SSDs and the Storage Area Network

Arthur Cole

Arthur Cole spoke with Scott Shadley, MACH16 product line manager for STEC.

 

SSDs have the potential to remake more than just your storage arrays. With an ever-widening range of memory designs and system form factors, there's a good chance that the entire storage network could see a major revamp soon. Companies like STEC are pushing their design teams to make new SSD products as flexible as possible, and driving higher performance into smaller, tighter packages. At the same time, devices like the MACH16 drive are being tailored to more specific uses within the enterprise, as Shadley explains.

 

" There are many new doors that have been opened by the advent of SSD technology. The key to these options is to ensure you have the proper controller technology and hardware expertise"


Scott Shadley
MACH16 product line manager for STEC

Cole: STEC has said the new MACH 16 drive is optimized for server environments. In what way can an SSD be tailored to a server, as opposed to a storage array?

Shadley: MACH16 is optimized for server environments by being produced to enable specific workloads that thrive on high performance and do not require techniques that patch performance when cleanup activities are required within the Flash media. In the case of the MACH16, it has solid and sustained performance profiles that enable server platforms to excel at their needed levels.


Also, the SATA interface provides the most flexibility for server environments today and has the ability to work with SAS and SATA environments.


Cole: Is it feasible, then, that an enterprise could one day scrap the SAN in favor of all an all-SSD storage environment on, say, a PCIe infrastructure?


Shadley: There are many opportunities to realize the growth potential of the SSD technology roadmap. While we cannot specifically state that one can "scrap the SAN," STEC is well positioned to offer the solutions that enable any migration of the storage platforms of the future. Whether they are based on existing storage interfaces or unique solutions moving forward, there will be products from STEC to satisfy the needs.


Cole: What about the disk drive form factor itself? Do you see enterprises dumping the 2.5-inch SSD in favor of card- or board-level solutions?

Shadley: Again, there are many new doors that have been opened by the advent of SSD technology. The market is already starting to see the migration from the traditional form factors to many alternative options. Board level or card-like, the key to these options is to ensure you have the proper controller technology and hardware expertise, of which STEC has already shown leadership, to enable whatever the market requires.



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