What a difference a year makes …

I was in India promoting our Series 7/8 and maxCachePlus solutions recently. It’s been over 12 months since I’ve been there and was amazed at the difference in the country since my last visit. Not only has the infrastructure improved dramatically, but the standard and level of computer engineering is going through the roof.

There are, of course, many data centers in India, and Telecoms reign supreme with such a big mobile market, but the real telling factor was the interest in SSD, Flash and Caching/Tiering solutions that everyone now has.

Previously India was seen as a low-cost marketplace (and yes, price is still a big factor), but now performance and innovation are the key drivers in this marketplace – everyone is keen to find a solution that gives them an edge.

iSCSI is huge in India. Funnily enough I don’t hear much of it down in Oz, but it seems that adding storage to your server by plugging in a cheap external storage solution is big business over there. So when I started promoting the ability of our Series 8 maxCachePlus Windows/Linux solutions to provide read-cache to the iSCSI external volumes (especially without having to reconfigure the data) they were very, very keen to say the least.

So it seems this idea of providing read-cache to an iSCSI volume (caching in the head unit, not the iSCSI target) is a bit of a goer … especially in markets that are looking for innovative ways of doing things.

Along with that, pure SSD environments – something that this only just starting to catch on in Australia, is not pretty commonplace in India. Of course they are screaming for IOP performance in these configurations and are very interested in Series 8 – yes Series 8 is 12Gb and the drives they are using are 6Gb SATA, but the key point here is the IOP performance of the card – it really doesn’t matter what the bus speed is, as long as the processor can handle the massive IOP capability of the 16-24 SSDs connected to each server – and of course Series 8 has the highest IOP we make.

So I came away from my trip with a new focus on this marketplace – high-end and innovation rather than focusing on low-end products … which was a pleasant surprise and a big eye-opener for all concerned.

Think I’ll be spending a lot more time in India in the future :-)



Where did all those disks come from?

(Another word for “FlexConfig”)

I’m doing it again … writers block so back to explaining a feature of our cards that you may not be aware of.

In the BIOS of our controller (under “Controller Settings/Controller Configuration/Controller Mode”) we have added several new options. Series 8 gets one more option than Series 7 just for confusion sake. Before I go into the details of the modes, I need to explain metadata.

Metadata is the area of the disk where we store our RAID information – who/what/where/why and how. It is created by “initializing” a disk. So when you initialize a disk it wipes out any previous metadata, and creates a new clean structure for the controller to store the RAID information on the disk.

The opposite to this is “uninitialise”. This removes metadata completely, leaving a blank clean disk that is for all intents and purposes not part of anything to do with RAID.

These two differences are important. Keep it in mind when reading the following breakdown of what the different modes do …

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