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September 22, 2008


Shehjar Tikoo

@Chuck:Good luck trying this approach with one of the spindle-randomizing arrays. If someone figures it out, let me know.

If I understand it right, one way is to maintain a list of most frequently used blocks either in the file systems or in the block layer within the operating systems. Once the access count for the blocks in this list crosses a threshold, move or re-map them into the EFDs.

The point is, dont let the blocks that constitute the hot-spots, reach the spindle-randomizers at all.

Chuck Hollis

You're right -- something like that will be needed. And it will only be as good as the algorithmic assumptions the designers make ...

Thanks for writing!

marc farley

Chuck, I was working for ConvergeNet (remember them?) about 10 years ago and they had the notion of using large amounts of flash memory as exported luns. It didn't work then for a number of reasons. One of the things I liked about the design was the possibility of "pinning" certain data loads to flash memory.

The thing I didn't like was the lack of management tools to help customers re-use the expensive flash resources for different applications at different times of the day or week or month.

Is there anything in the EFDs today that provide this type of device migration? This is one of the advantages of using cache memory - because it is usable by all applications, not just a couple.

Chuck Hollis

Hi Marc

We achieve that to a certain degree with products like SymmOptimizer that can identify hotspots in workload patterns, and transparently rearrange things as needed.

But I think much, much more is possible ... so stay tuned!


Hey Chuck. Here's a macro question for you: with demise of several large institutions on Wall Street that were the primary targets for the EFDs in the Symmetrix array, are you afraid that market adoption may have hit a wall here until the economy turns?

Chuck Hollis

Interesting and valid question!

I guess I'd be tempted to answer "not really" -- there are still plenty of business models out there (financial and otherwise) where speed equals money.

The trick is finding the person who can connect the dots, e.g. "gee, this application over here makes us a bunch of money, if it ran 2x-3x as fast, we'd make more money".

And the larger the organization is, the harder this seems to do.

-- Chuck

The comments to this entry are closed.

Chuck Hollis

  • Chuck Hollis
    SVP, Oracle Converged Infrastructure Systems

    Chuck now works for Oracle, and is now deeply embroiled in IT infrastructure.

    Previously, he was with VMware for 2 years, and EMC for 18 years before that, most of them great.

    He enjoys speaking to customer and industry audiences about a variety of technology topics, and -- of course -- enjoys blogging.

    Chuck lives in Vero Beach, FL with his wife and four dogs when he's not traveling. In his spare time, Chuck is working on his second career as an aging rock musician.

    Warning: do not ever buy him a drink when there is a piano nearby.

    Note: these are my personal views, and aren't reviewed or approved by my employer.
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