October 10, 2010

Quick introduction to Schooner Information Technology appliances

Back in August I talked with John Busch of Schooner Information Technology, which has a non-obvious URL. Schooner Information Technology sells Flash-based appliances that are mainly intended to run MySQL with blazing write performance.

This is one of those cases in which I warned that due to my September wave of family health issues I would cut a few blogging corners, so:

If Schooner wants to add some of what I’ve left out into the comments to this post, that would be great.

Schooner appliances are meant to be clustered, and “linear” scalability is claimed. Updates go to RAM cache, and are immediately sent to other RAM caches in the cluster as well. Relying on the safety provided by synchronous replication, Schooner appliances gain performance by writing to Flash only in a lazy, block-at-a-time manner. Beyond that, everything I picked up about the Schooner architecture was specific to individual nodes, including:


4 Responses to “Quick introduction to Schooner Information Technology appliances”

  1. Camuel Gilyadov on October 11th, 2010 4:41 pm

    Curt, Schooner uses standard of the shelf flash drives and particularly if I remember correctly an Intel-brand. Those come with embedded flash-management firmware that already do compactization and all the rest of flash-management stuff you have attributed to schooner software. For example how could “block-placement strategy” be done on top of SSD?

  2. Curt Monash on October 11th, 2010 6:26 pm


    That’s a great question for somebody at Schooner such as John Busch. 🙂

  3. Introduction to Kaminario | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on October 19th, 2010 5:35 am

    […] Schooner, Kaminario makes no exceptions for transaction logs and the like. Kaminario K2 is just a block […]

  4. Dr John R. Busch on October 27th, 2010 4:34 pm

    As Monash points out, the key to effectively utilizing flash memory is have sufficient parallelism and granular concurrency control in the application software and operating environment to effectively utilize the abundant IOPS that flash affords. This is how we overcome the I/O bottleneck which enables us to fully utilize multi-core processors. The net result is a balanced system, which results in order of magnitude improvements in throughput, power and space for the data center data access tier (MySQL in particular).

    The new generation of flash technology, for example SSDs and PCI-E cards based on Sand Force flash controllers, provide excellent block management, write coalescing, compression, and IOPS at a very reasonable $/GB. This mitigates the need for host-level flash space optimization, so optimizations of this kind have second order impact.

    Please take a look at my blog at http://www.schoonerinfotech.com/blog/ where we present Schooner Labs research results. In that blog we show component and system level measurements which highlight the key effects of software algorithms and first vs second generation flash technologies for database systems.

    Looking forward to your feedback.

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