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  • Object storage architecture won't be pushing NAS out just yet

    Object storage is becoming more popular as the default storage choice for enterprises and large organizations. But it may not be time to ditch that NAS system quite yet. Continue Reading

  • NVM Express, NAND flash energize storage vendors

    Flash storage is the fastest-growing segment of the storage market, and there are a number of emerging drive technologies and flash standards that you should be aware of. The biggest news on the drive technology front that's happening today is the introduction of 3D NAND chips. These chips are stacked vertically to increase the density of cells on a single chip, which in turn increases overall capacity. Another key development is the use of TLC, or triple-level cell, flash in enterprise arrays, due to more sophisticated flash controllers that can balance the wear on these less expensive drives. This is becoming common today and it will further reduce flash costs, making the technology more appealing to a wider variety of organizations. It will also bring flash even closer to cost parity with hard disk drive systems, which may help to drive the popularity of all-flash arrays. As noted above, there are also a number of new flash drive standards aimed at ensuring that chips and drives from multiple vendors are compatible -- SATA Express and nonvolatile memory express. Our Drill Down on new drive technologies and standards will put these SATAe and NVM Express standards in context and explain the importance of both SATAe and NVM Express. You'll also learn about how NAND chips are evolving and possible successors to the technology. Continue Reading

  • Will the eMMC controller market keep up with flash innovation?

    EMMC host controllers may have a hard time handling advances in flash memory technology, like 3D NAND and newer connection interfaces, and competition from new markets. Continue Reading

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Manage Flash memory

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  • How eMMC 5.0 can improve your organization's small storage needs

    The latest eMMC specification puts the tiny flash storage devices on a level playing field with many SSDs when it comes to speed -- but eMMC is still the smallest flash drive. Continue Reading

  • How can medical imaging archive systems get the most from storage tech?

    In this Ask the Expert column, learn the most important storage technologies, including data deduplication and flash, to boost medical imaging archive systems. Continue Reading

  • Flash storage caching, tiering or both? Consider the workload

    If you're using a flash-based storage system, you're familiar with caching and tiering to accelerate data. Storage tiering is used in hybrid flash storage systems to separate active and inactive data. Active data is kept on the flash tier, while inactive data is moved to a less-expensive storage tier. If the data becomes "hot" once again, it is moved back to the flash tier. Because data only lives on one tier at a time, tiered architectures need to have some kind of redundancy built into them.

    In caching, data is copied or mirrored from one tier to another, so active data is on multiple tiers at the same time. If the active data is no longer needed, the cache will just create flash space for new data sets to use.

    Vendors implement tiering technology in various ways. Some even have a "flash-first" approach that puts all data on flash before it is moved to a hard disk tier to become inactive. Users therefore have to be careful not to overprovision flash in these environments.

    The decision to use tiering or caching depends on a variety of factors, such as the number of applications that require access to high-performance storage resources, the I/O patterns of these applications and your budgetary constraints.

    Learn when to use each of these technologies in your own environment.

     Continue Reading

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