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storage routers

see also:- "router" - editor mentions on StorageSearch.com
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the need to interconnect different storage interface devices

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor - January 13, 2011

Back in the old days of storage history there were even more interfaces than there are today - because there were less industry standards and more proprietary ones.

So interconnecting systems was complicated and the storage router market was fragmented as specialist firms operated in different market niches and rarely competed head to head.

It's still complicated today - but mostly network storage architecture hasn't changed much in the past 10 years - since the end of the dotcom boom which ensured that every organization had to own ethernet compatible storage - even if internally its used a mish mash of disparate technologies.

What has changed instead are the speeds and differing roles of fibre-channel SANs, GbE NAS, and iSCSI and the introduction of a new storage network standard called InfiniBand which is the only completely new transport which appeared in the decade 2000 to 2010.

Another thing which has changed in storage infrastructure is the DAS connections. Good old parallel SCSI has been superceded by SATA and SAS.

Hard drives still spin at exactly the same RPM speeds as they did 10 years ago, But their capacities have got bigger.

One thing which has changed a lot is the way backups are done. Tape libraries - which dominated network backup thinking in the 1990s - have mostly given way to disk backup. The transition to VTLs is documented in another article.

SSDs haven't changed the storage router market much - but they will.

One of the earliest volume uses of embedded SSD accelerators (outside the military market) was the use of 3.5" SSDs inside storage routers in 2002.

Looking ahead to the future - I described the storage datacenter architecture circa 2016 in my article - this way to the Petabyte SSD.

As we progress to that point (from 2011) storage architectures could get very messy as users leverage point products such as PCIe SSDs and SSD ASAPs to get short term apps acceleration advantages while squeezing in and around the systems they already own.

I'll be reporting on progress in that area as usual in storage news.

A good way to find companies currently in the storage market is to use the search box below.
...
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this way to the Petabyte SSD
In 2016 there will be just 3 types of SSD in the datacenter.

One of them doesn't exist yet - the bulk storage SSD.

It will replace the last remaining strongholds of hard drives in the datacenter due to its unique combination of characteristics, low running costs and operational advantages.
click to read the article -  reaching for the petabyte SSD - not as scary as you may think ... The new model of the datacenter - how we get from here to there - and the technical problems which will need to be solved - are just some of the ideas explored in this visionary article.
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Notes from SSD market history

The product shown below, from Imperial Technology
(which is no longer in business) is an example of a
rackmount SSD accelerated SAN router which was
featured here on StorageSearch.com in June 2003.
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MegaRam-5000 from  Imperial Technology
MegaRam-5000 Enterprise SSD SAN router
from Imperial Technology
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SSD ad - click for more info
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How big was the thinking in this SSD's design?
Does size really does matter in SSD design?

By that I mean how big was the mental map? - not how many inches wide is the SSD.

The novel and the short story both have their place in literature and the pages look exactly the same. But you know from experience which works best in different situations and why.

When it comes to SSDs - Big versus Small SSD architecture - is something which was in the designer's mind. Even if they didn't think about it that way at the time.
click to read the article - Big versus Small SSD  architectures For designers, integrators, end users and investors alike - understanding what follows from these simple choices predicts a lot of important consequences. ...read the article
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