It took longer than I expected for Nimble Storage to introduce an all-flash array, but their AF7000 looks to be a very credible offering. They’re targeting XtremIO and Pure with their marketing, but I expect HP, Dell, and especially NetApp to be cross-shopped more frequently. In that fight, I expect the Nimble AF7000 to be very attractive indeed!
I’ve written recently about the difference between solid-state drives (SSDs), PCIe SSDs, and solid-state memory over PCIe. But a new technology was presented to me this month that’s even more radical: What if NAND flash was placed on a DIMM for direct access by the CPU? This is what Diablo Technologies just announced as “Memory Channel Storage”.
No small storage company has had more press coverage and “buzz” than “ioMemory” maker, Fusion-io. I have long marveled at the company’s ability to attract attention, but this has rub some analysts wrong. How, they argue, as component vendors enter their space, can a premium company with proprietary products compete over the long term?
The new Nimbus Data E-Class comes just at the right moment, with 500 TB of capacity, a fully redundant â€œdual activeâ€ controller architecture, massive performance (even InfiniBand), and complete feature set (once VAAI is released).
Both Seagate and Western Digital have much to gain from these transactions. Western Digital becomes a full line giant of the industry, a credible competitor, and a successful supplier to OEMs. Seagate also retains its credibility in the market, but also gains access to Samsung, one of the strongest electronics companies in the world. Time will tell which of these companies got the better deal.
More information about the unconventional SSD used in Apple’s new MacBook Air. As I discussed in my previous coverage of this new flash form factor, it resembles a PCI Express Mini Card but is much smaller. Toshiba has now proved my speculation that the device uses SATA signals rather than the PCI Express lane used by the similar AirPort card. We also know that the lauded performance of the device is due to its chips and controller rather than skipping SATA in favor of PCIe as some had speculated.
Perhaps the previous discussion of spindles left you exhausted, imagining a spindly-legged centipede of a storage system, trying and failing to run on stilts. The Rule of Spindles would be the end of the story were it not for the second horseman: Cache. He stands in front of the spindles, quickly dispatching requests using solid state memory rather than spinning disks. Cache also acts as a buffer, allowing writes to queue up without forcing the requesters to wait in line.
There has been much speculation that a new generation of hybrid flash/hard disk drives was right around the corner, and Provantage confirmed it today: The reseller posted a family of “Momentus XT” 2.5″ laptop drives for sale on their web site, shipping in 3-4 weeks. Many other sites began listing the drives as well, and The Register got the scoop, benchmarks, and official comment.
This is part of an ongoing series of longer articles I am posting every Sunday. The tech industry has been buzzing about solid state drives (SSDs) again lately, but many questions remain. Even after many major vendors (Apple, EMC, and Dell to name a few) have introduced NAND flash-based disk into their core products, it is […]
Solid state (NAND flash) storage is all the rage right now, but there are many lingering questions regarding its true performance, reliability, and cost. But no question is more important in determining its ultimate usefulness than that of location: Where should flash storage be placed to maximize return on investment? Storage companies have argued that […]