I was recently made aware of Diablo Technologies who develop one very interesting product; Memory Channel Storage (MCS).
Diablo MCS are 200 GB / 400 GB NAND flash modules that are designed to connect directly to the memory bus. The product looks like a regular DDR3 RAM module, while featuring persistent NAND flash. MCS modules are plugged right in the memory slots and can be configured to be recognised as Storage or Memory.
To overcome the higher latency of NAND vs DRAM, the MCS modules themselves have a DRAM buffer. Added to that, one DIMM slot must be occupied by a regular DDR3 module for Diablo MCS to work. Diablo indicate a latency reduction of about 85% compared to PCIE-based flash modules.
Diablo has partnered up with Smart Storage Systems (part of Sandisk).
This is a really interesting new option to the x86 datacenter stack and should inspire many storage vendors to re-engineer their products. In ‘storage mode’ configuration, MCS poses a very interesting alternative for applications that rely on server-side flash or a mix of memory and server side flash.
Even more interesting will be to see how the persistent memory option could inspire the storage market. Already a few interesting combinations spring to mind, for example Pernix Data’s FVP + Diablo’s persistent memory.
As soon as I have more updates I will follow-up this post, stay tuned.
Background and sources
For more information, I highly recommend the following article by Tom Coughlin in Forbes;
and for in-depth tech insights check the following article by Joel Hruska / Extremetech;
The official website of Diablo Technologies
The official website of Smart Storage Systems