Doug's IT Tech Tip: Raw Performance Is NO Way to Measure Value

By Doug Rollins - 2014-11-03

Everybody loves fast, right? Instant noodles, instant cocoa, microwave popcorn—yeah, the faster, the better! So why, then, do I drive a Toyota Yaris and not some “fire-breathing monster” of a sports car? It’s simple. When I went car shopping for a new(er) commuter car, I looked at the overall value of the car rather than its absolute “0 to 60 to 0” (miles per hour) performance. The Yaris offered the best overall value: It’s big enough for my family, fast enough to keep pace on the freeway, easy enough to drive and park, cheap enough to buy and operate, and economical enough, with pretty good gas mileage.

Speed vs. Value

Did I ever consider one of those “fire-breathing” sports machines? Not really, no. Why not? Because sports cars offer relatively poor overall value to me: They are small (inside), so I can’t take my kids with me; they are incredibly fast, but the speed limit here in Boise rarely gets over 65 mph, so what’s the point; they are generally not comfortable to drive very far (with some exceptions); they are expensive to buy and maintain; and they tend to get poor gas mileage.

Where IT Comes In

What does the value of my car have to do with IT and my favorite topic—solid state drives (SSDs)? Good question! When looking to make IT purchases or technology transitions, we need to focus on the overall value offered—not just a measurable speed improvement. Think that sounds strange coming from an SSD vendor? Read on — it gets stranger…

Everybody seems to be buzzing about Hadoop and big data these days. How many times have you heard phrases like these lately?

  • “Hadoop is the key to understanding your business trends.”
  • “Hadoop is the best big data option there is.”
  • “All businesses are moving to adopt Hadoop.”

It begs the question: Are Hadoop and its distributed file system (HDFS)—as we know them today—a good use for SSDs? How should an SSD vendor, respond when asked this question? Check out my next blog on Hadoop and its use with SSDs to find out.

Doug Rollins

Doug Rollins

Doug Rollins is a principal technical marketing engineer for Micron's Storage Business Unit, with a focus on enterprise solid-state drives. He’s an inventor, author, public speaker and photographer. Follow Doug on Twitter: @GreyHairStorage.