News
11/5/2008
02:55 PM
George Crump
George Crump
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

SSDs Are All About Latency

Nearly every storage manufacturer has been articulating a solid state disk (SSD) strategy in the past two quarters. EMC, HP, IBM, HDS, NetApp, and Compellent are all set to add the capability to their offering. Some are doing so today, while others are still in the strategy mapping process.

Nearly every storage manufacturer has been articulating a solid state disk (SSD) strategy in the past two quarters. EMC, HP, IBM, HDS, NetApp, and Compellent are all set to add the capability to their offering. Some are doing so today, while others are still in the strategy mapping process.What most of them agree on is that SSDs can be a game changer, with the potential performance improvements of 30X when compared with mechanical drives. A key issue for them and you to understand is latency.

First, what is latency? Also called response time or wait time, in storage terms it is the amount of time between a request being made and that request being fulfilled. A user example would be the amount of time it takes from you launching your word processor to you being able to start typing.

For most applications, standard mechanical hard drives fulfill these requests fast enough that this response time isn't even noticed, but sticking with the word processing example, what if as you started to type your novel, you had to wait two seconds between the time you press a letter and the time that you could press the next letter? That would get annoying real fast and it would cost you time and probably money. Your important revenue generating application treats response time the same way.

So what makes the latency of various storage systems different? In the past it had all been about the speed of the drives. Everything else in the storage system was able to respond faster than the drives so the focus became making the drives faster by using higher RPM drives, array groups with a high drive count, short-stroking those drives, wide striping those drives and increasing the number of application servers for improved parallelism.

SSDs change that focus, the speed of the drive is no longer the issue. SSDs change the latency focus on the storage system itself and away from the drive. Manufacturers will need to change how these SSD shelves are addressed or create standalone systems like those from Texas Memory Systems, Solid Data Systems, and Violin Memory.

In our next entry we will take a deeper dive into the impact on storage systems as a result of zero latency at the drive level.

Join us for our upcoming webcast: SSD: Flash vs. DRAM...and the winner is?

Track us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/storageswiss.

Subscribe to our RSS feed.

George Crump is founder of Storage Switzerland, an analyst firm focused on the virtualization and storage marketplaces. It provides strategic consulting and analysis to storage users, suppliers, and integrators. An industry veteran of more than 25 years, Crump has held engineering and sales positions at various IT industry manufacturers and integrators. Prior to Storage Switzerland, he was CTO at one of the nation's largest integrators.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading, September 16, 2014
Malicious software is morphing to be more targeted, stealthy, and destructive. Are you prepared to stop it?
Flash Poll
Title Partner’s Role in Perimeter Security
Title Partner’s Role in Perimeter Security
Considering how prevalent third-party attacks are, we need to ask hard questions about how partners and suppliers are safeguarding systems and data.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-0993
Published: 2014-09-15
Buffer overflow in the Vcl.Graphics.TPicture.Bitmap implementation in the Visual Component Library (VCL) in Embarcadero Delphi XE6 20.0.15596.9843 and C++ Builder XE6 20.0.15596.9843 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a crafted BMP file.

CVE-2014-2375
Published: 2014-09-15
Ecava IntegraXor SCADA Server Stable 4.1.4360 and earlier and Beta 4.1.4392 and earlier allows remote attackers to read or write to arbitrary files, and obtain sensitive information or cause a denial of service (disk consumption), via the CSV export feature.

CVE-2014-2376
Published: 2014-09-15
SQL injection vulnerability in Ecava IntegraXor SCADA Server Stable 4.1.4360 and earlier and Beta 4.1.4392 and earlier allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary SQL commands via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2014-2377
Published: 2014-09-15
Ecava IntegraXor SCADA Server Stable 4.1.4360 and earlier and Beta 4.1.4392 and earlier allows remote attackers to discover full pathnames via an application tag.

CVE-2014-3077
Published: 2014-09-15
IBM SONAS and System Storage Storwize V7000 Unified (aka V7000U) 1.3.x and 1.4.x before 1.4.3.4 store the chkauth password in the audit log, which allows local users to obtain sensitive information by reading this log file.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
CISO Insider: An Interview with James Christiansen, Vice President, Information Risk Management, Office of the CISO, Accuvant