UPDATED 15:56 EDT / OCTOBER 04 2012

Flash is Mainstream Now, but Here’s the Next Step for LSI

LSI Principal Technical Marketing Manger Jamon Bowen on #theCube at Oracle Open World 2012 #OOW

At the Oracle OpenWorld 2012, Wikibon cofounder and senior analyst Dave Vellante noted that Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has been consistently hitting on the topic of Flash.  LSI Principal Technical Marketing Manager Jamon Bowen stopped by theCube, SiliconAngle’s exclusive programming with live broadcasts from the event, to talk about how their company has significantly stepped up their Flash efforts.

As a regular OpenWorld attendee, Bowen noted that the profile of Flash is constantly being raised every year, as the underlying technology is becoming a key consideration–an every-server type of deployment technology.

Vellante asked Bowen about the challenges of Flash, who stated that it’s all about endurance and wear out, but there are ways to address that issue.

“It’s either through wear levelling, buying more expensive types of Flash – SLC, MLC and EMLC, and each one of those has a different endurance,” Bowen stated.  “LSI’s Flash controllers has this feature called Durawrite and that allows us to extend the life of a Flash pretty dramatically by reducing the amount of write that happen in the backend medium.”

At OracleWorld, LSI’s main goal is to promote their Accelerated Solutions Division which focuses on making the entire PSI product that are sold to more end-customers.  The purpose of their product is to not only use Flash to make things faster, but also to make other components smart by enabling them to perform additional tasks.

Bowen says that Flash is becoming mainstream, when asked to discuss the evolution of Flash and how their company fits into these changing industry trends.  And since Flash is becoming mainstream, LSI is focusing on using standard drivers, upstream into the Linux kernel, making it downloadable, and using the PCI Flash.

“Without Flash devices, you are able to support a very large number of disks without a performance bottleneck.  And when Flash came on to the scene, it kind of changed that,” Bowen explains.

“One device can do hundreds and thousand of iOPS and there is no longer this easy, cut-and-dry ability to have the capacity, centralized management and performance.  What we’re seeing basically is that people are embracing leveraging Flash as a cache, pretty generally, like EMC and also NetApp using it so that they’re able to do high performance locally, not-going-across-the-network Flash and then also have an array on the backend that still has its centralized management.  And I think that’s kind of an important step in preserving the features that you get with the traditional models and the revolutionary performance you can get with Flash,” Bowen stated.

To watch the full interview with Jamon Bowen, see below.

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