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Vol. 7 No. 8 October 2008

Are solid-state disks ready for the enterprise?

SOLID-STATE DISKS (SSDs) have become a hot topic this year, beginning with their integration into EMC's Symmetrix disk array in January. Since then, dozens of companies have come out of the woodwork to say they'll manufacture or integrate SSDs. But vendors and industry experts alike are warning that in this early market phase, the quality and capabilities of SSDs will vary widely. Some in the industry have already begun to call for standards on the manufacture or measurement of products, including some experts at the recent Flash Memory Summit 2008 in San Diego looking for SSD design standards. Michael Cornwell, manager of flash memory technology business development at Sun, says organizations can still innovate within minimal wear-leveling and performance standards. "Right now, probably every single standards body is making a grab for SSD," he says. Because flash requires full block writes--and erasure before new writes can be committed--products need to perform an operation similar to garbage collection, a fairly ...

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Features in this issue

  • Are solid-state disks ready for the enterprise?

  • Green spin cycle

  • Second-generation CDP

    Continuous data protection (CDP) received lots of attention but garnered few takers as a standalone product. Since then, the technology has been incorporated into data protection products and its role is now likely to expand. In addition, rapid data growth and shrinking backup windows are two of the trends that support the increased adoption of CDP.

  • Solid-state distinctions emerge

  • Economy and capacity at odds

    With fewer bucks in the budget, storage managers are facing some constraints in dealing with growing storage capacities. But, according to Storage magazine's Purchasing Intentions survey, they're responding by earmarking some of those dollars to newer technologies like data deduplication that will help them cope with burgeoning data stores.

  • The green storage gap

    by  Ellen O'Brien

    Storage departments are trying energy-saving technologies, but measuring ROI is still a challenge. Some storage administrators are plugging vendor-supplied product power consumption numbers into so-called green calculators, but it's no easy task as there are inconsistencies in how each vendor presents its product's power requirements.

  • Storage for high-performance computing

    by  Deni Connor

    The storage and server cluster installed at The University of Texas at Austin is a lesson in how to do high-performance computing (HPC). Storage requirements for HPC go beyond massive capacity and include the use of high-performance file systems.

  • Ask the Experts

    Where and when should we use data dedupe for remote-office backups?

Columns in this issue

  • Best Practices: Why you can't go it alone

    by  Ashish Nadkarni

    Most IT departments are split into islands of expertise, like storage, servers and networks. But the time is coming when those disparate groups will have to learn to work together. Network consolidation is just one of the technologies forcing storage pros to build stronger interdisciplinary IT teams.