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Nimble says 200 customers have used its bundled stack

Editor:- May 19, 2014 - Nimble Storage today announced that over 200 enterprise customers have used its SmartStack (pre-validated reference architecture) which is centered around the company's hybrid storage arrays.

Skyera begins volume shipments

Editor:- April 30, 2014 - Skyera today announced volume shipments of its petabyte class skyHawk rackmount SSD - which had previously been sampling at select customer sites.

Coho Data now shipping 2U MicroArray hybrids

Editor:- March 6, 2014 - Coho Data today announced general availability of its first product - a 2U SSD ASAP called the DataStream (an SSDserver 4/E box) - which integrates PCIe SSDs, hard drives and a server into a web scale expandable unit (using an internal 52 port 10GbE fabric switch) to implement what the company refers to as a "MicroArray" designed with the philosophy of "Turning Tiering Upside Down (pdf)" to deliver a base building block unit of 180K IOPS performance (4KB).

Editor's comments:- you can judge the lofty scale of Coho Data's ambitions by this market soothsayer quote which they integrated in the launch press release - ""By 2017, Web-scale IT will be an architectural approach found operating in 50% of Global 2000 enterprises."

See also:- SSD empowered cloud, SSD hybrid arrays, the enterprise SSD software event horizon

NetApp has shipped 59PB of SSDs in past 3 years

Editor:- November 19, 2013 - Among other things - Network Appliance today disclosed it has has shipped over 59 petabytes of flash storage in the past 3 years.

Editor's comments:- What NetApp actually said was "over 60PB to date".

My calculation goes like this...

The company shipped 1PB in its first year in the SSD market - which ended in the 3rd quarter of 2010.

So it's shipped approximately 60PB in 3 years. Probably more than 1/2 of that will have been in the past year.

How does that compare with others?

It doesn't sound like a lot in the context of today's market.

According to a (quirkily pro-HDD) blog by Toshiba - the analyst data which they have aggregated projects that 8,000 PB of enterprise flash SSDs will ship in 2014.

I think the likely figure (PB of enterprise flash installed in systems) will be much higher than even that - because Toshiba's data probably doesn't take adequately into account the ability of some systems vendors to ship enterprise grade SSD racks using consumer grade flash chips (rather than using enterprise SSD drives) due to technologies like adaptive R/W - and the increasing appetite for enterprise SSDs. See also:- petabyte SSD shipment milestones.

SanDisk invests in Panzura

Editor:- June 27, 2013 - SanDisk today announced it has invested in Panzura - which makes auto-tiering (from NAS to the cloud) rackmount SSD ASAPs.

"Panzura is another excellent example of the important role flash memory is playing in the transformation of the enterprise" said Sumit Sadana, executive VP and chief strategy officer of SanDisk.

See also:- VCs in SSDs

aligning database block sizes with SSDs

Editor:- February 5, 2013 - I often hear from readers designing software for SSDs who - having researched the subject of flash etc - have spent too much time over-worrying about internal SSD hardware details that they really shouldn't be worrying about. Because by the time they learn about such things - that type of hardware anxiety is ancient history.

Today I came across a recent blog by Chas. Dye at Pure Storage called Please DON'T Fiddle with Your Database Block Size! - which also warns about this very issue.

Chas says - "At Pure Storage, we believe that a factor that should never influence the block size decision is your storage subsystem."

Editor's comments:- I'd certainly agree that trying to slavishly make your data structures look like something you've read about which might be inside an SSD controller is probably a waste of time - because unless you know the SSD designer you don't really know what's going on - and the abstraction you read about in some web site is only a small part of the picture.

If an SSD is so sensitive to the data you hit it with - it's not the SSD you should have bought in the first place.

Skyera says GbE switches inside SSD save costs

Editor:- September 25, 2012 - Skyera created some waves last month when it launched an SSD rack with the lowest price per terabyte (at the time) using a range of integrated technologies (adaptive R/W DSP, large SSD controller architecture and integrated SSD software).

It's hard to top that kind of announcement. And it may be a long time before Skyera has anything so significant to say.

Pitched at a more mundane level today - a press release from the company talks about one of the other factors in its system which can help to reduce the cost for users. It has multiple embedded GbE switches inside its SSD racks - so you don't need so many outside.

Nutanix has a new NFS for PCIe SSD accelerated CPUs

Editor:- June 12, 2012 - Nutanix today Nutanix announced the general availability of NDFS (Nutanix Distributed File System), a bold new distributed filesystem that has been optimized to leverage localized low latency PCIe SSDs such as those from Fusion-io.

By shifting the NFS datapath away from the network directly onto the VMware vSphere host, NDFS bypasses network communications that have historically been fraught with multiple high-latency hops between top-of-rack and end-of-row switches.

Nutanix accelerates both read and writes for any workload. Redundancy and availability are achieved by data mirroring across high-speed 10GbE switches. Nutanix says it harnesses the same distributed system techniques that power webscale clouds such as Google, Amazon, and LinkedIn clouds into an enterprise-friendly package that starts out as a high-density 2U datacenter rack.

Editor's comments:- Nutanix is in the SSD ASAP market - with CPU-SSD equivalency architecture integrated in the OS. The company says their architecture "collapses compute and storage into a single tier." You can get the general idea from their blog and video.

no wear out yet in sight for Violin's VC flash cash

Editor:- May 1, 2012 - Like many other SSD companies Violin Memory is still burning flash cash faster than it's coming in from customers - but professional investors are still happy to fuel the flames.

The company has increased the size of its recent series D funding round to $80 million - up from the $50 million announced a few weeks ago - to take advantage of the high subscriber demand and has named a new strategic investor - GE Asset Management. See also:- VCs in SSD

Dell selects Micron's hot-swap 2.5" PCIe SSD

Editor:- March 6, 2012 - Micron today announced that it has developed a 2.5" form factor, hot swappable, PCIe SSD.

The new solution has been selected as a key storage device in Dell's PowerEdge 12th generation servers.

Editor's comments:- this is a natural progression - from the pioneering work last year by SANRAD (the first company to ship front removable PCIe SSDs) and OCZ (the first company to demonstrate 3.5" PCIe SSDs).

In a recent article - are you designing a new PCIe SSD? - I discussed some of the new storage architectural concepts which are being enabled by new PCIe chips from PLX - in the area of fault tolerance and PCIe enabled SANs. So there are a lot more changes in the PCIe SSD product pipeline. 2.5" will be an additional form factor for PCIe SSDs - and won't replace the traditional card / module form factor.

Coraid gets another $50 million funding

Editor:- November 3, 2011 - Coraid today announced that it has closed a $50 million investment round - bringing its total funding to over $85 million.

The company says its EtherFlash solution costs under $10/GB.

Conduction cooled rugged NAS SSDs find seats in war-planes

Editor:- November 1, 2011 - Curtiss-Wright today announced that it has received a contract from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics to provide its rugged conduction cooled NAS SSDs - Vortex CNS products - to the U.S. Air Force's HC/MC-130J Super Hercules aircraft program.

The initial order is valued at $800,000, with a potential lifetime contract value estimated at $7.5 million.

NEVEX launches SSD ASAP software for Windows Server

Editor:- October 11, 2011 - NEVEX today launched its first product - an auto-tiering / SSD ASAP software cache for Windows Server, VMware, Hyper-V priced at $2,495 per physical server.

CacheWorks' selective cache optimization technology empowers administrators by providing flexible control to accelerate specific data by application, file type, and location to deliver typical speedups of 3x - according to customer quotes in their launch press release (pdf).

virtual server acceleration mistakes

Editor:- June 21. 2011 - 5 Mistakes to Avoid when trying to solve I/O Bottlenecks in Virtualized Servers is a new article by IO Turbine published on

Needless to say most of the discussion in here revolves around the best use of SSDs. Among other things - IO Turbine says "While many enterprise-class storage providers offer automatic tiering with data migration to and from the SSD storage, these solutions typically take place well after the need for the I/O acceleration has passed." the article

NetApp acquires Engenio

Editor:- March 9, 2011 - Network Appliance announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase the Engenio external storage systems business of LSI for $480 million.

The close is anticipated to occur in approximately 60 days subject to customary closing conditions.

Engenio will enable NetApp to address emerging and fast-growing market segments such as video, including full-motion video capture and digital video surveillance, as well as high performance computing applications, such as genomics sequencing and scientific research. NetApp has the channel reach and customer relationships today that require high performance and big bandwidth capabilities that will be well served by Engenio's storage platform. NetApp says these segments are expected to collectively represent a $5 billion incremental market opportunity by 2014.

Editor's comments:- LSI has been trying to sell off Engenio since 2004. NetApp will love them more. For a brief time this past week - searches for Engenio exceeded that for "SSD". In the previous decade over 500 leading storage companies were acquired, changed name or went bust.

How and why to monitor VM Performance

Editor:- February 23, 2011 - How to Proactively Monitor VM Performance is a new article on Data Center POST written by Alex Rosemblat, Product Marketing Manager at VKernel - who says "Proactive monitoring of a virtualized data center can assist in finding potential performance problems before they occur..."

Editor's comments:- OK he says a lot more than that - and that's why I mentioned his article here.

I used to do a lot of performance analysis in my pre cut and paste career because I designed systems with guaranteed apps response times. And in my current job I always check my stats before I look at my email. So I have a lot of empathy for the storage test and analysis market. The more you understand about the internals of complex systems the less likely you are to get mugged by them. ... read the article

Alacritech enters SSD ASAP market

Editor:- January 11, 2011 - Alacritech launched the ANX 1500 ($70,000 base price) - a 2U fat flash SSD ASAP optimized for the NAS market - which the company claims can deliver 120,000 NFS OPS when configured with 48GB of DRAM and up to 4TB flash SSD.

Violin does that NFS ops - with SSDs - thing

Editor:- November 17, 2010 - Violin Memory (which makes rackmount SSDs) recently unveiled a multi-terabyte SSD cache solution for NAS systems which use NFS.

Violin says its vCACHE expands to 15TB of useable cache and delivers over 300,000 NFS operations per second over 8x 10GbE ports. It uses software from Gear6 which Violin acquired in June 2010 after the software developer had burned its way through $24 million funding and crashed.

Editor's comments:- I spoke to Don Basile, CEO of Violin Memory, and Matt Barletta. to read interview

Overland says cloud tech can scale NAS VTLs

Editor:- October 14, 2010 - Overland Storage today announced that it has acquired MaxiScale - a cloud storage technology company.

Dr. Geoff Barrall, CTO and VP of engineering at Overland Storage said "The logical next step for us is to create a clustered scalable NAS forming a local cloud of storage. When the opportunity arose to acquire MaxiScale's well-regarded technology, we took notice. MaxiScale's architecture will provide our customers with the ability to scale hundreds of (our) SnapServers into one unified pool of storage."

the SSD Bookmarks - WhipTail Tech

Editor:- September 16, 2010 - today published an update to the SSD Bookmarks series (which includes recommended reading from SSD industry thought leaders) - with new links for you to see suggested by James Candelaria, CTO - WhipTail Technologies the articles

HP and Dell battle over unavailable 3PAR

Editor:- August 23, 2010 - 3PAR has become part of a billion dollar acquisition tussle between Dell and HP.

But would you buy software from a company whose home page showed this message today? - "Site Temporarily Unavailable Thank you for visiting This site is currently undergoing maintenance and is temporarily unavailable. We apologize for the inconvenience."

Nimbus improves features in NAS SSD

Editor:- July 19, 2010 - Nimbus Data Systems today announced higher density in its 10 GbE rackmount SSD systems - 10TB (enterprise MLC) in 2U - implemented as 24 x 400GB hot-swappable SAS flash blades.

The company also announced improved connectivity - upto 120Gbps - from its internal 12 port FlexConnect 'virtual switch' which makes all storage available to all ports without the need to create and assign volumes to specific ports.

Every port can run all supported protocols – iSCSI, CIFS and NFS – simultaneously, enabling unified block and file storage and converged networking. Pricing for a 10TB system with FlexConnect is just under $110k.

New NAS systems will scale to 100Gbps

Editor:- July 12, 2010 - designing quad port 100Gbps ethernet will be made easier by a new interface (PHY) from NetLogic Microsystems .

The device supports 10Gbps SFI-to-XFI, 40Gbps XLPPI-to-XLAUI and 100Gbps CPPI-to-CAUI modes to enable a seamless migration of data centers from 10 Gigabit to 100 Gigabit throughputs. See also:- storage chips.

the new dedupe? - Permabit inside

Editor:- June 7, 2010 - Permabit today announced that its high performance data deduplication software has achieved multiple design wins with leading OEMs who will embed it in storage solutions coming to market by the end of 2010.

Permabit says its Albireo dedupe architecture scales to petabytes of network storage (FC, iSCSI, NFS, or CIFS), has application aware tuning and can deliver upto 800MB/s ingest on dual quad core processors with an extremely small memory footprint.

ever wondered - why a NAS from Avere Systems will solve your problems?

Editor:- June 1, 2010 - Avere Systems today published an opinion piece article called - 5 Things to Consider Before Upgrading Your NAS.

It talks about HDDs versus SSDs (a long running theme with our readers) and suggests that buying a NAS compatible SSD ASAP - like the one they design and sell - is a really good idea.

I just use this example to illustrate why you don't see many vendor written articles here on Even if some of the sentiments appear reasonable - the overall quality of the "analysis" in vendor originated articles is often patchy. The sweeping market assertions are often incorrect. And the remedies to user "problems" are suspiciously unique. the article

Nexenta streams online tv

Editor:- May 20, 2010 - Nexenta Systems announced that its products (which include SSD ASAP features) are being used by the Dutch Public Broadcasting Agency NPO for storing and delivering online tv in a configuration which includes 192TB of hard disk drives and a 1.9TB SSD read cache.

The broadcaster's website has approximately 80TB of video available to online users who want to watch previously broadcasted television programs. During an average evening, between 10 and 20,000 people stream data, adding up to 25GB in capacity. The customer (who evaluated multiple vendors ) says that important selection criteria were:- performance, price, support and power consumption.

Solid Access launches very fast NAS SLC SSD

Editor:- May 20, 2010 -Solid Access Technologies today launched the UNAS 100 a very fast 2U rackmount NAS SLC fat flash SSD - with 2.4TB capacity, 96GB DRAM Cache, 2x 10GbE ports, 300,000 IOPS, 1,000MB/s bandwidth and under 10 microseconds access time.

Editor's comments:- this is the 1st flash SSD system from Solid Access - which has been in the RAM SSD market for 8 years and has often appeared in our directory of the fastest SSDs. As you'd expect - the new system includes enterprise SSD reliability features - and the flash modules are hot swappable and can be mirrored.

...Later:- June 4, 2010 - I was curious to learn more about the flash SSD modules inside the UNAS 100 - so I asked Tomas Havrda, Managing Partner at Solid Access Technologies for more info. He confirmed that the internal interface in the rackmount SSD is SAS - an interface with which they are very familiar - having shipped the world's 1st SAS RAM SSD in 2005.

"After a search of almost 2 years, we partnered with a Flash SSD vendor that provided the type of sustained, predictable performance Solid Access required to bring an entry to market. This has always been one of the major attributes of our DRAM SSD appliances and we needed to find Flash technology that reasonably approximates this capability to continue to project Solid Access's image as a high performance storage appliance vendor offering products that will perform next month or next year the same way as today.

"We were also equally concerned about performance drop off from Burst to Steady State mode and our selected vendor has the least performance loss of the vendors we tested or have been able to obtain results for."

5 Cloud Storage Tips from Nasuni

Editor:- May 13, 2010 - Nasuni recently published a guide to the top 5 issues you should consider when looking at cloud storage.

This is a very hype-laden market - which has taken 10 years to get nowhere substantial very fast - but I suppose others might (wrongly) say something similar about the 35 years it's taken for the SSD market to get seriously started.

Because I have grown suspicious about all new storage software companies - I let this one sit in my inbox for a few days before looking at it in more detail.. But the points made seem quite sensible. the article

DCIG publishes buyers guide - midrange storage array market

Editor:- May 11, 2010 - DCIG has published the DCIG Midrange Array Buyer's Guide (100+ pages) which contains product information on over 70 different midrange arrays from 20 storage providers.

DCIG says the guide is intended to narrow down the playing field to develop a list of competitive products that have comparable features to meet specific application or business needs. Developed to be the go-to resource for IT professionals, the guide provides direct comparisons of storage systems classified as midrange arrays and delivers insight into the range of offerings available on the market.

New for 2010, the DCIG Midrange Array Buyer's Guide provides product comparisons among the widest range of storage array options and identifies the winners and losers across five categories, including FC/iSCSI, FC only, iSCSI only, hardware and software.

Pricing ranges from $5,000 for 1 print copy - upto $20,000 which includes:- internal distribution, 1 hour of analyst debriefing and marketing citation rights.

StorSimple fills "missing link" in cloud storage DNA

Editor:- May 4, 2010 - StorSimple has exited stealth mode - announcing a bunch of collaborative customer supply agreements - and disclosing info about its Armada storage appliance - which is designed to reduce the cost and simplify the integration of cloud storage within datacenter applications and infrastructure.

Editor's comments:- Just as application specific SSDs are the future for the SSD market - StorSimple's Armada system can be regarded as an application specific SSD ASAP which includes features such as real-time dedupe and cloud data encryption.

The simplest way to think about it is as "the missing link" between the promise of cloud storage and its practicality. The companies which have agreed to be named in StorSimple's company launch press release (Amazon, AT&T, EMC, Iron Mountain, and Microsoft) seem to think it's a noteworthy part of cloud storage DNA too.

WhipTail publishes SSD SAN acceleration paper

Editor:- April 21, 2010 - WhipTail Technologies recently published a white paper which discusses how SSD acceleration can economically close the scaling performance gap which comes from virtual desktops and compares the SSD vs HDD array costs for a 5,000 virtual user system.

Although there's nothing in this article which introduces new SSD acceleration architectural concepts - the 13 page document is a clearly written modern introduction to anyone interested in learning about how SAN centric SSDs can accelerate common applications. the article (pdf)

GreenBytes unveils 1U dedupe ASAP

Editor:- March 29, 2010 - GreenBytes today unveiled the GB-1000 (under $10,000) a 1U 4TB SSD accelerated dedupe appliance which supports simultaneous SAN and NAS deployments.

Ingest and restore performance is stated as 0.54TB/hr.

Infortrend reduces NAS costs with SSDs

Editor:- March 24, 2010 - Infortrend today announced it has added an SSD acceleration layer to its EonNAS product line.

The company says that by using a judicious combination of SATA HDDs and SSDs the overall ASAP has the same performance as if it used 15K RPM SAS HDD arrays - but at 75% lower cost per GB.

Coraid expands AoE rackmount catalog

Editor:- March 23, 2010 - Coraid today announced new models in its AoE compatible NAS line including a 2U 24 drive (2.5") model - EtherDrive SRX3500 - with 6 10GbE ports.

The company says its SRX-Series appliances can deliver more than 500MB/s throughput in virtualization environments. OS support includes Windows, Solaris, and Linux.

Digitiliti Launches Virtual Corporate Library

Editor:- March 22, 2010 - Digitiliti today announced availability of its DigiLIBE a multi-functional continuous VTL, dedupe, compression, ediscovery appliance which automatically captures and archives new data from the time it is created and sanitizes it at the end of its policy mandated life.

Pricing starts at about $20,000 for a 3TB information director and $3 per GB archived after dedupe and compression, plus $100 per client.

$10 million Funding for AoE Pioneer

Editor:- January 25, 2010 - Coraid today announced that it has closed a $10 million Series-A financing round with Allegis Capital and Azure Capital Partners to accelerate the development and adoption of its AoE compatible storage.

earlier storage news

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SSD Pricing - where does all the money go?
SSDs are among the most expensive computer hardware products you will ever buy.

Understanding the factors which determine SSD costs is often a confusing and irritating process...
Clarifying SSD Pricing - where does all the money go? - click to read the article ...not made any easier when market prices for identical capacity SSDs can vary more than 100x to 1! Why is that? the article
What's the best / cheapest - PC SSD?
Editor:- I often get emails from readers which ask the above question.

An article on - called What's the best / cheapest PC SSD? - is my attempt to create a simple FAQs page - which answers the question...
click to read this article ...of why I can't answer your question - and follows on to pose some probing questions which you can ask yourself. the article
What's the best way to design a flash SSD?
and other questions which split SSD opinion
More than 10 key areas of fundamental disagreement within the SSD industry are discussed in an article here on called the the SSD Heresies.
click to read the article - the SSD Heresies ... Why can't SSD's true believers agree upon a single coherent vision for the future of solid state storage? the article
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