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    Not a Tempest But a Seachange – Persistent Memory

    October 12th, 2016

    by Marty Foltyn

    Persistent memory discussions are capturing the minds of SNIA members and colleagues.  At last month’s SNIA Storage Developer Conference, NVM (non-volatile memory) and NVMe sessions were standing-room-only, and opinion sharing continued into animated hallway discussions.  I encourage you to check out the many presentations on the SNIA SDC website, and to download the live recordings of the keynotes here.

    memconSNIA continued their education on persistent memory at this week’s Memcon in Santa Clara CA. SNIA’s booth was packed with attendees asking questions like what is the difference between the different kinds of NVDIMMs (you’ll want to check out our new snia_nvdimm_infographic), and is NVDIMM a standard (indeed, it is, JEDEC just released the DDR4 NVDIMM-N Design Standard Revision 1.0 last month, and you can download the link from our website).

    pm-video-jimThe work being done within SNIA on persistent memory is contributing to a seachange in the industry – the convergence of memory and storage – perhaps the most revolutionary change since the invention of the transistor more than 60 years ago.  To learn more, check out this interview with Jim Pappas, SNIA’s Vice-Chairman and co-chair of the SNIA Solid State Storage Initiative.  And mark your calendar for January 18, 2017, when SNIA will hold the 5th annual Persistent Memory Summit in San Jose CA.  The latest details can be found here.

     

     


    NVM Big at Storage Developer Conference SDC Precon

    September 19th, 2015

    Objective Analysis 3D XPoint Report GraphicI’ll be speaking at SNIA’s SDC Pre-Conference this Sunday, Sept 20, about the new Intel-Micron 3D XPoint memory.  I was surprised to find that my talk won’t be unique.  There are about 15 papers at this conference that will be discussing NVM, or persistent memory.

    What’s all this fuss about?

    Part of it has to do with the introduction by Micron & Intel of their 3D XPoint (pronounced “Crosspoint”) memory.  This new product will bring nonvolatility, or persistence, to main memory, and that’s big!

    Intel itself will present a total of seven papers to tell us all how they envision this technology being used in computing applications.  Seven other companies, in addition to Objective Analysis (my company) will also discuss this hot new topic.

    SNIA is really on top of this new trend.  This organization has been developing standards for nonvolatile memory for the past couple of years, and has published an NVM Programming Model to help software developers produce code that will communicate with nonvolatile memory no matter who supplies it.  Prior to SNIA’s intervention the market was wildly inconsistent, and all suppliers’ NVDIMMs differed slightly from one another, with no promise that this would become any better once new memory technologies started to make their way onto memory modules.

    Now that Intel and Micron will be producing their 3D XPoint memory, and will be supplying it on industry-standard DDR4 DIMMs, it’s good to know that there will be a standard protocol to communicate with it.  This will facilitate the development of standard software to harness all that nonvolatile memory has to offer.

    As for me, I will be sharing information from my company’s new report on the Micron-Intel 3D XPoint memory.  This is new, and it’s exciting.  Will it succeed?  I’ll discuss that with you there.


    Quick PTS Implementation

    November 11th, 2011

    PTS ProcedureNeed an abbreviated version of the SNIA SSD Performance Test Specification (PTS) in a hurry?  Jamon Bowen of Texas Memory Systems (TMS) whipped up a simple implementation of certain key parts of the PTS that can be run on a Linux system and interpreted in Excel.

    It’s a free download on his Storage Tuning blog.

    This is a boon for anyone that might want to run a internal preliminary test before pursuing a more formal route.

    The bash script uses the Flexible I/O utility (FIO) to run through part of the SSSI PTS.  FIO does the heavy lifting, and the script manages it.  The script outputs comma separated (CSV) data and the download includes an Excel pivot table that helps format the results and select the measurement window.

    Since this is a bare-bones implementation the SSD must be initialized manually before the test script is run.

    The test runs the IOPS Test from the PTS.  This test covers a range of block sizes, read/write ratios and iterates until the steady state for the device is reached (with a maximum of 25 iterations).  Altogether the test takes over a day to run.

    Once the test is complete, the downloadable pivot tables allow users to select the steady-state measurement window and report the data in a recommended format.

    See Mr. Bowen’s blog at http://storagetuning.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/sssi-performance-test-specification/ for details on this valuable download.