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What makes this enterprise SSD different?

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor, StorageSearch.com - March 30, 2012
just 4 things really... (well - maybe 6)

ending the infinite SSD article loops!

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor -

If you've been involved in one of those projects recently trying to decide which SSD supplier to choose for your strategic, mission critical, server future - then you've probably read more articles about this subject and pored over more benchmarks than you expected when you began.

It seems like the more you read - the more you have to know.

A lot of readers have told me they spend days reading what I've written about SSDs and sometimes it seems like they're going around in circles because just when they have satisfied their needs to understand one strand which surrounds this topic they discover another piece of information which opens up another new loop they have to master - or flatly contradicts something which they thought they had previously understood only a few loops before.

Is there a conspiracy of SSD bloggers and vendors to churn out thousands of SSD articles to obscure the handful of simple SSD sub atomic truth particles which really explain everything?

In one way that's true.

Reason being - the enterprise SSD world is still evolving.

As in particle phsyics we do some experiments based on the shape of things we understand with the current level of technology - and then discover that there are some other little things out there which weren't so obvious before.

So if we create an SSD model which says that all CPUs and software only know about hard drives - you get one type of optimal SSD solution....

But then a few years later if some CPUs and software know about SSDs - maybe that changes how they behave - and as the SSDs get cheaper and faster and smarter (and everywhere) it's possible to do market experiments which wouldn't have been feasible before.

an end to SSD article loops

If you're tired of going round infinite SSD article loops I can offer you a small number of indivisible SSD architecture principles - which - if you understand them - will make it simpler for you to predict and model most of the important behavior and quirky performance and reliability characterirstics of almost any enterprise SSD that you will read about.

All SSD personalities are dominated by just a handful of design parameters. If you know these SSD architecture quarks / quirks you can go a long way to understanding and predicting SSD system behavior. Here's my little list of articles. That's it. That's all you need to know.

Nearly...

Obviously I haven't said anything about the many different types of flash memory which can be used inside such SSDs.

Nor anything much about SSD reliability engineering. These are problems for your vendor's SSD designers to worry about and not for you. There are many different ways to achieve similar product goals using vastly different starting points in the reliability of their memory parts (depending how clever the SSD oems are and their business models).

And I haven't said anything about SSD prices or interfaces or form factors - because you're only going to look at SSDs you can afford, connect to and which fit in your box. Those aren't the differences which start the midnight SSD article loops spinning.

There are only 2 more articles which I'll add to my list above to make it complete.
click for more SSD articles Please don't complain to me if I just started you on another one of those endless reading loops. I tried to make it as simple as I could. Honestly.
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