Amazon is now offering a key/value data store that relies on Solid state disc for storage. DynamoDB is the name, and it is intended to complement S3 as a lower-latency store. It’s higher cost, but offers better performance for those customers that need it.
Two things on this.
- The HighScalability blog calls Amazon’s use of SSD as a “radical step.” That view may become antiquated rapidly.The one outlier in the datacenter of today is the use of spinning mechanical platters as a basis to store data. Think about that. There’s one kind of moving part in a datacenter – the disk. It consumes much of the power and causes much of the heat. We will see SSD replace mag disk as a mainstream storage technology, sooner than most of us think. Companies like Pure Storage will lead the way but EMC and the other big guys are not waiting to get beaten.Depending on manufacturing ramp-up, this could happen in 3-5 years. It won’t be radical. The presence of spinning platters in a datacenter will be quaint in 8 years.
- The exposure of the underlying storage mechanism to the developer is a distraction. I don’t want to have to choose my data programming model based on my latency requirements. I don’t want to know, or care, that the storage relies on an SSD. That Amazon exposes it today is a temporary condition, I think. The use of the lower-latency store ought to be dynamically determined by the cloud platform itself, based on provisioning configuration provided by the application owner. Amazon will just fold this into its generic store. Other cloud platform providers will follow.The flexibility and intelligence allowed in provisioning the store is the kind of thing that will provide the key differentiation among cloud platforms.