Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Performance Gap Dilemma:

The storage industry is very cognizant of the number of conflicting challenges that they are facing. Not the least is the ever increasing gap between CPU performance and disk based storage performance.

Using the approximation of 50% annual growth in CPU performance and a 10%, annual performance growth of storage there is an increasing widening in the performance gap between the CPU demand for I/O performance and the ability of a storage solution to deliver. The chart above was created using these assumptions and as can be seen it results in an approximate 25x to 2x disparity in performance growth over the past 10 years between CPU and disk-based storage.

There is little surprise that in data intensive environments such as transactional-heavy DB applications, business & financial analytics, data mining, data warehousing, production archive, virtual machine deployment and VDI are in many cases becoming classified as performance starved applications looking for a storage solution that can deliver the high velocity data they need to be fully effective.

It is this dilemma and the need to close the performance gap to eliminate the performance penalty associated with I/O bound applications that is the catalyst fueling the demand for solid state storage.

1 comment:

Alastair Williams said...

Whilst I agree with many of your comments here especially concerning the pressure CPUs are under to process data, I believe that changing technology for faster IO is simply delaying solving the underlying problem.

The reason that most bottlenecks in processing occur is due to the vast quantities of historic transactional data that is processed unnessessarily in the course of finding the current relevant data. Systems that ran perfectly well 2 years ago are now creaking because twice the IO is needed to occur to get the same result.

Only by introducting an information management poilcy that actively archives out historic information will organisations keep control of processing SLA's without blowing IT budgets and carbon commitments on replacing their existing storage technology. The benefits are quatifyably and clear as per a recent Forrester report.

As for those organisations that are seeing the type of data change to higher formats the development of grid and multiprocessor technologies more than makes up for the indevidual processor limitations