PCIe-Attached Solid State Storage – The New Memory Tier

Tue, Feb 17 2009, 7:00 pm              PCIe-Attached Solid State Storage - The New Memory Tier 1

Fusion-io CTO David Flynn will present technical details about how flash memory-based storage systems work, as well as how PCI Express is being used as a much faster access method for flash memory-based storage products.

NAND Flash has revolutionized the way consumers store data at a personal level in terms of music, video and other media. Companies have begun to take advantage of NAND Flash also for storing large amounts of data. There is an essential disconnect, however, between the way in which NAND Flash should be utilized in the enterprise to store large amounts of active data.

According to Moore’s Law, the performance and power of processors doubles approximately every 18 months, while the cost of NAND Flash is reduced by half. These trends make the integration of NAND Flash into the enterprise that much more cost beneficial. There are currently more than 70 companies designing NAND Flash solutions for the enterprise that fit into the existing storage architecture. The system of buses, controllers and other protocols designed to augment the poor performance of disk-based storage is a handicap for the integration of the speedier NAND Flash into such systems, thus rendering this medium unable to realize its full I/O potential.

Why should such powerful silicon-based technology be used with an architecture designed for mechanical disks? Why not place NAND Flash directly in the server so that it can perform in a manner consistent with its potential. By bypassing this old architecture entirely and plugging NAND Flash directly into existing PCIe slots, this architecture is able to increase I/O rates by more than 1000 fold.

PCIe-Attached Solid State Storage - The New Memory Tier 2About the speaker,  David Flynn, Fusion-io

As CTO of Fusion-io, and one of the company’s founders, David Flynn is the visionary behind Fusion-io’s innovative technology. He has a history of successfully architecting complex computer-related solutions, including some of the world’s largest and fastest supercomputers and the world’s smallest personal Linux servers, embedded Web 2.0 interactive TV, image processing, relational databases, file systems and thin-client computing products.

Prior to joining Fusion-io, Mr. Flynn served as Project BlackDog’s Chief Scientist and Vice President of Engineering. He has also held positions at Linux Networx and the Oracle spin-off Network Computer Incorporated (NCI). David holds a BS in Computer Science. He serves on the Technology Advisory Boards for the College of Information Technology at Brigham Young University, and for Techniscan Medical Systems.

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