Monday 6 February 2012

Micro second access times to data files

An interesting note came across my desk this morning. A colleague said I might be interested in a report in The Register about Micron's take over of a company called Virtensys. Virtensys make PCIe bus extenders which a very fast way of share access for servers. A similar product is made by  NextIO. Where there is heavy server virtualisation it can greatly increase performance and flexibility whilst reducing the amount of cables required in a 48RU cabinet stuffed with large servers.

What I found particularly interesting was the reference to Micron's SSD  technology. using the Virtensys technology is is possible to share access to the SSD devices between servers. The Micron SSDs such as their enterprise device can give very fast data read times. The quoted figures are 3.3GB/sec and 715,000 I/Os per second. If carefully planned and implemented the user can see massive improvements in database retrieval times.  EMC are planning/using similar technology in some of their storage systems. Note this for read times and not write times as there are some system resilience considerations.

I look back and remember having to implement a forex trading system in 1985 where the mini-computer server database could only give 80 I/Os per second. Quite a change!


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