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EMC to sell PCIe SSD cards for server acceleration

Lucas Mearian, Computerworld | May 9, 2011
LAS VEGAS -- As part of its strategy to touch just about every part of the private and public cloud infrastructure, EMC said today it will begin selling PCIe flash cards for servers to accelerate I/O to and from backend storage systems.

In Micron's instance, RAIN will refer to utilizing additional NAND as a cache or buffer to increase resilience.

Asked whether EMC would be reselling Intel's product, Gelsinger said, "Obviously, Intel is one of our core technology partners. While Intel has talked generally about products in this area, I don't think they've talked specifically about it. So I think it would be premature for me to talk about anything further about ... their specific plans with regard to server-side flash."

Gelsinger said EMC plans to begin supplying the cards to beta customers in the second half of this year. As for when the product will be generally available to customers, Gelsinger said, "that depends on how well it does."

In an earlier demonstration on the larger conference stage, Gelsinger had an EMC administrator migrate virtual servers running Hadoop instances to an EMC storage array.

Speaking to a crowd of press and analysts, Gelsinger was asked whether or not EMC was entering the "general" server market, but expanded on that answer to say EMC's arrays are "servers" in that they serve up data.

"No. We're not competing with HP or IBM. I'm not trying to compete with HP's blade servers," he said. "But, as you could see in my previous demo, I'm migrating VMs onto my storage arrays. That's pretty interesting."

Gelsinger said EMC plans to integrate its FAST (fully automated storage tiering) software with the SSD technology to speed data placement from the storage array to servers for better performance.

The company also plans to make its array-based SSDs more affordable by using enterprise-class multi-level cell (eMLC) NAND flash, which offers greater capacity at a lower price point than its current single-level cell (SLC) SSDs.

 

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