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Why Deterministic Storage Performance is Important

In the days of spinning media, I/O performance was anything but consistent.  When mechanical head movement is involved, response time can vary enormously.  Actually, the variation of I/O isn’t just to do with mechanics as we will discuss in a moment.  However, inconsistent I/O response time is a problem for applications and as tolerances reduce,… Read more »

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The Practicality of In-Situ Processing

On last week’s Storage Unpacked podcast, we talked to Chris Mellor about IoT.  He raised the subject of “in-situ processing” or basically taking compute to storage.  On the face of it, this seems like a good idea.  In fact, last year I talked to Enrico Signoretti, Head of Product Strategy at OpenIO about the company’s… Read more »

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Backblaze HDD Statistics for 2017

For the last four years, Backblaze has been producing statistics from their pool of hard drives.  The company provides cloud storage that started with backup and now covers S3-like capabilities.  The figures for 2017 were recently released and make interesting reading. SMART Backblaze now has a set of data spanning just over 93,000 live drives. … Read more »

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What is the Technology Behind Samsung Z-NAND?

This week Samsung announced a new solid-state drive based on what the company is calling Z-NAND.  The SZ985 Z-SSD (again a new acronym) offers high performance and low latency, compared to a traditional SSD product.  So what is Z-NAND and is it really any different to traditional NAND in use today? Z-NAND First of all,… Read more »

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Making The Case for SATA SSDs

Update:  Looks like Samsung released new versions of their 800 Series, also focused on increased endurance (link) although products are a mix of MLC and TLC. Micron has recently announced a refresh to their 5100 SATA SSD series with the release of the 5200 series using 64-layer 3D-NAND technology.  As discussed on our most recent… Read more »

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Flash Diversity: High Capacity Drives from Nimbus and Micron

The desire to provide cheaper and greater capacity storage devices knows no bounds and has been a focus of the industry for the last 60 years.  Following on from Seagate’s 60TB “concept” flash drive, we now have two vendors selling 50TB OEM flash drives from Nimbus Data.  Let’s put that into context – the largest… Read more »

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Dude, Where’s My 100TB Hard Drive?

It wasn’t that long ago we were being promised hard drives of unimaginable capacities.  I’m sure that at some stage triple digit numbers were being talked about.  However today we’re stuck with a “mere” 12TB of capacity per drive.  So what went wrong, or are we just being a little too hopeful? I did some… Read more »

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M.2 SSD Drive Format is Under-rated by Enterprise Storage

Last week I was reading this article on Ars Technica discussing the latest Samsung M.2 format drives to hit the market.  In something similar to a DIMM format, you get up to 2TB of capacity and read/write speeds of 3.5GB/s and 2.1GB/s respectively.  M.2 comes in a range of sizes and was originally developed for… Read more »

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Unreliable Disks for Better Scale-out Storage

Recently I was asked to review a document that used as a reference a piece of work from Google which talked about the need to relax the resiliency levels of hard drives and SSDs.  The premise is interesting.  Hyper-scalers claim they could do a better job in managing performance and availability if the HDDs they… Read more »