Don’t be fooled: Off-The-Shelf SSDs make a solid design choice in storage systems

Storage system vendors have chosen to integrate flash in two ways: incorporate standard off-the-shelf SSDs, or design their own flash modules and controllers.  Many of the early all-flash array pioneers, like Violin and TMS, designed their own custom flash modules for what were very sound reasons at the time.  The choice to go in one direction or another in this area revolves around several criteria, most notably Performance, Time-to-Market, and Cost.   I explore all 3 as it relates to this subject below:   Performance Many vendors made the design choice to build their own flash controllers before NVMe products were available,…

The “P” in Pavilion Actually Stands for Performance

Storage system designers constantly make engineering tradeoffs to maximize three key attributes – Throughput, Latency and Density. This blog series will delve into each of these separately and cover the thought process we went through when we designed the Pavilion Storage Platform as it relates to these attributes.    This first blog of the series focuses on Throughput.   Part 1 – Throughput We can generalize the Pavilion Storage Platform as a dataflow system in order to understand the throughput performance characteristics. Such a system can be viewed to have well defined system demarcation boundaries, and Amdahl’s law can be…

The Penrose Triangle

We live in a connected world. Millions of apps, billions of users and trillions of things. Consequently, the amount of data that is generated is exploding. Yet at the same time, we are seeing massive fragmentation of where it originates from, its key structure, where it resides, how it gets accessed and processed and how it is ultimately consumed. New-fangled clustered databases, in-memory caches, exotic massively parallel filesystems, structured to semi-structured to unstructured, modern and disparate query languages, are just a few of the technologies that are causing this significant fragmentation.   At the same time, new application architectures are…

Motivation Behind Designing the Pavilion Platform

Over the course of two decades I have been deeply involved in developing products that spanned various domains such as data networking, storage area networking, PCIe interconnects, IO Virtualization, Flash controller, and all flash array systems. My journey took me through a variety of companies such as Cisco/Andiamo, Aprius (acquired by FusionIO) and Violin Memory and I am proud to be part of these teams that developed and shipped innovative products that served the data center.   Around the time I was at Aprius the idea of sharing IO on a compute node gained credence when it became evident that…

Next Generation Storage With No Compromise

Businesses are transforming to be more digital and are constantly in the quest of getting a competitive advantage over their competitors. One of the important and popular means is to do more with the data that they have. We all know that the amount of data as in volume, velocity and variety are continuing to grow unabated. To maintain competitive edge in the digital era implies the ability to take control of this deluge, analyze and deliver insights accurately to better serve business needs. This has turned the focus back to storage software, storage media and systems as it was…