News
9/24/2010
09:41 AM
George Crump
George Crump
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

What Solid State Form Factor Is Best - Integration

Returning to our Solid State Form factor series; this entry we are going to begin the discussion about solid state integration. There are really two parts of the integration discussion; how will you integrate solid state disk into your storage infrastructure and the other is how will your vendor integrate solid state disk into their storage system? We'll tackle the vendor issue first since it may directl

Returning to our Solid State Form factor series; this entry we are going to begin the discussion about solid state integration. There are really two parts of the integration discussion; how will you integrate solid state disk into your storage infrastructure and the other is how will your vendor integrate solid state disk into their storage system? We'll tackle the vendor issue first since it may directly impact how you integrate solid state storage.As we discussed in our recent webinar "The State of Solid State Storage" how the vendor decides to integrate solid state disk into their platform is going to impact performance and cost. Here specifically I mean how legacy storage vendors integrate solid state into their storage platforms, not solid state systems or memory arrays. Legacy systems have the bulk of the integration work to do since they are typically using the disk form factor version of solid state known as SSD.

Much to the apparent surprise of many storage suppliers inserting SSD into a legacy storage system is not the full extent of the integration effort. Just because it fits in the drive slot does not mean your integration work is done. There is more to it than that. First there are the performance issues. In most cases it only takes a small number of SSDs to be able to produce more I/O performance than the typical storage controller can support. Systems that are going to support SSD for anything other than cache should be able to have multiple controllers and I/O paths to the storage enclosures.

There is also the issue of the storage enclosure. In most cases you can't populate the whole shelf with SSD. The combined I/O of the drives is greater than what two or four I/O ports coming out of the shelf can deliver. We have actually seen configurations from legacy storage vendors with only 2-3 SSD drives in a shelf and the rest of the shelf empty, violating every law of efficient space and power utilization, not to mention the cost of having to pay full price for half used shelves.

This is not necessarily the fault of the SSD manufacturers themselves. The drives are doing exactly what they said they would do. The challenge is on the legacy storage vendors to design enclosures that are tuned to the capability of the drive technology. This means either faster shelves, less expensive shelves that support less drives and require less power or use solid state for cache only.

These are just a few performance issues that legacy storage vendors need to design around. In a future entry we will discuss the challenges to applying RAID type of protection in legacy storage systems when using SSD.

For now what it comes down to is that to take full advantage of SSD, a legacy storage system is going to require some kind of scale out storage, at a minimum at the controller and quite possibly on the storage enclosure. There are alternatives, you can by a solid state only appliance to either address a point specific problem, a cache like front end that can provide broader performance improvement while keeping your legacy storage or a solid state only system that has the full compliment of storage services (snapshots, replication). Each have their fit and we will cover them in upcoming entries as well as how to integrate them into your enterprise.

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

Subscribe to our RSS feed.

George Crump is lead analyst of Storage Switzerland, an IT analyst firm focused on the storage and virtualization segments. Find Storage Switzerland's disclosure statement here.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Must Reads - September 25, 2014
Dark Reading's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of identity and access management. Learn about access control in the age of HTML5, how to improve authentication, why Active Directory is dead, and more.
Flash Poll
10 Recommendations for Outsourcing Security
10 Recommendations for Outsourcing Security
Enterprises today have a wide range of third-party options to help improve their defenses, including MSSPs, auditing and penetration testing, and DDoS protection. But are there situations in which a service provider might actually increase risk?
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2012-5619
Published: 2014-09-29
The Sleuth Kit (TSK) 4.0.1 does not properly handle "." (dotfile) file system entries in FAT file systems and other file systems for which . is not a reserved name, which allows local users to hide activities it more difficult to conduct forensics activities, as demonstrated by Flame.

CVE-2012-5621
Published: 2014-09-29
lib/engine/components/opal/opal-call.cpp in ekiga before 4.0.0 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (crash) via an OPAL connection with a party name that contains invalid UTF-8 strings.

CVE-2012-6107
Published: 2014-09-29
Apache Axis2/C does not verify that the server hostname matches a domain name in the subject's Common Name (CN) or subjectAltName field of the X.509 certificate, which allows man-in-the-middle attackers to spoof SSL servers via an arbitrary valid certificate.

CVE-2012-6110
Published: 2014-09-29
bcron-exec in bcron before 0.10 does not close file descriptors associated with temporary files when running a cron job, which allows local users to modify job files and send spam messages by accessing an open file descriptor.

CVE-2013-1874
Published: 2014-09-29
Untrusted search path vulnerability in csi in Chicken before 4.8.2 allows local users to execute arbitrary code via a Trojan horse .csirc in the current working directory.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
In our next Dark Reading Radio broadcast, we’ll take a close look at some of the latest research and practices in application security.