A break in the clouds

ORIGINALLY POSTED 14th March 2008

11,634 views on developerworks

Another couple of weeks fly by, and far too many evenings have been spent on conference calls and the like – such is life when many of your close colleagues and executive team are six to eight hours behind you. Anyway, thats my excuse for not having posted much recently. I’ve been following the usual suspects blogs however, and I’m glad to see that there is a ‘lull in the storm’ or maybe thats a break in the clouds and our friends at EMC have stopped the IBM bashing for a couple of days, only to pick up the big stick and have a go at HDS this week – [the storage anarchist] | [storagezilla]

Anyway, I shall retract my head again before the bashing comes my way again 😉

Actually, let me repay the favor for once, not making fun of out of context ‘tape’ statements, but what could be seen as nothing more than lies. I was reading up and following my pet topic of solid state storage for the enterprise and found an article over on TechTarget [Solid state] and was amazed at the (possibly misquoted statement) from Bob Wambach, senior director of Symmetrix product marketing for EMC.

EMC has built a series of flash drives that offer faster read/write performance, high reliability and data integrity, he said.

Now, correct me if I am wrong, but has EMC bought up STEC Inc without anyone knowing? The implications of this statement to me are that EMC are claiming they have themselves built the drives. Taking credit where its not due.

It will be interesting to see how these drives take to DMX, or customers for that matter, and how much of the 25us flash latency is diluted by the using system, but as the article states this is an order of magnitude better ‘device’ response time than standard HDD. However at 30x the price (presumably thats 30x the price of a complete DMX + HDD vs DMX + SSD) given that the raw devices are much more than that today.

Anyway, as Clod Barerra is quote to state, IBM Research Almaden are looking at various technologies. I recently saw a presentation by them on Phase Change Memory (PCM) which is still at the research stage, but looks like an interesting technology – without the need for the same levels of write endurance and read disturb protection. And as Andy Monshaw (General Manager IBM Storage) recently stated, IBM are seriously investigating an aggressive approach to make the most suitable use of these new technologies, and while all vendors may today have to make do with placing OEM or organic SSD’s in their existing product lines, it’s what comes next that is really interesting.

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