I just took your quiz on the six S's to SAN (check below). Even though I knew that SSD was not a structural component of a SAN, are you making a point that SSD is not a potentially useful tool in a SAN?
What is your professional opinion in relationship to solid-state storage implementation as a caching/accelerator solution in a SAN environment? Based on your knowledge of SSD performance and cost, at what price/performance ratio would it make sense to go SSD? I know it's an incomplete question without an exact SAN deployment scenario but let's assume that IOPS and access time are a priority/bottlenecks. At what $/IO ratio should one go with SSD?
Many thanks in anticipation of your feedback.
Well I don't have a $/IO bar to tell you. I used to be a big believer in SSDs for SAN applications but the potential has not been unlocked by software to really make them fantastic. Unfortunately, the software has to be integrated with file system software which is not the sort of thing that a bunch of hardware people in an SSD company know how to do. Software people won't find a big enough market to enable it to work. The "value chain" for a healthy SSD business has never been established.
An SSD is basically an emulated, fast disk. It is not a disk cache, per se. Some people have been able to justify them for transaction processing performance. Most applications do not require this kind of I/O performance around the clock, so the challenge has been making them shareable by different applications during the day when they are creating maximum I/O loads. Sharing an SSD with multiple applications depends on the ability of administrators to maintain scripts and manage data copies between the SSD and the application's permanent storage location.
SSDs can solve I/O performance problems when it is clear that there are I/O bottlenecks. However, I/O bottlenecks are not the main issue most people are trying to solve today with SANs -- storage management costs are -- and SSDs add cost to storage management by increasing the complexity.
From the Editor: The quiz mentioned above appears in this week's newsletter. If you missed and would like to take a shot, here it is.
There are six S's to SAN, according to Scott Drummond, IBM's storage networking program director. Which of the following is NOT one of them?
e. SAN fabric
Click to see if you are correct: http://www.searchStorage.com/originalContent/0,289142,sid5_gci847981,00.html.
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This was first published in September 2002