Data Retention for Dummies

Good post by Chris Mellor (thank you) over at El Reg

All is confusion. The old certainties are gone. New certainties just don’t exist. The shifting shapes, players, products and technologies in the storage landscape are seen through fog. How the heck does everything fit together?

After four days in Silicon Valley meeting startups the bewilderment ratio us even higher. It’s like Dragons’ Den, where each new player is shinier and brighter than the previous one, becomes your favourite but then, as sure as eggs are eggs, will be eclipsed by the next one.

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What is NVMe? And what does it mean for PCIe-SSD?

Good post by George Crump (thank you)

There are two constants in data center storage; the need for greater performance and the need for greater capacity. Flash based storage devices have become the go-to option to address the first challenge. But application owners and users quickly move from an initial euphoria with flash performance to demanding more. Since the flash NAND is essentially the constant in the equation, the surrounding infrastructure has to evolve to extract optimal performance from the technology. But achieving maximum performance often leads to proprietary architectures and designs. NVMe (Non Volatile Memory) is a new industry standard that enables data centers to realize full flash potential without compatibility headaches.

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Throwing hardware at a software problem

Good post by Robin Harris (thank you)

Maybe software will eat the world, but sometimes the physical world gives software indigestion. That fact was evident at the Flash Memory Summit this month.

As mentioned in Flash slaying the latency dragon? several companies were showing remote storage accesses – using NVMe and hopped up networks – in the 1.5 to 2.5µsec range. That’s roughly 500 times better than the ≈1msec averages seen on today’s flash storage.

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Diablo Memory 1 Takes Memory Channel Flash To The Next Level

Good post by Stephen Foskett (thank you)

I’ve written about Diablo Technologies in the past, and they’re been part of Tech Field Day and my other events. The company’s products have always blurred the line between storage and memory, placing flash chips on memory modules and leveraging the fast, low-latency memory channel rather than the PCI or SATA/SAS bus. Memory 1 does one better, delivering a true flash DIMM that works in virtually any server.

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Native PCI Express Back-end Interconnect in FlashArray//m

Good post by Roland Dreier (thank you)

Many storage users are familiar with ALUA, or Asymmetric Logical Unit Access. This describes storage where some paths don’t work at all or give lower performance, because of standby controllers, volumes associated with a controller, or other architectural reasons.  The Pure Storage FlashArray provides symmetric access to storage — any IO to any volume on any port always gets the same performance.

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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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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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Facebook’s SSD findings: Failure, fatigue and the data center

Post by Robin Harris (thank you)

SSDs revolutionized data storage, even though we know little about how well they work. Now researchers at Facebook and Carnegie-Mellon share millions of hours of SSD experience.

Millions of SSDs are bought every year. It’s easy to be impressed by fast boots and app starts. But what about 24/7 data center operations? What are the common problems that admins should be concerned about?

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SSD Endurance. What does it mean to you?

Good post by Andrey Kudryavtsev (thank you)

I continuously think about the endurance aspect of our products, how SSD users understand it and use it for its positive benefits. Sadly, endurance is often underestimated and sometimes overestimated. I see customers buying High Endurance products for the benefit of protection, without understanding the real requirements of the application. Now that piece of night thoughts goes to my blog.

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