Albert Einstein once said, "No problem can be solved by the same kind of thinking that created it." At Infinio, we like to say that this is particularly true about storage performance problems - they can't be solved with hardware alone.
Any system is going to have a bottleneck somewhere - this is true in supply chains, in manufacturing processes, and in our domain, datacenters. Historically, datacenter
bottlenecks move every few years: CPUs get faster, the bottleneck moves to the storage. Storage gets faster, bottlenecks move to the network. The network gets faster, the bottleneck is in the PCI bus, or in the memory bus, or somewhere else.
Right now, flash is so fast that the SAS interconnects are the bottleneck. That's why we're seeing NVMe emerge as a method of making parallel connections to flash to take better advantage of it. Another bottleneck addressed.
But what does all of this have in common? It's all hardware. That means that when you chase the bottlenecks, you change your datacenter. When CPUs get faster, you buy new servers; when storage gets faster, you buy a new array; when networks get faster, you buy new switches and cards; when busses get faster, you're back to buying new servers.
When you introduce software into the equation, the game changes. Software solutions that address datacenter bottlenecks are far easier to implement and less invasive than hardware improvements. And savvy datacenter managers notice this - why else would vSAN have grown at 150% YoY?
At Infinio, we deliver high performance I/O to any storage with a software-based solution. We use RAM already in servers (and SSDs if you want) to create a server-side cache. Our cache is inserted seamlessly into the data path (using VMware's VAIO APIs) to deliver 80 microsecond (0.08ms) storage performance. No major changes to servers or storage, but significant changes to the speed of storage performance.
Albert Einstein also said that "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Indeed. It's time to try something new.