Reply to post: Not ready yet: EMC to replace old tech in existing storage with DSSD

EMC’s DSSD all-flash array hits the streets, boasting 10m IOPS

Axel Koester

Not ready yet: EMC to replace old tech in existing storage with DSSD

Kudos to EMC for getting DSSD to work. Questions remain about the non-standard connectivity: From my own experience at IBM working with low-latency attach ("CAPI" = cache coherent memory mapping), EMC will need to offer custom-designed applications with it to sell DSSD in sufficient quantities. Hadoop is a low-hanging fruit from a technical point of view, Spark would be more challenging.

DSSD attachment is a bit like CAPI attachment for the bare IBM FlashSystem (to Anonymous Coward -2: Yes you can also have FlashSystems without SVC code layer and without FC, 90 ms latency)... It's exotic. Any SAN data center will look for FC-compatibility, with InfiniBand covering special requirements. DSSD, CAPI and clones remain a scientists playground - unless you can offer the integrated cluster appliance with it. Also you'll need to make every integrated application aware of memory-mapped storage instead of volume-mapped storage.

But then the discussion is different: A NoSQL Flash appliance like IBM's "Data Engine for NoSQL" - or potential future EMC integrated devices - will NOT compete with storage. Instead they will compete with "in-memory" databases, the most popular deployment model for low-latency analytics. And the break-even point is not at one or two servers, considering the hefty price of DSSD gear and non-standard hardware. For reference, we designed the 4U-high IBM Data Engine for NoSQL to compete with 24 generic x86 servers running in-memory NoSQL (40+TB). That's not commonplace yet, even for Apache Spark. And it's more a discussion about energy cost versus deployment agility.

My guess is that EMC will rather go the mass-market compatible way and insert DSSD into established storage products, replacing old bus technology in VMAX, XtremIO etc. Not a game changer, but a reasonable progress. It's just not ready yet.

PS. (to Anonymous Coward -2: call it "hampered" with layers of storage code, but that's market demand. Try to stay below 200 microseconds *including* snap/thin/mirroring/data reduction software; SVC is a good reference).

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