June 12, 2012
The increasing adoption of big data and cloud solutions has created a storage dilemma. System administrators have been tasked with delivering increased capacity and performance. They would also like the equipment to fit within a reasonable cost benefit analysis. Unfortunately, current hard disk drive and solid-state drive technologies only offer cheap capacity or high-priced performance.
At this year’s Cloud Expo, storage vendors OCZ, Whiptail, Amplidata, Coraid and others are pitching SSD-based offerings to potential enterprise and cloud service customers. The technology certainly boasts a long list of advantages compared to its platter-based predecessor. SSDs are smaller, lighter, contain no moving parts, use less energy, have less latency and much provide much higher IOPS than traditional hard drives
The following video demonstrates the boot time of a SSD compared to a HDD on the same system. Performance wise, the SSD is the clear winner, booting up in 25 seconds. The HDD took nearly twice as long, booting in 45 seconds.
These performance advantages steered Ohio’s Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) to choose an SSD based SAN appliance when they switched to a virtualized desktop model. The 1,500 user environment was going to require anywhere from 20-50 IOPS per user. Their current SAN was unable to handle this load, which led them to Whiptail. After switching to a 2U SSD appliance, the DODD reduced SAN power consumption by 95 percent and had 250,000 write IOPS at their disposal.
For all the advantages SSDs exhibit, their Achilles heel exists in the form of high prices for reduced capacity. A typical 2 terabyte SATA hard drive can sell for $109, which comes out to roughly 18.78 GB per dollar. SSDs on the other hand typically struggle to provide 1GB per dollar spent and lag behind HDDs in capacity.
The difference between both technologies can prove difficult when deciding to upgrade storage systems. SSDs cater to environments where low latency and high IOPS are required. This includes high-speed financial outfits and systems that support high concurrent access. HDDs can be used in cases where low-cost and capacity is a priority, entertainment industry users may fall into this category with the massive amount of data generated by HD, 2k and 4k video.
Given the current options, it makes sense that neither technology has become an undisputed champion. The solid-state vs. hard disk battle will likely continue until either one achieves the capacity, price and performance sweet spot, or a new technology like Phase Change Memory (PCM) steals the show.
Researchers from the Suddhananda Engineering and Research Centre in Bhubaneswar, India developed a job scheduling system, which they call Service Level Agreement (SLA) scheduling, that is meant to achieve acceptable methods of resource provisioning similar to that of potential in-house systems. They combined that with an on-demand resource provisioner to ensure utilization optimization of virtual machines.
Experimental scientific HPC applications are continually being moved to the cloud, as covered here in several capacities over the last couple of weeks. Included in that rundown, Co-founder and CEO of CloudSigma Robert Jenkins penned an article for HPC in the Cloud where he discussed the emergence of cloud technologies to supplement research capabilities of big scientific initiatives like CERN and ESA (the European Space Agency)...
When considering moving excess or experimental HPC applications to a cloud environment, there will always be obstacles. Were that not the case, the cost effectiveness of cloud-based HPC would rule the high performance landscape. Jonathan Stewart Ward and Adam Barker of the University of St. Andrews produced an intriguing report on the state of cloud computing, paying a significant amount of attention to the problems facing cloud computing.
05/10/2013 | Cleversafe, Cray, DDN, NetApp, & Panasas | From Wall Street to Hollywood, drug discovery to homeland security, companies and organizations of all sizes and stripes are coming face to face with the challenges – and opportunities – afforded by Big Data. Before anyone can utilize these extraordinary data repositories, however, they must first harness and manage their data stores, and do so utilizing technologies that underscore affordability, security, and scalability.
04/02/2012 | AMD | Developers today are just beginning to explore the potential of heterogeneous computing, but the potential for this new paradigm is huge. This brief article reviews how the technology might impact a range of application development areas, including client experiences and cloud-based data management. As platforms like OpenCL continue to evolve, the benefits of heterogeneous computing will become even more accessible. Use this quick article to jump-start your own thinking on heterogeneous computing.