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is it realistic to talk about memory IOPS?

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor - - August 11, 2016
24 million IOPS on a single device is the title of a recent blog from Storage Switzerland which is a briefing note about Crossbar a company which operates in the converging segments of the flash alternative nvm and DIMM wars markets.

Among other things author - George Crump - says "Crossbar believes that it can achieve 24 million IOPS on a single 4TB NV-DIMM without the use of a RAM buffer or a capacitor." the article

Editor's comments:- when startups enter new emerging markets they are often tempted to make headline grabbing claims.

And I think the "24 million IOPS" (IOPs as in you and I think about them) has to be interpreted in that context. (How can you claim record breaking IOPS when all you've got is a memory IP - and that's just part of a yet to be integrated technology set which together make IOPs.)

This is not to decry the importance and validity of the tides of change in the SCM SSD DIMM wars market - which have consumed nearly half of my working hours in the past year.

We saw similar wild claims when the startup Fusion-io was trying to get across how PCIe SSDs would change the enterprise storage market by reference to the nearest similar technology when Fusion said in 2007 it would replace SANs. (Because SAN based SSD accelerators were at that time the SSD market's dueling weapons of choice.)

Going back to Crossbar - there is a genuine problem for the industry (which I touched on in an earlier post about Diablo's DMX software) - which is - what are the most useful metrics to judge tiered memory systems by?

As we've seen in the SSD accelerated storage pool market since 2009 - there's a wide spectrum of use cases and cost considerations which have many viable business intersections.

We need new "goodness" numbers for DIMM wars memories.

But I think using IOPS to characterize a memory product is less useful to describe why people might want to look at it than wattage, raw capacity in a DIMM, uncached raw R/W latency and price.

And - most important of all - what software does it work with? And how well does the software behave?
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