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Real-time tiering in a two tiered storage configuration offers the best performance gains

Jim Jonez, senior director, Dot Hill Systems | Aug. 27, 2013
Enterprises have long struggled with the storage conundrum of high capacity vs. high performance. Hard disk and solid state drives (SSDs) each offer advantages the other cannot match. Hard drives are the reigning kings of capacity, but lack the performance, ruggedness and power-saving features of SSDs. For all their advantages, SSDs are miles away from hard disk drives in delivering the capacity and cost-effectiveness required by enterprise applications.

In summary, many, if not most applications today are I/O-constrained, which limits their performance when using traditional hard disk drives, whether directly attached or in virtualized storage area networks. Caching helps improve performance to a point, but fails to scale because it quickly reaches the point of diminishing return on the investment. SSD technology that uses fast flash memory increases I/O rates by 2,000 to 3,000 times compared with hard disk drives, and a combination of the two in a tiered storage configuration offers the most cost-effective way to achieve significant performance gains today.

 

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