Hot-swap in a non-SSD flash array

by Robin Harris on Wednesday, 13 June, 2012

As a movie buff I’m surprised by people who say something like “I saw The Godfather when it came out, so I don’t need to see it again.” One of the pleasures of re-watching a movie is seeing how memory of the movie differs from the movie itself: what did memory change, forget or emphasize?

With StorageMojo’s focus on emerging technologies, products, companies and markets there is often a similar surprise: how does a new and different idea or solution conflict with or augment current practice and culture? One of those moments came in discussions about the best way to package flash for enterprise storage: SSDs or something else?

That the default answer is “as disk-like boxes” isn’t surprising: we’re well into the 6th decade of disk use and they’ve been integral for every active practitioner today. There are billions of SATA ports in use, drivers everywhere, economical and robust packaging and a clear ideas about how disk-like SSDs should work – even if they’re wrong.

But they aren’t the only way.

How an enterprise non-SSD based array does hot swapping
Here’s a 2 minute video on how Violin Memory does hot swapping.

AFAIK, the Sun F5100′s flash DIMMs are not hot swappable. The entire F5100 is meant to be mirrored.

Courteous comments welcome, of course. VM paid StorageMojo for this video. Question: does the greenscreen help or distract? I like it, but I’m a video nerd.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Brett Tuesday, 19 June, 2012 at 8:57 am

As far as flash-only non-ssd arrays go, the F5100 is a dinosaur.

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