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January 23, 2009


Gene Ruth

Who was that guy who made the borage comment anyway?

Near the end of the blog you capture the true nature of what SSDs do for the industry – drive innovation. We’ve been trapped within the confines of a hard disk drive so long that it’s difficult to think out of the box. SSD technologies open the box and drive a whole new thought pattern around persistent storage. Storage vendors are all struggling with how to implement around SSDs – whether to take baby steps or big leaps. We should see some interesting new products this year. One key thing is: will vendors charge a premium for SSD performance or will they pass on savings and establish a new performance VS cost expectation? Hard to tell…

What’s equally interesting is how SSDs challenge the infrastructure all around them – look at some of the comments on my SSD blogs. Traditional RAID may not apply, busses are too slow, driver stacks have too much latency, form factors don’t apply, performance is not linear and on and on…

Gene Ruth, Senior Storage Analyst, Burton Group

Robert Wipfel

With new APIs like WriteAtomic() [1], and Transactional Memory for parallel programming, and a maturing of userspace transport stacks and file systems like OpenFabrics and FUSE respectively, and 10GigE, and ANSI T10 DIF for e2e Data Integrity, and SAN support for e2e QoS over Data Center enhanced Ethernet / FCoE, and CPU support for continuous state replication plus core isolation, *everything* we've been assuming about conventional distributed systems and OS design, is changing (unless familiar with OS design for parallel distributed memory machines like the transputer, and languages like Occam or nowadays Erlang). Jim Gray (RIP) proposed [2] that disks be replaced with storage bricks that provide an Ethernet based web services storage protocol (and have some completely different internal protocol unrelated to SCSI).

Interesting times indeed ;-)


[1] http://storagemojo.com/category/ssdflash-disk/
[2] http://queue.acm.org/detail.cfm?id=864078

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