Incorporating Flash Memory

By John Busch  |  Posted 2009-09-29 Print this article Print

Incorporating flash memory into overall system architecture

A very high degree of parallelism and concurrency control is required in the application and server operating environment in order to utilize the tremendous potential I/O throughput and bandwidth offered by advanced flash memory technology.

Also, flash memory driver, controller, device optimization and tuning are required to match to workload behavior-especially to access size distributions and required persistence semantics.

High-performance interconnects

Interconnects have come a long way since Ethernet first became popular in the 1980s. Bandwidth continues to increase while latencies are steadily getting smaller. Today, Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) is standard on most server motherboards. 10GbE is being used in data centers mostly as a backbone to consolidate gigabit links and is starting to gain traction as a point-to-point interconnect.

With latencies as low as a single microsecond between server nodes, it is feasible to distribute workloads across multiple servers and to use replication to multiple server nodes to provide high availability and data integrity. Nevertheless, most applications available today were written with the assumptions of high latencies and slow bandwidth. The software to manage data movement at such high speeds while running simultaneously on multiple server nodes is very complex.

Dr. John Busch is President, CEO and co-founder of Schooner Information Technology. John has more than 25 years of industry experience. Prior to Schooner, he was research director of computer system architecture and analysis at Sun Microsystems laboratories from 1999 through 2006. In this role, he led research explorations in chip multiprocessing, advanced multi-tier clustered systems for deployment of Internet-based services, and advanced HPC systems. He received the top President's Award for Innovation at Sun, and oversaw many division technology transfers. Prior to Sun, he was VP of engineering and business partnerships with Diba, Inc., and was general manager of the Diba division after Sun acquired Diba in 1997. From 1989 to 1994, he was co-founder and CTO/VP of engineering of Clarity Software, and led creation of advanced multimedia composition and communication products for Sun, HP and IBM computer systems. From 1976 to 1993, he led many successful R&D programs at Hewlett-Packard in Computer Systems Research and Development. John holds a Ph.D. in Computer Systems Architecture from UCLA, a Master's degree in mathematics from UCLA, a Master's degree in computer science from Stanford University, and attended the Sloan Program at Stanford University. He can be reached at

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