News
11/5/2008
02:55 PM
George Crump
George Crump
Commentary
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
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Five Emerging Security Threats - And What You Can Learn From Them
At Black Hat USA, researchers unveiled some nasty vulnerabilities. Is your organization ready?
Flash Poll
Dark Reading Strategic Security Report: The Impact of Enterprise Data Breaches
Dark Reading Strategic Security Report: The Impact of Enterprise Data Breaches
Social engineering, ransomware, and other sophisticated exploits are leading to new IT security compromises every day. Dark Reading's 2016 Strategic Security Survey polled 300 IT and security professionals to get information on breach incidents, the fallout they caused, and how recent events are shaping preparations for inevitable attacks in the coming year. Download this report to get a look at data from the survey and to find out what a breach might mean for your organization.
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-7445
Published: 2015-10-15
The Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) subsystem in the Linux kernel through 4.x mishandles requests for Graphics Execution Manager (GEM) objects, which allows context-dependent attackers to cause a denial of service (memory consumption) via an application that processes graphics data, as demonstrated b...

CVE-2015-4948
Published: 2015-10-15
netstat in IBM AIX 5.3, 6.1, and 7.1 and VIOS 2.2.x, when a fibre channel adapter is used, allows local users to gain privileges via unspecified vectors.

CVE-2015-5660
Published: 2015-10-15
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in eXtplorer before 2.1.8 allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users for requests that execute PHP code.

CVE-2015-6003
Published: 2015-10-15
Directory traversal vulnerability in QNAP QTS before 4.1.4 build 0910 and 4.2.x before 4.2.0 RC2 build 0910, when AFP is enabled, allows remote attackers to read or write to arbitrary files by leveraging access to an OS X (1) user or (2) guest account.

CVE-2015-6333
Published: 2015-10-15
Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) 1.1j allows local users to gain privileges via vectors involving addition of an SSH key, aka Bug ID CSCuw46076.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Security researchers are finding that there's a growing market for the vulnerabilities they discover and persistent conundrum as to the right way to disclose them. Dark Reading editors will speak to experts -- Veracode CTO and co-founder Chris Wysopal and HackerOne co-founder and CTO Alex Rice -- about bug bounties and the expanding market for zero-day security vulnerabilities.