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Violin Memory 2014 Predictions - The Future is Persistent Memory

VMblog 2014 Prediction Series

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2014.  Read them in this VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed article by Narayan Venkat, Vice President, Product Management, Violin Memory

The Future is Persistent Memory

For the past decade, the speed at which businesses run has been tethered to the standard storage solution - mechanical disks. The problem is the growth of the world's data will not be able to be provided in real-time if the standard continues. Disk is highly failure prone, costly and the performance is subpar to grow in tandem with the expectations that consumers are used to getting on their mobile devices. The shift to active data workloads being taken over by persistent memory in the data center is inevitable. Once the tipping point hits, organizations will see tremendous opportunities in the way business is conducted.

  • We expect the next generation of applications to be written to take advantage of the speed of persisting data in memory. Just like we have seen the rapid shift towards using flash memory on smart phones, tablets, iPads, we expect a similar transformation of the data center to using persistent memory (flash is an example of persistent memory) for active & real-time data.
  • Storage performance will follow Moore's law, in that we expect doubling of performance and capacity from flash memory every 15 - 18 months at approximately the same cost points. Memory based storage will compete at the same cost of spinning disk, removing the last hurdle to mass adoption of memory based storage in the data center.  At a minimum we expect all ‘active' data sets to reside in memory, enabling the real-time response demanded by businesses today.
  • To that end, expect bigger (10TB - 20TB cards), faster (Multi-Million IOP systems), denser (256TB in 3U form factor) systems that are cheaper and more economical than today's systems.  That will enable you to deliver performance equivalent of 100s of racks of storage in a data center, from a single closet of memory storage.

What does that enable? Imagine watching a NFL game with all available camera feeds being delivered in HD to your iPad in real time - multiply that by millions of subscribers. Having a personalized version of IBM Watson or Apple Siri that can answer all your questions in real-time simultaneously in hundreds of languages - multiply that by millions of subscribers. Or even having a Microsoft Kinect translate your voice and body motions in real-time to a viewer thousands of miles away, in his or her native language.

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About the Author

As Vice President of Product Management, Narayan Venkat leads Violin Memory's strategy to build a portfolio of persistent memory-based storage solutions to accelerate the adoption of flash for business critical applications, big data analytics and virtualization. Prior to Violin, Narayan was the VP of Cloud Infrastructure at VMware where he led the company's storage initiatives for virtualization platforms. Prior to that, he was VP at LSI Corporation and product strategy leader for Netapp's NAS, SAN and storage management solutions.

Published Monday, December 02, 2013 6:34 AM by David Marshall
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