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I/O Bottlenecks: Biggest Threat to Data Storage

Jan 04, 2010, 18:34 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Henry Newman)

[ Thanks to Paul Shread for this link. ]

"Data storage has become the weak link in enterprise applications, and without a concerted effort on the part of storage vendors, the technology is in danger of becoming irrelevant. The I/O stack just isn't keeping pace with advances in silicon, and it could find itself replaced by new technologies like phase change memory (PCM) that promise unfettered access to data.

"The problem is simple: Memory bandwidth and CPU performance continue to grow much faster than disk and bus performance and disk channel speed, and combined with a limited I/O interface (POSIX), the result is in an I/O bottleneck that only gets worse with time.

"A look at the performance increases for various elements of the storage stack over the last five years paints a clear picture:

"* Memory bandwidth: Intel has gone from 4.3 GB/sec in 2004 to 40 GB/sec, while AMD has gone from 5.3 to 25.6, an increase of 9.3 times for Intel and 4.8 times for AMD.

* CPU performance: Using Moore's Law that transistor count doubles every 18 months, I will assume that this translates to performance (which it does not) for a greater than tenfold performance improvement."

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