One Giant Leap Leads to Others
SEMINAL MOMENTS IN SSD EVOLUTION
By Gareth Taube, Vice President Marketing, Kaminario
This past weekend, Felix Baumgartner took a giant leap for mankind when he jumped from a balloon — at the edge of space — then proceeded to hurl toward Earth at approximately 800 miles-per-hour landing safely in New Mexico. Aside from Baumgartner’s guts to actually jump (and land safely), one of the most fascinating components of the event was all the technology involved in measuring and monitoring thousands of data points for future analysis. A great deal of the technology was custom built for this task and may lead to other innovations in areas such as video capture and remote monitoring. No doubt it was a seminal moment in aerospace history, but it can also be seen as a seminal moment in IT history as well.
This brings me back to how innovation in data storage has evolved. One of the great things about working in the solid-state drive (SSD) SAN storage market today is that you see firsthand how technologists have developed storage technology so that organizations can use the extra storage power and performance to achieve great business and customer benefits. SSD-powered applications enable companies to be more agile and responsive improving service and benefits to their customers. This means, for example, that environmental and computer network threats can be mitigated faster, investment decisions can be more precise and researchers can detect patterns in TBs of data faster. All because someone took a leap of faith on how this technology could be used.
Giant Leaps in SSD Solutions
As the mass adoption of flash SSD technology in the consumer sector has moved into the data center, we are seeing a lot of innovation first hand as SSD devices get more robust and higher performing. But unique designs in the SSD technology cannot be fully leveraged by older server-based or shared storage array architectures. Recently we have seen traditional storage vendors reach out to the next generation flash SSD devices such as in IBM’s acquisition of Texas Memory Systems and EMC’s grab of XtremIO. But as Randy Kerns point out in his article, Solid State Requires Redesign, these acquisitions are not an easy paring. Kerns warns that “Vendors who continue to sell systems designed for spinning disk will be at a disadvantage in an increasingly flash dominated world. That’s why solid-state technology acquisitions and development will set the stage for the next generation of storage systems.”
This validates the premise on which we built the K2 — high performance storage media requires a high performance storage architecture. And not just any storage architecture, but one that is flexible enough to incorporate new SSD technologies as they evolve, without a redesign to the overall system. This is why we designed the K2’s unique Scale-out Performance Storage Architecture (SPEAR) to readily accept each next generation of SSD media type and continue to deliver reliable and scalable performance. At first, it may have seemed like a big leap in conventional thinking about how to introduce new storage technologies seamlessly into the data center, but so far, our history has shown that with each new jump in the evolution of SSD devices, we, and our customers, have safely landed on our feet.