I have been receiving a lot of email updates from Texas Memory Systems for many months now. I am a subscriber to their updates and Texas Memory System is the grand daddy of flash and DRAM-based storage systems. They are not cheap but they are blazingly fast.
Lately, more and more vendors have been coming out with all SSDs storage arrays. Startups such Pure Storage, Violin Memory and Nimbus Data Systems have been pushing the envelope selling all SSDs storage arrays. A few days ago, EMC also announced their all SSDs storage array. As quoted, the new EMC VNX5500-F utilizes 2.5-in, single-level cell (SLC) NAND flash drives to 10 times the performance of the hard-drive based VNX arrays. And that is important because EMC has just become one of the earliest big gorillas to jump into the band wagon.
But does it make sense? Can one justify to invest in an all SSDs storage array?
At this point, especially in this part of the world, I predict that not many IT managers are willing to put their head on the chopping board and invest in an all SSDs storage array. They would become guinea pigs for a very expensive exercise and the state of the economy is not helping. Therefore the automatic storage tiering (AST) might stick better than having an all SSDs storage array. The cautious and prudent approach is less risky as I have mentioned in a past blog.
I wrote about Pure Storage in a previous blog and the notion that SSDs will offer plenty of IOPS and throughput. If the performance gain translates into higher productivity and getting the job done quicker, then I am all for SSDs. In fact, given the extra performance numbers
There is no denying that the fact that the industry is moving towards SSDs and it makes sense. That day will come in the near future but not now for customers in these part of the world.
I was reading the news from Oracle OpenWorld and a slew of news about specialized appliances are on the menu.
Oracle added Big Data Appliance and Oracle Exalytics Business Intelligence Machine to its previous numero uno, Exadata Database Machine. EMC, also announced its Green Plum Data Computing Appliance and also its VNX Unified Storage for Oracle.
The EMC VNX Unified Storage for Oracle is a VNX system that has Oracle installed in a VMware vSphere virtual machine environment. The system is meant to unify all Oracle environments--database over Oracle Direct NFS, application servers over NFS, and testing and development over NFS--resulting in less disk space used and faster testing. EMC says this configuration was made because 50% of Oracle customers are virtualizing their systems today. The VNX Unified Storage for Oracle includes EMC's Fully Automated Storage Tiering (FAST) technology, which migrates most frequently used data between a primary Fibre Channel drive and solid state drives and migrates less frequently used data to Serial ATA (SATA) drives and its FAST Cache. In an Oracle environment, FAST is well-suited to database applications that generate a large number of random inputs-outputs, that experience sudden bursts in user query activity, or a high number of user loads and where the entire working set can be contained in the solid state drive cache. Based on testing carried out on an Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) 11g database that was configured to access the VNX7500 file storage over the Network File System (NFS), using the Oracle Direct NFS (dNFS) client, results showed an 100% improvement in transactions per minute (TPM), 170% improvement in IOPS, and a 79% decrease in response time, the company said.
As for GreenPlum, EMC quoted:
The company also is showing off the EMC Greenplum Data Computing Appliance(DCA) for Big Data Analytics configuration, which provides a new migration path to Greenplum for Oracle Data Warehouse. This system includes the Greenplum Data Computing Appliance, EMC's Global Data Warehouse, and EMC's IT Business Intelligence Grid infrastructure. The EMC Greenplum DCA consists of 8 to 16 segment servers running Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Each segment server contains 96 to 192 processor cores, with 384 GB to 768 GB of memory per segment server. The DCA includes 12 600-GB Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) 15K RPM drives for a total useable and compressed capacity of 73 TB to 144 TB. The DCA competes with Oracle's Exadata Database Machine. In tests performed with this server/storage configuration and a 15-TB Oracle Data Warehouse, the DCA processed a 99 million rows query in less than 28 seconds vs. seven minutes in a traditional Oracle environment and data loads decreased from six days to 29 minutes
It is getting pretty obvious that specialized appliances are making waves at Oracle OpenWorld but what’s more interesting is the return of a combined and integrated environment of compute and storage as I have mentioned in my previous blog. And I forsee that these specialized appliances will be one of the building blocks of cloud computing together with general purposes platforms such as x86, JBODs and the glue to all these, virtualization, notably VMware.