Progress Needs Trailblazers

I got the idea for this stream-of-consciousness (and possibly too obvious) post after reading some comments regarding new ways to do high speed I/O. Not something boring like faster media or protocols, but rather far more exotic approaches that require drastically rewriting applications to get the maximum benefits of radically different architectures.

The comments, in essence, stated that such advancements would be an utter waste of time since 99% of customers have absolutely no need for such exotica, but rather just need cheap, easy, reliable stuff, and can barely afford to buy infrastructure to begin with, let alone custom-code applications to get every last microsecond of latency out of gear.

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Are some flash storage vendors optimizing too heavily for short-lived NAND flash?

I really resisted using the “flash in the pan” phrase in the title… first, because the term is overused and second, because I don’t believe solid state is of limited value. On the contrary.

However, I am noticing an interesting trend among some newcomers in the array business, desperate to find a flash niche to compete in:

Writing their storage OS around very specific NAND flash technologies. Almost as bad as writing an entire storage OS to support a single hypervisor technology, but that’s a story for another day.

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Has NetApp sold more flash than any other enterprise disk vendor?

NetApp has been selling our custom cache boards with flash chips for a while now. We have sold over 3PB of usable cache this way.

The question was raised in public forums such as Twitter – someone mentioned that this figure may be more usable Solid State storage than all other enterprise disk vendors have sold combined (whether it’s used for caching or normal storage – I know we have greatly outsold anyone else that does it for caching alone 🙂 ).

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A look at EMC’s FASTv2, FAST Cache and FLARE30 – EMC giveth, EMC taketh away

[Update: some grammar mistakes fixed and a few questions added]

Before anyone starts frothing at the mouth, notice that in the categories this post is part of FUD 🙂 Always do your own analysis… I just wanted to give people some food for thought, like I did when FASTv1 came out. I didn’t make this up, it’s all based on various EMC documents available online. I advise people looking at this technology to ask for extensive documentation regarding best practices before taking the leap.

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EMC’s incredible marketing and the FAST fairy tale (and a bit on how to reduce tiers)

I’m in MN prepping to teach a course (my signature anti-FUD extravaganza), and thought I’d get a few things off my chest that I’ve been meaning to write about for a while. Some Stravinsky to provide the vibes and I’m good to go. It’s getting really late BTW and I’m sure this will progressively get less coherent as time goes by, but I like to write my posts in one shot.

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