Solid State Storage Symposium 2012, San Jose

Solid State Storage Symposium 2012, San Jose was held at the Doubletree Airport today and live streamed.

There were about 40 live attendees and 40-48 viewers online. I watched some of the events online.

The moderator kept the focus on technology instead of products, a challenge with the number of product vendors. Vendors can get so catty. 🙂

13:30 – Panel 1: Tier vs. Cache

Solid State – Simply a big cache or a real storage tier?

“Solid state disks blur the boundary between cache and storage, with a foot in both camps. Can solid state drives really be treated as a new tier of storage or simply as a way to add more performance enhancing cache to existing arrays? This panel will discuss whether data should permanently reside on solid state media or whether the optimum and most cost effective solution is to simply use SSD to hold the working set of data in the array.”

14:15 – Panel 2: Array Architecture

What’s the best solid-state storage array architecture?

“The 20+ year old array architectures that are served up, day-in day-out, by the traditional vendors are struggling to cope with todays I/O demands. How they will cope with tomorrow’s is anyone’s guess. Looking to plug the hole and steal their business is an increasing crop of solid-state array vendors. Yet they’re all going about it entirely differently. This panel will get to the bottom of how to design great SSD arrays and why they’re architected like that.”

15:00 – Panel 3: Future Architecture

The Future of Solid State Storage

“Today we use flash and SSDs everywhere from notebooks to PCIe cards in servers and enterprise arrays. In this session our panel will consider the future of solid state storage systems and answer some interesting questions. Will SSDs kill spinning disk? Do 2.5” SAS or SATA disks have a place in the data center of the future? What does the next generation of flash bring to the market? What about PCM, Memristors and other new SSD technologies?”

Regarding APIs, the issue of lack of a standard came up. Everybody supports a linux block driver interface, but there is no agreement on APIs, similar to the GPU scientific computing market. Maybe see what the Open Source community comes up with, for example the MySQL community and its custom storage engines.

Other comments and notes:

  • VMware DRS tiers storage devices, maybe you can manage SSD that way
  • caching affects latency
  • people want predictable, low latency
  • although SAN increases latency, SAN users have decided that manageability is more important than latency

Robin [Harris] has said that is the most exciting decade in storage. That means a lot coming from somebody as old as Robin.” 🙂

The live streaming went well, with excellent video and clear audio.

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