"Flashed-based solid-state drives (SSDs) are becoming a
big issue for enterprise storage users; a number of customers I
work with are planning for this new "tier 0" data storage for a
number of reasons. It could be as simple as IOPS per watt, IOPS per
dollar, or for some applications, bandwidth per GB/sec of storage.
"SSDs have a number of disadvantages compared to traditional
disk storage, the biggest by far being cost. There are those who
claim that spinning hard drives will soon be a thing of the past
because of flash SSDs, but I can't see that happening anytime soon,
and if it does, the devices that replace spinning hard drives will
not be based on flash and won't appear much before the end of this
decade (see I/O Bottlenecks: Biggest Threat to Data Storage).
Vendors have been claiming tape is dead for the last 20 years, but
it continues to play a big role in data protection schemes. There
will always be tiers of storage, it seems.
"This is the first in a three-part series on planning for flash
SSD deployment. The first article will cover applications that will
benefit from flash, along with some of file system and other issues
for deployment. The second article will cover hardware issues, and
the third will cover SSD design issues and their use with SAS and