Archive for category Flash
EMC World 2010 was the first enterprise show of SiliconANGLE’s theCUBE. Over the last 3 years, theCUBE has interviewed more than 1,000 guests at dozens of shows; EMC World is one of the most popular programs every year. EMC has expanded far beyond storage to become a “federation” of companies in the EMC family: EMC, VMware and the newly launched Pivotal. The live broadcast schedule for theCUBE at EMC World will be a full 3 days, Monday May 6 – Wednesday May 8, 10am – 5pm Pacific. Guests include many CEOs, CIOs, CTOs, thought leaders and end-users from a broad spectrum of topics. Coverage this year will include spotlights focusing on the disruptive and growth opportunities for EMC and its ecosystem. For those attending EMC World in person – our broadcast location is part of EMC SQUARE, conveniently located outside of the solutions pavilion.
I’d like to explore the topic of how system and storage architectures are changing and the impact this will have on application delivery and organizational productivity.
Allow me to put forth the following premise:
Today’s enterprise IT infrastructure limits application value.
What does that mean? To answer this, let’s first explore the notion of value. The value IT brings to an organization flows directly from the application to the business and is measured in terms of the productivity of the organization. Infrastructure in-and-of itself delivers no direct value; however the applications, which run on infrastructure directly affect business value. Value comes in many forms but at the highest level it’s about increasing revenue and/or cutting costs; and ultimately delivering bottom line profits.
Flash competitors are aggressively jockeying for position as the market heats up. It’s a tale of two styles. On the one hand, EMC’s entrance into the all-flash array market targets traditional IT segments. It will both pressure competitive offerings and its own high-end block storage business. EMC is positioning to cannibalize its own base before others cut too deep into the EMC muscle; but it must walk a fine line. At the other end of the spectrum, Fusion-io is uniquely positioned to serve the hyperscale market and currently stands alone with a software-led strategy that leverages atomic writes and delivers new value to database workloads.
As data is continuously collected and created, companies have difficulty just storing it, missing any opportunity to leverage the information. The wave of big data has the potential to flip the burden of data management into the opportunity of new value creation. Yesterday’s solutions don’t accomplish this today and will be even less effective tomorrow.
While the volume of data has grown exponentially over the last few decades, the fundamental and underlying technology on which we store data hasn’t. Sure, we’ve had improvements in densities (to store more data) and connectivity (to provide better access to data), but the pace of data growth has overwhelmed the benefits of these technological advancements.
There are two hard facts that every CIO will face as some point as data growth continues:
- Storage performance will become an exceedingly important metric, if it hasn’t already.
- Flash storage alone will not solve an organizations storage problems due to the high $/TB cost.
As I state these two facts, I’m not including in the group of CIOs those that have what many consider to be niche needs. Instead, I’m including those mainstream SMB and midmarket CIOs that run “real world” data centers.
Although new product has been continuously shipped over the past two decades, the world of storage advancement has remained relatively stagnant, at least from a performance perspective. According to PCWorld’s 50 Years of Hard Drives, the first 10,000 RPM disk was released in 1996 and the first 15,000 RPM disk released in 2000. Since that time, storage companies have focused on density and capacity rather than on performance, leading to the need for an ever-increasing number of spindles—spinning disks in an array of arrays—in order to improve overall storage performance. As a result of this eager march toward density, the primary metric by which storage has been measured has been as a function of capacity—dollar per gigabyte or dollar per terabyte, for example.
He who shall not be named sent me this thumbnail today. At any rate, the cat was already let out of the bag last month by Dave Raffo and several folks on Twitter but it looks like the ink is dry and there’s no turning back on VF Cache as the official name for Project Lightning.
What is Known About VF Cache?
The storage world is getting ready for the launch of EMC’s Project Lightning. EMC has invited press, analysts and the world to an announcement on February 6th to see the unveiling of the server-based flash product and strategy to manage data using EMC automated tiering software.
EMC’s strategy with Project Lightning is to extend the storage stack closer to the server. For the past two decades, we’ve seen storage function steadily move from server/host to storage/SAN. EMC started this trend with its Symmetrix disk array, which initially connected to virtually all types of OSes and host processors. That vision extended to the SAN and the external RAID, storage network concept became the standard architecture for storing, protecting and sharing mission critical data.