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The market is plowing through some heavy design issues with DIMM wars and a widening range of segmentation opportunities in all memories not to mention a new plot twist in DWPD with metascale advised, life-cycle fitted, virtually hardened flash endurance.

Many reference points in the memory storage framework which were long thought to be stable are now cracking apart like ice floes - while flurries of IP volcanoes are spawning new islands of cinder which may be too hot to safely reach for without a promise of cloud-hanging softly insulated boots, bridges and roadmaps.
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the big SSD ideas roundup in 2015? annual roundup
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90% of the enterprise SSD companies which you know have no good reasons to survive.
market consolidation - why? how? when?

"If you've ever watched the movie Black Hawk Down - there's a scene in which the 2nd chopper gets hit by an RPG. It's like that in SSDs..."
Surviving SSD sudden power loss

Who are the top SSD companies?... the companies which you absolutely have to look at if you've got any new projects involving SSDs?

For 9 years this series of quarterly reports has provided the answers.
the Top SSD Companies

In 2007 I started publishing a simple list of the fastest SSDs in popular form factors (drives to boxes). I'd say it's more like the start of your continuing search rather than the end.
the fastest SSDs

Little words can have with big meanings in the world of SSDs. They affect price, performance, reliability and user happiness.
flash SSD jargon explained

Since 2003 MRAM vendors have been promising they will soon replace flash. But they weren't the only threats which were no-shows in the kill flash wars.
SSD's past phantom demons

In 1993 - the world's 1st NAS company Auspex quoted a figure of "675 NFS IOPS" to illustrate the capability of its NS 3000 server.

And in 1995 a RAM SSD vendor called CERAM was quoting a figure of "2,000 IOPs" for its SBus compatible SSD.
Write IOPS and flash SSDs

If anyone still had doubts about how difficult it is to recover data from a failed unsupported encrypted SSD - the proposition was reinforced by the recent story rippling around the world's news media about the FBI's efforts to force Apple to assist in unlocking working but locked iphones.
SSD data recovery stories- (2007 to 2016)

more SSD topics from A to Z
1" SSDs
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11 key design symmetries in SSD

108 PR agencies to tell your SSD story

About the publisher
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Advertising SSDs

Analysts - SSD market
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Backup - SSD enhanced
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click to read the article - Big versus Small SSD  architecturesBig versus Small - in SSD architecture

BOM issues SSDs
Bookmarks from SSD leaders
Books - citing
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Branding Strategies in the SSD market

Cache ratios inside SSDs
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Calling for an end to SSD vs HDD IOPS
Can you tell me the best way to SSD Street?
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CIO - a day in the life of
Cloud storage - with SSD twists
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Consumer SSDs guide
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What defines the

personality of the SSD?
SSD SoCs controllers

Cost of SSDs
CPU-SSD equivalency

Dark matter users in enterprise SSD
Data integrity in flash SSDs
Data Recovery
When your SSD breaks...

Who do you call?
broken barrel image - click to see the SSD data recovery directory

Decloaking hidden segments in the enterprise
DIMM wars - Memory1
Disruptive tech markets and SSD
DSP in flash SSD controller IP
DWPD ratings in enterprise SSDs today?
Education - re SSDs
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Enterprise SSDs - overview
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The risk of flash
wear-out in SSDs is
a kind of "forever war"
which is never really
permanently won.
SSD myths - write endurance
Fast purge / secure erase SSDs
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flash SSD vs RAM SSD
Forecasts for SSD market

Green storage

Hard disk drives
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Heresies - SSD fans disagree fundamentals
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Hostage to the fortunes of SSD
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Iceberg syndrome - invisible SSD capacity
Inanimate Power, Speed & Strength Metaphors
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If they survive manufacturing they'll survive our industrial customers too. image shows mouse building storage - click to see industrial SSDs article

InfiniBand SSDs
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IOPS Comparisons - SSDs and HDDs

Jargon - flash SSD

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Oracle articles - Burleson Consulting


Petabyte SSD roadmap
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Silos in the solid state datacenter
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Testing SSDs
Tier zero storage? - groan...

Top SSD companies - 2007 to 2016

UlltraDIMM SSDs etc
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VC funds in storage
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Wear leveling
Where are we now with SSD software?
WORM hard drives

Zero RPM SSDs killed 20K hard drives

Zsolt Kerekes (linkedin) -

the past 19 months

from 40 years of SSD history
November 2014 Steve Wozniak joins Primary Data
December 2014 WDC acquires Skyera
January 2015 California Court halts sales of ULLtraDIMM SSDs (the ban was lifted 3 months later)
February 2015 FalconStor enters the enterprise SSD software platform market
March 2015 Toshiba samples 48-layer 3D nand
April 2015 A3CUBE publishes an infographic showing the shape of R/W in remote shared NVMe memory fabric
May 2015 Researchers at Oak Ridge National Lab publish survey of data compression techniques and applications in cache and main memory
June 2015 Altera introduces adaptive flash controller IP leveraging technology from NVMdurance into its FPGA product line
July 2015 interest in Micron surges based on rumor that Tsinghua Unigroup might buy it
August 2015 DIMM wars heat up with Memory1 (flash as RAM) from Diablo and 3D XPoint (alt nvm) from Intel and Micron
September 2015 Mangstor gets series B funding for fastest NVMe flash
October 2015 OCZ offers "Host Managed SSD Technology" in 2.5" SSDs
November 2015 Netlist allies with Samsung to codevelop flash-as-RAM DIMMs
December 2015 NSF funds project to progress in-situ SSD processing
January 2016 A significant number of SSDs will die entirely if the voltage rails are pulled to ground for (as little as) a 1mS period
February 2016 It's not worth paying more for SLC reliability in PCIe SSDs says Google field study
March 2016 New funding for endurance stretching NVMdurance
April 2016 Samsung is expected to resume supplies of flash to Apple after a 4 year break is published by ACSL founded in 1991.

© 1992 to 2016 all rights reserved.

Editor's note:- I currently talk to more than 600 makers of SSDs and another 100 or so companies which are closely enmeshed around the SSD ecosphere.

Most of these SSD companies (but by no means all) are profiled here on the mouse site.

I learn about new SSD companies every day, including many in stealth mode. If you're interested in the growing big picture of the SSD market canvass - StorageSearch will help you along the way.

Many SSD company CEOs read our site too - and say they value our thought leading SSD content - even when we say something that's not always comfortable to hear. I hope you'll find it it useful too.

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Editor:- May 28, 2016 - Memblaze, Netlist and NxGn have all made their first appearances in the Top SSD Companies List in the new Q1 2016 edition published today. ...see the new list

memory intensive data architecture emerges in a new family of latency roled boxes - unstealthed by Symbolic IO
Editor:- May 25, 2016 - 1 petabyte usable storage in 2U along with a flash backed RAM rich server family which uses patented CPU level aware cache-centric data reduction to deliver high compute performance are among the new offerings unveiled today by Symbolic IO which has emerged from stealth mode.

Founder & CEO, Symbolic IO - Brian Ignomirello, said - "This industry hasn't really innovated in more than 20 years, even the latest offerings based on flash have limitations that cannot be overcome. Our goal at Symbolic IO was to completely redefine and rethink the way computing architectures work. We've completely changed how binary is handled and reinvented the way it's processed, which goes way beyond the industry's current excitement for hyper-conversion."

the fastest SSDs - click to read article
.. the fastest SSDs
Giving a clue to performance Ignomirello said - "One of our early tests, allows us to run a full cable class content delivery network over 80+ nodes, while streaming 80+ full-featured movies simultaneously on one channel and requires less than 8% of the CPU capacity and we had plenty of headroom to run more. IRIS (Intensified RAM Intelligent Server) is 10,000 times faster than today's flash."

Editor's comments:- I hadn't spoken with Symbolic IO (when I wrote this) but my first impression was that the company is in line with at least 3 strategic trends that you've been reading about on in recent years:- Their company profile summarizes their capability like this...

"Symbolic IO is the first computational defined storage solution solely focused on advanced computational algorithmic compute engine, which materializes and dematerializes data effectively becoming the fastest, most dense, portable and secure, media and hardware agnostic storage solution."

For more about the company's background see this article - Symbolic IO Rewrites Rules For Storage on Information Week.

From the marketing point of view it's interesting to see that in its launch press release Symbolic IO positions itself in the DIMM Wars context in this way "IRIS... is 10 times faster than 3D XPoint."

Symbolic IO says the new systems will be start to become generally available in late Q4 2016.

From an enterprise segmentation viewpoint the IRIS systems will be proprietary. There is space for such approaches in the future market consolidation roadmap because not everyone needs the fastest performance. But many webscale SSD companies are already using data reduction techniques for their own utilizations and acceleration purposes.

The new thing - if there is a new thing - is that Symbolic IO will make available boxes which incorporate modern data architectures from a single source.

Although like all new systems companies they'll have to wade their way through the apps accreditation and compatibility lists before their revenues create any ripples - an adoption dampening factor I wrote about in my 2013 article Scary Skyera.

See also:- towards SSD everywhere software
what are we reading?

10 Popular articles on in May

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor

Aside from news and this home page what do other readers like you read? In this snapshot of popular articles I've included 2 shortlists:-
  • ever popular articles over a year old
  • emerging new popular articles (under 12 months old)
5 ever popular articles
  • SSD endurance myths and legends - it's over 10 years since began to focus on the special challenges that flash wear-out posed for designers of SSDs.
  • the Top SSD Companies - in 35 quarterly articles this series has provided the answers to this question:- Who are the top SSD companies?...the companies which you absolutely have to look at if you've got any new projects involving SSDs?
  • Charting the Rise of the Solid State Disk Market - tracks SSD market history from the 1970s upto the present day. It includes significant events from thousands of SSD news stories and first hand conversations with the people who built this market.
  • what's the state of DWPD? - when this article began SSD makers only listed DWPD for enterprise drives but since then the usefulness of this role descriptor has expanded the scope of this article to all markets.
  • SSD controllers and IP - Within a few months of publishing this flash controller resource guide in 2009 it became clear that the market was waking up to the high leverage role of SSD IP.
  • PCIe SSDs - news and articles and list of who makes enterprise PCIe SSDs.
5 emerging newer popular articles
  • DIMM wars - is closely related to several multi-year technology themes in the SSD accelerator market.
That's it for now.

I did think about adding a section called - SSD Brocolli Blogs - articles which are not so very popular now but which can inform your thinking and future storage searching.
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a simple list of military SSD companies

(how hard can it be to compile one?)

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor - - April 15, 2016
Nearly everything I've written about the SSD market was written on the same day it was seen here. Indeed I upload most of my notes and comments to the web as I'm writing them - paragraph by paragraph - sometimes before reading back the complete text.

As this is the web - that doesn't present a clarity problem - because it's easy enough to add updates, cuts and corrections and additional links to articles anytime from seconds to years later - depending how popular the topic is. And - as you may have seen already in other pages - if later events have made a big impact on the original idea.

The only general exceptions to this writing habit of mine (till to now) have been:-
  • blogs started and abandoned on the same day (because I realized the original idea wasn't compelling enough), and
  • longer articles - which can take me one or two days elapsed time to write.
The blog here below is a rare exception to what I've just said above because I've always thought the subject matter - who designs and makes military SSDs? - was important - but this is the only SSD article which having been started, and intended for publication, has lingered in an incomplete state in the ftp out tray while I've continued to think about it from time to time over a long period.

What held me back from posting this blog before was that after exploring what I thought was a simple topic - which should've had a simple conclusion and left you with an easily defined bunch of associated links - developed - after much thinking about it - into something quite different which didn't feel like it had a proper ending.

But now - after looking back - I see that this aspect of the story (the lack of a tidy wrap up) may indeed be the most important aspect of the story. So here it is - warts and all.

a simple list of military SSD companies

For a year or so before publishing this article - I had the idea of compiling a simple list of military SSD companies here on to act as a pool for designers and specifiers of products involved in applications which needed militarized, tough and secure SSDs.

There was a part of me which naggingly said - why's it taking so long?

This should only take an hour or so - as you've already written about most of these companies and to compile the list all you need to do is datamine the past 15 or 20 years of writing about the SSD market - extract a list - and it's almost done.

But there was another voice in my head which said - what's the real purpose of doing this?

If it's not to be merely a search engine optimization (aimed at web bots) but is designed to be useful to real people - you have to do a better job than a mere cut and paste of past resources. And delays in getting started meant that I had to be clear about several factors in advance such as:-
  • how simple should a "simple" list be? - in a way which can still be useful but not be too misleading.

    Is a list of company names (without links) enough?

    How about adding links? If so - should the links be to the home page of the company or to their main mil product page or to a profile page which descrobes their company?

    In a simple list (whatever formula is adopted) is it "useful" to append tags or comments attached to each company name - based on what I know about each company? (For example list of interfaces, memory types used, customer stories etc.)

    Or are such tags misleading?

    Because such anecdotes - which might make the list more interesting to read - run the risk of being biased and disproportionate and inevitably drawing reader focus away from companies I know less well.
  • what kind of definition of "military SSD" should I use?

    Is the "military" nature of a mil SSD mostly about temperature? In that case where do you draw the line with industrial SSDs. And what about high temperature rated SSDs designed for pure scientific research which may lack required mil features?

    Or is a mil SSD mostly about security?

    The problem is that some secure SSDs designed for gaming or banking or medical uses don't fit the picture of a mil SSD.

    And what about enterprise accelerator SSDs which have been used for particular military applications - but which otherwise don't have any obvious military attributes?

    How important are serviceability attributes?

    You might see a new rugged, secure SSD appear on the market for an application like cameras - but then when you need it again you may not be able to buy the same product again as soon as 6-12 months later - because the camera market has moved on. So is the ability to have a defined BOM and longevity of supply something which is essential to the definition of mil SSD? And if so - is the 7 years or so which many industrial manufacturers offer reassuring enough for a market which typically looks at volume deployments starting years after initial design and spares requirements stretching to decades.

    In a random conversation about semiconductors I had in an airport queue yesterday (April 13, 2016) someone told me their company was still making EPROMs.
  • Supposing the filtering questions are resolved and we can agree what a military SSD company is... how far back in time should the list of such companies go? - especially given the longevity of military projects
in the simple list of companies - more clarification required concerning - what is simple?

Some of questions I looked at in designing this page were:-
  • should I just name the companies?
  • should it just be a list of urls?
  • is it useful to know where a company is headquartered?

    Geography is an essential hygiene factor for sourcing mil SSDs for obvious geopolitical reasons. And proximity facilitates on-site visits to review processes and conformity issues too.

    But - as we've seen in other parts of the SSD market - companies can suddenly change where their HQ is based due to organic growth or acquisition. So I took the view that geography is too impermanent an attribute for the "simple list" of mil SSD companies.
  • How committed are these companies to the mil SSD business?

    Should I insert a tag which indicates how long each company has been active in the military market?

    And how about estimating what percentage of their business is in that market?

    That seems like a deceptively obvious idea. A company which has been designing military SSDs for 10 years surely rates a different mention to another which has only been involved in the market for 2 years?

    But that signal can be misleading - because the new project you're designing prototypes for today might benefit from a new technology (or scaling density) which older companies don't yet supply.

    And what happens when a company which is new to the SSD market - but which is well funded - buys a long established SSD company? How much of the longevity (in the mil market) attribute should be inherited by the new owner in such a list? Clearly the idea of a scoring system like this is important - but best done by the customer rather than by a disconnected reviewer.
  • what about "gone away" military SSD companies - those which are no longer in the market because they're gone out of business, been acquired or exited the military market?

    In most other markets a list of current suppliers would benefit from excluding "gone away" companies.

    But sometimes it can be useful to know that a company (even if it no longer exists) did once have a standard product which solved a rare niche type of application - if you have a similar problem today.

    Maybe it's just knowing that someone in the past did solve that kind of problem so it should be feasible to solve again... Or maybe you need to track down what happened to an old company and see who owns it now because you need spares and are being presented with an uncomfortable cost option if you have to emulate an old product and over engineer it in the absence of original design details.
  • what about military systems integrators?

    System integration activities can cover a broad spectrum of technical interventions and the result is more questions than answers.

    For example - is the activity of installing an enterprise SSD array into a box which includes a DC power supply, with air filters, and anti-condensation and anti-fungus measures enough to place the integrator on such a list?

    Extrapolating from this shows the problem with this approach.

    Such a box can accommodate a wide variety of systems (servers and HDDs - not just SSDs.) So if we include this in a list of "military SSDs" what category should it be in?

    I think here the obvious answer is that the maker of such a box or the integrator is better placed in a directory of "military electronic packaging and enclosures" rather than a list of "military SSDs".

    Despite that line of thinking, however, the same manufacturers might feature in a military SSD news story from time to time - even if they don't score highly enough to appear in an SSD directory.

    But another awkward decision arises at the other end of the integration scale.

    Suppose you have a company which designs and makes its own SSDs for use in a range of integrated systems (in which the storage is simply a small but essential component). And what if - that SSD maker doesn't sell its SSDs except as spares or upgrades to users of the bigger system?

    If the purpose of the military SSD makers directory is to be a useful resource for wouldbe buyers of SSDs then probably that kind of company shouldn't be on such a list.

    But if the purpose of the military SSD makers directory is to be a useful resource for those wanting to understand where the hot spots are in SSD design (maybe with the view to a business partnership - supplying SSD related components to, competing with or investing in or acquiring such companies) then it would be useful to know that this type of company is in the military SSD business.
  • And what about those invisible mil SSD makers?

    There's an agency which has paid some contractors to develop a standard design platform which is useful for a lot of its SSD projects. It's simpler than many commercial designs and does the job well. It's like a COTS or "open standard" platform. But only this agency (or closely related partners) know about it and can use it. It's so secret that even mentioning the interfaces and applications publicly buys you swift entry to the kind of gated community where the doors are locked on the outside.

    Time served specialists in the mil SSD market know this agency and its platform because it has an influence on the applications which emerge for COTS aspects of some design projects.

    So any authoritative list of military SSD companies is incomplete without including the agency (which has a different name in different countries). But they don't want to be included in this type of list on the web (thanks for asking Mr Editor and BTW how did you get this email address?) as they're not looking for business.

    So how do we represent their influence in the list? Add more white spaces in the columns to indicate there are important gaps? If so - how many spaces?
If you're still with me at this point of the blog - you can see some of the potential incongruities and false signals which can creep into in any well intentioned simple list of "military SSD companies".

The more I thought about the processes of filtering and editing such a list the more I recognized that its usefulness could only be extremely limited and dependent on how compatible it was with the needs of the person who encountered it.

Maybe it's because of these difficulties (and I'm learning more) that my instinct has been to avoid publishing such a list in recent years.

Instead what I do is try to keep attuned to companies which may be involved in this type of product activity (which is any SSD company which has crossed my radar in the past 20 years) and when I learn something interesting which can be discussed in an SSD news context - then I write about them and put a note in their profile page. I admit that's not a fool-proof method but it avoids making a claim to completeness (such as "this list includes every known military SSD maker") which is doomed to fail.

As a long established publisher of buyers guides (long being 24 years so far) I think if you want readers to trust you - you have to know your own limits. So that's why I (still) haven't published a simple guide of military SSD manufacturers - despite knowing many companies which might easily qualify to be placed in such a list.

You can find a wide net of potential companies (from the news archive) by using site search and a suitable search filter such as "military SSD". But you'll have to do your own filtering and follow up on the linked-to web sites to confirm if they're still active in the market.

If you have views about this, or suggestion which you think other readers might find useful - email me and I'll consider adding them as an update to this article.

Let me know too if you follow up the above discussion on twitter or linkedin (although most of you in the mil business won't be in a position where it's advisable to do this).

Here's a permalink for the above article.
Hmm... it looks like you're seriously interested in SSDs. So please bookmark this page and come back again soon.
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"SSD 101 is a series of educational articles."
SSD Bookmarks - from Cactus Technologies
Can you trust market reports and the handed down wisdom from analysts, bloggers and so-called "industry experts" any more than you can trust SSD benchmarks to tell you which product is best?
heck no! - whatever gave you that silly idea?
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DRAM (in 2016) has stayed stuck in the Y2K era of enterprise server latency and that's why its future will go the same way as the 15K hard drive.
latency loving reasons for fading out DRAM
in the virtual memory slider mix

enterprise segmentation
"Do you think we should add a heater?"

Decloaking hidden and missing segments in
the analysis of market opportunities for
enterprise rackmount flash

It's easy to create a list of the top 10 oems or user sites which already use SSDs - but no one's got more than a small fraction of the list of future SSD user heavyweights - because they don't exist yet - or if they do - they're in stealth mode.

But they can see us.

And if you're looking in today - then Hi!
The big market impact of SSD dark matter

There's a growing consensus that DWPD should map into recognizable application zones and price bands.
what's the state of DWPD?

how much flash is needed to replace all enterprise HDDs?
meet Ken and the enterprise SSD software event horizon

The enterprise SSD story...

why's the plot so complicated?

and was there ever a missed opportunity in the past to simplify it?
the elusive golden age of enterprise SSDs

Trying to understand the SSD market (based on what happened in the past in memory) is a seriously flawed ambition.
an SSD view of semiconductor memory boom-bust

There's no such thing as a "standard SSD".
BOM control and SSDs

Capacitor hold up times in 2.5" military SSDs
exploring the extreme limits of design

Who's got all the answers to help understand how all the changes in the SSD market are coming together? The answer is - no one and everyone and you too.
the SSD Bookmarks

How will the hard drive market fare
in a solid state storage world?
a classic article

In many ways the enterprise SSD market resembles a jungle and the creatures within it are evolving fast.
the Survivor's Guide to enterprise SSDs

"See how optimizing processors for SSD can gain a 2x to 250x speed-up on popular functions as well as reduce the energy consumed by a similar amount! "
SSD Bookmarks - from Cadence

After 2003 the only technology which could displace an SSD from its market role was another SSD (or SSD software).
SSD market history

I was talking to an end user whose organization has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on EMC storage.

They'd love to decouple themselves and benefit from modern lower cost flash.
"compared to EMC"
the unreal positioning of AFA startups

Now we're seeing new trends in pricing flash arrays which don't even pretend that you can analyze and predict the benefits using technical models.
Exiting the Astrological Age of Enterprise SSD Pricing

Would users buy an SSD just because it has an animal in the logo or label? If so - what animal should it be?
animal brands in the SSD market

This box uses nearly twice (2x) as many memory chips (to do the same job).
Efficiency as internecine SSD competitive advantage

How much investment does it take to achieve something big in the SSD market?
over 100 SSD VC funding stories

There was a young lady called Prudence
Was worried 'bout flash's endurance...
a limerick and an apology

Why can't SSD's true believers agree on a single shared vision for the future of solid state storage?
the SSD Heresies

In my role as Occasional SSD Agony Aunt - I've spoken to people about the "SSD acquisition problem" at both ends of the game. Here's what I've learned.
3 Easy Ways to Enter the SSD Market

Implementing XTS-AES in SSDs, an encrypted way to fast erase, side-channel attackers get keys from cache latency, Apple vs FBI and other stuff...
the SSD Security page

With hundreds of patents already pending in this topic there's a high probability that the SSD vendor won't give you the details. It's enough to get the general idea.
Adaptive flash R/W and DSP ECC IP in SSDs

"...Application-unaware design of memory controllers, and in particular memory scheduling algorithms, leads to uncontrolled interference of applications in the memory system"
Are you ready to rethink RAM?

The user mood is changing from - can I afford to use SSDs? to a realization that - I can't afford not to.
where does all the money go?

"A critical test of whether you really understand the dynamics of a complex market like enterprise SSDs - is whether you can predict what rational buyers might do when offered new product options at the extreme limits of - for example - price."
Boundaries Analysis in SSD Market Forecasting

"You'd think... someone should know all the answers by now. "
what do enterprise SSD users want?


We can't afford NOT to be in the SSD market...
Hostage to the fortunes of SSD




"The winners in SSD software could be as important for data infrastructure as Microsoft was for PCs, or Oracle was for databases, or Google was for search."
all enterprise data will touch an SSD




"There is only one reason to buy SSD - performance!"
...thus spake an ad on this site for the RamSan-210 (a fast rackmount SSD) in 2002.

Since then we've found more reasons (6 in total).

Only 6? - Doesn't sound much - but they gave birth to all the business plans for all the SSDs in every market.

6 doesn't sound too difficult to understand does it?

But analysis of SSD market behavior becomes convoluted in the enterprise when you stir into the viable product permutations soup pot not only the raw technology ingredients (memory, software architecture etc ) but also throw in the seasoning desires of latent customer preferences.




these 100 plus companies are the "Editor Proven" cheerleaders and editorial meetings fixers of the storage and SSD industry
PR Agencies - the list on