SSDs and JavaScript Speedups: Deeply Disruptive Advances

We recently decided to beef up a solution’s storage platform.What would have been a simple process just a few months earlier —select a storage subsystem, whether it be NAS,SAN, or DAS, and then populate it with a bundle of drives tomeet the performance and space needs — became a serious quandary.We’re still in limbo, unsure what to do.

Should we bother paying out big dollars for arrays of magneticdrives, or should we push the envelope and go with an array ofSSDs Should we wait a while Will our vendors and the storagesystems support this technology Will existing products makeoptimal use of it Will the SSDs burn out under our usagemodels?

Dell, for instance, still has nary a mention of SSDs in theirservers and storage products site. Their reps still telling youthat SSDs are unsupported.

Yet the evidence isobvious that in the year ahead SSDs are going to absolutelyannihilate the existing field of storage vendors. Suddenly”outsiders” like Intel(not really known for storage products) and Fusion-Io are the leaders, and are making the existing market look likea bunch of chumps. Paying big dollars for a large array of magneticdrives seems like a choice that will certainly yield some seriousbuyer’s regret a few months down the line.

SSDs change everything.

In a similar way, the extraordinary advances in JavaScript overthe past year have completely changed the scope of what a “webapplication” could entail, and we as developers still haven’t fullycome to realize what this means. Opera, Webkit, Tracemonkey, andnow, jumping to a big lead, the supercharged V8 engine of Chrome2 (I have some serious misgivings about Google’s browser giventhat it’s the product of an ad company, but it is uncontestablybecoming a real contender. I will warn that on the Chrome downloadpage linked before this parenthetical aside, they put the agreementto send…cough…anonymous statistics in exactly the positionwhere people have habitually learned to click to agree to the ToS),the advances have been truly spectacular.

Exciting times ahead. These innovations aren’t simplyevolutionary, but change the scope and rules of the game.