Almost every week now we’re starting to see significant gains in capacity and performance when it comes to deploying Flash memory in the enterprise. The latest example is the unveiling today of a 2TB solid-state disk drive from STEC that can be attached to a PCIe slot on a server or attached to a storage system as a SAS drive.
In addition, STEC also released today an upgrade to its EnhanceIO caching software that is optimized for the proprietary ASIC controller that STEC developed for its SSDs drives. That RAID controller technology, says Doug Finke, senior director, product marketing for STEC, makes it possible to deliver 1 GBps of write-back cache performance, which makes STEC SSDs faster than any other SSD drive while delivering 25 percent more capacity. Finke adds that STEC will back those claims up with a five-year warranty that no other provider of SSDs has yet to match.
As Flash memory pricing continues to fall thanks largely to increased demand for smartphones, it’s becoming more affordable to deploy mission-critical applications that require the highest levels of performance in memory. Better still, all the memory makes it possible to start reducing the overall footprint of storage systems in the data center, which generally results in a significant reduction in the amount of power being consumed.
In fact, the biggest challenge going forward is likely to be the management of application workloads across different tiers of memory, ranging from increased capacity on the processor to memory that has been embedded in a storage device.
Application performance has always been the top priority of most IT organizations. Because that simple fact is unlikely to change anytime soon, the general shift towards in-memory computing should happen at a fairly fast clip, especially when we’re talking about applications that will run multiple orders of magnitude faster than they did previously. That’s nothing short of a fundamental shift in computing that the average enterprise can’t afford to ignore.