Comments
Is Server-Based Storage Tiering Right For You?
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Tom Isakovich
50%
50%
Tom Isakovich,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/9/2012 | 4:59:34 AM
re: Is Server-Based Storage Tiering Right For You?
Hi George,

On this topic, a real competitor to server-side flash caching is not actually network storage (which serves a different purpose altogether), but rather plain old DRAM. The server-side caching provided by Lightning (VFCache) is read-only. As a result, persistence is not critical. Compared to a 300GB PCIe SLC flash card (formatted capacity closer to 260 GB) at $15/GB (about $4500), you can add 256GB of DRAM for about $3000. DRAM is not only less expensive, it is vastly faster, does not tie up a PCIe slot, does not require special blade form factors, does not require host-based software, and is something the server manufacturer can easily integrate without cracking open the box. If small in size and read-only, server-side flash cache is of rather limited utility in comparison, at least in the current first generation that suffers from limited VMware support, SLC's high cost, and a lack of write caching.

Any form of server-side caching, whether DRAM or PCIe flash, is of course complimentary to high-performance network storage. In fact, the performance gains of server-side caching are incremental to the performance gains provided by flash-based network storage. In short, adding more memory-based technology instead of spindles...server-side and network storage-side...is always a good thing.


Cartoon
Slideshows
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
Jeremy Schulman, founder of Schprockits, a network automation startup operating in stealth mode, joins us to explore whether networking professionals all need to learn programming in order to remain employed.
White Papers
Register for Network Computing Newsletters
Current Issue
2014 State of Unified Communications
2014 State of Unified Communications
If you thought consumerization killed UC, think again: 70% of our 488 respondents have or plan to put systems in place. Of those, 34% will roll UC out to 76% or more of their user base. And there’s some good news for UCaaS providers.
Video
Twitter Feed