Bringing Moore’s Law to the Data Storage Market

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Context and Megatrends
    1. What is a flash solid-state drive?
    2. Why are flash solid-state drives relevant?
    3. Why now?
  3. Technology
    1. Problem addressed by the technology
    2. Solution sweet spot and use cases
    3. Solution limitations and complications
  4. Economic Implications
  5. Conclusions and Recommendations

1. Summary

Flash solid-state drives (SSD) will enable a once-in-a-decade improvement in storage price-performance. Flash SSDs sit between the CPU main memory and the spinning disks, offering more capacity per dollar than main memory and more speed per dollar than disks. Crucially, flash SSDs enable storage to keep up with the rapid advances in CPU speeds driven by Moore’s Law. This may enable customers to dramatically scale back purchases of expensive Fibre Channel (FC) disks and, potentially, high-end FC arrays.

However, some early flash SSDs implementations come with a set of limitations that customers need to be aware of, notably around usability and resilience. This note illustrates how the combination of technological advances and declining prices will open up new use cases for flash SSDs in the enterprise, while flagging some of the caveats that customers need to be aware of.

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