Tuesday, October 27, 2009

In the flash cloud

Seems like something should be worth doing here... just need to figure out what:

Pay attention to the /. article on Amazon "stealing" more business from companies by offering mysql. Another article I haven't had time to read calls Cloud computing the "Hotel California of tech." Many people seem to ignore the downsides of cloud/sharing though: /.

But virtualization appears to be here to stay:
  • SR-IOV demo
  • Lots of ubuntu related virtualization and cloud related stuff on http://ubuntero.org and youtube, including even in the ubuntu luid announcement.
  • Ubuntu had a magazine dedicated to "in the cloud"
  • VirtualBox seems to be a favorite over VMWare and others.

The other hot topic worth tracking right now is solid-state SATA drives, seeing as how MySpace just replaced all their spinning disks with SSD's. Just beware of consumer grade SSD's. In other news, Intel just up'ed their speed with a firmware update. Speaking of Intel, lifespan is quickly becoming "not a problem":
  • X25-M mobile product using multi-level-cell (MLC): 5 year of useful life under typical laptop workloads with up to 20 GB of host writes a day (~36.5 Tetabytes of writes if you do 20 GB * 5 years). Doesn't seem like much, but that means you're re-writing 1/4 of your 80 GB drive every day. 0.15 Watts - which is indeed about 1% of a spinning drive.
  • X25-E extreme (server) product using single-level-cell (SLC): 64 GB drive supports 2 Petabyte of lifetime random writes (so it seems like they are saying each storage location is good for 32k writes [I'm assuming that wear leveling doesn't get the in way]). 2.5 Watts still, but I expect this will drop considerably on their next generation.
Crucial just released a high performance (faster than Intel) MLC based on the Indilinx controller. Turns out that Patriot Torqx and OCZ Vertex (and maybe Agility) are also based on that controller - no word yet on durability. Other items of interest regarding SSD's: TRIM and Garbage Collection (GC). OCZ firmware upgrade allows for this.

Intel's next gen SSDs are due in mid-2010, possibly even with SATA 3.0 support.
One ISP offers SSD drives - I expect lots more will soon too. Wonder about renting, or rent-to-own on SSD's.


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