Samsung CIO Forum 2012 – A world of SSDs
November 2012, At this year’s Samsung CIO Conference, held in San Jose, the focus was on the global issues of ubiquitous connectivity through data centers and service providers in an environment that is constrained by the universal resources of power and pollution. The event open with an intro from SJ mayor Chuck Reed who was presenting that San Jose is the hub of the Clean Tech Revolution and has facilitated the creation of 25,000 Clean Tech jobs in the area.
A variety of presentations were given on methods for optimizing and distributing the data centers world wide, by Qualcomm, Microsoft, Facebook, the City of San Jose, V3, Pure Storage, ARM, Datastax, and Stanford in addition to Samsung, Gartner and IDC. The overriding challenge and opportunity, as summarized by IDC, shows a $4T opportunity for those that can connect the 4B people who want access and move/process the 50T GB of data in the system by 2020.
The majority of presentations were on revised architectures for the data center that bring “green” optimization into the forefront of the optimization criteria. Qualcomm presented their “modular POD” architecture for their data centers which utilize SSDs not in the primary storage tier, but as a data caching tier for optimized $/Watt/performance metrics. They are split between high speed edge of network support servers and HPC core applications in their data centers, and as a result, their memory and storage selections are application driven.
This theme was further discussed in a panel on the disruptive use of SSDs in the enterprise. As capacities increase for SSDs, and the enterprise use adopts these technologies that are transitioning from SLC to eMLC and soon high reliability TLC Flash (with a naming convention TBD by the great lotto machine that is used by the marketing gods who generate such terminology), the cost/power/performance metric for the appropriate workload is moving to the forefront. These increasing capacities allow for different use models and configuration types for FLASH. The driving factor is their use in what is now being termed “near real time” for immediate data access applications.
To address these immediate response needs, Samsung has created a new generation of products based on their 2xnm process technology. These include new “green” DRAM modules that double the capacity of traditional DDR3 modules and still reduce the power used. These DRAMs operate at the new lower operating voltage of 1.35v and are intended for new data centers being created, and new servers going into existing data centers rather than a retrofit to existing machines. The advances in virtualization that are possible with these high memory footprint machines and the new multi-core processors, have changed the economic of board based incremental upgrade, and have shifted the model to full mother board/server or rack level replacement as the new model. This is now a 3-4yr cycle rather than a 10y cycle for compute and storage networks.
The area of big data analytics presented that only 1.5% of the data in a typical network gets touched on a monthly basis, and that 40% of the data in a data center is duplicated. These statistics show that the cost of storage is primarily operational and energy. It also indicates that active high performance tiers do not have to be the size of the full storage structure. With this in mind, Samsung introduced the SM 843 SSD. Targeted for the high access of the data center and for streaming data applications, it features a 269X IOPS/Watt performance improvement and 79% power reduction over 15K HHDs that are used in this role currently. The drive utilizes the new 2xnm Flash technology ans is available in 2012.
The event concluded on the theme that $1 in IT commits $2 in facilities. This is driving the shift away from private data centers to multi-tenant cloud services. There will a large middle ground that includes on premise clouds and other hybrid solutions as the issues of multi-tenant security, and accessability of physical location vs local cabling, light and dark fiber availability for the high bandwidth connectivity needs of these data centers. The consensus is that whatever the configuration, large DRAM configurations and SATA/SAS and PCIe SSDs are now not an option, but an integral part of the enterprise architectures.