Storage looks inward: Today’s action is inside the server, not out on the SAN
IDC recently crowned Hewlett-Packard Enterprise the #1 storage vendor, when total storage revenues – external storage systems as well as storage internal to servers – are added up. Five years ago this would have been another example of dumb market analysis. But IDC is on to something. #HP was long the biggest buyer of disk drives, but a huge number went into PCs, hardly a good indicator of enterprise adoption. But #HPE doesn’t include PCs, so the numbers now mean something.
Back when computing dinosaurs ruled the earth, servers didn’t have room for internal storage.
DRAM cost a thousand dollars per megabyte. A 12MB system was a big investment. Disk drives had 12 or 14 inch platters, and sat in their own racks. A $50,000 disk drive had less capacity, bandwidth and IOPS than a $2 thumb drive today. Almost all storage was external, and the advent of fibre channel storage networks in 1997 helped place storage even further away from the CPU.
But the last decade has seen a major shift. DRAM prices have reached new lows – $5/GB – while memory bandwidth and capacity has exploded. 128GB DIMMs, while costly, enable large, high-performance, in-memory databases inside powerful multi-socket, many-core servers.
The advent of flash-based DIMMs that expand usable memory into the multi-terabyte range will pull even more data onto the memory bus. In the short term expect the NVDIMMs to used as block storage, but once the necessary tweaks have been made to operating systems, they will extend memory as well. #Dell #EMC