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Flash Memory to Replace Fibre Channel Disks? Featured

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Although "The times, they are a changin" are the lyrics to a real old Bob Dylan song, they sure seem to be prophetic as they pertain to the storage industry today. In just a few short years, we have seen the fall of Fibre Channel and the introduction of SAS storage as the mainstay of SAN storage.

Now it seems even EMC is predicting the rise of Flash memory based drives as the new standard in storage as the prices of memory keep falling.  The reasons are clear, performance, performance, performance.

But Flash and SSD don't even need to be the largest component of a SAN to have a huge impact. Let's take a modular storage array as an example. Many of todays modular arrays come standard with 32GB of cache memory across two controllers which usually mirror the cache for high availability. If we put 200TB of SATA storage in the array, the cache component is actually less that one tenth of one percent of the total storage. That would seem almost useless from most perspectives, but even that little bit of cache really does have a huge affect on performance. If you add only one percent of SSD at the fabric level on top of your existing storage arrays, your SAN performance will improve ONE HUNDRED PERCENT! The cost factor of SSD has been a major issue for SSD adoption, but costs are now coming down. The other major stumbling block has been the ability to share expensive SSD storage resources across multiple applications based on policy. In many cases SSD LUNS inside a storage array tend to be dedicated to a specific mission critical app. FalconStor is now changing that paradigm by enabling policy based usage of SSD at the fabric layer which can be shared across all applications on demand!  The Network Storage Server (NSS) SAN accelerator with Violin SSD will automate the way high performance applications are used in a SAN.  Need more read performance? FalconStor HotZone will read ahead the data and place it on the SSD based on usage. Need more write performance? FalconStor SafeCache will cache all writes to the SSD for sub millisecond response times, and then write the data to disk on the fly.    You can find out more about FalconStor NSS SAN accelerator here: http://falconstor.dciginc.com/2010/03/falconstor-and-violin-memory.html

Chris Poelker

Chris Poelker

Chris Poelker is Falconstor's Vice President of Enterprise Solutions and author of Storage Area Networks for Dummies.

Website: www.falconstor.com E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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