Infinite I/O

Flash vs DRAM in server-side caching

Posted by Alan Brandon on Jun 19, 2013

In a new white paper from Storage Switzerland, lead analyst George Crump explores the advantages and differences of flash-based and DRAM-based server-side caching solutions.

VMware Server Side Cache thumbnail

The paper, titled VMware Server Side Caching — Flash SSD or DRAM, discusses the growing market for flash-based caches and compares those solutions to DRAM-based caching schemes. The topics include:

  • Installation and testing
  • Reliability
  • Efficiency
  • Cache sharing
  • Volatility

Flash-based server-side caching solutions are becoming more popular, and can offer increased performance for a virtualized environment. On the downside, flash-based solutions require that hardware be procured and installed before any improvements can be seen. However, DRAM-based caches can also offer performance improvement while providing more flexibility for sharing resources. And unused DRAM is probably available in the servers you already have.

Infinio Accelerator takes advantage of latent server-side DRAM to speed up your NAS-backed VMs. By pooling a little capacity from each server, Accelerator forms a deduped, shared acceleration layer across the accelerated ESX servers.

Because Infinio Accelerator uses the resources already present in the server, there is no need to buy and install additional hardware. Infinio is able to take advantage of the reliability and efficiency of the infrastructure already in place.

As George points out in the paper, the only way to evaluate the effectiveness of a caching resource is to deploy it in production and have it work with real-world loads. Infinio Accelerator offers a management console that lets you monitor the results including:

  • Which datastores are accelerated or available to be accelerated
  • How many disks worth of capacity is saved by caching
  • How many requests have been offloaded from the datastore

Download this Storage Switzerland white paper and find out more about Flash vs DRAM caching and Infinio Accelerator.

Topics: Talking Tech