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March 2017, Vol. 6, No. 3

Data center storage architecture moves toward software-defined memory

Software-defined storage is only starting to gel, but the pace of systems evolution is such that the next innovations are already coming into focus. We are not talking about pools of disks here, or even solid-state drives. The future of storage lies in its convergence with memory. System memory is becoming more complex with the introduction of nonvolatile dual in-line memory modules (NVDIMMs) that combine the speed of memory with the persistent qualities of data center storage architecture. These products are already available. Micron has the first type of all-flash NVDIMM in production, and several vendors are offering servers with this hardware. The advantage, of course, is that data moves on the memory bus at much higher speeds than on Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe), though the NVDIMM flash is still quite a bit slower than dynamic RAM (DRAM). There are cases, such as in military systems or financial services, where memory persistence needs to be higher. Viking Technology created a version of NVDIMM that ...

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