Why SATA flash drives are being left in the dust
I noted years ago that if flash had been available in 1956 – the year the first disk drive shipped – we would never be building SSDs with SATA interfaces today. SATA works well for disks, because disks are slow. SATA responded by upping their data rates from a raw 3 Gb/sec to 6 Gb/sec. But bandwidth wasn’t the problem – IOPS and latency was. While drive vendors will continue to produce SATA SSDs for cost-sensitive users, the real action today is in NVMe SSDs. These are are extremely high performance SSDs that provide hundreds of thousands of IOPS, gigabytes per second, and extremely low latency. Performance that only a few years ago required $100,000++ storage array. CASE STUDIES ￼ Most customers are loath to share the secrets of their configuration choices, rightfully considering them trade secrets in an intense competitive environment. But I recently spoke to a Kingston Technology senior systems engineer, Cameron Crandall, about customer deployments that showed how NVMe SSDs are changing how people configure systems and manage their workflows. Kingston is the storage industry’s best kept secret. They are a privately held, $6.6 billion US company. Started by a couple of engineers in the late 80s, they focus on well-engineered products rather than marketing. Which may explain why they have a 59 percent add-on server memory share – not counting their OEM business. Color me impressed. Kingston also makes NVMe SSDs. That’s where my discussion with Cameron came in.