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Vol. 7 No. 5 July 2008

Solid State: New frontier for storage

Vendors are starting to add solid-state storage to their arrays, but it isn't as simple as replacing enterprise drives with solid-state memory. WHILE TIER 0 STORAGE may be a new term, the underlying technology of solid-state storage has lived a niche existence for many years. But the rapid adoption of NAND flash in consumer devices and falling flash-memory prices are making NAND flash memory a feasible option for those applications that require high performance. EMC Corp.'s recently added support for solid-state disks (SSDs) in its Symmetrix product line is a clear sign that solid-state storage is transitioning from an exotic specialty item to a mainstream feature. Yet most enterprise array vendors aren't shipping solid-state storage products; this indicates that adding an SSD-based Tier 0 to an existing array isn't as simple as replacing traditional hard disks with solid-state drives. And while pricing for solid-state memory continues to fall, the cost of enterprise NAND flash is still much higher than that of the fastest Fibre...

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Features in this issue

  • Solid State: New frontier for storage

    Solid-state media is starting to show up as an option for traditional storage arrays because it offers higher performance and lower power consumption. However, there are still reliability concerns related to wear out, the slower write performance of flash cells, and issues related to array management and interoperability.

  • DLT-S4 tape drives at bargain prices

  • Here comes 8Gig Fibre Channel

    New 8Gb/sec host bus adapters (HBAs) and switch devices have started arriving. But with storage arrays incorporating the new, higher speed technology still months away, end-to-end 8Gb storage infrastructures are still in the planning stages. Storage managers can get a jump on their 8Gig configurations by upgrading switches and HBAs now, or by considering networking gear that supports Fibre Channel over Ethernet.

  • Server blades and storage

    by  Ellen O'Brien

    Many IT shops are moving from traditional rack-mounted servers to blade configurations in hopes of reducing power and floor space requirements in their data centers. But combining blade architectures with server virtualization can cause problems with I/O and storage systems.

Columns in this issue