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Alpha Processors Are Toast... So is it - Out of the Frying Pan into the Sun Fire?

It ain't necessarly so.... Solid State Disks Can Prolong the Life and Accelerate the Performance of the Last HP Alpha Processors

So HP Users Can Say "No Thanks" to Sun's HP Away Program.......... by Zsolt Kerekes editor - August 23, 2004
See also:- Solaris Migration
Editor's intro:-
The single big idea about SSD acceleration is that it can give you the same performance increase as doubling or trebling your processor clock speed! That means faster applications response times or budget saving by deploying less servers. No wonder HP, IBM and Sun aren't going to tell you much about this option...
Zsolt Kerekes - Publisher
Zsolt Kerekes is editor of
STORAGEsearch.
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On August 23, 2004 an article in PhysOrg.com discussed the end of HP's Alpha Processors, the last one, clocking at 1.3GHz is being released this month. The article reviewed the triumphs and demise of this once ground-breaking server architecture.

This raises the question...

What do you do if you need more than 1.3GHz Alpha performance today - but have critical applications stranded on Alpha and not enough time or budget to migrate to other - equally uncertain architectures?

This is where solid state disks come into their own.

Most commercial applications can get a x2 or x3 server speedup by judicious use of fast solid state disk storage in the right place. That means you can extend the operational life of obsolete server architectures for several years.

And when you do eventually migrate the business application to something else - then you can redeploy the solid state disk too - as they are operating system agnostic and have a long operating life.

SSDs are a great solution for HP users who don't want to spend more money with HP after being left high and dry, but who don't want to take the risk of Sun Microsystems' HP Away Program either. Especially since Sun doesn't seem to have a credible roadmap for SPARC or Linux.

SSDs can be bought from server neutral vendors who will be able to help you now - whatever your migration strategy.
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Are MLC SSDs Safe in Enterprise Apps?
This is a follow up article to the popular SSD Myths and Legends which in 2007 demolished the myth that flash memory wear-out (a comfort blanket beloved by many RAM SSD makers at the time) precluded the use of SLC flash in heavy duty datacenters.

Are MLC SSDs Safe? - has also become a classic and very popular article. It looks at the risks posed by MLC Nand Flash SSDs which - having hatched from their breeeding ground as chip modules in cellphones - have morphed and crept into hard disk form factors. In a notebook (where you aren't aiming for a 99.999% quality data experience) MLC SSDs can be a good thing. But in the datacenter?

First published in 2008 it has been extensively updated in 2010 - to answer common reader questions - and because the risks from newer MLC flash are even greater than they were when the article originally appeared.

It starts down a familiar lane but includes many technology twists. You'll realize that patching the hole in the bottom of the leaking data bucket isn't much good - if the whole bucket can tip over and splash your data beyond ECC limits due to factors which no SSD controller guarantees to protect you from. That's because there's a lot more to MLC data integrity risk than endurance!
are MLC SSDs safe in enterprise apps - recently updated   popular article Knowing what these risks are can help you decide if your enterprise app is inside or outside the vulnerable to data loss zone. ...read the article
Case Study:-

Utah State University Selects Solid State SCSI Disk Technology from BiTMICRO to Accelerate Access to User Information
Editor:- August 18, 2004 - BiTMICRO Networks today announced at HP World 2004 the successful integration of its E-Disk solid state flash disk drive within Utah State University's enterprise e-mail application.

Utah State University maintains a VMS cluster composed of four machines. Used as a central computing resource by administrative and academic users within the university's data network, the cluster is powered by OpenVMS, an advanced operating system that operates on the VAX and Alpha architectures. Data storage is provided by an HP StorageWorks Modular Smart Array 1000, a 2 Gb Fibre Channel to Ultra SCSI storage system for entry-level to midrange SAN applications.

The VMS Cluster is utilized by almost 25,000 users, composed of students, faculty and administrative personnel of Utah State, to access their email accounts. Due to the growing number of online users, users started to notice degradation in response time. Utah State looked around for a solution and decided to install a 3.5" E-Disk SCSI Wide flash disk to the HP MSA1000.

After the installation, users immediately noticed a significant improvement in access time. It plugged in directly just like a regular hard disk drive and was recognized and configured just as easily.

"We looked around for a suitable storage solution and found few that fit into our existing IT infrastructure. Our tests show that the E-Disk offered speeds four times faster than an older RAM disk and about 15x faster than magnetic disk drives. Speed and cost are our primary concerns, and we're happy to note that BiTMICRO's E-Disk flash drive is a worthwhile investment given its outstanding performance," states Kim Marshall, Director, Network and Computing Services of Utah State. ...BiTMICRO profile, ...HP World 2004, Solid state disks
parallel SCSI SSDs
SCSI SSDs
...Later:- in November 2005, I asked BiTMICRO if they could give our readers an idea of how much the above system cost (in Q405 pricing). They helpfully said that the product supplied was a 10GB 3.5" E-Disk (SCSI) for which the OEM Pricing is about $2,999.
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SSD Pricing - where does all the money go?
SSDs are among the most expensive computer hardware products you will ever buy and comprehending the factors which determine SSD costs is often a confusing and irritating process...
Clarifying SSD Pricing - where does all the money go? - click to read the article ...which is not made any easier when market prices for apparently identical capacity SSDs can vary more than 100x to 1!

Why is that? ...read the article to find out

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