I’ve really enjoyed experimenting with the Raspberry Pi, and have even deployed a few as UNIX servers in my home and office network. The quad-core performance of the latest Pi models is awesome, but serious I/O limitations remain. With just one USB 2.0 interface shared for all network and storage operations, you aren’t going to […]
As I mentioned in my previous post about Raspberry Pi power monitoring, I recently built a VMware vSphere “datacenter” from three Intel NUC mini PC’s. One limit of the NUC is that it has just one Ethernet port. But there’s a Mini PCIe slot inside the fourth-generation NUC that can be used to add a second Ethernet NIC!
Greg “EtherealMind” Ferro recently “mused” that it might be a good idea to replace PCI Express (PCIe) inside servers or rack-scale infrastructure with Ethernet. But this seems to be the exact opposite of the direction the industry is headed. Rather than replacing PCIe with Ethernet, companies like Intel seem set on replacing short-range Ethernet (in rack-scale systems) with PCIe!
On reading my thoughts about the evolution of enterprise storage, many pointed out that this looks an awful lot like the Facebook-led Open Compute Project (OCP). This is entirely intentional. But OCP is simply one expression of this new architecture, and perhaps not the best one for the enterprise.
The storage industry was abuzz yesterday with news that SanDisk will buy Fusion-io for $1.1 billion. Lots of folks seem confused by this, but I think that’s because they don’t know who SanDisk really are. After having been exposed to both companies’ management, products, and strategy, I think this is a great fit and excellent news for the storage […]
The world of storage can be confusing, with obscure terms hiding massive differences in technology and performance. Such is the case for the latest PCI express SSDs: They are much faster than traditional SAS or SATA SSDs, but many aren’t sure exactly why. In this article, I will try to explain the real difference.
EMC VFCache (nÃ©e Project Lightning) is a fairly simple offering: A server-based PCIe flash card that acts as a read cache with no integration with storage arrays or hypervisors. But EMC’s entrance into the host-based flash storage market is a powerful demonstration of the wave of disruption caused by flash-based storage and high-performance computing.
It seems that hardware vendors are finally answering the call of Mac users seeking to use Thunderbolt as a generic interface for expansion cards. Last week, Magma, best known for its line of PCI express expansion chassis, announced a three board Thunderbolt version, the ExpressBox 3T. Although the company has not yet released timing and pricing, they are signing up prospective customers on their website.
As techies moan about the lack of upgrade options presented by a soldered in SSD, they miss the bigger industry picture. For too long, computers have been held back by traditional SCSI and ATA controllers. These are both a performance bottleneck and an impediment to innovation. A shift to an integrated PCI storage model makes much sense tactically and strategically for Apple, and I expect that these rumors are true. Furthermore, this move will put even more stress on Windows PC makers. Once again, Apple is outmaneuvering the competition.
PCIe SSDs like Micron’s new P320h offer mindbending performance and enterprise class reliability. Although expensive, these devices are in an entirely different league from any other storage option. Micron promises to bring the PCIe P320h to market at nearly $15 per gigabyte, a substantial discount over other PCIe SSD competitors.