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Surveying emerging SSD offerings

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The fast developing solid-state storage market offers a variety of implementation choices. By carefully assessing your needs, you’ll be able to make the right product selection.

It's been a challenge to adapt traditional shared storage architectures to solid-state drive (SSD) performance, opening the door for an array of startups that bring diverse implementations of solid-state storage to the market. These implementations range from full solid-state storage systems to server-based solid-state caching devices to hybrid arrays that pair a modest amount of solid-state with traditional spinning disks.

With so many options, evaluating the alternatives can be difficult, but approaching the task from a use-case perspective can help.

Addressing extreme performance demands

Solid-state technologies are more frequently being considered as alternatives for applications with extreme performance demands. The most demanding apps are often data analytics, digital imaging, financial transactions, transactional messaging data, and similar high-throughput processes that are either latency sensitive or critical because they’re directly tied to business revenue. Given the level of performance required, users may opt for 100% solid-state systems.

As shared storage alternatives, pure solid-state offerings are available from vendors such as Nimbus Data, Pure Storage, Skyera, SolidFire, Violin Memory and Whiptail. At their heart, each offering

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is about performance. Beyond sheer speed, features may vary widely, especially when it comes to capacity and scaling. Consider these systems if your performance needs are extreme, and make sure their scaling capabilities meet your future needs.

This was first published in September 2012

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