The other important solid state storage happening in 2010 was beginning to understand where each of the forms of solid state disk are most applicable in the environment. The classic solid state disk, soild state storage in the form of a drive, is establishing itself as a solid choice for single servers and as a bridging technology for current arrays. PCIe based solid state storage makes an excellent RAM memory alternative for systems that have maxed out their DRAM, they could also make an interesting internal option for storage systems. Putting an PCIe based SSD directly into the storage engine of today's systems could yield some interesting results. Many storage systems are now sophisticated storage software running on industry standard servers, so plugging in a PCIe SSD card into them could be easily integrated.
The final category is the densely packed solid state storage systems that we describe in our recent article, "What is a Memory Array". These systems gain the advantage of putting solid state storage in a memory module to pack more capacity in the least amount of space. Since a memory based storage system can be less concerned about heat and vibration the per rack densities can be significantly higher. Not only does this reduce cost it increases reliability since there is more available memory to be able to perform garbage collection and other functions.
One of the biggest gains in 2010 is the improvement in reliability. For the enterprise one of the biggest concerns with solid state storage has been how reliable is it? In our next entry we will look at the work done in 2010 to ease the reliability concerns of the technology.
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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.