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Peter Velikin

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Top Stories by Peter Velikin

IT Dog getting down and dirty today because that’s what it is going to take to deal with the dirty world of “vendor lock-in.”  There is really no way to dress this up and make it smell nice because it just stinks and although I would roll in something this nasty down at the dog park, I wouldn’t want you to have to live with the smell. I read an excellent article by Chris Mellor at The Register discussing the need to develop a standard for the server flash-storage array interface and it really got me thinking about the vendor lock in issue. “What is EMC up to with Project Lightning?” We all are kind of waiting to find that out now aren’t we?  EMC announced Project Lightning as their foray into the server side flash business, putting it sites on the nice people at FusionI/O, STEC and others.  I am wagging my tail to see EMC recogn... (more)

SSDs: The Beginning of the End for RAM Caching?

For years, the solution to IO bottlenecks has been pretty consistent: (1) add spindles to decrease seek time and increase throughput, and (2) add as much RAM as you can so your filesystems and applications can cache hot data and avoid disk access entirely.  These brute-force attempts to gain performance are inherently flawed and costly.  The price of increasing the number of disks in an array adds up quick, to say nothing of the investment in additional JBODs when you run out of slots in your array.  And although the cost of consumer-grade memory has fallen, relying upon RAM for... (more)

SDD Cache: Why is Cache Write Through Good?

Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of your IT manager or to take up cache against a sea of data. With apologies to Bill Shakespeare, the IT Dog is discussing two different cache write policies: write through and write back. Let me take a run at telling you what they are, why they are different and what you need to think about when you decide what policy to use. Cache Write Through This is the easier to explain and understand of the two policies discussed here. Cache write through is like having your cake and eating it too. Data is written into cache ... (more)

Using RAM in SSD Caching

Dr Dog Says “You Need More RAM In Your Cache Diet” Well, I am not really a doctor, but I play one on TV. You may remember (if you are old enough) that line from the 1986 Vicks-44 TV commercial.  Anyway, while I may not be a real doctor, I can certainly tell you about why you need more RAM in you cache diet. “I Think My Cache Diet Is Great” If you were happily running your IT system but needed some additional performance, chances are you turned to some kind of SSD caching solution to improve performance at a lower cost point than adding more servers or storage. You went on what I a... (more)

Maximize the Advantage of SSD Caching

File System Alignment for SSDs There are many techniques and methods that can be used to tune an IT system to improve overall system performance.  SSD caching is widely being used as a low cost, easy to implement method to quickly increase performance with little or no impact on existing operations.  One thing that needs to be considered when choosing SSD caching is how to configure a file system to maximize the performance increase SSD caching provides. Operating Systems and Block Size In the past few years, the sector size of HDDs has increased from 512 bytes to 4k bytes.  Relat... (more)