Back in mid-2011, Dell acquired RNA Networks, a small startup out of Portland, Oregon. At the time Dell purchased it, RNA had a product, MVX, that employed three different ways to pool memory across multiple servers in order to accelerate workloads. One was a way to pool memory as a storage cache in order to speed disk accesses using system RAM. In the spring of 2013, we saw some of these features emerge again as Dell’s Fluid Cache for DAS (direct-attach storage) morphed to use the incredible speed of PCIe-based SSDs instead of RAM. Now, in late 2013 at Dell World, we finally get what many of us have been waiting for: the announcement of the expected availability of Dell Fluid Cache for SAN.
Articles Tagged with Cache
I’ve written in the near past about a number of different products that are helping enterprises use flash as a cache to accelerate their traditional storage workloads. One product that is helping to push the whole market forward, if only by raising awareness of the options in this space, is VMware’s own vSphere Flash Read Cache.
We have a series of posts (SpringSource/VMware, 3Tera, Eucalyptus, Hadoop/Cloudera…) about the application directly targeting a distributed virtual machine which is abstracting over the virtualization layer and/or operating system. Essentially these are targeted at those who are building or adapting applications for the cloud, rather than starting from the premise of a virtualization of existing infrastructures.
It must be said there is no clear model yet emerging for how you do this. The 3Tera solution is slick and allows you to define your infrastructure at a logical (application) level and grow or shrink your architecture graphically on commodity hardware, but ultimately there are limits to the horizontal scalability of the layers in the architecture that comprise your application. When we last looked at Eucalyptus it was driving in a similar direction with packaged VMs and its own scalable filesystem but wasn’t really dealing with the tiers of an application as logical entities.
We recently received a presentation on a combined solution from Eucalyptus and Terracotta. Initially we were suspicious because they clearly share an investor – Benchmark Capital. Was this a PowerPoint integration dreamt up by two Venture Capitalists over a power breakfast? However, the combined solution was presented by some very plausible techies with a real-live demo and does look as though it starts to provide a generally-useful abstraction over which to deploy scalable applications (specifically Java stacks), and it too works with commodity hardware. It’s not as slick as the 3Tera solution, more of a command-line approach, but it potentially has the edge in scalability.