Storage specialist Nexsan releases its report predicting the top solid-state drive (SSD) storage trends in 2012.
current mindset regarding solid-state disk (SSD) drives is that they are
extremely expensive, but the reality is that both SSD drives and systems have
dropped in price significantly, making them a viable option for select
applications in today's IT environments. That's according to a report from
disk-based data storage systems provider Nexsan, which released its list of the
top five noteworthy trends in SSD technology for 2012.
the increasingly attractive cost/performance advantages of SSD technology,
Nexsan storage system experts said SSD storage system innovations will improve input/output
operations per second (IOPS) and reduce end-to-end latency in 2012, marking an
increasing effort by vendors to reduce latency and improve the performance of SSD
technology, both from a drive and system perspective. Technologies and
approaches such as Infiniband-based controllers, PCI-Express controllers, the
implementation of block-level deduplication, auto-tiering and caching will
enable SSDs to achieve higher performance so that customers can do more, such
as run a greater number of virtual machines.
will also be an increased focus on the need to match SSD drive type with the
intended application in 2012, the company predicted, with tiering of SSD between
DRAM, SLC flash and eMLC flash ultimately delivering bigger wins than tiering
of different kinds of hard drives. Additionally, enterprises will adopt a mix
of industry-standard and high-performance SSDs to achieve higher performance
rates-up to 10 times for some applications-along with higher reliability and
lower overall costs.
the value of SSD drives is increasingly attractive, the businesses using them
should review their vendors carefully when researching SSD-powered storage
systems," said Christine Taylor, a senior analyst with the Taneja Group. "It
is critical to select a vendor that regularly reviews and tests the latest
generation drives to ensure the best available technology is appropriately
matched to the intended application. It is equally important to work with
vendors confident enough to stand behind these products with comprehensive
warranties and support."
year will also see more active system vendor evaluation, according to Nexsan,
as SSD technology advancements continue their rapid evolution and vendors
become more engaged in reviewing SSD products to package the best available
technology in their solutions. "Vendors will continue to stay ahead of the
curve when it comes to changing SSD drive reliability, performance and cost,"
the report said.
in 2012 are likely to increase their scrutiny in system vendor selection as
system buyers become more SSD-aware this year and knowledgeable in drive and
system differentiation. As a result, Nexsan said customers will likely evaluate
system vendors on their ability to appropriately analyze, test and design new
SSD solutions for optimal performance. For example, some SSDs will experience
significant performance degradation as they approach full capacity. Storage
systems must be re-engineered for these SSDs in order to get the most out of
them and to achieve the financial savings and performance benefits promised.
of Multi-Level Cell (MLC) SSDs into the data center rounds out Nexsan's list of
predictions. Consumer-level MLC drives will unfortunately find themselves in
the data center in 2012. As a result, reliability will suffer "significantly"
as the expected life of an MLC SSD drive in a data center environment is
typically no more than one year. Nexsan warned this can result in catastrophic
downtime if mission-critical data is placed on systems using MLC drives, and
recommends data centers use SLC or eMLC drives instead.
the increasing advancements in SSD technology, organizations will discover that
using solid-state storage for some applications may be cheaper than traditional
hard drive technology while offering monumental performance increases,"
said Gary Watson, CTO of Nexsan. "Due to the reduction in latency, many
more virtual machines can be hosted on a physical machine, which will lead to
significant savings in hardware and licensing costs."
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.