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Sun To Include SSDs On Server Motherboards

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the smaller-canyon-shorter-echo dept.

Data Storage 79

snydeq writes "Sun has announced plans to integrate solid-state drives onto server motherboards to provide faster data access for I/O intensive applications. For now, the company is offering SSDs that customers can slide into their storage bays, but long term, Sun will locate SSDs closer to the server CPUs to cut the bottleneck that occurs when powerful, multicore CPUs have to wait for data to be delivered from hard drives, according to the company. The move could mark a change in how Sun servers are designed going forward, including the possibility of servers that have no hard drive, relying entirely on SSDs."

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But at what cost? (2, Insightful)

Lookin4Trouble (1112649) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156103)

Sun's hardware is already prohibitively expensive, how much will options like this add to the price of hardware? When I can order up a pair 4U boxen from any competitor that each have the same hardware specifications as a single box from Sun, what does this buy me besides simplified wiring/management, and the ability to run Solaris?

Re:But at what cost? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27156143)

This could allow for even higher blade density in HPC solutions. I don't see it being such a big deal for 4U.

Re:But at what cost? (2, Interesting)

josmar52789 (1152461) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156281)

Um, I think we just read "what this buys you" Reduced bottlenecking, faster read/write... I'd like to see this on cheaper hardware...

Re:But at what cost? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27157459)

Look at Scalable Informatics [scalableinformatics.com] for less expensive and faster hardware than thumper and thor. Their founder writes a blog and is talking about their own SSD based unit [scalability.org] .

Re:But at what cost? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27161467)

I always go to blogs for utterly honest, objective, Marketing-free content.

Re:But at what cost? (1)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157835)

I'd like to see this on cheaper hardware...

Sun has entry-level hardware which is comparable to HP or Dell rack-mounted stuff.

Even if Sun puts this stuff on their high-end machines, sooner or later that stuff is going to come trickling down to the cheaper boxes.

Re:But at what cost? (1)

Forge (2456) | more than 5 years ago | (#27161189)

What's really cool about this is that it demonstrates that Sun not only reads SlashDot. They troll my comments for product ideas.

Check out this little posting if you doubt me.

Re:But at what cost? (2, Funny)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156287)

You're helping keep Sun from going bankrupt. Think of it as a charitable donation.

Re:But at what cost? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27156585)

Dear Sun Developers, I understand that you seek for opportunities to make money. Since Java is free, you may feel that making money by integrating the Yahoo Toolbar into Java is a good idea. But that idea is profoundly stupid. Just in case you didn't see the reasons, let me share my point of view:

I build an ERP which has to be sold to customers. I am in direct competition to lots of other providers of similar software, and believe me, ERPs are in todays time only sold by a good feeling you can introduce in customers. Functionality is more or less mandatory since most customers just expect that the whole thing works.

No I have to introduce myself to customers, and if they ask me, which platform I use, I always say Java and try to convince them that the platform alone is a stategic advance to us, and so for them. I the customers already have Java, and Java installs the Yahoo fucking Toolbar, the immediate impression is that its just a bunch of spyware geared toward teenage chronic masturbators. Working professionals don't want this shit on their company computers. This is bad for me, since I don't have any chance to get rid of the VERY bad expression Java makes in advance. Please don't fuck with the reputation of Java anymore. Just because Java lost some market share to that ghastly, bloated collection of toy programs called .NET anyway dosen't mean that Java has to sink lower with Yahoo Toolbar.

With best regards, and the hope for change, Kevin "hung like a mouse" Dawson

Re:But at what cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27157017)

With best regards, and the hope for change, Kevin "hung like a mouse" Dawson

Talking about bad impressions, just way too much info!

>.

Re:But at what cost? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27156291)

Oh, only the joys of supporting integrated peripherals when they inevitably fail.

Take the sun-supplied crowbar, now just pry the ssd's off the motherboard...

Re:But at what cost? (4, Funny)

smallfries (601545) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156305)

Given that Sun design their boxes around their own custom hardware (Niagra, Sparc etc) who exactly are you buying the same specification from?

Re:But at what cost? (2, Informative)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156461)

Given that Sun design their boxes around their own custom hardware (Niagra, Sparc etc) who exactly are you buying the same specification from?

You are correct, but incomplete. Sun also sells servers based on Intel [sun.com] and AMD [sun.com] as well as Intel based Workstations [sun.com] .

Re:But at what cost? (4, Informative)

0racle (667029) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156511)

We've only ever found Sun to be a few hundred more then IBM or HP when it was more expensive. The benefit being a Sun reseller actually returned our calls, HP didn't and IBM gave us a run around.

Re:But at what cost? (1)

Orlando (12257) | more than 5 years ago | (#27163421)

Interesting. We avoid Sun largely because the after sales support is so bad, at least in our part of the world.

By the time we get someone from Sun to start working on an issue, the equivalent problem with an HP, Dell or IBM box has already been fixed. For me this wins the deal every time.

Re:But at what cost? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27157129)

Sun's hardware is already prohibitively expensive, how much will options like this add to the price of hardware? When I can order up a pair 4U boxen from any competitor that each have the same hardware specifications as a single box from Sun, what does this buy me besides simplified wiring/management, and the ability to run Solaris?

Firstly, you employed the term "boxen" which pretty much denotes that you're a basement dwelling fanboy poseur.

Secondly, prohibitively expensive? Sun support in my neck of the woods is first class... so much so that they're being encouraged to bid on support contracts supporting other vendors like HP, since HP support is utter shit.

Re:But at what cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27160485)

"Firstly, you employed the term "boxen" which pretty much denotes that you're a basement dwelling fanboy poseur."

You are my hero. Thank you for that. You made my night.

Re:But at what cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27161209)

exactly, do the try and buy with 20% off it's way cheaper then Dell or HP and a smaller form factor. The X4550 holds all the goodies the R900 holds but in a 2U form factor. Considering I can't add more sq feet to my data center this is a huge win.

Re:But at what cost? (2, Interesting)

ishobo (160209) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157447)

The last bidding process I was involved in (for x86 hwardware) 2.5 years ago, Sun came out less than Dell and HP, and significantly less than IBM. Options always add to the price of any vendor.

Re:But at what cost? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27157781)

Yes, there is a price tag. However, because Solaris and the SPARC hardware are both made by the same company, you can call and get 24/7/365 support and not get bounced between a software vendor and a hardware vendor endlessly. This matters greatly with server clusters that are supporting 99.99% or higher uptime, and one has to troubleshoot a kernel panic at 3am in the morning. Sometimes, a Sun tech may be sent out because the hardware notices a glitch that means hardware about to fail, but not yet.

There is a diminishing returns curve where people pay exponentially more for hardware that supports more 9s, but there are a lot of industries that need this uptime. Banks come to mind, because the financial loss from down hardware after a period of minutes can easily pay for the equipment.

Re:But at what cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27170007)

Learn to bitch.

Sun's "prohibitively expensive" hardware is regularly competitive with any other vendor working on any remotely similar level, with better support and all but (with?) a blowjob from the sales rep if you grow some balls and learn to negotiate.

Their 'defaults' are insane, sure, but they're more than competitive with IBM and friends if you have a clue and get close to even Dell when you learn how to really play ball.

Static Content (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27156117)

I know that websites as a whole that serve just static content are increasingly rare, but sometimes a separate server is created for static content. If the volume of this content is pretty small a small SSD on the motherboard would allow for an OS + the content to be served very efficiently.

Re:Static Content (2, Insightful)

jschen (1249578) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156419)

Then why not just get a bit more RAM and load the whole site into RAM during boot-up? It's faster and more cost effective than getting a SSD hard drive if you're only going to use a few GB (if that) of the SSD drive.

Re:Static Content (1)

Skal Tura (595728) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157499)

Hard drive cache. Do i need to say more?

All modern OSs cache on available ram files accessed, depending on how often, when more ram is needed, most rarely used files are taken from the ram away.

So if you got PLENTY of ram, you don't even need to put them on /dev/shm, tho i'd recommend that.

16Gb even is rather cheap nowadays, even for servers. and it makes a huge difference especially if you deal with large data sets.

S1ashd0t Ch3m1sts (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27156159)

ch3-ch2-c=o
        |
        ch2-ch3
Ketone

But won't it wear out quickly? (5, Informative)

Onaga (1369777) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156161)

No [storagesearch.com] .

Before anyone complains about ssd wearing out quickly, please read here [storagesearch.com] .

Re:But won't it wear out quickly? (1)

Emb3rz (1210286) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156367)

+1 informative if I had the mod points. Thanks for the link.

Re:But won't it wear out quickly? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27156371)

But I remember hearing like 15 years ago that SSDs only last a thousand R/W operations. Are you trying to tell me that the technology was intelligently designed (I don't believe in evolution) so that it now lasts longer than that?

Re:But won't it wear out quickly? (2, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156939)

Before anyone complains about ssd wearing out quickly, please read here.

That is the single most fucked up page layout I've ever seen. It managed trigger my ad-blindness for both columns. I gave up after three seconds trying to read it.

Page loads: article nowhere. Just a bunch of incoherent links and some cute drawings. Ok, page down... a bunch of incoherent sentences? Where does the article start? What's the content? Why is the page divided into two columns which have no visible connection? Where the fuck am I supposed to start reading?!

5 page downs later I realize the article is 500 pixels wide, while the annotations 700...

Re:But won't it wear out quickly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27157379)

That is the single most fucked up page layout I've ever seen. It managed trigger my ad-blindness for both columns. I gave up after three seconds trying to read it.

Amen!

Re:But won't it wear out quickly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27170185)

Yes, the page is shit but really?

Welcome to the internet.

If it's really that unbearable for you it may well be time to switch to that rocking chair you've been stashing in the garage and put it on your porch, this sort of thing isn't going away any time soon...

Missing... The... Point! (5, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156299)

long term, Sun will locate SSDs closer to the server CPUs to cut the bottleneck that occurs when powerful, multicore CPUs have to wait for data to be delivered from hard drives

So close, and yet...

SSDs allow us to stop thinking about attached "storage" devices, and instead think of them as their originally-intended purpose - Slow memory. For decades, they've run so much slower than the CPU that we can't treat them as a form of memory without paying a huge performance hit (try running XP with 64MB of RAM and a 2GB pagefile on the fastest HDD out there, and experience the suck); but finally, with SSDs, we may soon have the ability to treat them as a system's primary memory, with what we currently consider RAM acting as an L3/L4 cache. Not to say SSDs have come anywhere *near* DRAM for speed, but the no-seek-time-penalty starts putting them in the right ballpark.

I also don't know that I'd consider building them right on the motherboard a good idea... Much like the same path DRAM took, in the end the limitations (no easy upgradeability) far outweighed the convenience ("just there" as a given).

But one small step at a time, I guess, so kudos to Sun for taking even a baby-step in the right direction.

Re:Missing... The... Point! (2, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156487)

I'm not so impressed.

The reason they are on the motherboard is because they have exceeded peripheral bus speed. Of course, so have many hard drives.

Keeping them as hard drive replacements will force new bus technology, which in the long run will be more useful than SSD on the mobo, which will be obsolete the moment it reaches the end of the assembly line.

Re:Missing... The... Point! (3, Informative)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157099)

I wasn't aware of _many_ hard drives that can saturate current bus standards.

Today's mechanical hard disk drives transfer data at a maximum of about 118 MB/s,[5], within the capabilities of even the older PATA/133 specification. However, high-performance flash drives transfer data at 250 MB/s.

For mechanical hard drives, SATA/300's transfer rate is expected to satisfy drive throughput requirements for some time, as the fastest mechanical drives barely saturate a SATA/150 link. A SATA data cable rated for 1.5 Gbit/s will handle current mechanical drives without any loss of sustained and burst data transfer performance. However, high-performance flash drives are approaching SATA/300's transfer rate.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SATA [wikipedia.org]

you're a few years late! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27158717)

i've been working on a number of now
last-generation hard drives that move data
at ~130-140MB/s. the new segate .12 drives
are supposed to move data at 160MB/s.

Re:you're a few years late! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27161599)

Right now, I'd make sure I had a second job waiting tables or something before I put anything by Seagate in a machine I manage. N.B. I manage a bunch of crap commodity crap, but it's data nonetheless.

Re:Missing... The... Point! (1)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 5 years ago | (#27161827)

We're already seeing Flash drives that are bottlenecked on SATA bus speed limits. Why do you think things like the Fusion-IO IODrive exist?

Review of the Fusion-IO IODrive 80GB Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.dvnation.com/Fusion-IO-IODrive-SSD-Solid-State-Disk-Drive-Review.html [dvnation.com]

Re:Missing... The... Point! (2, Informative)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156929)

That's completely unworkable. For one, SSDs are at least an order of magnitude too slow, and two, while the number of read/write cycles for DRAM is effectively unlimited, the number of Read/Write cycles for even SLC flash is not.

The ability of wear leveling currently to keep a Flash drive functional when used as Swap space is just barely there, use the flash as main memory and there is no hope. You'll constantly be killing cells.

Re:Missing... The... Point! (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156965)

SSDs allow us to stop thinking about attached "storage" devices, and instead think of them as their originally-intended purpose - Slow memory.

And what, pray tell, is the use for slow memory in today's world? Back when "storage" (emphasis yours) was invented, RAM was very expensive. That's not true today, so what's the point of finding expensive ways to replace RAM with something slower?

Re:Missing... The... Point! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27163435)

> what's the point of finding expensive ways to replace RAM with something slower?

uhhh - because flash is non-volatile? Because commits to a DB can now happen at slow ram speed instead of slow disk speed?

 

Re:Missing... The... Point! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27157217)

Excuse-me? Why the hell would we want to have persistent memory as slow memory? If we wanted slow memory why don't just have slow cheaper non-persistent memory?

Re:Missing... The... Point! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27157691)

Transactional memory.

Re:Missing... The... Point! (3, Informative)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157729)

I'm waiting for FusionIO ioDrives to become affordable.

They run through PCIe 4x slots directly to the CPU, so you can skip a limiting SATA controller. I've seen benchmarks approaching 2GB/sec by RAIDing multiple of them. That's almost 1/10th the speed of DDR3.

All I have to say is... bring it! I want it!

Re:Missing... The... Point! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27159037)

SSDs allow us to stop thinking about attached "storage" devices, and instead think
of them as their originally-intended purpose - Slow memory.

I think adding the SSDs is a little more focused than that. It's aimed directly at improving ZFS.

According to this blog [sun.com] you can use a combination of SSDs (one read biased, one write biased) for ARC caching and ZIL offloading (respectively) for ZFS pools to tremendously speed up overall disk activity.

Integrating the SSD onto the motherboard allows at least entry level ZFS caching to be instantly available to their server line regardless of configuration. With the beauty of ZFS as your storage pools increase you can add more/newer SSDs to L2ARC and ZIL and improve performance for every aspect of your storage.

Re:Missing... The... Point! (2, Interesting)

Spit (23158) | more than 5 years ago | (#27162715)

In the not too distant future, non-volatile will be as fast as RAM.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memristor [wikipedia.org]

This is a great idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27156375)

Because when your SSD fails, you simply have to swap out the motherboard.

Re:This is a great idea (1)

swimin (828756) | more than 5 years ago | (#27159817)

Ah yes. You're perfectly right. There's no possible way those idiots at Sun made a component that was likely to fail replaceable.

pictures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27156393)

pictures or it didnt happen

Ram drives suddenly new again? (0)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156395)

So the old new thing resurfaces....
Persistent ram drives have arrived. Should we be dredging up our old DOS disks again?

Why put this on the MoBo?
Why BUY this on the MoBo?

Have we not been thru enough new-product cycles to learn NEVER NEVER NEVER buy an integrated version of new technology?

How many modems lurking on motherboards were abandoned in the race from 300 baud to 56k? How many on-board video chip-sets are doing nothing at all, having been replaced by generation after generation of add-on video?

In 8 years, this might make sense. After the industry has stabilized with regard to technology, and size, and price of SSD. (but I doubt it). It certainly makes no sense today.

Re:Ram drives suddenly new again? (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156601)

Sun hardware is for servers, son.

Re:Ram drives suddenly new again? (0, Troll)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156727)

Sun hardware is for servers, for people with more money than sense, son.

Fixed that for thee, m'Lud

Re:Ram drives suddenly new again? (2, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156731)

With my slashdot ID half of yours I'd be careful about calling anyone "son".

Being a server is even MORE reason this is an inappropriate use of SSDs.
Servrs should be adequately sized and powered such that they can cache their
workload and never have to reboot.

Re:Ram drives suddenly new again? (2, Funny)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156959)

Given your attitude, I bet you are some sort of curmudgeon. I'm not, and my id is half again lower than yours. It's almost as if it is a meaningless number.

Re:Ram drives suddenly new again? (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157495)

The fact that you think upgradablitiy is an important feature for a server, and that you are very bad at math (68k != 103k/2), makes me again question your judgment, sport.

Re:Ram drives suddenly new again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27158683)

What are you talking about? He was responding to you, and your ID is 156,273. That's more than 2 x his, so his math is fine and your eyesight and or reading comprehension is not.

Re:Ram drives suddenly new again? (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156785)

Your post reminded me of a Dilbert cartoon:

Wally: You're one of those condescending unix computer users!
Bearded Guy: Here's a nickel kid. Get yourself a better computer.

Re:Ram drives suddenly new again? (2, Interesting)

spacey (741) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156707)

Sun's using hardware that amounts to pluggable disks on a range of hardware. The same module they're putting into other devices will go into this motherboard, so it's sort of a commodity. A huge benefit of this tech is that if you can put your OS on it, you get faster swap, faster access to data on these devices, and much less electricity per rack. If they wanted to they could probably produce blades that were teeny tiny but still had on-board storage. RLX could have used this.

-Peter

Re:Ram drives suddenly new again? (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156805)

That makes sense, except the swap part.

Throw and equivalent amount of money at REAL RAM, such that your machine never swaps and everything will run much better.

Re:Ram drives suddenly new again? (2, Interesting)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157009)

Throw and equivalent amount of money at REAL RAM, such that your machine never swaps and everything will run much better.

This approach works, but only up to a point.

Sure, a system with a 64-bit address bus is theoretically capable of addressing 16 petabyes of RAM, but how many motherboards do you know of that have more than six or eight DIMM slots? I don't think they make 2-million-terabyte DDR3 sticks, yet...

Re:Ram drives suddenly new again? (3, Funny)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157303)

> I don't think they make 2-million-terabyte DDR3 sticks, yet...

But you know of someone using that much swap?

Re:Ram drives suddenly new again? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#27170747)

How many modems lurking on motherboards were abandoned in the race from 300 baud to 56k?

So what? You'd rather have abandoned a more-expensive 300 baud card? I really don't understand... when the integrated modem/video/SSD is obsolete you can simply stop using it. In the meantime you have a free slot and you've spent less money.

Wha ... ? SSDs are _SLOW_ (0)

redelm (54142) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156609)

While SSDs can have decent latency, their typical bandwidth is _horrible_ (~5-10x slower) than spinning disks.

Is Sun going to try $$$ome expen$ive proprietary (parallel flash) to overcome this?

Re:Wha ... ? SSDs are _SLOW_ (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27157705)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820167013

sequential read: 250MB/s
sequential write: 170MB/s

Integrated Components . (0)

aceofspades1217 (1267996) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156613)

Integrated components are never good. When they break you can't fix them unless your an electrical engineer with some serious experience soldering.

These days most people don't know how to solder anymore and actually desoldering and components is unheard of, even in logical cases like replacing/upgrading a graphics card on a laptop, upgrading/replacing the CPU on a laptop with a soldered on CPU etc.

Now with advancements in manufacturing and mass production individual components aren't replaced. You send a faulty motherboard back to the manufacturer and they are just going to throw it out and try to melt it down for gold.

In some ways its a good thing but in other ways its bad because the only way for people to upgrade/replace things (like a soldered on SSD) would be to replace the whole darn thing >.

And you can't imagine how expensive a server motherboard is.

Thanks sun but no thanks. We don't want to have to replace a $700+ motherboard every couple of years just to upgrade the SSD.

Re:Integrated Components . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27156817)

The truth is, if you're replacing the SSDs every couple of years in the same server (because your needs have grown and your still in the same chassis) you're not buying Sun now anyway.

Re:Integrated Components . (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27156931)

Thanks sun but no thanks. We don't want to have to replace a $700+ motherboard every couple of years just to upgrade the SSD.

Look at the picture below at:
http://www.enterprisestorageforum.com/technology/news/article.php/3809601

Does this look like a integrated component?

Looks like a Mini-DIMM to me.

This is new in what way? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27156751)

HP announced a blade server with this capability last year and is shipping them now [hp.com] .

Options: Low-power Solid State Drives (SSD) that use less than 2 watts of power

why on the motherboard? (0)

Funk_dat69 (215898) | more than 5 years ago | (#27156827)

I don't get it.

With fiber channel and infiniband becoming more common, servers are moving away from direct attach storage. It simply doesn't need to be there.

Also, the 2 most important things for server storage is capacity and bandwidth. Both of which SSDs are kind of poor at.

Maybe this is for smaller servers or something. Or just a marketing gimmick.

Re:why on the motherboard? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27157111)

You're forgetting latency. Just count how many hops you have till you reach your storage array.

This has a huge impact on certain loads.

Re:why on the motherboard? (1)

POTSandPANS (781918) | more than 5 years ago | (#27158261)

I'd use it, it would be perfect for a VMware ESX install where all your VMs are on a SAN setup.

Re:why on the motherboard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27158879)

Why not?

SSDs are really nothing more than slow, non-volatile RAM. Why go through all the farce and complexity of making them look like a hard disk?

Re:why on the motherboard? (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 5 years ago | (#27159697)

With fiber channel and infiniband becoming more common, servers are moving away from direct attach storage. It simply doesn't need to be there.

Not everyone has the storage needs a SAN provides. Particularly when it has a pricetag in the ballpark of an order of magnitude higher.

DASD isn't going anywhere.

Boot Drive (1)

FnordX (115944) | more than 5 years ago | (#27157421)

This isn't such a bad idea. I mean, if you can have a boot drive on your mobo, then that's something you'd never have to mess with, and OS designers would be forced to keep their OS under that footprint.

Just imagine, a computer where you knew that everything that was on the hard drive was expendable, and could be deleted without harming the system...

Re:Boot Drive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27158463)

You mean where all the unimportant stuff was on the motherboard, and the only things you really cared about having deleted were in the removable drives?

Data is always more important than the configuration.

Re:Boot Drive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27159627)

Just imagine, a computer where you knew that everything that was on the hard drive was expendable, and could be deleted without harming the system...

That's already the case. Everything you know you don't need gets deleted. Everything else gets backed up... If you aren't doing that, what exactly is your plan for when the magic smoke comes out?

Why does nobody get this? ZFS L2ARC (4, Insightful)

eric2hill (33085) | more than 5 years ago | (#27161633)

Everyone here seems to be missing the point.

The integrated SSD probably has way more to do with being used as L2ARC [google.com] cache in ZFS than as the primary storage for the box. ZFS is a bit sluggish without any cache (every sync burns a minimum of 5 writes to disk at different places), but the L2ARC feature introduced in the latest builds of Solaris (and much earlier in OpenSolaris) gives ZFS a healthy performance boost. Sun is already selling SSD drives in their 7000 series storage appliances as L2ARC cache. It's turned on by default.

And for those of you who think they can buy white-box servers cheaper, you're right. Sun's hardware is more expensive. However Sun's servers come with integrated ILOM in all models, even the really cheap ones. ILOM in servers is an absolute MUST for any server not deployed within 1 or 2 floors of your desk, and adding an ILOM/DRAC/ILO/whatever card to a stock server jumps the price of the server at least $250-300, with some cards costing over $700. Having an in-the-box 100% supported ILOM is well worth the typical $200 price difference between Sun and other vendors.

how Sun servers are designed going forward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27164311)

Crikey. They'll be going sideways, upwards, backwards. That's innovation for yer.

Which marketroid glossary did the poster learn their English expressions from.

How about, "how Sun servers are designed in the future." That's one less letter and the same number of characters if you include spaces; lot simpler too.

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