Important Differences

Custom Silicon

The GridIron TurboCharger is accessing and moving very large amounts of data very quickly and gathering statistics and history on that data as it is being moved. At the speeds experienced in the data access paths to modern storage arrays that work must be done in custom hardware. The additional latency that would be introduced by software or general purpose processors would dramatically slow down the system.

The mapping of the data in the DRAM and Flash tiers is done with a set of four Gigabyte-size tables and custom silicon switching for real-time operation.

Real Time Data Access Model

The management of what data gets loaded into the high performance DRAM and Flash of the TurboCharger is driven from a data access model that tracks the behavior of the accesses to every piece of data that can be reached through the TurboCharger. Custom silicon and an architecture that examines every storage request, enable the TurboCharger to maintain the data model in real time. As a result, if the access pattern changes, the TurboCharger can change the model very rapidly and adapt to the change in behavior.

Flash Management

Flash technology has unique characteristics and requirements when used as a storage media. It is very fast given the very high densities but great care must be used in how it is managed and what data resides in the flash.

Specifically writes to flash must be managed very carefully. The write time and number of writes to flash must be carefully controlled. The TurboCharger has extensive algorithms for dealing with these issues. Critical among them is the use of RAM in addition to Flash. Since the TurboCharger knows the read/write ratio of the data and the access frequency, it puts data that is likely to be written often into its DRAM tier and data that has a high likelihood of being read multiple times into its Flash tier.

GridIron’s proprietary flash management layer can handle very high density flash drives and very large system flash capacities. Multiple Terabytes of Flash give the TurboCharger the ability to service most read requests from its high performance cache tiers.