post by Stephen Foskett (thank you)

Once upon a time there was Ethernet. Every half decade or so, the industry got together and worked out a faster version. Sometimes they didn’t totally agree, but a standard emerged at 10x the speed of the previous version. Throw all that out the window: Faster Ethernet is coming, and it’s going to be weird!

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