Narayan Venkat, VP of product management at Violin Memory, recently published a guest blog post titled “6 Reasons Solid State Memory Is The Biggest Story In Computing” over at Forbes.com. The rhetoric in the article should be familiar stuff to regular readers here at the Denali Memory Report but Venkat makes a few new points about why he believes that Flash-based storage is faring better in data centers than in notebooks and other portable devices and he has a few perspectives worth discussing here. Venkat’s six reasons are:
- Inertia and The Innovator’s Dilemma
- Big Data
- Volume Economics
I’ll comment on just two of these reasons and let you decide about the other four:
For latency, Venkat’s point is that time equals money in a corporate setting and nowhere is this equation more prevalent than in equities and futures trading. Microseconds lost mean millions of dollars lost, an equation that spans a 12-decade range. If Flash-based storage can give an edge in latency (and it does) then there’s a real dollar value that can be placed on it. If Flash-based storage vendors put together the right value proposition, it’s easy to see if it makes business sense or not.
Energy costs at some data centers now consume 30% or more of the centers’ operating budgets. If Flash-based storage can reduce energy consumption relative to high-RPM, short-stroke hard drives (and it does), then there’s another hard dollar cost that can be attributed to the asset side of the ledger for Flash-based storage.