why choose dram?

We regularly evaluate current and emerging storage media, such as Spinning Disk, Flash, Phase Change Memory, and Memristors, among many others.

DRAM is the Best Media for Highest Performance Storage

Our products use DRAM because the most challenging storage performance requires it. Application illustrations include metadata management, storage hot spots, ingest engines, low latency apps, database transaction tables, and high bandwidth applications, among numerous others.

DRAM continues to provide the highest possible performance and the most robust solid state media for high performance storage.

Alternative Media

Other technologies optimize performance, but the optimizations still perform worse than DRAM, and also come with tradeoffs. Consider:

  • Spinning Disk. Achieving the best performance on spinning disk requires “short stroking.” In short stroking, only the outer rim of the platter stores data, in order to ensure the best possible sequential performance. What is lost in capacity is gained in performance. Storing data on the outer rim also further reduces already poor latency properties. Gaining performance reduces capacity, and gaining capacity reduces performance. Using the outer sectors of the platter improves sequential performance, but at the cost of random access latency.

  • Flash. Flash faces similar performance optimization challenges. Moving from 10% occupancy to 94% occupancy can degrade performance by more than 90%. To avoid dramatic performance loss, manufacturers often “over-capacity” devices in order to ensure sufficient pre-erase “buffering” for performance. Regardless, running storage capacity at 10% will yield one performance level, 35% a lesser performance level, 75% still a lower level, and 95% capacity nearly grinds performance to a halt. Administrators must monitor usage levels keenly, because achieving steady performance levels requires constant-state occupancy. Reaching advertised performance peaks requires limiting use to just a fraction of capacity, thereby reducing ostensible cost efficiencies.

DRAM Performance Advantages

The XFM product line uses DRAM, a media that trades capacity for performance.

Unlike spinning disk and Flash, the XFM will not meaningfully degrade performance, whether at 10% occupancy or at 95% occupancy. Short stroking is not necessary. Even when they are optimized for performance, a XFM handily outperforms both spinning disk and Flash on quantitative performance metrics.

Specifically, XFM DRAM products offer superior IOPS, bandwidth, and latency. The XFM provides consistent IOPS for variable I/O patterns, world record-setting bandwidth, and the lowest available real world latency performance.

XFM DRAM products can run day-in and day-out without performance degradation from wear. XFMs just work, and when performance matters they just work better.