LSI Blog

I’ve spent a lot of time with hyperscale datacenters around the world trying to understand their problems – and I really don’t care what area those problems are as long as they’re important to the datacenter. What is the #1 Real Problem for many hyperscale datacenters? It’s something you’ve probably never heard about, and probably have not even thought about. It’s called false disk failure. Some hyperscale datacenters have crafted their own solutions – but most have not.

Why is this important, you ask?

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Congratulations to Seagate on achieving this monumental milestone of shipping 2 billion hard disk drives (HDDs)! To put this in perspective, if you measured the Earth’s circumference in inches, it is only about 1.57 billion.

Those HDDs have used a lot of parts and intellectual property (IP), and LSI has been a very happy, long-time partner to Seagate providing read channel IP for nearly all of the 2 billion HDDs it has shipped. The read channel is a critical piece of technology inside the HDD that translates the magnetically encoded information on the rotating media to electronic signals that can be understood by the host computer.

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Most people fully understand that electronics are useless without power, but what happens when devices lose power in the middle of operating? That answer is highly dependent on a number of variables including what type of electronic device is in question.

For solid state drives (SSDs) the answer depends on factors such as whether an uninterruptable power supply (UPS) is connected, what controller or flash processor is used, the design of the power circuit of the SSD, and the type of memory.

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white board messageAnyone who knows me knows I like to ask “why?” Maybe I never outgrew the 2-year-old phase. But I also like to ask “why not?” Every now and then you need to rethink everything you know top to bottom because something might have changed.

I’ve been talking to a lot of enterprise datacenter architects and managers lately. They’re interested in using flash in their servers and storage, but they can’t get over all the “problems.”

The conversation goes something like this: Flash is interesting, but it’s crazy expensive $/bit.

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One of the big challenges that I see so many IT managers struggling with is how are they supposed to deal with the almost exponential growth of data that has to be stored, accessed, and protected, with IT budgets that are flat or growing at rates lower than the nonstop increases in storage volumes.

I’ve found that it doesn’t seem to matter if it is a departmental or small business datacenter, or a hyperscale datacenter with many thousands of servers. The data growth continues to outpace the budgets.

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big fish swallowing small fishMerging the working cultures of two different companies can be a very complex task. In my past experience with these situations I have not typically found the result to be highly positive for the employees of the incoming company.

As one example, the acquiring company may tell the employees they will be able to keep their startup environment and mentality, but within one or two quarters nearly all of those attributes are eliminated and the employees just become another cog in the bigger machine.

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