Flash Memory Summit 2019 – Day 2 Wrap Up

The second day of Flash Memory Summit (FMS) was another busy one for Storage Switzerland, including presenting with Jay Kramer, an FMS founder and CEO of Network Storage Advisors.

(Briefing 1 and 2 are available in our post “Flash Memory Summit 2019 Day 2 – Western Digital”)

Briefing 3 – SCSI Trade Association (STA)

No, Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) has not killed all other protocols, although with the amount of coverage that NVMe gets, you’d think so. SCSI, mostly in the form of Serial-attached SCSI (SAS) is still a thing and according to the STA, it will continue to be for quite some time to come. To that end, the STA is pushing SAS to a new standard, 24G, which has a 2.4GB SAS per lane, doubling the speed of the current 12G standard in the market today. Expect product in the market by 2021.

While over the next year Storage Switzerland expects NVMe to take over flash drive attach totally, SAS will remain the dominant connection method for Hard Disk Drives (HDD) and Tape Drives. There is a lot of SAS infrastructure already in place and most data centers will stay the path of a SAS based infrastructure. With new HDD technolgies that promise improved performance as well as the constant improvement in tape drive technology, it is critical that STA continues to improve the specification.

Briefing 4 – SwiftStack Object Storage at Flash Memory Summit?

In a bold move, object storage vendor SwiftStack was also at FMS. Why? Because there is no reason that flash can’t be a part of an object store and FMS is as much about performance as it is a summit about performance and performance demanding workloads. Object storage can deliver performance in two areas. The first is where rapid access to data is critical. We’ve spoken to several vendors that have read-optimized drives and object storage is an ideal place to put those. The second area is Artificial Intelligence (AI) workloads where parallel performance is critical and is ideal for a scale-out architecture like SwiftStack’s.

To learn more about using Object Storage with AI read our briefing note “SwiftStack for AI, ML and DL

Briefing 5 – Liqid LQD4500 NVMe PCIe Add-in-Card at 4 Million IOPS

Liqid, a provider of composable infrastructure platforms, announced the availability of an NVMe PCIe add-in-card capable of generating 4 Million IOPS and sustaining 24GB/s bandwidth in capacities up to 32TB. The card takes advantage of the newly available Gen 4 PCIe specification to meet these performance numbers while also providing a low transactional latency of 20 microseconds.

The solution works standalone but when combined with Liqid’s core software, it can deliver efficient data performance for the most demanding environments. You can learn more about Liqid by checking out our briefing note “Making the Composable Data Center a Reality.” Liqid’s ultra-low-latency intelligent fabric ensures efficient use of IOPS, capacity and bandwidth for the LQD5400. With Liqid, organizations can compose the LQD5400 in tandem with disaggregated pools of graphics processing units (GPU), field-programmable gate arrays (FPGA), central processing units (CPU) and Intel Optane for Artificial Intelligence (AI), 5G Internet-of-Things (IoT), edge computing, dynamic cloud deployments and high performance computing (HPC).

Presentation 1 – Annual Update on Flash Memory for Non-Technologists

My first presentation at FMS is also one of my favorites. Jay Kramer, CEO of Network Storage Advisors and I teamed up for our third rendition of “Flash Memory for Non-Technologists.” Our bantering back and forth style keeps a late afternoon crowd entertained while they learn and get up to date on all things flash memory. This year we covered the basics like what is flash and what is a solid-state disk (SSD), as well as new topics like what is composable infrastructure. Make sure you attend our 2020 session, even if you are a technologist, for the most lively, opinionated and entertaining session of the conference.

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Twelve years ago George Crump founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal; to educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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