this is the home page of
leading the way to the new storage frontier .....
pcie  SSDs - click to read article
PCIe SSDs ..
SSD myths - write endurance
SSD endurance ..
SSD SoCs controllers
SSD controllers ..
image shows megabyte waving the winners trophy - there are over 200 SSD oems - which ones matter? - click to read article
top SSD companies ..
SSD news for the holiday
SSD news ..
.. is about thought leadership in the SSD market.

From - what's in the chips?

To - how will SSDs change the future?

Since the 1990s our readers have been accelerating the growth of the SSD market and setting its direction and agenda.
OCZ enterprise SSD - click for more info
2.5" SATA SSDs
enterprise performance
Intrepid 3000 - from OCZ

(a Toshiba group company)
whatever gave you that silly idea?
Can you trust SSD market data?
SSD topics from A to Z

1.8 SSDs", MO-297, slim SSDs
2.5" SSDs - all
2.5" PCIe SSDs, SATAe etc
3.5" SSDs - all

7 silos for enterprise SSDs
11 key SSD symmetries

About the publisher
Acquisitions in the SSD market
Adaptive R/W & DSP ECC in SSDs

Advertising SSDs - 15 years of SSD ads

Analysts - SSD market
Animal brands in SSD
Articles and blogs - top 50
Architecture guide - storage
ASAPs / auto tuning, caching, tiering SSDs

Backup - SSD enhanced
Bad block management in flash SSDs
Banner ads for SSDs
Benchmarking SSDs
Best SSD for your PC? - sorry I can't say
Big market picture of SSDs
Big versus Small - in SSD architecture
Bookmarks from SSD leaders
Books - citing
Bottlenecks and SSDs
Branding Strategies in the SSD market
Buyers Guide to SSDs

Cache ratios inside SSDs
Caching software and SSD appliances
Calling for an end to SSD vs HDD IOPS
Can you tell me the best way to SSD Street?
Chips - storage interface / processors
Chips - SSD on a chip & DOMs
CIO - a day in the life of
Cloud storage - with SSD twists
Consumer SSDs guide
Consumer SSDs - why are they so bad?
Controller chips for SSDs
SSD SoCs controllers
SSD controllers

Cost of SSDs
CPU-SSD equivalency

Dark matter users in enterprise SSD
Data integrity in flash SSDs
Data Recovery - all
Data recovery - for flash SSDs
Decloaking hidden segments in the enterprise
Disruptive tech markets and SSD
DSP in flash SSD controller IP
Duplicators - for SSDs and HDDs
DWPD in enterprise SSDs

Education - re SSDs
Efficiency - comparing SSD designs
Enterprise SSDs - overview
Encryption - impacts in notebook SSDs
Endurance - in flash SSDs
Enter the SSD market - 3 easy ways

Failure model flaws in SSDs
Fast purge / erase SSDs
Fast Purge flash SSDs directory & articles
fast purge SSDs
Fastest SSDs
Fibre-Channel SSDs - market timeline
FITs (failures in time) & SSDs
Flash Memory
Flash SSDs
flash SSD vs RAM SSD
Forecasts for SSD market

Garbage Collection - SSD jargon
Green storage

Hard disk drives
Hard drives in an SSD world
Heresies - SSD fans disagree fundamentals
High availability enterprise SSDs

History of SSD market
SSD history
SSD history
History of enterprise flash
History of data storage (all)

Hostage to the fortunes of SSD
Hybrid drives (consumer)
Hybrid caching / tiering appliances (enterprise)

Iceberg syndrome - invisible SSD capacity
Inanimate Power, Speed & Strength Metaphors
Industrial SSDs
image shows mouse building storage - click to see industrial SSDs article
industrial SSDs

InfiniBand SSDs
IOPS and flash SSDs
IOPS Comparisons - SSDs and HDDs

Jargon - flash SSD

Legacy SSD
Legacy vs New Dynasty SSDs

M.2 SSDs
Market research (all storage)
Market research (SSDs)
Memory channel storage SSDs
military rugged SSDs
military storage directory and news
military SSDs

MLC - in SSD jargon
MLC in enterprise SSDs
Modern era of the SSD market
MRAM, PCM & other threats to flash in SSDs

News page
Notebook SSDs
NVMe - mentions on this site

Over-provisioning in flash SSDs

Petabyte SSD roadmap
Power loss protection in SSDs

"SSD is going down!
We're going down!"
Surviving SSD sudden power loss
image shows Megabyte's lighter than air storage balloon - image for SSD PSU is going down article
What did you say happens
when we run out of gas?

Power, Speed & Strength in SSD brands
PR Agencies & SSDs
Price of SSDs - where does the money go?

Rackmount SSDs
RAID systems (incl RAIC RAISE etc)
. published the world's 1st online RAID directory (wit daily updates)  in 1998 - we have   articles, comment and list of hundreds of RAID  oems
RAID systems and SSDs

RAM cache ratios in flash SSDs
RAM memory chips
RAM SSDs versus Flash SSDs
Ratio of SSD capacity - server vs SAN
Record breaking storage
Reliability - in SSD design
Reliability - HDD, tape and other storage
Riddle games and enterprise SSD boxes

Serial ATA (SATA) storage
Silos in the solid state datacenter
Software (for SSDs)
SPARC market history 1987 to 2010
Standards ORG directory
Survival guide to enterprise SSDs
Symmetry impacts in SSD behavior

Testing SSDs

Top SSD companies - 7 years tracker

UlltraDIMM SSDs etc
User value propositions for buying SSDs

VC funds in storage
Videos - about SSDs

Wear leveling
What's an SSD?
What's the best way to design a flash SSD?
Where are we now with that SSD software?
WORM hard drives
Write amplification in SSDs

Zero RPM SSDs killed 20K hard drives

Zsolt Kerekes, editor -

who d'you call for the SSD crystal ball?
click here to see some more storage market  predictions
SSD market analysts directory


The simple idea - that one new SSD thing can replace one old SSD thing - is rarely as simple as the advocates of the new thing say.
PCIe SSDs versus memory channel SSDs


"Don't place too much credence in what SSD companies tell you about the present or the future of the SSD market."
Survivor's Guide to Enterprise SSDs


Advertising info and pricing
advertising on
When Betterbyte's boss said
"Accelerate your SSD sales"
he knew just the right way to do it. was the world's first online advertising platform for enterprise SSDs.

This is our 15th year running ads for enterprise SSDs.

We're proud to be part of the SSD ecosystem. SSD has been 100% of our revenue for the past several years.
11 key SSD ideas which changed in 2014

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor - November 25, 2014
In September I published my preliminary list of 10 key SSD ideas - each of which there had been associated with significant progress in 2014. I'm still adding updates to that article. So by the time we get to the end of the year - there should be around 14. In case you haven't seen the early part of the list before - here's how it begins.

key SSD idea #1

in-situ SSD processing

This is about closing important gaps in the intelligence of message passing and the speed of data access between application processors and SSD controllers.

(SSD controllers which - in the vast majority of SSDs - come attached with their own offload processors or associated data movement engines.)

Traditionally SSDs have been designed to reduce the access times to data - but within the framework of commands, APIs and data structures which have been designed for applications agnostic data storage drives.

And in order to make SSDs easier to use - classic SSD controllers also perform a lot of house-keeping and data integrity related functions - in a way which is the apps processor doesn't need to know about (although it can collect stats related to endurance etc).

There is much evidence to support the idea that both applications performance and data storage efficiency can be greatly improved if the flash management and apps management processor are either the same CPU - or if they can talk to each other in a more effective way.

These improvements (which enable data handling responsibilities to be partitioned downwards to the flash or upwards to the apps host - depending on which has the best view of what is needed) have already been implemented by various SSD vendors in experimental or custom APIs.

These concepts - which first took root in large web scale server farms - have also delivered useful results in some industrial SSDs when scaled down to a single SSD.

A handful of SSD vendors have already done work in this area - notably Fusion-io (in whose non offloaded SSD controller architecture - the flash management and apps processors were the same processor).

But in 2015 and 2016 these concepts will become much more explicitly talked about.

Related SSD drive companies:- NxGn Data, LSI, Memblaze, InnoDisk

Related SSD array companies (who probably already do some degree of in-situ SSD processing) include:- Skyera, Violin

key SSD idea #2

re PCIe SSDs

This year - as part of a continuing trend - we've seen an upswing in the number of companies who offer PCIe compatible SSDs in form factors like M.2 and 2.5".

The barriers to market have been reduced by standards such as NVMe and SATA express - which by creating frameworks of software and hardware interchangeability - have minimized the risks for oems who incoprorate such SSDs into their storage and computing systems.

An important new factor for the PCIe SSD market this year was the materialization of product announcements centered around the core concept of using PCIe as an interconnection fabric between racks.

The key pioneers driving these efforts have been PLX and A3CUBE.

key SSD idea #3

random access memory doesn't have to be RAM

The idea of using flash as a new memory tier isn't new. And neither is the idea of using flash in DRAM memory slots. But in 2014 there were several developments which added weight to the usefulness of these ideas.
  • Applicable to any kind of standard flash SSD - SanDisk's ZetaScale software (described by as "one of the most significant SSD software products launched in 2014") is an API toolset which gives software designers the freedom to treat flash in a similar way to DRAM - thereby being able to rely on much higher capacities within any given monetary budget ceiling.

    Although the performance characteristics of such memory won't suit all applications - the ability to experiment and invest in a technology platform which promises to avoid lock-in to any particular SSD form factor - will encourage the development of new types of data repurposing platforms.
  • Those who may have been disappointed by the low aspirations of Diablo's 1st generation memory channel SSDs - were given a glimpse of something more akin to what they might have been wishing for - in the unveiling of an ambitious 2nd generation architecture which promised to go much further in 2015.

    The key ingredient here is a new software framework (Carbon2) with features like NanoCommit technology.

    The new software is being offered as part of developer packages which anticipate 2nd generation MCS hardware which will be fast flash DIMMs compatible with DDR4.
See also:- are you ready to rethink enterprise DRAM architecture?

key SSD idea #4

re micro tiering and micro clouds

One of the trends in computer architecture in recent years is that new software architectural concepts which deliver sustainable efficiency or management efficiencies have found it easier to get their benefits established and recognized at a large scale - as part of big web entities or cloud infrastructure.

But the lessons learned have been duly noted and reapplied to other use cases and are now finding their way into individual rack scale products too.

3 companies which stand out for their different approaches in this respect are:-

key SSD idea #5

adaptive R/W (including DSP) data integrity management in flash

2 years ago - there were only 10 companies with adaptive R/W technologies in their SSD product lines.

It was important to know who they were at the time.

Because looking ahead from the perspective of 2012 they and their licensees or acquirers were going to be among the first vendors who could leverage the economics of next generation flash.

They did this by moving away from classical flash controller technologies - which relied on anonymous industry wide characterization statistics for key flash parameters - and moving towards an adaptive model - which was able to recognize and grade different qualities of individual flash blocks (even within the same SSD).

The new adaptive DSP technology was able to choose from a wide bandolero of timing and ECC techniques instead of being dependent on a single caliber flash manage bullet.

By the middle of 2014 - adaptive R/W had become a mainstream technology - deployed by most leading enterprise SSD systems (in applicable products) - so its strategic advantage as a competitive differentiator has diminished.

Instead it has become the new "standard technology" for handling all sub 20nm planar MLC flash devices.

But it would be wrong to think of it as a uniform technology. There are significant differences in the scope, granularity and associated controller and power footprints of the many different adaptive DSP flash IP sets used in the SSD market.

more key SSD ideas which changed in 2014

re MLC... how does NV become V?

NV + 0.4 DWPD @ 85C = V
Editor:- October 24, 2014 - Even a modest amount of drive writes per day can render modern day MLC flash incapable of retaining data for long in the unpowered state - depending on the temperature in the rack where those writes took place. This effectively means that the flash inside the SSD is no longer "non volatile".

The physics behind this are revealed in a blog by Virtium - a company which operates in the industrial market - and which does a lot of work characterizing memories for use in SSDs and other memory systems. They can leverage that knowledge for customers by adjusting controller and firmware characteristics to optimize the memory's life and data integrity - particularly if it is known in advance what proportion of time the embedded SSD is likely to be operating at particular temperatures.

Virtium's paper - temperature considerations in SSDs (pdf) includes some stark graphs and observations about data retention - which you should be aware of - even if you're not in the industrial market.

Virtium's paper says - "This shows the dramatic effects that temperature has on data retention for given workloads.

"For the same 750 full drive writes (0.4 DWPD drive writes per day for 5 years), SSDs operated and stored at 85C will only have 2 days of data retention, whereas those drives at 40C will have 1 year and those at room temperature 25C will exhibit characteristics of nearly 8 years of data retention." the article (pdf)

This - incidentally - also demonstrates the wise precaution - which takes place in some enterprise SSDs (but by no means all arrays and certainly not all enterprise SSD drives) of checking the status and data integrity of "so called" seldomly accessed data - or data at rest.

I use the designation "so called" deliberately to emphasize that while your apps stats may be telling you that you haven't done much with some of this (seldom accessed) data - the reality is that the wear leveling schemes in the array may have been moving it around - to change places with more heavily trafficked cells.

Some drive designers don't like doing this inside their controllers - because the care taking process - as well as prolonging SSD data life -also adds to the wear on the flash array. So it's a delicate balancing act.

It's one of those many design decisions in SSD designs where there isn't a single correct answer which can be applied in all cases. The optimum decision depends on the application environment.

Sometimes different enterprise drives from the same company - take a completely different approach to data at rest - for the above reasons.
re - HA enterprise SSDs
Editor:- October 13, 2014 - I've long had an abiding interest in the architecture of fault tolerant / high availability electronic systems - ever since learning that such concepts existed - when (in about 1976) our digital systems design lecturer Dr R G 'Ben' Bennetts at Southampton University suggested we should read a paper about how NASA's Jet Propulsion Labs used triple modular redundancy.

(I can't remember the details of that paper - but the JPL people and their collaborators and descendants have never stopped inspiring and writing a rich literature about the design aspects of computer systems which operate a long way from a service engineer.)

In the early part of my career - such ideas were good to know about - but far too exotic and expensive to incorporate into most products. But I was reminded about them in the 1990s - when in the publication which preceded - some of my customers were advertising their FT/ HA SPARC servers for the telco market.

The more you investigate the architecture of FT/ HA computer systems the more you realize it's a philosophy rather than a technology which you can implement as a plug and play inconsequentially within the cost goals of mere mortals.

The results are always compromises - which balance reliability (aka functionable survivability) against other tradeoffs - such as performance. (And performance itself has many internal dimensions of fault tolerance too.)

Violin's 6000 SSD and HA

3 years ago (in September 2011) when I was talking to Violin's CEO (at that time) Don Basile about the launch of Violin's first 6000 series (the first no single point of failure, competitively priced, fast flash rackmount SSD) he expressed some concern about how I would tell you (my readers) what was unique about this product and signal whether it was relevant to you or not - as it was competing for attention with thousands of other SSD stories for applications ranging from phones to drones.

I didn't see that as a problem - because my readers are smart - and I had been publishing a directory page dedicated to SSD Reliability since 2008.

But just to make sure that the systems embodiments of FT/HA/SSD architecture from a growing base of competitors didn't get washed away by other stories - I launched a dedicated ft/HA enterprise SSD directory in January 2012 - to serve an emerging base of reliability focused readers - which in those days measured around 10,000 readers / year in that niche topic. (Until recently HA SSDs have rarely entered the top 30 SSD articles viewed by my readers.)

But something in the market has changed.

I noticed this week that the topic of HA/FT SSDs has risen to be 1 of the top 10 topics that you've been looking at this month. Which means it's mainstream.

Looking back at other past niche topics...

10 years ago I didn't think that more than a few hundred people would be interested in the intricacies of flash endurance. And to begin with - SSD vendors were nervous about even acknowledging that there was such a thing as SSD wear out. Now you can't shut them up. They all want to show you how clever they are at handling it

The different types of flash memory and different generations of arcane flash care schemes spawned a huge industry literature of understanding and misunderstanding - so I wouldn't be surprised if the enterprise FT/HA flash array market now started to do something similar.

PS - After a communications gap of 37 years - I exchanged some emails with my old university lecturer - Ben Bennetts while writing this - to see if I had remembered things correctly.

He said - "Yes, that was me. I lectured on fault-tolerant systems and JPLs Self-Test And Repair, STAR, computer, based on triple modular redundancy, used to feature in my presentations."

So that enables me to pin point the original source of that inspirational IEEE Transactions paper about fault tolerant computing - which I remember having read in 1976 (although I haven't read it since) to Prof. Algirdas Antanas Avižienis - whose visionary work on - what is today called - "Dependable Computing and Fault-Tolerant Systems" - continues today.

In November 2005 - published its 2nd long range strategic market penetration model for the SSD market called - Why are Most Analysts Wrong About Solid State Disks? - which analyzed and explained the Main User Value Propositions for buying SSDs.
SSD market history

SSD dolphins, tigers and wolverines etc
animal brands in the SSD market
Hmm... it looks like you're seriously interested in SSDs. So please bookmark this page and come back again soon.
About the publisher - 22 years guiding the enterprise market
. is published by ACSL. © 1992 to 2014 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.

Privacy policies.

We never compile email lists from this web site, not for our own use nor anyone else's, and we never ask you to log-in to read any of our own content on this web site. We don't do pop-ups or pop-unders nor blocker ads and we don't place cookies in your computer. We've been publishing on the web since 1996 and these have always been the principles we adhere to.

Some pages which have Google site search boxes do insert cookies from Google (not from us).
click for more info
Primary Data - founded in 2013 - is the most ambitious storage software startup I have ever encountered.

The company - which has $63 million in funding - emerged from stealth mode recently.

What Primary Data's platform offers - is an architecture for transforming 20 to 30 years of inherited data market archeology into the scalable and flexible modern world.

It's a bigger step than simply replacing hard drives with SSDs. But it's part of the same story. SSD news
SSD ad - click for more info
...A winning strategy for software developers and fabric enablers - will be to create SSDcentric platforms which enable these disparate pieces to be seen (from the data utility point of view) as interoperable subsets of a bigger continuum architecture in which users can move their implementation decisions freely across wide cost/performance boundaries without hitting walls which restrict their freedom to expand in any direction they want to go.
what's hotting up storage search? (Sept 2014)

Efficiency is not a zero pain gain.

Better SSD software enabled architectures will shrink enterprise flash market revenue in painful adoption based inflexion points - even if the long term direction is still up.
meet Ken - and the enterprise SSD software event horizon

"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

It may seem like a huge leap from a 4U $290K rackmount RAM SSD (with internal flash backup and load) to hybrid DIMM (modules) but good ideas in SSD architecture have often made that kind of transition in SSD history.
flash backed DIMMs / NVDIMMs

There hasn't been a stable market template for vendors to follow from one seemingly chaotic year to the next as they encroach on new markets.
Decloaking hidden segments in the enterprise

"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?

2014 has been the start of a new phase of creativity in the enterprise SSD market on the subject of pricing and affordability
Exiting the Astrological Age of Enterprise SSD Pricing

How adaptive is the SSD behavior to changes in itself?

The degree to which this passing of the intelligence can impact behavior in other parts of the SSD - is what I call adaptive intelligence flow symmetry.
11 Key Symmetries in SSD design

the difference between "good enough" and the "best" endurance architecture schemes can still be 2x, 3x or 100x - even when using the same memory.
SSD endurance - the forever war - now in 3D

SSD ad - click for more info

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

The new economics of SSD storage took the CPU designers and OS software developers completely by surprise.

The technology roadmaps didn't come from the usual places.

And they changed too fast for the old style processor, storage and server vendors to keep up.
the New Business Case for SSD ASAPs

How do I explain the significance of the SSD market to someone with no technical background?
historic perspectives - on the SSD market

You need compatibilities and similarities to create a new data storage ecosystem - but you need differences and competitors to make it a true market
Storage ORGs - list of trade associations

"Bottlenecks in the pure SSD datacenter will be much more serious than in the HDD world - because responding slowly will be equivalent to transaction failure."
will SSDs end my bottlenecks?

Adaptive flash care management & DSP IP in flash SSD controllers and firmware.
What is it? Who does it? and why?

Today - if you're in a big company in a traditional market - and hoping to do something equally big in the SSD market - then $1 billion may not be enough - but $5 billion may be too much.
VCs & SSDs

Why can't SSD's true believers agree on a single shared vision?
the SSD Heresies

"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

"A new generation of enterprise SSD rackmounts is breaking all the rules which previously constrained price, performance and reliability."
exciting new directions in rackmount SSDs

Usable versus Raw flash capacity - what you see isn't what you get.
SSD capacity - the iceberg syndrome

"...the SSD market will be bigger in revenue than the hard drive market ever was."
How will hard drives fare in an SSD world?

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

DWPD (Diskful Writes Per Day) for 5 years - has become an established part of SSD jargon in the writings of enterprise SSD makers in recent years.
DWPD numbers for industry leading enterprise SSDs

One thing which hasn't changed since the early days of enterprise flash - is the concept of "naughty flash".

This is a new type of brash flash memory which sensible, cautious types point at while waving their fingers sternly and declaiming dire warning - that's never going to be reliable enough for the enterprise!

This has happened many times.
enterprise flash - a 10 year history

Sorry - this isn't a magic formula which resolves neatly into 5 easy bullet points
SSD education

These intriguing questions will be answered much later when the patents are applied for.
my flash controller scheme is 100x better than yours

The simple idea - that one new SSD thing can replace one old SSD thing - is rarely as simple as the advocates of the new thing say.
PCIe SSDs versus memory channel SSDs