Wednesday, 22 June 2016 10:01

Crucial NVDIMM protects in-memory data

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Micron's Crucial memory and SSD subsidiary has announced its first NVDIMM – a memory module for servers that combines the performance of DRAM with the persistence of flash.

Large amounts of memory-resident data — eg, in-memory databases  have become commonplace as organisations seek to achieve higher application performance. The problem is that steps must be taken to protect data in case a power failure occurs.

Conventional approaches to this issue include replicating the data to at least one other system, and using an uninterruptible power supply to keep the server running long enough to copy the data to permanent storage.

A more recent idea is to add NAND flash to DRAM modules. In the event of a power failure the NVDIMM (nonvolatile DIMM) is kept alive by its own reserve power supply long enough for the data to be copied to flash.

This is the approach used by Crucial in its new NVDIMM server memory. The reserve power supply is an ultracapacitor packaged to fit in a 2.5in drive bay.

When power is restored to the system, the data in the NAND is restored to DRAM.

Otherwise, NVDIMMs perform identically to registered DIMMs.

"NVDIMM is a persistent memory solution for companies who have valuable data they need to protect in case of a power outage," said Micron Consumer Products group marketing manager APAC Mathew Luu.

"Combining DRAM and NAND, Crucial NVDIMMs safeguard data during power loss, remove I/O bottlenecks that hold servers back, and increase the performance of server applications."


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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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