The unknown microwave networks
Posted by Oksana Zybinskaya on
November 17, 2016
Recently, it became known that there is a private, mysterious network stretching between London and Frankfurt that is twice as fast as the normal Internet. The connection, provided by a series of microwave dishes on masts, was completely secret to anyone but one company. Only when a competitor completed its own microwave link between the two cities, the first company revealed that it too had a link between the cities in order to get a share in this potential market.
Similar stories can be found all over the world, but because these networks are privately owned, and because they are often used by financial groups trying to find an edge on the stock market and eke out a few extra billions, you have to investigate hard to find them.
Is NVMe Really Revolutionary?
Posted by Jon Toigo on
August 19, 2016
To hear advocates talk about NVMe – a de facto standard created by a group of vendors led by Intel to connect flash memory storage directly to a PCIe bus (that is, without using a SAS/SATA disk controller) – it is the most revolutionary thing that has ever happened in business computing. While the technology provides a more efficient means to access flash memory, without passing I/O through the buffers, queues and locks associated with a SAS/SATA controller, it can be seen as the latest of a long line of bus extension technologies – and perhaps one that is currently in search of a problem to solve.
I am not against faster I/O processing, of course. It would be great if the world finally acknowledged that storage has always been the red-headed stepchild of the Von Neumann machine. Bus speeds and CPU processing speeds have always been capable of driving I/O faster than mechanical storage devices could handle. That is why engineers used lots of memory – as caches ahead of disk storage or as buffers on disk electronics directly – to help mask or spoof the mismatch of speed.