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Vol. 5 No. 5 July 2006

Flash storage settles in high-performance niche

YOU NEED ONLY look at the tiny 4GB USB flash drive dangling from your keychain to realize that there are some real alternatives to current disk-based storage. Indeed, there are a number of efforts underway that tap into solid-state technology to create nonvolatile alternatives to magnetic disks. The result is high-speed storage that barely sips power and runs cooler than anything that's ever set foot in a data center. Solid-state disk (SSD), or flash, also costs a lot, especially when compared to spinning disk. So while these new storage technologies are ready for prime time in consumer and mobile gadgets, they aren't likely to show up in any significant numbers in data centers very soon. Still, some have carved out niches and made some inroads, handling mostly high-performance, ultra-mission-critical apps. Texas Memory Systems' RamSan-400 uses SSD technology to provide up to 128GB of extremely high-performance storage. Compared to the 500GB and 750GB disks offered by traditional storage vendors, 128GB may seem paltry. But the ...

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Features in this issue

  • Backup apps: More choices beyond the big three

    With numerous applications and a variety of hardware and software platforms, a single enterprise backup software product may not suffice for many companies. A bevy of backup applications that aren't as well-known as "the big three" may be better architected to handle new requirements.

  • Cut data down to size

    by  Arun Taneja

    With today's extreme data growth rates, adding disk-based protection is no longer an option but a requisite. Data reduction can help ease growth pains by paring down the data that goes to disk. There are many products with data-reduction capabilities available, but the technologies they use vary widely.

  • Survey Says: Users make wish list of VTL features

  • Talk is cheap

  • The best way to expand a SAN

    Building a new SAN or extending an existing SAN requires careful planning to strike the right balance between performance, cost, scalability, high availability and ease of management. Read how to determine what architecture is best for your company's storage access needs.

  • What's holding up ILM?

    While vendors work to fill in the gaps in the information lifecycle management stack and connect the pieces, IT and business units must hammer out a manageable set of policies to drive the ILM process in their organizations.

Columns in this issue