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I/O: The next frontier
This article is part of the Storage magazine issue of Vol. 10 Num. 7 September 2011
Processors get faster, networking tech takes it up a notch and bus designs keep up the pace, but they may all be dragged down if we can’t find a fix for slow I/O performance. There’s no question I/O is the next frontier the computer industry must conquer. We’ve met the compute challenge reaffirming Moore’s Law over and over again as the industry doubles processing power every 12 months to 18 months. Memory speeds have also kept pace with the CPU, so processors and RAM can feed each other at similar speeds. In the realm of networking, the technologies seem to enjoy a big kick every three years to five years. With 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GbE) in the volume implementation stage and 40 Gig parts already available, we’re swimming in bandwidth. But all those advances may be held up by one laggard: I/O. It’s been causing havoc with application performance and putting a dent in productivity for years. To see why, we need to get down to basics. I/O is the transfer of data to or from a device that’s handled by the file system or operating...
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Features in this issue
One-quarter of our Storage magazine survey respondents use cloud backup, and are pleased enough to keep a big chunk of their backup data stored in the cloud.
Dell plus Compellent proved to be a strong combination, but not quite strong enough to overtake NetApp on our sixth Quality Awards survey for midrange arrays.
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.
Virtual servers need a good shared data storage system. All major networked storage protocols work with virtual machines, but some are better than others in certain environments.
Columns in this issue
Processors get faster, networking tech takes it up a notch and bus designs keep up the pace, but they may all be dragged down if we can’t find a fix for slow I/O performance.
Cloud-enabled storage arrays are among the ways that cautious end users are testing the cloud without the worry.
Software-only storage controllers running in virtual machines are an easy, economical way to get shared storage. But current products aren’t up to enterprise standards . . . yet.
Cloud storage is really a pretty simple concept, so how the heck did it get so complicated?