Random Post from Tom’s Hardware: ROI/TCO for PCIe Flash

January 11, 2012




CaedenV 01/11/2012 3:15 PM

If they manage to get 12TB on a single board, running at a fraction of the power of a salvo of 15K SAS drives then they could charge whatever they want to, that is just mind-blowingly amazing!
It would take 40 300GB 10K or 15K drives to reach 12TB of data. Assuming a throughput of 150MB/s/drive that would be 6GB/s of sequential read/write performance, which will beat this card (assuming it is a PCIe2 8x slot which caps out at 4GB/s throughput). For IOPS, this card (and even the R4 cards) would easily beat 40 SAS drives at 200IOPS each (for a total of 8,000IOPS vs the R4’s 410,000 IOPS, and I am sure the R5 is faster). If this is a PCIe3 card with 8GB/s of bandwidth available then it will be even faster still! Plus when you figure that this single magical card could replace 40 physical HDDs… that’s a lot of power, and a ton of space saved!
Now for price, 40 15K 300GB drives can be found on newegg for ~$450ea (I am assuming also this price is also inflated due to the floods just like the consumer drives are), totaling $18,000. The R4 3.2TB drive starts at $20,000, which means a 12TB drive would be ~$50-60,000, which is 3x the price of the SAS solution, and a rough equivilant in performance in sequential throughput. For IOPS however (again using the R4 specs as we do not know what the R5 is yet, except that it will be better) you get .4IOPS/$ with the SAS setup, and 6.8IOPS/$ with the R5 for the same amount of storage space, but a small fraction of power usage, and even smaller fraction of physical space used. I think that says it all for the pro markets, if this is anywhere near $60,000 for 12TB (or even north of $100,000) it would be more than worth the cost compared to the performance gained. Simply amazing!

CaedenV 01/11/2012 3:20 PM

Just realized, I didnt even take into consideration the lessened noise and cooling factor for a setup like this! Data center cooling is insane, and 15K drives are not exactly quiet, especially when you have 40 of them lol. Imagine cooling a data center with a simple/normal AC instead of moving to the artic circle like FB did to help cut their cooling bill.

Storage Switzerland Repost: Flash Memory Summit Briefing

August 26, 2010

George Crump, Senior Analyst

I sat down with Nimbus Data Systems’ CEO Thomas Isakovich at the Flash Memory Summit to get an update on their Sustainable Storage system. With their product the S-Class flash storage system, Nimbus Data is delivering potentially the first storage system that is completely solid state and has a full compliment of data services. These are capabilities that customers in the enterprise market have become accustomed to like thin provisioning, snapshots, replication etc… To those features they add the ability to do inline deduplication and compression to get a 10:1 storage efficiency rate which brings a flash only system closer to cost parity with a mechanical drive based storage system.

It has always seemed to me that solid state becomes a perfect platform for deduplication and compression. While there may be some performance impact to implementing the capabilities, SSD for many environments has storage I/O capability to spare. To the user and the application, the impact of implementing deduplication and compression are often unnoticeable. The payoff is that you are gaining extra storage space on a tier of storage where capacity comes at a premium still today. A 10X gain on storage that is already inexpensive like SATA is interesting, a 10X gain on storage like Solid State is very compelling.

As you would expect in a solid state only storage system performance is very good. The system has the ability to generate over 1 million IOPS per second but does so at a cost point that is within the reach of a very broad set of use cases. This could be an ideal platform for both desktop and server virtualization projects as well as high transaction database applications and even extends into the HPC market.

This performance also helps in maintaining system integrity. The Nimbus S-Class has RAID protection to protect from flash module failure similar to how a legacy storage system would use RAID to protect from a hard drive failure. The difference is the speed at which the S-Class can rebuild from a failure and the performance impact during that rebuild as compared to traditional storage systems. With traditional storage systems you  have to wait hours and in some cases days for the rebuild to complete all the while trying to balance rebuild performance vs. user performance. With the S-Class rebuilds take about 30 minutes with little to no impact to overall performance and minimal exposure time.

Where Nimbus is clearly focused though in on the overall power savings aspect of their Sustainable Storage System; the amount of power required to deliver an IOP. In high performance storage systems that need hundreds of disk drives to meet performance demands the cost to power and cool those systems can be staggering. The S-Class delivers up to 6,000 IOPs per watt and 675,000 IOPs per floor tile.

Storage Switzerland’s Take

This is the first storage system we have seen with a complete compliment of data services. Its use of deduplication and compression to bring solid state closer to price parity to mechanical drives makes for a compelling tier 1 storage solution for data centers that are struggling with I/O bound workloads.

full post here:  http://www.storage-switzerland.com/Blog/Entries/2010/8/19_Nimbus_Sustainable_Storage.html

HARDCORE FANS ONLY — SC09 Session: Flash Technology in HPC: Let the Revolution Begin

November 27, 2009

Recorded 11/20/09 at SC09, this Panel discussion entitled “Flash Technology in HPC: Let the Revolution Begin” was moderated by Bob Murphy, Sun Microsystems. Download for iPod

Abstract: With an exponential growth spurt of peak GFLOPs available to HPC system designers and users imminent, the CPU performance I/O gap will reach increasingly gaping proportions. To bridge this gap, Flash is suddenly being deployed in HPC as a revolutionary technology that delivers faster time to solution for HPC applications at significantly lower costs and lower power consumption than traditional disk based approaches. This panel, consisting of experts representing all points of the Flash technology spectrum, will examine how Flash can be deployed and the effect it will have on HPC workloads.

* Bob Murpy slides: “Flash Technology in HPC: Let the Revolution Begin

* Paresh Pattani slides: “Intel SSD Performance on HPC Applications

* David Flynn slides: “Fusion-io Solid State in HPC

* Larry Mcintosh and Dale Layfield slides: “Sun’s Flash Solutions for
optimizing MSC.Software’s Simulation Products

For more information, check out this Sun Blueprint: Sun Business Ready HPC for MD Nastran.

* Jan Silverman slides: “Spansion EcoRAM NAM Network Attached Memory