26 April 2010

Do It Yourself SSDs: It Had to Happen

Zsolt does it again, with this article about a storage vendor cutting out the middleman. I, too, considered that likely, given that the value of an SSD is in the controller, while the NAND is nothing but commodity.

Here's the money quote (from the point of view of this endeavor):

Unlike SSD ASAPs - which are designed to accelerate hard disk arrays - the name of the game with the new Nimbus product line is to make it attractive for users to place all their critical IOPS intensive data into SSD.

What this implies for pure SSD versus SSD/HDD hybrids is not clear. Nimbus is, whether they know it or not, making the case for putting databases in SSD. They're a company I'll spend some time investigating. May be I can convince them they need a RDBMS Evangelist. Always loved the smarminess of that word.

Whichever way that works out, the SSD vendors have to be wondering, especially the "enterprise" variety, whether there's anything to be gained from bespoke controllers.

22 April 2010

Too Little, Too Late

Out of the mouths of babes. I keep track of the PostgreSQL site, and today it has this to offer. And here's the money quote, from one of the comments:

My opinion is that - DB procedures should by developed by DB people , typical PHP/Java developer knows to little to create optimal DB queries.

Obviously, not a native English speaker, but his heart is in the right place.

14 April 2010

PostgreSQL and SSD

I visit the PostgreSQL site pretty often, and yesterday there was a link to a post on Bruce Momjian's blog (he's a Big Wig in the PostgreSQL world) about SSD. I was moved to comment, and then today saw that AnandTech has just published a review of a new SSD. Herewith my next comment, as it's relevant to this endeavor and I'll assume that y'all don't visit Bruce as a matter of course.

Just for grins, and because it's timely (published today), here's the latest AnandTech SSD review: http://www.anandtech.com/show/3656/corsairs-force-ssd-reviewed-sf1200-is-very-good .

What's important about this review:
- it's for a SandForce 1200 controller, which is intended to be SF's vanilla retail controller
- it's really fast
- it uses no external DRAM cache, which is material to design decisions about how to build an SSD, which makes SF based SSD materially different from all others, retail or "enterprise"
- one can see the playing field of most retail SSD and top notch retail HDD in the tables

SSD are not yet commodity parts, unlike HDD. Evolution continues; hopefully so will decisions about how best to utilize them in RDBMS.

12 April 2010

It's Hardware, Stupid

Vindication is comforting, even sweet. Sometime back, I postulated that Oracle had reasons for acquiring Sun, and said reasons were not those from the usual suspects/pundits. The reason is simple: Oracle is after the last significant market segment it doesn't currently hold, IBM's mainframe customer. For that, Oracle requires mainframe power machines, and Sun has such. Along comes Brian Aker at O'Reilly with his take on the buyout. TaDa, hardware. Schweeeeeeeet.

08 April 2010

A Production SQL Server goes SSD

As I have mentioned occasionally, SQL Server Central is good place to pick up information, even though I don't run SQL Server here. Today they have an article about moving Fusion-io cards into a production system, and the glitches they encountered.

Fusion-io no longer even refers to their cards as "SSD", since they're not connected on a standard I/O channel, and are not yet bootable (a special driver, not yet scheduled for *nix, is still not available for win*).

And, as usual, this attempt did nothing to refactor the databases, so it's a pure I/O strategy. It was still considered worthwhile, though.

03 April 2010

Touching Me, Touching You

For years, and recently in my writings here and elsewhere, I've made the point that GUIs are inefficient and even inferior to the keyboard when input is shared with the keyboard. The iPad will now have the opportunity to prove that a computer like device can be run usefully and happily only on pointing.

Whether Stevie knew it or not, he gets to observe a watershed event with his own money.

Here's a page from the AnandTech Review. I love when I'm right.