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Status report: Solid-state storage
This article is part of the IT in Europe issue of March 2012
Solid-state storage has carved out a niche in the storage ecosystem, establishing itself as a viable alternative for high-performance applications. Solid-state disk is, of course, nothing of the sort. Whereas a disk is a round, flat object, solid-state storage is really just memory chips. That may seem like a silly semantic distinction, but it’s actually important to bear that in mind when architecting a data access solution. Solid-state drives (SSDs), also referred to as flash memory and flash cache, have more in common with memory -- specifically cache memory -- than with spinning hard disk drives (HDDs). Although SSDs are commonly deployed “behind the storage-area network (SAN)” and provisioned as part of the total storage pool, they behave like large repositories of cache. That’s important to consider when designing solid-state storage into a storage solution. SSD chip technologies Three solid-state storage technologies dominate the market today: single-level cell (SLC), multi-level cell (MLC) and enterprise multi-level cell...
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Features in this issue
Enterprise flash now comes in a variety of form factors aimed at speeding I/O beyond what’s possible with spinning disk in server and desktop virtualisation scenarios.
Solid-state storage has carved out a niche in the storage ecosystem, establishing itself as a viable alternative for high-performance applications.
Vendors tout dollars per gigabyte per I/O, but figuring out what a data storage system will really cost your company is a much more complicated process.
Data storage technologies keep getting better, but storage vendors may just be up to their old tricks.
Could the latest and greatest buzzword in the storage biz be killing off some of the most useful storage technologies around?
Cloud backup services have seen increased adoption by SMBs, but with a choice of methods and tighter controls, cloud backup is now also a viable enterprise alternative.
All the old standards -- FC, iSCSI and NAS -- are still going strong, but FCoE and virtualized I/O are waiting in the wings to help remake our storage networks.