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Solid State Storage - why it's already changed IT and what's coming

Headshot 100X100.jpgBy Calvin Zito, @HPStorageGuy  vexpert 2012 logo.gif


SNW Fall is happening in Santa Clara, yet another event I can't attend as my wife and daughter are enjoying a fabulous trip through Europe. One of the hot topics that will be certainly getting a lot of attention is solid state storage.  My colleague Vish Mulchand, Director of Product Management, joined me late Friday night to record this podcast with me as he presents a session at SNW about solid state technology. 


Vish Mulchand_SNW SSD session.pngIt's a great discussion with Vish - here's an outline of what we covered:

  • Why has solid state changed the IT landscape?
  • Where are the different places customers can deploy solid state storage technology?
  • We discussed when to use solid state technology?
  • Lastly we talked about HP's offerings that include solid state - this is a short discussion and isn't part of Vish's SNW presentation. 

Here's the podcast with Vish:



If you rather download this as a podcast, right click here and save the MP3 file. You can also subscribe to my podcast on iTunes - go to the iTunes store and search for "Around the Storage Block" or you can open this link and click on the "View in iTunes" button under my picture.


What else is happening at SNW?

If you happen to be at SNW in Santa Clara, here are a some of the sessions I'd recommend.


Title: Implementing for the Next Era –How a next-generation storage infrastructure kept Enterprise Product Partners energy flowing
Date Wednesday, Oct 17, 2012, Time: 9:45am –10:15am

Title: Supporting A Mobile Workforce –Meeting Demands for Streamlined Desktop Virtualization
Date: Wednesday, Oct 17, 2012, Time: 11:40am –12:30pm

Title: Architectural design considerations in de-duplication solutions
Date: Thursday, Oct 18, 2012, Time: 4:05pm –4:50pm


Title: Solid State Storage –Why it’s Already Changed IT and What’s Coming
Date: Friday, Oct 19, 2012, Time: 9:25am –10:10am


Lastly, during the podcast I mentioned that recent podcast I did with Juan Ramirez, Senior Director of IT for the Tampa Bay Rays where Juan talks about how he's using tiered storage with SSD.  I highly recommend you listen to that.  Hope you're having a great weekend!

shrinipan | ‎10-14-2012 07:44 AM

missing the chance.................

nate | ‎10-16-2012 05:02 PM

SSD accelerated new writes please! I've been blogging about that for what feels like at least two years now(just checked and I see a post from April 2010 where I mentioned it with regards to GridIron specifically), I've mentioned it directly to 3PAR on many occasions.


The two technologies that come from more traditional storage that are in this space that I know of are EMC's FAST (which is of course both a read and a write back cache), and Compellent's "send all writes to the top tier by default).


Then there are the true hybrid architectures like Nimble, Tintri, and even Xiotech's Hyper-thingamajig.


So much of this other SSD acceleration focuses on the easy problem - accelerating reads. Whether it's NetApp's stuff(PAM or whatever), or Fusion IO's inline caching solution, then there's larger appliances like Gridiron which is also a read cache only. I'm sure there are tons more though.


Qlogic is coming out with a product soon (announced on their web page I don't think it ships until January), called their Mt rainer technology which does host-based SSD read AND write caching  (they do write caching with some sort of host-based mirroring) and is still vmotion compatible.  I believe NetApp is going to support that tech on their systems.  I don't know if the tech is any good and it may take some time to mature, but it's one of the rare solutions that does write acceleration. I'm not as interested in host-based technology, would rather have array based, though having the option is always nice.


Come on HP (& 3PAR), don't let me down show the world some SSD write acceleration love! (and when I say write acceleration I mean writes to any block on the storage system, not blocks that were previously detected as "hot" and moved to SSD using sub LUN tiering).


Please! Please!  P L E A S E !


I beg you...


If you have to know, yes the workload on my current 3PAR storage is 90% write. But that is not the reason for my request, the reason for my request is the #1 storage performance issue I have had over the years is a random  operation coming out of left field and slamming the storage system and blowing out all of the caches, something that in my experience for the most part could be easily addressed with say a half TB of SSDs used to take that hit. I can't be the only one who has had that problem.


nate | ‎10-16-2012 05:49 PM

Thinking back to last year - I even mentioned it directly to David Scott himself in a conference he gave in the Bay Area, when he opened the floor to questions my main question was SSD caching, citing specifically that tools like AO and DO are great tools but they are not real time.


He tried to say 3PAR already has lots of cache, then I pushed him again on it saying specifically I was referring to SSD as a cache rather than RAM cache.


His response was he felt the topic was too technical to address to the broader audience.


3PAR needs this technology badly, in order to be able to truely gracefully handle the un predictable I/O of that stupid buzzword cloud.


I don't know how much louder I can shout though I think my digital voice is getting hoarse.


John_H | ‎10-17-2012 11:17 AM

Nate you need to read the small print on the other solutions out there, they are far from perfect and have had and continue to have issues in many cases. Flash is really good for reads but can under many circumstances be very poor at writes, so it's not necessarily the panacea you assume. Like the Podcast said It's early days for SSD and you'll see lots more development in the near future including more intelligent solutions, rather than the brute force, time to market approach that has been common for many vendors up to now.

| ‎10-17-2012 04:17 PM

Nate - I'm talking to one of my senior solution architects about your question and I think it's a great topic for a follow up podcast/blog post. My SA thinks our HP IO Accelerator is what you're looking for.  The HP IO Accelerator is 20x the performance of an SSD with a 30% premium - so when putting flash in the BladeSystem makes more sense than in the storage array, HP has the best solution in the industry. 


In an email, my SA said, "After 3 years, HP is still the only vendor with a Blade Mezz and the ioTurbine SW from Fusion-io gives you a VMotion/DRS ready solution for Windows and Linux VMs to use to handle major IO performance.  And the cards compliment the SAN, taking the read load off so it can do more.  EMC's cards (VFCache)do not support VMware’s DRS.  Plus their cards are more expensive and much smaller.  Cost and size matters with Flash."


Can't wait to do a podcast with him to go deeper on this... stay tuned.

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25+ years experience around HP Storage. The go-to guy for news and views on all things storage..

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