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SSD technologies and where are they being deployed?

March 13th, 2012 by Steven Schwartz
en:Wiring and structure of NAND flash cells.

Image via Wikipedia

We all know that the likes of Fusion IO have been around now for a few years and selling server based Flash acceleration for high prices.  What is less known is that TMS (Texas Memory Systems) has been selling flash storage (SAN) for several years quite successfully.  TMS is also one of the few storage vendors that has native support for IB storage connectivity.  DDN (Data Direct Networks) is another to have native IB storage controllers.  However, I’ve recently come across a vendor V3, that uses both IB and Solid State storage in an area where commodity has always won the technology battle, not speed or features.


VDI appliances are on the rise, and V3 is known for having a rock solid VDI appliance model.  I’ve seen it recently deployed in an ESX configuration for VMWare View.  This configuration utilized both IB and SSD to provide the fastest access to both data and storage infrastructure.  The use of the V3 appliance proved to be quicker to deploy, scaled to this customers needs, and helped reduce latency and boot times.


The appearance of SSD technology for application acceleration isn’t a new concept, however, it appears recently that it is very prevalent in Virtual Desktop Infrastructure designs.  On the acceleration side, NetApp has been using solid state storage in it’s PAM devices for several years as a caching engine for NAS reads.  NetApp has changed the name of PAM to Flash Cache in recent history, however, the use model is basically the same.  HDS and LSI have implemented models of SSD drives for most of the array models available to end-users.  These disk systems can utilize the SSDs as traditional volumes, or in some cases for specific application acceleration (read HNAS File System cache).  Of course, SSD drives are still at a 10x premium over more traditional spinning disk technologies.  Heck, most storage vendors have some level of support for SSD drives these days, however, I don’ t think there has been a good enough marketing push to show where they are valued.


I’m personally excited to see the movement toward shared SSD storage for use in virtualization, indexes for databases, and application acceleration.





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Posted in Enterprise, IO Virtualization, NetApp, NFS, SAN and NAS, VMWare | No Comments »