Flash slaying the latency dragon?

by Robin Harris on Thursday, 13 August, 2015

I’m at the Flash Memory Summit this week. Two observations, one short and one long.

Short first.
FMS is much larger than last year. Haven’t seen numbers, but the huge exhibit floor looks like a first rank storage show. VMworld has been a top storage show, but now they have competition.

Has latency met its match?
Can’t talk about the interesting startups in the area, but an HGST technology demo – i.e. no plans for a product – gives a flavor of what’s to come. They hooked up two servers sporting Infiniband and NVMe SSDs running an I/O test and show latencies of ≈2.5µsec for remote drive access.

That’s right: microseconds.

The StorageMojo take
But the interesting startups are claiming even lower numbers. Not clear what these numbers might mean in the real world – they don’t include the problematic latencies of our antiquated storage stack – but the direction is encouraging.

More later.

Courteous comments welcome, of course.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Anton August 14, 2015 at 7:40 am

Is this the same as what Anandtech talks about here? http://www.anandtech.com/show/9529/hgst-and-mellanox-show-off-san-fabric-backed-by-phase-change-memory

Then it is Phase Change Memory, not ‘traditional’ flash. Looks promising though.

Robin Harris August 14, 2015 at 1:47 pm

Anton, the HGST technology demo used a 4GB PCM card, but others – some in stealth – were using flash or other NVDIMMS. The common denominator for all was NVMe.


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