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Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

see also:- Microsoft - editor mentions on StorageSearch.com, Microsoft's SSD pages


editor's comments:- May 2012 - Microsoft is one of many companies in the SSD software market.

Like other legacy OS companies Microsoft's experiments at trying to do useful things with solid state storage haven't resulted in anything worthwhile.

That's because the SSD market has been discontinuous in its architecture - and often moving suddenly in directions which appeared (to those outside the SSD analyst loop) to be tangents. OS companies like Microsoft prefer to know the shape of new hardware features typically 5 to 10 years before they appear so they can plan support and integrate it in their releases.

Microsoft has been used to getting such roadmaps - regarding future CPUs and interfaces - although chipmakers complain privately that Microsoft can still be slow to do anything with that lookahead info. Sorage history too - demonstrates that Microsoft reacts slowly to real changes which weren't in its fishbowl sights. (It took many years before the company supported iSCSI for example.)

It would be a mistake to look for leadership in SSD support from Microsoft. It won't happen. The best that you can expect is that by 2020 - if Microsoft is still around - then the needs of the SSD market will have stabilized enough to get useful support in the OS. (Although by then - all storage will be solid state anyway - so it won't be necessary to have any special support for SSDs from the OS.) Until then look to SSD manufacturers and SSD software specialists for tactical and proprietary solutions.


Microsoft mentions in SSD market history

Iin March 2010 - in yet another simulated benchmark published today related to Adaptec's SSD ASAP caching technology - which they leverage in their MaxIQ SSD product - I learned that the underlying technology was originally developed by (surprise! surprise!) - Microsoft.

"When our datacenter team came up with some innovative ideas around using solid state devices as read caching devices, we determined it made good sense to license these advances to Adaptec because Microsoft itself doesn't sell these types of products," said David Kaefer, GM of Intellectual Property Licensing at Microsoft. "By collaborating through licensing, Adaptec customers benefit from a product that delivers impressive performance and cost savings over alternatives in the market."
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"One petabyte of enterprise SSD could replace 10 to 50 petabytes of raw HDD storage in the enterprise - and still get all the apps running faster."
the enterprise SSD software event horizon
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""We'd probably buy EMC first..."
Rick White, CMO, Fusion-io

(email to the editor - October, 2012)

correction to the story

Fusion-io acquires Microsloft's server business
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"In November 2006 - Microsoft announced business availability of its new Vista operating system - heralded as being the first PC market OS which included SSD-aware support and native SSD cache management....."
...from:- SSD market history
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In November 2002 - Bill Gates, talking about Tablet PC's said:- "There are also a lot of peripherals that need to improve here. ...Eventually even the so-called solid state disks will come along and not only will we have the mechanical disks going down to 1.8 inch but some kind of solid state disk... will be part of different Tablet PCs."
...from:- Charting the Rise of the SSD Market
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Microsoft's SSD-aware VMs - discussed on InfoQ
Editor:- September 24, 2014 - There are now so many enterprise SSD software companies that keeping track of them all is a little like tallying 2.5" SSD makers - a tedious chore -which in most cases isn't worth the bother.

Nevertheless - SSD-centric software is strategically important - and some vendors are more important than others - despite having been latecomers in the enterprise flash wars .

One such company is Microsoft.

A news story today - Microsoft Azure Joins SSD Storage Bandwagon on InfoQ - discusses Microsoft's D-Series SSD-aware VMs - and places this in the context of other products from well known sources.

The blog's author - Janakiram MSV says "One important aspect of SSD based VMs on Azure is that they are not persistent. Data stored on these volumes cannot survive the crash or termination of virtual machines. This is different from both Amazon EC2 and Google Compute Engine, which offer persistent SSDs. On Azure, customers have to ensure that the data stored on the SSD disks is constantly backed up to Azure blob storage or other VMs." ...read the article
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how fast can your SSD run backwards?
SSDs are complex devices and there's a lot of mysterious behavior which isn't fully revealed by benchmarks, datasheets and whitepapers.

Underlying all the important aspects of SSD behavior are asymmetries which arise from the intrinsic technologies and architecture inside the SSD.
SSD symmetries article Which symmetries are most important in an SSD? That depends on your application. ...click to read the article