Monday 11 January 2016

SearchStorage: Multicore processors mark next era of storage…Tick-Tock

Multicore processor technology represents not only next era in storage, but that everything old is new again.

From time to time, in presentations by tech vendors, one hears reference to a "tick-tock." Tick-tock is jargon describing a perceived pattern in the events that occur over a designated time frame. In recognizing such a pattern, the tick-tock narrative provides an orderly perspective on the seemingly great disorder of technological advancement, while at the same time providing a framework for predicting the future. Both make us feel like the future is less scary.

As we'll discuss in this article, multicore processors could very well be the next tick-tock for storage…

…Multicore the new tick-tock
Multicore processors have been the basis of the new tick-tock for some time now. Year after year, we are presented with CPUs offering double the number of processor cores on the same die, even though chip speeds have not increased significantly or at all…

…Unleash the power of multicore, multithreading chips
To really unlock the potential power of multicore processors and multithreading chips, we would need to get back to multiprocessing, parallel computing design.

DataCore Software is the first to revisit these concepts, which co-founder and Chairman of the Board Ziya Aral helped to pioneer in the 1980s. The company has found a way to take a user-designated portion of the logical cores available on a server and to allocate them specifically for storage I/O handling.

The technique they are using is getting increasingly granular and will eventually enable very specific processor resource allocation to the I/O processing of discreet workload. Best of all, once set, it is adaptive and self-tunes the number of multicore processors being used to handle I/O workloads.

DataCore's Storage Performance Council SPC-1 benchmark numbers are telling: they have blown the socks off of the hardware guys in terms of storage performance while reducing the cost per I/O well below the current low-cost leader -- using any and all off-the-shelf interconnects and storage devices.

We are about to enter a whole new era with a completely new tick-tock for storage -- and perhaps for the full server-network-storage stack -- based on multiprocessor architecture and engineering applied to multicore processor-driven systems.

Everything old is new again.

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