Storage Technology Lost to the Recession

Posted on June 22, 2012 By Henry Newman

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The article I recently wrote about 4 storage technologies lost to the recession has received some interesting feedback.

One reader asked what would have happened to file systems if OSD drives had made it. I believe there would have been a resurgence of file system development to take advantage of the new technologies. File systems such as Ceph would have a much easier time connecting to storage and the data abstraction between the file system and device would be much cleaner.

Another reader asked me what might have happened if PCIe 3.0 had been released in 2010 vs. 2012. I think that had PCIe 3.0 been released in 2010, 12 Gb/sec SAS, 16 Gb/sec FC and 40 Gb/sec Ethernet would have been brought to market much sooner. There was no sense in moving forward more quickly in developing these technologies without PCIe 3.0. The lack of improvement in the external connection technology on which we all depend (PCIe) means that other technologies have to wait, as I stated in the article.

The long-term impact is that storage becomes more of a bottleneck. Storage scaling compared to CPU performance and memory bandwidth is already abysmal. The last thing that is needed is more roadblocks, as that will require people to work around the roadblocks, and that has long-term impacts.

The last email I got was from an old friend. He asked who cares about 3.5-inch drives or 2.5-inch drives -- why do they matter? Rotating 2.5-inch drives have better IOPs per watt and better bandwidth per watt, was my answer. You are trading power for density, but in large configurations you can pack more of these drives into a smaller space and are likely to have better density per cubic foot.

Thanks for the questions.


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