A customer recently asked me if the SF3700, our latest flash controller, supports SATA Express and fired away with a bunch of other questions about the standard. The depth of his curiosity suggested a broader need for education on the basics of the standard.
To help me with the following overview of SATA Express, I recruited Sumit Puri, Sr. Director of Strategic Marketing for the Flash Components Division at LSI (SandForce). Sumit is a longtime contributor to many storage standards bodies and has been working with SATA- IO – the group responsible for SATA Express – for many years.
Solid state drive (SSD) makers have introduced many new layout form factors that are not possible with hard disk drives (HDDs). My blog Size matters: Everything you need to know about SSD form factors talks about the many current SSD form factors, but I gave the new M.2 form factor only a glimpse. The specification and its history merit a deeper look.
A few years ago the PCI Special Interest Group (PCI-SIG), teaming with The Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO), started to develop a new form factor standard to replace Mini-PCIe and mSATA since specifications from both of these organizations are required to build SATA M.2 SSDs.
Deploying a mix of datacenter resources in a preconfigured server – compute, storage, network, and memory – in a way that they are fixed, can’t be tuned to a use case, and must be replaced entirely for an upgrade is how the IT industry has been working for years. Each server is an island.
This is an inefficient path when you deploy more than a few servers. That’s why there is an architectural movement in hyperscale datacenters (and it’s sure to be emulated by enterprise in a few years) to “disaggregate” – or, the term I prefer, “pool” – these resources.
Each year in the first week of January, Las Vegas holds what I am told is the casino-ringing city’s largest event of the year, the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) with typically 150,000+ people from 150 countries attending. I have been attending this show for many years and each year people ask me what was the most exciting thing I saw.
First off the show is so huge that I would bet it is impossible to see everything. A staggering 3,000+ companies offering products with some connection to consumer electronics like televisions computers and handheld devices trotted out their newest, fanciest gear.
The term ”form factor” is used in the computer industry to describe the shape and size of computer components, like drives, motherboards and power supplies. When hard disk drives (HDDs) initially made their way into microprocessor-based computers, they used magnetic platters up to 8 inches in diameter. Because that was the largest single component inside the HDD, it defined the minimum width of the HDD housing—the metal box around the guts of the drive.
The height was dictated by the number of platters stacked on the motor (about 14 for the largest configurations).
It was Arnold Glasow, a 20th century American businessman and humorist, who once said, “Praise does wonders for our sense of hearing.” Although a tongue-in-cheek remark, Glasow was on to something when it comes to praise and recognition.
Research by Japanese scientists has revealed that paying people a compliment appears to activate the same reward center in the brain as paying them cash, and also encourages them to perform better. That comes as welcome news for those of us who firmly believe in the value of workplace recognition programs.
In the spirit of Christmas and the holidays, I thought it would be appropriate for a slight change from the usual blog entry today. In this case you need to think about the classic song “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” I promise not to dive into the origins of the song and the meaning behind it, but I will provide an alternate version of the words to think about when you are with your family singing Christmas carols.
Rather than write out all the 12 separate choruses, I decided to start with the final chorus on the 12th day.
Open Compute and OpenStack are changing the datacenter world that we know and love. I thought they were having impact. Changing our OEMs and ODM products, changing what we expect from our vendors, changing the interoperability of managing infrastructure from different vendors. Changing our ability to deploy and manage grid and scale-out infrastructure. And changing how quickly and at what high level we can be innovating. I was wrong. It’s happening much more quickly than I thought.
On November 20-21 we hosted LSI AIS 2013.
Most users have no idea that reading electronic information from a data storage medium like a hard disk drive (HDD) or solid state drive (SSD) is plagued with read errors. For this reason error correction codes (ECC) are used to fix the random bit errors that arise during the reading process before the incorrect data is returned to the user. But the error correction codes can only handle so many errors at one time. If data errors exceed the ECC limits, the data goes uncorrected and is lost forever.
It’s that crazy time of year in the U.S., when football, hockey and basketball compete for attention. Flick through the TV channels any fall weekend and you’ll find a college or pro football match, as well as games involving the other sporting venues.
Let’s face it – we love our sports. Some of us more than others, like the fans who paint their faces in their favorite team’s colors. Or those who show up to work wearing jerseys and other regalia that reflect their team allegiances.