Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Today I'll continue with a couple flash topics from last month and provide some links and comments regarding the news and developments announced at the recent VMworld conference.

When the SSD hype started first around 2007/2008, there was a widespread belief that SSD would be a temporary and intermediate technology: The "write penalty" and very limited durability seemed to be obstacles to a successful use and implementation in enterprise storage systems. Now, the industry has fixed many of these issues, partly by using smart controller designs (wear-leveling) partly by improving SSD core technology (eMLC, TLC, 3D-Flash, ...)
At the same time, industrialization of more advanced "storage class memory" like PCM (phase change memory) and MRAM (magnetoresistive random access memory) has taken a backseat to the current hype around NAND flash. Read the complete analysis in CW here:
"It's going to be a long time until NAND flash runs out of steam," said Jim Handy, an analyst at Objective Analysis, during a presentation."

There's an interesting possible combination of technologies which so far (to my knowledge) has not been productized: Flash storage and deduplication: Greenbites proposes the use of Flash storage to achieve " ...deduplication tech that has near-zero latency and possibly offers the world's fastest in line deduplication." Seems to make a lot of sense: deduplication has an inherent requirement for very low latency read operations (to compare data patterns while deduplicating at ingest) and Flash is still a very expensive way to store data -so you want to avoid duplicate data. Combining the two seems kind of obvious!
And Violin, one of the most visible startups in the realm of Flash Systems, is getting ready to an IPO!
Looking at how detached from the real-world economy Wall St. recently seems to be, I'm honestly not sure that's a good thing - but some people will earn some serious money...

Unrelated to Flash, the article here caught my interest: "On Tuesday, Nasuni introduced a cloud-to-cloud mirroring option to give customers extra assurance that their data will be available in case of a service outage. The same day, cloud-to-cloud backup vendor Backupify added more choices for where users can have their data sent."
We all have heard about the outages of the likes of Amazon and Google, so backing up your data in multiple clouds seems to be the smart thing to do! Here's a nice way to visualize this (and I wonder how long it will take until we see cloud companies with meteorology-names like Cumulus and Nimbostratus...

On to VMworld which took place in San Francisco (unfortunately, I did not attend but supposedly 22'000 folks did!): while they had a zillion of press releases and announcements, many of the new functions and strategies revolve around two areas: The network and storage.
"VMware NSX is a software-defined network (SDN) that uses controllers and overlay networking. I'll examine just a few of the key aspects of the announcement and how they apply to your data center strategy." See additional background here.

Not to be confused with CISCO VSANs, the storage integration/tiering functions in VMware are now captured under that same terminology: " VMware launched the public beta of VSAN (virtual SAN), its software for pooling server-based flash among multiple physical servers. VSAN creates what is effectively a hybrid storage array using flash and hard disk drives on each of a cluster of servers."

No comments: