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Storage news - 2006, October week 3

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today's storage news is tomorrow's history

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2.5" PCIe SSDs

Enterprise SSD market silos

adaptive R/W & DSP in SSDs

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Where are we now with SSD software?

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Failure model pitfalls when analyzing SSDs

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The big market impact of SSD dark matter

Enterprise SSDs - the Survive and Thrive Guide

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BiTMICRO Article Discusses SSD Vista

Editor:- October 20, 2006 - BiTMICRO today published a new article discussing how perceptions about solid state disks may soon change - as a result of Microsoft's SSD support in Vista.

"In today's technological arena, SSDs are more commonly used as storage solution for defense, enterprise, and other market segments that are willing to pay premium. These industries are exposed to high-risk environmental conditions and have significant storage speed, reliability and endurance demands. The induction of hybrid drives via Vista is an opportunity for SSD to go beyond its widely accepted minor role and play a more prominent part in daily computing." the article

See also:- how did we get into such a mess with SSD software?

Samsung Makes 1st 50nm RAM

Seoul, Korea - October 19, 2006 - Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. announced today that it has developed the industry's first 50-nanometer DDR2 DRAM chip, which will increase production efficiency from the 60nm level by 55%

The new 1-gigabit DRAM incorporates advanced technologies such as 3D transistor design and multi-layered dielectric technology, which greatly enhance performance and data storage capabilities. With mass production slated for 2008, the 50nm DRAM chip is well positioned to become the mainstay of a DRAM market that is expected to account for $55 billion by 2011. ...Samsung profile, RAM, storage chips

Hush, Let's Hear it for the 25U XRackPro2 Cabinet

Torrance, CA - October 19, 2006 - GizMac Accessories' new 25U XRackPro2 server rack mount cabinet begins shipping today.

"Our XRack server rack mount cabinet enclosures are created for use in areas that have noisy rack mount systems located near people" says Ken Vitto, Director of Marketing for GizMac Accessories. By reducing audio noise GizMac's cabinet allows computer equipment to be placed in areas such as film, video and audio editing, television, cable and radio broadcasting etc. Lockable front and rear doors prevent unauthorized tampering. Retail price is $2,199. ...GizMac profile, Rackmount Storage, Storage Boxes

Editor's comments:- those lockable doors could come in useful. Last month I was trying to sell my farm house - which is also where I work. So I tried to keep the place looking tidy - because viewers could arrive at very short notice. Sometimes I got into awkward situations when the dishwasher was full - but I still had the remains of lunch to deal with - just as someone came to look around.

I hit upon the technique of stowing things in the oven to get them out of the way quickly. Sometimes I even remembered to take them out before too many days had gone by. I do once remember having a rackmount system which was so hot you could heat a pie on it... I'm not suggesting that you buy a rackmount cabinet for such a purpose. It's cheaper to buy a 2nd dishwasher - which is a must have on the next house - which I'm seeing again tomorrow.

Luckily visitors were not put off too much by the wide range of rodents and rabbits which my cats brought in. Today Teddy brought in a dragonfly - and chased it round my office for a few minutes. No wonder they are rare round here.

Overland Launches 4U RAID 6 SAN

SAN DIEGO - October 18, 2006 - Overland Storage, Inc. today unveiled its ULTAMUS RAID family.

The ULTAMUS RAID 5200 supports up to 52 SATA drives and 26TB of storage capacity in a RAID 6 protected 4U chassis. SAN connection is via dual 4Gb/sec Fibre Channel ports. A unique feature is Overland's DriveAlive technology:- a patent-pending incremental rebuild technology that allows I/O operations to logical volumes presented by the RAID array to continue while a disk has been disengaged (i.e., physically disconnected or temporarily unresponsive). Once the disengaged disk is reengaged, the I/O activity required to rebuild the redundancy of the associated RAID set is a very small fraction of the effort required to perform a full rebuild. ...Overland Storage profile, RAID systems

Editor's comments:- Overland hasn't included a price point in its press release - which suggests it's going to be expensive compared to white box alternatives.

Hard Core Tape Librarian Emerges at Storage Expo

London, UK - October 18, 2006 - M5 Data is previewing its 'Richmond' range of data storage libraries at Storage Expo 2006 today.

Fully scalable, from 50 to 200 tape cartridges, and in the future expandable to up to 500 slots, the Richmond is designed and manufactured in the UK. M5's Ultra D technology features a unique patented robotics system with an innovative vertical lift mechanism which eliminates the requirement for any weights or counterbalances, yet is simple, reliable and effective. The new systems, which will ship in the first quarter next year, will offer the highest storage density in the industry - said Eric Lowe, M5 Data's Director of Marketing. The Richmond tape libraries can connect via SCSI, iSCSI or fibre-channel. The company is seeking resellers worldwide. ...M5 Data profile

Editor's comments:-
this company appears to be going against the trend in the market by launching a new company and new products in a segment - tape libraries - which has taken a hammering in the last year. As their website contained a typo which talked about "exiting new storage products" (should have been "exciting") I spoke to their marketing director Eric Lowe to find out how serious they really are. He laughed about the typo on their home page - which I had been thinking might be the most interesting part of this news story. But I was wrong. This is what I learned.

M5 Data is substantially the same team which led M4 Data - acquired in Feb 2001 - by Quantum. (M4 Data had an installed base of over 40,000 units at the time.)

M5 Data is entering the tape library market at a time when most other vendors are merging, making plans to exit or losing money. In an exclusive interview today I learned that the company plans to focus on doing high density tape libraries well (as part of a whole storage solution) and not to get sidetracked into proprietary backup software, disk to disk backup and other avenues which have drained the resources away for many other tape companies.

Will M5's strategy to be a hard-core tape library company work? - I don't believe the tape market will grow in revenue. But customers will still be buying tape libraries for many years and there is a lot of scope for revenues shifting between the dwindling number of oems still left in the market. A reliable product from a focused manufacturer could realistically capture a big chunk of that.

Swissbit's Flash Washes Whiter

Editor:- October 18, 2006 - Swissbit yesterday published some anecdotes from customers concerning the unplanned sanitization of their USB flash storage products.

Remarkably - only the outside of the products were scrubbed...

Mark Webb from Ireland told the tale of his SWISSMEMORY USB cirrusWHITE, which had accidentally spent 6 weeks in his washing machine - without sustaining any damage. "I had really started to miss my cirrusWHITE when I finally found it in the rubber seal of my washing machine. I'd already given up on it, but I allowed it to dry all the same, since it contained important data," reported Mark Webb. "When I tried it again after it had dried off and connected it to my PC I was more than just a little surprised: it was immediately recognized and every bit of data was still on it. Congratulations, that's what I call quality. "

Swiss entrepreneur Martin Maurer was yet another customer who subjected his SWISSMEMORY USB MiniTWIST to a stress test in his washing machine unintentionally. His report to Swissbit: "Unfortunately, my 1GB stick ended up in the 40 degree C wash recently (104 degrees F). Amazingly, after having been carefully dried, the stick performed its duties on the Mac as well as on the PC without any problems or data loss. That's truly another example of premium workmanship and I am highly impressed." ...Swissbit profile, Disk Sanitizers, USB storage, Flash Storage

Network Appliance Puts the Squeeze on VTLs

Sunnyvale, Calif. - October 17, 2006 - Network Appliance, Inc. today introduced three Virtual Tape Library solutions for data center backup environments.

NetApp's new NearStore VTL300, VTL700, and VTL1400 include high speed data compression which delivers cost savings of 50-67%. With compression enabled, the VTL700 and VTL1400 deliver sustained write performance of 850 and 1,700MB/sec respectively, using data sets compressible at 2-to-1, the equivalent of over 6TB per hour for a fully configured system.

"Before today's announcement, customers had to choose between reduced performance with software compression, or opting for no software compression and spending more for disk-to-disk storage capacity," said Patrick Rogers, vice president of Products and Alliances at Network Appliance. ...Network Appliance profile

Editor's comments:- In addition to the estimated 50% cost savings and speedups compared to uncompressed solutions - an additional benefit is increased storage reliability for customers. Because they only need half as many disks in their disk backup population.

TheInfoPro Reports on Fortune 1,000 Storage

New York, NY - October 17, 2006 - TheInfoPro today released its Wave 8 Storage Networking Fortune 1,000 report.

According to the study, the average installed capacity in Fortune 1,000 organizations has jumped from 198TB in early 2005 to 680TB in October 2006. The findings are derived from 154 hour-long interviews with TheInfoPro's peer network of pre-screened Fortune 1,000 Storage professionals who provide expert commentary for TIP's Storage studies.

"For the last 4 Waves of research, installed storage capacity in the Fortune 1,000 has doubled every 10 months. It is an astonishing rate, with staffing and backup administration struggling to keep up," stated Robert Stevenson, Managing Director of TheInfoPro's Storage Sector. "Capacity alone is not a problem. It's the management of the capacity that is most challenging."

According to the most recent research report, almost 50% of the Fortune 1,000 organizations interviewed stated that storage occupies more than 15% of their data center budget, with consolidation and virtualization strategies ranking high among the Fortune 1,000 as the top cost-saving storage initiatives. ...TheInfoPro profile, Market research

AMCC Ships Fastest RAID 6 SATA II RAID Controller

SUNNYVALE, Calif. - October 17, 2006 - AMCC today announced its 3ware 9650SE SATA II RAID controller family, featuring RAID 6 with simultaneous double-parity generation for improved fault tolerance.

With RAID 6 reads of over 700MB/s and RAID 6 writes of more than 600MB/s, the 3Gb/s SATA II controller delivers more than double the performance of competing offerings. The controller family represents the broadest line of PCI Express-to-SATA II RAID controllers available, with models ranging from 2 to 24 ports.

"The double-drive failure protection of RAID 6 is ideal for the massive capacity of today's SATA drives and arrays utilized in key enterprise applications," said analyst David Hill of the Mesabi Group. "In eliminating any significant performance penalty, AMCC has made RAID 6 and SATA compelling solutions for customers requiring enterprise performance and reliability."

"We have a long history with AMCC's 3ware products, so we know we can rely on their experience, support and field-proven products," said Jack Kintz, vice president of product development, Silicon Mechanics. "The 3ware line was first to bring enterprise features into the Serial ATA storage space. We are confident that the 9650SE will continue the tradition of providing leading-edge performance and reliability."

The AMCC 3ware 9650SE family is available in 2, 4 and 8-port low-profile and 12, 16 and 24-port full-height configurations. All models except the 24 port will be available November 1st through AMCC's worldwide network of distributors, integrators and VARs. The 24-port model will be available during the first quarter of 2007. Suggested list price for the 4-port configuration starts at $395, and ranges to $995 for the 16-port model. ...AMCC profile, RAID systems, RAID controllers

SimpleTech Ships 3.5" Fibre Channel SSD

SANTA ANA, Calif. - October 17, 2006 - SimpleTech, Inc. today announced the availability of its Zeus Solid State Drive with Fibre Channel Interface.

Now shipping, it offers sustained throughput in excess of 70MB/s in 3.5" form factor, with 400MB/s duplex burst read and write speed, all of which is done with an extremely low 5W power draw.
In a recent contract award, the U.S. Army committed to outfit Apache attack helicopters with new sensor electronics from Lockheed Martin. These high performance systems are designed to accommodate SimpleTech's 80GB Fibre Channel SSDs to provide mass storage for recording real-time sensor data. SimpleTech's new SSD is available with a full range of data sanitization options.

According to Alan Niebel of Web-Feet Research, the industrial flash market is projected to grow from $550 million in 2006 to $4.3 billion by 2010. This strong growth reflects the speed with which customers and OEMs are embracing NAND flash-based solid state drives as the preferred medium for high performance and high reliability storage. ...SimpleTech profile
news image SimpleTech's Zeus FC SSD

Samsung's SSDs get Microsoft Seal of Approval

Seoul, Korea - October 17, 2006 - Samsung today announced that its solid state disk drives have been officially recognized by Microsoft as fully qualified Windows-compatible peripherals.

In addition to power savings Samsung's 1.8" SSDs also enhance system performance with read / write speeds more than double the performance levels of 1.8" hard disks. The SSDs provide a performance boost of up to 50x that of a similar size hard disk when servicing small, random data "read" requests. Such faster speeds shorten application program operating time as well as system boot time. ...Samsung profile

Qimonda 's Memory Honored by Sun

Santa Clara, CA - October 17, 2006 - Qimonda AG was named Best-in-Class Supplier in Sun Microsystems' 2006 Supplier Awards program.

"Each year Sun Microsystems recognizes the 'best of the best' suppliers for their contributions to outstanding product quality and customer value," said Eugene McCabe, executive vice president of Worldwide Operations at Sun. "Qimonda helped Sun exceed our customers' expectations, and we congratulate them on their achievement." ...Qimonda profile, ...Sun profile, SPARC Directory, RAM

Seagate Opens Data Recovery Lab in Europe

PARIS, France - October 16, 2006 - Seagate today announced the opening of a full service data recovery lab facility in Amsterdam to extend its data recovery services to the European market.

Until now, Seagate Data Recovery Services had served all clients from its full service labs in the United States and Canada. ...Seagate profile, Data Recovery

Oracle Apps on AIX 5L get DataMirroring

Toronto, Canada - October 16, 2006 - DataMirror today announced that it has extended the capabilities of DataMirror iReflect to enable real-time, bi-directional replication of Oracle application data running IBM's AIX 5L operating system on the System i platform.

"DataMirror and IBM have been working together for more than a decade to deliver advanced technologies to customers operating in the IBM System i environment," said Craig Johnson, IBM System i product manager for AIX 5L. "With DataMirror iReflect, System i customers can extend their proven high availability environment to include Oracle applications." ...DataMirror profile, Backup Software, Solaris news

StreamStor Gains LVDS Option

Longmont, Colorado - October 16, 2006 – Conduant Corp announced today the LVDS-16, a low voltage differential signaling mezzanine board for its StreamStor Amazon high speed recording system.

The LVDS interface board allows data to travel over greater lengths of copper wire while maintaining a clear and consistent data stream between the data source and recording device. The LVDS mezzanine board provides 16 bit, 200MHz data recording and playback interfaces for Conduant's premier StreamStor Amazon SATA Disk Controllers. ...Conduant profile, Military Storage, Storage Testers & Analyzers

And Now... High Performance SSDs for SMEs

Houston, TX - October 16, 2006 - Texas Memory Systems today unveiled the RamSan-300 - a high-performance entry-level solid state disk.

The new RamSan-300 connects via 2 to 4 Fibre Channel ports and can sustain over 200,000 random IOPS and 1.5 gigabytes per second of bandwidth. The RamSan-300's 16- to 32-gigabytes of DDR-RAM is designed to accelerate performance- critical log files and indices of large databases and/or to store a small database. The system includes a new generation of firmware that supports up to 1,024 LUNs (the highest of any solid state disk). Additionally, the RamSan-300 is covered under Texas Memory Systems' application performance guarantee. Pricing starts at $28,000 for a 16GB configuration.

The RamSan-300 allows database managers to increase the number of concurrent users and simultaneous transactions without adding servers, RAM, or monolithic RAID. Unlike hard disk based storage, solid state disk systems are purchased as performance accelerators, not as data repositories.

The RamSan-300's reliability features include redundant hot-swappable power supplies, redundant batteries, redundant Fibre Channel ports, mirrored hard drives for data backup and Texas Memory Systems' unique Active Backup technology. Additionally, the RamSan-300 includes IBM's Chipkill technology, which helps prevent data corruption, even if an entire memory chip is lost. It is also the first solid state disk with Soft Error Scrubbing - a technology that automatically scrubs soft memory errors preventing unnecessary system errors and downtime.

"SMEs have similar needs as larger enterprises when it comes to adding users and boosting the number of transactions their databases can manage," said Richard Hilken, CEO of UK VAR Reactive Data. "However, until now medium enterprises struggled to afford the solid state disk technology used by their larger competitors. The new RamSan-300 solid state disk from Texas Memory Systems changes this. It is the first truly enterprise-class SSD that is sized and priced for medium-size business." ...Texas Memory Systems profile, SANs

Storewiz Appoints VP Sales

Gaithersburg, MD - October 16, 2006 - Storewiz Inc. today announced that it has recruited Jon Ash as Vice President of Sales for North America.

Ash has more than 25 years experience in the technology market, including 15 years focused on storage.

Prior to Storewiz Jon held sales management positions at companies such as nStor and MaXXan. He was also in the storage division of Unisys managing sales worldwide for storage products. At Unisys he was responsible for sales of EMC and StorageTek products worldwide as well as internally developed products and grew top line revenue annually for several years. Before joining Unisys, Ash was a sales executive for Burroughs Corp in the UK. He is a graduate of the University of Warwick. ...Storewiz profile, Storage People

Editor's comments:- Burroughs is a name you don't hear mentioned much now - but it gets a whole paragraph in my irreverant article:- Remember Compaq? - and other blasts from the past

SimpleTech Acquires UK SSD Company

SANTA ANA, Calif. - October 16, 2006 - SimpleTech, Inc. today announced the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Gnutek Ltd in an all-cash transaction.

Gnutek's solid state disk products deliver random I/O performance over 200 times faster than standard hard disk drives. The acquisition confirms SimpleTech's continued commitment to the OEM Flash market through strategic investments. SimpleTech has already established its leadership in the nascent SSD market and intends to continue to extend its position in this marketplace through selective, targeted investments. ...Gnutek profile, ...SimpleTech profile

Editor's notes:- This is SimpleTech's 2nd SSD acquisition. In August 2005 it acquired Memtech.

LeftHand Offers iSCSI Reincarnation for ProLiant Servers

BOULDER, Colo. - October 16, 2006 - LeftHand Networks has introduced a SAN/iQ field integration offering for HP ProLiant DL380 servers.

This enables customers to reconfigure old (or new) ProLiant DL380 purchases into a new iSCSI SAN. SAN/iQ software is currently available as a field integration offering through LeftHand partners starting at $11,975. ...LeftHand Networks profile, iSCSI

Adaptec Announces New VP Storage Solutions Group

MILPITAS, CA - October 16, 2006 - Adaptec, Inc. today announced that it has appointed Stephen Terlizzi as VP and general manager of the Storage Solutions Group.

With a distinguished 17-year career, Terlizzi has experience in creating, building and marketing storage businesses. Most recently, Terlizzi was the vice president of global marketing at Atempo where he built a global marketing organization and repositioned the company into higher-growth market segments. Prior to that, he was vice president of marketing and business development at Candera where he launched the company's first enterprise-class network storage controller. Terlizzi also held senior sales and marketing management positions at EMC, most recently as product line director for the Symmetrix product family. ...Adaptec profile, Storage People, RAID systems

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