16 October 2009

Shift in Focus?

In a few short months, there has been a shift in focus with regard to Enterprise SSD. I don't yet have a conclusion whether this is a good thing or bad thing, but I suspect the latter from the point of view of this endeavor, the BCNF relational database. What has emerged is the "disk cache" notion, with a few SSD (STEC or similar) fronting the HDD array. The Sun/Oracle FlashFire is the most recent example.

The controllers (SSD and HDD) work in concert to move data from the HDD to the SSD, just in time. The downside, from my point of view, is that this bandaid measure is a sop to those existing bloated file based (read: xml) applications. From the desire for immediate gratification, I suppose this is OK. But doing so squanders the big value of SSD. The vendors would be just as well off, if not better off, using static RAM caches.

We'll just have to wait and see how SSD plays out. If the "disk cache" approach becomes the norm, then the enterprise SSD (and its effect on the relational database) shrinks into niche status. The would break my heart, tender young thing that it is.

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