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Super Charge Your Storage with Solid State Featured

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The need for speed has been and will always be the most relevant driver for new technology development – faster cars, faster airplanes, faster trains, and obviously faster computers. But why? Well the answer is simple.

The pilot who has the faster fighter jet wins the battle, the guy who has the faster car gets the blond, and the CIO who has the fastest IT infrastructure, well, he gets to keep his job.

When it comes to computers there are three distinct components that contribute to the speed factor: the CPU and its number of cycles per second, the storage and the number of input/output operations per second (IOPS), and the connectivity or the network and the number of bits that it can transfer per second. But when we look at the development curve of storage, we can clearly notice that, although the capacity growth rate has been keeping up with Moore’s law, the storage has been lagging behind from a performance delivery perspective (the IOPS).

The limitation of storage speed comes primarily from the mechanical components of a disk drive. While CPU development has focused on adding more transistors, the speed of reads and writes of a spinning disk is physically limiting. This is further compounded by the rapidly growing capacity of hard disk drives. The arrival of scalable and stable solid-state memory solutions in the past couple of years is allowing the storage performance to finally catch up with the rest of the infrastructure. The technology has many other benefits beyond the speed factor: a solid state drive (SSD) is lighter, consumes less energy, produces much less heat, and above all produces no noise so you don’t have to shout at your colleague to get heard in a datacenter (although there may be other reasons you still need to do that!).

But solid state memory is still quite expensive, so building a whole storage infrastructure on the technology is not within everyone’s reach – at least not at today’s price tag. Ultimately the price of solid state is going to come down to a level where it may be realistic even for smaller organizations; after all, consumers already have access to the technology embedded in many of the latest laptops. So what is needed is a really smart way to leverage the technology for what it does best without breaking the budget. In my next blog I’ll address how you can intelligently use solid state memory technology to turbo boost your applications and storage (any storage) in a cost effective manner.

Fadi Albatal

Fadi Albatal

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