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Storage news - 2007, August weeks 3 to 4

SSD history
After SSDs... What Next?
flash SSD Jargon Explained
the Top 10 SSD Companies
11 Key Symmetries in SSD design
3 Easy Ways to Enter the SSD Market
what's a standard legacy industrial SSD?
consolidation in enterprise flash arrays
. Megabyte's selection of storage news
Megabyte loved reading news
about the storage market
SanDisk's SSD Aims at sub-$250 PC Market

Berlin, Germany - August 31, 2007 - SanDisk Corp today announced the uSSD 5000 solid state drive which can be used as an economical substitute for hard disk drives in sub-$250 PCs.

Among the first computers using uSSD solid state drives will be the Intel-powered classmate PC, intended for educational markets in emerging nations.

The announcement was made at IFA 2007 where SanDisk is exhibiting this week.

SanDisk's uSSD 5000 solid state drive is a USB module designed to be embedded directly onto the motherboard of low-cost PCs as a hard disk replacement. The uSSD 5000 solid state drive supports a variety of operating systems, including Microsoft's Windows XP Professional as well as Linux. The uSSD 5000 solid state drive is expected to be available in capacities from 2 to 8 gigabytes.

uSSD 5000 solid state drives at 2GB are significantly less expensive than even the lowest-capacity conventional hard disk drives. And with no moving parts the durability of uSSD 5000 solid state drives surpasses mechanical hard disk drives. ...SanDisk profile

50% Growth in UDO Archive Appliance Sales

CAMBRIDGE, England - August 29, 2007 - Plasmon today announced a 50% year-on-year growth in the company's UDO Archive Appliance sales.

According to Plasmon's CEO, Rod Powell this is as a result of corporate governance and regulatory compliance standards, e-discovery and increasing demand for secure, searchable, long-term archives. Plasmon has also seen solid increases in the overall market adoption of its UDO2 technology with the certification and shipment of UDO2 by GE Healthcare, AGFA, IBM and Konica Minolta. ...Plasmon profile, Storage Media, article:- Bare Media Exposed - Looking at the Contenders for Optical Media Archiving

Storewiz has Wized

San Jose, Calif - August 28, 2007 - Storewiz Inc. today announced a name change to Storwize to better reflect its progression from startup company to full-fledged industry leader.

The new corporate identity will become effective on October 1, 2007. In the past year Storwize has expanded operations in key global markets, established a worldwide channel partner program, relocated its corporate headquarters to a larger facility in the heart of Silicon Valley, introduced its 3rd generation of primary data compression appliances, completed a Series B funding round of $9 million, won several coveted industry honors from analyst firms and leading IT publications, and added multiple new customers in different vertical markets worldwide. ...Storewize profile

PowerFile Introduces 500 Terabytes per Kilowatt Archive

SANTA CLARA, CA - August 27, 2007 - PowerFile today announced the Active Archive Appliance Enterprise Edition, claimed to be the most energy efficient system for online data storage.

PowerFile's 3rd generation appliance incorporates Blu-ray Disc technology to give 70TB in a 42U rack enclosure. This can scale to a fully configured 120TB appliance that consumes less than 240W of power.

"This is a great example of 'Blu' actually contributing to a 'green' product." said Robin Sweeten, Group Manager, Strategic Marketing for Panasonic who supply the Blu-ray Disc technology.

PowerFile has developed patented and patent-pending technologies that give the A3 Enterprise Edition industry-leading data integrity that it claims is 1,000 times more reliable than enterprise tape or disk-based RAID. The A3 provides 10TB of archive capacity and 2TB of dynamic cache at an MSRP of $41,900, with 10TB Expansion Kits available at an MSRP of $27,900. ...PowerFile profile, optical libraries, Green Storage

New Aleratec DVD/CD Disc Repair System

CHATSWORTH, Calif - August 27, 2007 - Aleratec, Inc. introduces its new DVD/CD Disc Repair CG that removes most light, medium, or heavy scratch damage from any DVD or CD.

The commercial grade disc repair system will repair most damaged discs in as quickly as 5 minutes. It includes 2 500ml bottles of finishing solution, repair pads, a 3 1/2" disc holder that makes fixing scratched 5" and 3 1/2" discs as easy as 1-2-3 and it is powered by a 1/4 HP motor. All you have to do is fill the unit with the Aleratec disc finishing solution, load your disc, turn the timer to desired time and let it run. Scratched discs come out in near new condition. ESP is $525. ...Aleratec profile, Storage Testers

Hard / Flash / RAM Disk Performance in Databases

Editor:- August 24, 2007 - Solid Data Systems today published a new white paper called - "Comparison of Drive Technologies for High-Transaction Databases."

Database transactions are by nature random and usually come with small block sizes. The article, written by Wade Tuma, founder and CEO of Solid Data Systems, analyzes and tabulates cost and performance tradeoffs between hard drives, flash-based solid state disks and DRAM-based SSDs. It discusses considerations in choosing the right technology and provides a viewpoint on performance comparison using industry-standard benchmarks and handy graphical guides for estimating read and write database performance improvements. ...Solid Data Systems profile, ...read the article (pdf)

Editor's comments:-
last week STORAGEsearch.com published a major article RAM versus Flash SSDs - which is Best? which included sub articles written by 6 leading SSD industry experts. Wade Tuma was on my invitation list for that article and was already part way through writing his own (the subject of today's news story). But due to other commitments it missed my deadline. Well it's ready today and you should read all the articles on this subject to get a balanced picture. Whatever you thought you knew about this subject even 6 months ago is obsolete. New price shifts and technologies have changed the rules of what's a viable solution.

Sans Digital Launches iSCSINAS.com

Santa Fe Springs, CA - August 23, 2007 - Sans Digital is delighted to announce the launch of their second website iSCSINAS.com.

The new website focuses on providing storage solutions for small to medium sized business environments. iSCSINAS.com is not only an online store, it is also a storage solution database. It provides users with a comprehensive overview of Hybrid iSCSI-NAS and Fibre SAN solutions, as well as related products.

"The launch of iSCSINAS.com provides storage information on a more personal level, for those in need of customized storage solutions" stated Grandy Chen, Sans Digital's Executive VP of Sans Digital. "The Storage Solutions link leads to a list of white papers containing more storage solutions suitable for various situations. iSCSINAS.com offers virtually limitless possibilities to fit every storage need." ...Sans Digital profile

Editor's comments:-
No it's not April 1st. But I felt young again reading this release. It took me back to the mid 1990s when often the news was - another company has launched a web site! Sadly it was disappointing when I got there today. I didn't see any interesting white papers - just white space and attractively packaged product info. Am I being too picky?

The other interesting thing for me about this press release is that some marketers still have naiive and out of date ideas about Search-engine Marketing.

USB 10-pin SiliconDrive Now Sampling

ALISO VIEJO, Calif - August 23, 2007 - SiliconSystems, Inc. today announced it is sampling a new USB 10-pin SiliconDrive.

It features an industry-standard form factor and is available with 1 to 4 gigabytes capacity. The SiliconDrive USB 10-pin module integrates advanced storage technologies to achieve higher write speeds, lower power consumption and enhanced ruggedness and reliability for embedded system applications such as blade servers, video poker machines, single board computers and interactive kiosks. ...SiliconSystems profile, USB storage, storage chips, Flash SSDs

SSD Rumors? Only Stupid Companies Wouldn't

Editor:- August 23, 2007 - from time to time there are various stories in the online media about new companies getting into the SSD market.

Today it was Seagate, a few weeks before it was IBM.

I'm not surprised that the 2 most significant companies which actually did come out of stealth mode with SSD products in August - EasyCo and Violin Memory - chose STORAGEsearch.com as the publication for their product launches and follow up articles.

We've currently got over 55 publicly active SSD oems listed on this site. I know several more significant real ones in stealth mode - and I expect the total to exceed 100 before another year is up.

My response to SSD stories (like the one today) is always - Don't be surprised. Only stupid companies wouldn't want to get into the SSD market. It will be worth somewhere between 5 to 10 billion dollars a year - and there's everything to play for.

Diligent has Raised Over $46 million Funding

FRAMINGHAM, Mass - August 20, 2007 - Diligent Technologies Corp today announced that it has completed $10.5 million in Series D funding, bringing the total amount raised to date to $46.5 million.

New investor Eastward Capital joins existing investors Matrix, Accel and Gemini to support Diligent in this round of funding. Diligent will use the funds to further its research and development of enterprise-class data protection technologies and acquire additional resources across its sales, support and engineering staff.

With more than 100 ProtecTIER de-duplication customers in production, Diligent offers a proven enterprise-class disk-based data protection solution that enables customers to effectively increase the capacity of disk systems by 25x or more. ...Diligent Technologies profile, Disk to disk backup, Venture Capital Funds in Storage

Editor's comments:-
dedupe is mentioned in my article - Green Storage - Trends and Predictions as one of the few truly green technologies.

Alacritech Doubles iSCSI Revenue

SAN JOSE, Calif. – August 20, 2007 – Alacritech Inc. today announced that product revenue from iSCSI sales doubled from the previous fiscal year.

The company says it expects similar growth for fiscal year 2008. According to Enterprise Strategy Group more than 20,000 customers have deployed iSCSI. In a recent study, the analyst firm found that of 500 IT managers surveyed 17% are using iSCSI in product environments with 20% planning to implement the technology. In addition, IDC expects iSCSI to account for 20% of external disk storage by 2010. ...Alacritech profile

Infineon Pays $450 Million for LSI's Mobility Group

MILPITAS, Calif - August 20, 2007 - LSI Corp announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its mobility products business to Infineon Technologies AG for $450 million in cash, plus a performance-based payment of up to $50 million.

The sale is the result of a strategic review within LSI of its business portfolio following its merger with Agere Systems in April. The LSI Mobility Products Group designs semiconductors and software for cellular telephone handsets and complete chip-level solutions for satellite digital audio radio applications. Upon closing, approximately 700 LSI employees will join Infineon. ...LSI profile, ...Infineon profile, Acquired storage companies, storage chips

Toshiba Announces 320G 2.5" SATA Drives

IRVINE, Calif - August 20, 2007 - Toshiba today announced the world's first 320G 2.5-inch hard disk drive.

The new drives spin at 5,400 RPM and feature capacity points from 80G to 320G. The company also announced a 7,200 RPM family of 2.5" products offering up to 200GB capacity. All support the SATA interface at a 3.0 Gbps data transfer rate, and free-fall sensor options are available on select models. ...Toshiba profile, hard disks. 2.5" solid state disks

RAM versus Flash SSDs - War for the Datacenter Core

Editor:- August 20, 2007 - STORAGEsearch.com today published a major new article on the SSD market called - "RAM versus Flash SSDs - which is Best?"

We've been writing for years about the subject of hard disks vs flash SSDs. There's a lot of consensus now about which technology will prevail in the disputed application slots for a single drive.

The next multibillion dollar war in the SSD market will be for domination in the high performance rackmount server acceleration space.

Hard disks will retain no finger holds in this war - even if the price of a hard disk drops to zero. Sorry guys. Hanging onto the hard disks in your hot server core will kill your company - because they will make your business applications too slow, too expensive and too unreliable. Outside the core... as bulk content storage or disk to disk backup is another matter.

The SSD server core war will be internecine - one type of solid state storage versus another. The title of this article " "RAM versus Flash SSDs" is misleading because there are many distinctly different products fighting under each similar looking flag. With specially written features from the world's leading SSD companies - this article will change the way that you think about SSDs in enterprise server applications. 2007 will be seen as the Year of SSD Revolution. ...read the article, ...75 more articles about Solid State Disks

Mtron will Launch New SSDs at IFA 2007

Seoul, Korea - August 16, 2007 - Mtron today announced it will launch a new solid state drive product lineup at IFA 2007 (the world's largest consumer electronics trade fair) in Berlin at the end of the month.

At IFA 2007, Mtron will show new product lines optimized for 3 main market segments:- Standard (consumer), PRO (server applications) and XTM (Industrial). These will be available in volume (50K to 100K units / month production plan) from September.

Mtron's current SSD product line includes 2.5" and 3.5" SATA interface based products, with capacities of 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. Mtron says its new products are 3 - 4 times faster than existing HDDs and 30% - 40% faster than any other currently available flash SSDs - with maximum read / write speeds of more than 100MB/s and 80MB/s respectively, and random access time of less than 0.1ms.

Jack Han, director of Mtron's marketing department said "Mtron SSD is the best solution for high-end servers and notebook PCs that need faster speed, higher durability, lower power consumption and no noise. Mtron will launch new product lineup targeted for specific industry areas in order to satisfy the wide range of needs in the SSD market..." ...Mtron profile, Storage Events

Are NetApp's Disappointing Results - Lack of Vision?

Sunnyvale, Calif - August 15, 2007 - Network Appliance, Inc. today reported results for the first quarter and fiscal year 2008.

Revenues for the first fiscal quarter were $689.2 million, an increase of 11% compared to revenues of $621.3 million for the same period a year ago and a decrease of 14% compared to $801.2 million in the prior quarter.

"We are clearly disappointed with our revenue growth this quarter, yet confident about our underlying business strength and continued health," said Dan Warmenhoven, CEO. "Our bookings growth and cash flow are both very encouraging, and we are optimistic about getting back on track for higher growth in revenue and profits going forward." ...NetApp profile

Editor's comments:-
Although 11% year on year revenue growth isn't bad for an old style hard disk array vendor - it is much less than the levels needed to take the company to the wish list $6 billion revenue (revealed in Dave Hitz's blog last February).

The days of innovation in hard disk based network storage boxes are nearly at an end - and with them the end of too-high average selling prices. Many parts of this market will get taken over by consumer led suppliers who can use established technology standards to achieve most of what most customers want at a fraction of the price. But another factor in NetApp's slowdown may be a lack of vision.

What do I mean by that? - A search on NetApp's web site today resulted in zero results for "solid state disks." Having no public statements about an SSD strategy for a company like NetApp today could be as bad as having no Linux strategy was for Sun in 2000. Ignoring it didn't make it go away. NetApp is not alone in its blindness to this paradigm shift. But as it's immersed in the storage market it has less distractions than rivals who also make printers and notebooks.

Change is uncomfortable - but customers are way ahead of the curve on this compared to some vendors. No SSD strategy means no share in a fast growing strategic business that will completely change the architecture in NetApp's customer sites in the next few years.
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Data Recovery - the Guide We Hope You'll Never Need
Editor:- as readers know - we like predicting future storage market changes here on StorageSearch.com and then going back a few years later to see what actually happened.

But sadly, there's one kind of storage event which you can't plan for...

...When disaster strikes and you need a data recovery company.

Our Data Recovery page includes profiles for over 50 companies, articles, guides for both consumer and server data recovery and also news about the market.

In more than decade covering the data recovery market I've learned the experts in this field can fix products ranging from a single drive to every critical disk in an affected area.

Some of the data recovery techniques were originally developed by intelligence agencies (who wanted to be able to read data in RAMs after the power was switched off, and disk drives after they had been wiped). You know what I mean... Spooks. While other technologies stemmed from research by storage oems into factors affecting storage reliability.

Damage can be due to many accidental causes - including physical shock, fire, flood, chemical attack etc.

One thing which may surprise you is it's possible to make things even worse! So it's important to read some of these articles before you try any remedial action yourself - and that includes how you handle and store the affected drives.
Data Recovery Depending on their competency, DR companies can recover data from hard disks, tapes, optical drives and even some flash memory devices and mobile phones.
Most competent SSD marketers will admit to some of these realities...

They don't really understand all the technology in their products.

They don't understand everything they would ideally like to know about the current user experience of SSDs or the future user experience either.

They do know that most enterprise SSD users will come back to buy more SSDs.
Exiting the Astrological Age of Enterprise SSD Pricing


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