About time
I’m in Silicon Valley for a few days. So I’ll keep this brief.

EMC is pulling out the stops. First Hulk/Maui clusters and now putting flash SSDs in the Symm. They are positioning it as technology leadership, which it isn’t, but it is marketing leadership. I’m impressed.

SSDs have been around for decades. Symms have been around for over 15 years, so why now?

I suspect the rising chorus of customers complaining about 30% capacity utilization rates coupled with Wall Street’s economic woes – I wouldn’t want to be EMC’s Citibank account manager – helped them make the decision. Plus the rise of cluster block storage – XIV the latest case in point – means that if you want to own the high-performance array crown it is time to stake out the territory.

Plus the margins are great!
I haven’t seen any pricing yet, but knowing EMCs general strategy I suspect they are charging their usual 6x markup over cost for the SSDs. Despite that it should be an easy business case for a CFO to approve.

But if you are going to spend big bucks on an SSD, is putting it inside a single storage array the right way to go? The wide-awake folks at Texas Memory Systems think not. They provided me with this table comparing their SSD to the STEC ZeusIOPS drive EMC is using.

Performance metric
Sustained random read IOPS
Sustained random write IOPS
Sustained sequential reads
Sustained sequential writes

Make an entire SAN go faster instead of a single array? Sounds good to me.

The StorageMojo take
Will SSDs finally get some data center love? EMC’s endorsement of SSDs should provide an opening for the long-suffering SSD companies to get more attention from the enterprise. If it’s good enough for EMC . . . .

Comments welcome, as always. Moderation may be slightly more intermittent than usual, but moderate I shall. When I’m not enjoying the convertible I rented.