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Top five solid-state, cloud storage tips of 2017

In 2017, SearchStorage readers cared most about SSD lifespan, 3D XPoint technology and the difference between SAN and NAS. Check out our most-read articles of the year here.

As the storage market continues to grow and change, IT administrators must keep their knowledge and skills sharp....

But it's not easy to stay current on the most pressing issues in the storage world or stay up to date with all the newest cloud storage tips and data storage tricks.

To that end, we took a look back at the most-read SSD and cloud storage tips of 2017. Keep reading to get the details on the issues and developments that mattered most to SearchStorage readers over the past year.

How concerned should I be about SSD lifespan?

Flash wear-out isn't a concern anymore. Early SSDs didn't even stand up to tests, but SSD vendors learned about the anatomy and physical properties of a cell to find better ways to write waveforms and improve voltage thresholds. SSD vendors specify the wear life for each drive, although lifespan can vary across product families.

What's coming down the OpenStack Pike

The next three iterations of OpenStack -- Pike, Queens and Rocky -- will all build on Ocata. There won't be any major upgrades, but some small changes will be welcome ones. Ocata cleaned up many issues that reared their heads in the Mitaka release, but there's still room for improvement. Pike, Queens and Rocky will address UIs and APIs for modules, which will facilitate scale-out deployment. Although all the roadmap details for OpenStack are available, it can be difficult to track down specifics. Luckily, we already did the digging and made a handy chart to highlight some OpenStack cloud storage tips you can use.

What to expect from 3D XPoint technology

3D XPoint is a phase-change memory (PCM) technology: Cells switch from high- to low-resistance states electronically. The products from Intel and Micron -- Optane and QuantX, respectively -- use the same core die. PCM is a byte-addressable storage system, which replaces traditional file I/O operation with direct CPU instruction. So, 3D XPoint could potentially deliver 1,000 times the performance of flash. But there are improvements to the technology that must make their way into production, and that could take some time. Still, Optane and 3D XPoint technology will be helpful for use cases that include memory extension, persistent dynamic RAM, high-performance computing, the cloud and more.

Comparing GlusterFS and Ceph

GlusterFS and Ceph are both flexible storage systems that work well for cloud environments. GlusterFS is a Linux-based file system. Implementing GlusterFS in a Windows environment is more difficult than integrating it with a Linux system. In Ceph object storage, applications write to storage thanks to an API, rather than writing to a file system. Thanks to this approach, Ceph integrates with any OS easily. There is also a Ceph block device that you can use as a regular block device in Linux, which makes Ceph function the way you'd use a Linux hard disk.

What's the difference between SAN and NAS?

SANs are storage that's connected in a fabric via a switch, which gives multiple servers access. There isn't much difference between accessing data that's in a SAN as opposed to DAS. NAS is a remote file serving method. Instead of using the software on your file system, NAS redirects access to another device that uses a remote protocol. This promotes centralized data management and file sharing. At the most basic level, NAS is for file I/O, and SAN is for block I/O.

This was last published in January 2018

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