Muli Ben-Yehuda's journal

March 4, 2019

Data center vignettes #5

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 8:55 AM

It’s Monday. The rain drums on the roof. You are worried about next week’s upgrade to the storage servers. They are struggling. Linux, bless its little heart, is not keeping up with the new NVMe SSDs. With RAID5 and compression, it’s slower than a three legged turtle. The plan is to put in stronger CPUs and more RAM across the entire storage server fleet.

You sit up straight. An idea has just occurred to you. This could be big. Really big. You know how no one does machine learning in software anymore? How the big cloud guys build custom ASICs? They do it because at scale, a 20% reduction in CPU utilization is huge.

What if you could achieve the same efficiency as the big guys for your storage servers? What if there was a way to accelerate in hardware common storage operations and offload them from the CPU? The performance improvements would be nice, but the TCO savings, beginning with avoiding that messy data center wide upgrade next week — that’s going to be huge. It will delight your boss. And your CFO.

As the rain continues drumming, you realize that you don’t need to build the storage accelerator. Lightbits already built it. You put that upgrade on hold and give them a call to order a batch of LightFields. Your day just got a whole lot better. Even the rain has stopped.




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