It certainly is worth looking at the latest white paper from Symantec and Intel. They have dropped a small bomb on the flash array party. In a white paper, Software-defined Storage at the Speed of Flash, the duo provide a look at a nice Oracle database architecture where they show both price/performance advantages and comparable performance to flash arrays from Violin Memory, EMC and a CISCO solution. Two Intel R1 208WTTGS 1RU servers were outfitted with four Intel P3700 Series SSDs, 128 GB DDR4 Memory, Symantec Storage Foundation Cluster File System 6.2, Oracle 11gR2 and Red Hat Enterprise 6.5 OS. The two servers are interconnected with high speed dual-port Intel Ethernet Converged Network Adapter. The white paper goes into quite a bit of detail and offers a nice chart comparing the converged solution with the flash arrays solutions.
Everywhere there is this need for speed. One flash array vendor thought that benchmarking a single VM to achieve a million IOPS was particularly useful or interesting. Marginally. However, I found that the real example of speed comes from Fusion IO and it has demonstrated it could deliver 9 million IOPS from a single 365 GB MLC Fusion ioDrive2 card. Watch the video the number is actually 9.6 million IOPS. Unbelievable.
And a quick brief on the use-case :
Here is a nice detailed presentation/talk from youtube on it :
And a presentation on it :
The key aspect beyond the sheer hardware effort is the work done in building programming interfaces via their SDK. By focusing not simply on sheer hardware but also on building useful programming interfaces for software developers, Fusion IO provides the tools to achieve very high IOPS. Many flash companies have focused on hardware – but here Fusion IO shows that a focus on hardware and software and file systems is at the heart of their tremendous performance.
Recently, I’ve been working with IOS 7 and using XCode working on a side project and I bumped in to some new ways of creating ‘beacons’ and I thought others might be interested in this. This has nothing to do with my app but I found beacons, iBeacons and Bluetooth Smart technology really interesting.
Beacon’s are becoming one of the key enablers of the new internet of things. One kind of beacon is a low energy Bluetooth transmitter or receiver. You can find more about Bluetooth Low Energy at the BLE technology site.
Apple. iOS 7 includes iBeacon – a Bluetooth-based protocol that offers a way for devices to communicate with each other. A nice overview article :
TechCrunch is covering Apple’s iBeacon. Clearly this is Apple’s current answer and entry into building Beacon-based technologies. Retailers and various establishments are using iBean technology and rolling out use-cases such as ones which provide offers and discounts as you approach stores and restaurants and within particular products.
These two videos explains what are Beacons (in Apple parlance – iBeacons) and why are they important in the Internet of Things. Part 1:
Part 2 :
Toshiba. At the SC Business Fair in Yokohama, Toshiba showed off low-energy Bluetooth-enabled beacons in signs. The signs allowed information connections between smart signs and a user’s cell phone.
Estimote. One of a number of companies that are productizing beacons is Esimote. An interview with Estimote’s CEO :
Estimote’s use-case advertisement :
You can see an example of what people are doing with Estimote’s product from this video.
Starbuck’s Transaction Demo. Interesting demo showing a use case around ordering at Starbuck’s using Beacon technologies.
Finally – a nice wrap-up video going into a fair amount of detail.
For those of you interested in beacons and more specifically doing this with Android – Android is including BLE technologies but third parties are also providing tools. Here is a nice write-up on Beacon support in Android.
Sometimes it is worth putting a face on the computing’s impact on society. As well, it’s also worth keeping abreast with emerging technologies. At a much higher level we can look at the technologies that are emerging and inter-weave them together. For example, how does the delivery of a patient’s vital signs effect how that patient is treated? Recently, I saw very nice Bloomberg piece on how a new wristwatch-like device can capture all the patients vital signs and transmit them wirelessly to backend systems which turn around and offer them up to doctors viewing them on iPads. Clearly, there is a lot of aspects to all this and I really recommend an on-going series from Bloomberg called Brink that shows some of these emerging technologies.
If you are interested in the video that referenced the patient vital signs device :