About Keith Josephson

Keith Josephson is co-founder of ION Computer Systems, Inc. and serves as Chief Technology Officer. Keith has led the design of ION's server and storage product family as well as development of a suite of tools for integration, testing, quality and field support.

ion P-series Servers with Intel Xeon Scalable Processors

Servers based on Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processors, the proccesor architecture known as “Skylake”, have arrived! ion is producing 1U and 2U rackmount servers along with pedestal/4U servers and high density half-U compute nodes. These servers feature much improved capability for NVMe SSDs and significantly higher memory bandwidth, along with options for more cores and higher clock speeds. Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processors include a number Continue reading ion P-series Servers with Intel Xeon Scalable Processors

DAS vs. NAS vs. SAN

A quick web search of the terms DAS, NAS and SAN will yield many results, yet many near the top of the results list are almost a decade old and even the newer articles fail to account for recent developments in storage technology.  New technologies like NVMe have changed the landscape such that DAS is the indisputable leader in latency, NAS solutions can deliver Continue reading DAS vs. NAS vs. SAN

Memory Leak Found

As part of ION’s extensive benchmarking of the SR-71mach5 SpeedServer platform, ION uncovered a memory leak in Windows Server 2012 R2 acting as an SMB3 File Server under very heavy load.  There does not seem to be an issue with larger blocks or when the queue depth is low, but you can watch it in action here while serving 8kB random reads with 16 Continue reading Memory Leak Found

The age of the NUC miniPC

How big does a PC need to be? A popular and well-reviewed small form factor PC with a disk, an optical drive and NO slots in early 2017 measures 10.5″x4″x15″=630 cubic inches.  How many users ever add boards or drives to a PC after they buy it?  Then why so big? An ION® NUC7 miniPC is 4.53″x4.37″ with a height of 1.4″ or 2″.  Continue reading The age of the NUC miniPC

Observations on NVMe SSDs in Server Applications

2019 Update: Intel Xeon Scalable Processors have added significant support for NVMe SSDs.  We believe that these improvements make NVMe SSDs the high performance storage approach of choice, but have not yet been able to complete testing of that theory.  Our recommendations at this point are to use NVMe where performance matters.  And where the highest level of performance with the lowest possible latency Continue reading Observations on NVMe SSDs in Server Applications

Thin Provisioning: Nondeterministic Storage Feature #2

Much of modern storage management focuses on efficient use and allocation of storage capacity.  “Thin provisioning” is a primary mechanism for this, allocating just enough space to match each consumer‘s current needs, while promising more capacity when needed.  Thin provisioning is an effective tool for allocation of storage capacity.  When latency, bandwidth and IOPS are more important, thin provisioning makes these performance results nondeterministic.  Continue reading Thin Provisioning: Nondeterministic Storage Feature #2

Cache: Nondeterministic Storage Feature #1

Every producer of storage software (including what is hidden inside of “hardware”) has spent years and many engineering hours developing their cache algorithms.  Disks have cache; controllers have cache; subsystems have cache; operating systems have cache.  The better the algorithm is, the better the ratio of cache hits to cache misses.  Ultimately though, the decision of what to have in cache is a guess.  Continue reading Cache: Nondeterministic Storage Feature #1

Disk-Impossible File Server

ION® Computer Systems, Inc. recently published benchmark results for its SR-71mach5 SpeedServer™ running Microsoft® Windows® Server 2012 R2 with the SMB 3.1 protocol.  Yes, the performance is “Disk-Impossible!”.  A single 2U “mach5” system costing under $80k served 64kB random reads at 10 Gigabytes per second and delivered 8kB random reads at 1 million Input/Output Operations per second.  Average latency as low as 1ms was Continue reading Disk-Impossible File Server

SR-71mach5 SpeedServer

ION recently launched it’s flagship SR-71mach5 SpeedServer™ which continues to deliver on the SR-71 legacy of all-SSD storage for “disk-impossible performance”.  This new server incorporates new technology throughout yielding more processor cores, more and faster memory and much more random I/O performance. Standard processors in the “mach5” are two 12-core 2.6GHz Intel® Xeon® E5-2690 V3, but the full Xeon E5-2600V3 processor lineup is available.  Continue reading SR-71mach5 SpeedServer

Open-E DSS V7 iSCSI Targets on SR-71mach4 SpeedServer™

Open-E posted it’s certification of the ION SR-71mach4 SpeedServer on 23 June 2014. The Open-E Certification process focuses on functionality and stability, efficiency and usability.  Additional benchmark by ION testing demonstrated iSCSI target performance with Open-E DSS V7 doing random I/O at almost 8GBps or up to 375,000 IOPS or latency as low as 0.42ms.  All-SSD iSCSI targets enable a wide range of high-performance Continue reading Open-E DSS V7 iSCSI Targets on SR-71mach4 SpeedServer™