SOURCE: Bruce Boyers Marketing Services

February 26, 2009 07:18 ET

SSDs: The Lightning-Fast Future of Enterprise Performance

BURBANK, CA--(Marketwire - February 26, 2009) - In the computer industry, there are a few individuals that people always listen to. When they speak, a revered hush will fall over a hall, industry headlines will be instantly made and discussion groups will come alive for weeks on end. One of those individuals is Steve Wozniak, legendary computer engineer, innovator and co-founder (with Steve Jobs) of Apple Computer. Mr. Wozniak not only recently spoke out on the subject of solid state drive technology in the enterprise, he just joined the ranks of Fusion-io, a start-up focusing squarely on this future, as their Chief Scientist.

Fusion-io has released a product line consisting of solid state drive technology under the heading, "Next generation server storage." The benefits that this technology brings to the enterprise are nothing short of amazing. It enables terabytes of virtual memory at speeds near that of DRAM. It improves storage performance by as much as 1,000 times over traditional disk arrays while operating at a fraction of the power and at a tenth of the total cost of ownership.

While solid state drives are clearly the speed salvation of computing, there is one barrier that can slow them down and hamper drive life. This issue must be addressed wherever they are implemented.

As data is saved to solid state drives, free space is shattered into pieces. The NTFS file system -- utilized in all of Microsoft's current operating systems -- is designed to save data onto hard drives, not solid state drives. As a result, free space is broken up. This phenomenon slows write performance dramatically and within a month can cause it to degrade by as much as 80 percent.

Additionally, solid state drives have a limited number of erase-write cycles. Because of this, anything that increases the number of erase-write cycles decreases the life of the drive. The breaking up of free space increases the number of erase-write cycles, shortening drive life in addition to hampering performance.

To ensure that solid state drives bring the performance that users are seeking, a solution must be employed that optimizes their free space. When this is done, write performance is brought back to a high-speed level and kept there, and once the solution has been in operation a short time, write-erase activity becomes substantially reduced. The life of the drive is lengthened and performance is maximized.

As we move into this incredible high-speed future, all sites implementing this technology should ensure this issue is completely addressed.

Contact Information