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storage news - 2007, June week 3

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. Megabyte's selection of storage news
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utilization and the SSD software event horizon
factors which influence and limit flash SSD performance
Mtron's SSDs Point to Affordable Faster Systems

Editor:- June 21, 2007 - Mtron disclosed today that its 2.5" SATA SSD reached 76,000 IOPS in a recent benchmark test.

With this type of performance, the fastest flash SSDs have their noses pushed hard against the glass panes of the datacenter which has been dominated by RAM based SSDs.

Although many rackmount RAM based SSDs are typically 3 to 10x faster - they also cost 100 to 200x more for the same capacity than flash. But the extra cost is worth it - because the faster speed saves many times the initial purchase cost elsewhere in reducing the number of servers needed to drive database bound enterprise applications such as online trading, online games, online catalogs etc. The performance gap between the 2 types of SSD may close in the next 2 to 3 years - as faster flash throughput can be obtained by increased parallelization, faster host interfaces or by mixing different memory types (PRAM cache with flash back-end for example). But that's the maybe future...

Here and now... Mtron's SSD (which has a sustained write speed of 80MB/sec and sustained read of 100MB/sec will be ramping out at 50,000 units per month by September. Mtron's SSD is implemented with a single chip controller design which can control upto 64 NAND flash chips in the SSD module. Mtron plans to release a 1.8" 64GB SSD this coming August.

Revealing more about the high performance (relative to other currently F-SSDs) Alex Um, the VP of Mtron, said they designed their own controller (instead of licensing slower cores originally developed for hard drives - which is a simpler and cheaper option).

"There are less than 10 companies in the world who actually have high performance controller IP (Intellectual Property)" said Alex Um. "Among them, Mtron SSD distinguishes itself with the highest performance and a single chip solution. We believe our technology is 1 or 2 years ahead of other competitors." ...Mtron profile, SSDs, IOPS links on

Supermicro Unveils Universal I/O SAS RAID

San Jose, CA - June 20, 2007 - Super Micro Computer, Inc. and LSI Corp today announced 3 Supermicro Universal I/O SAS RAID cards based on the SAS1078 RAID-On-Chip from LSI.

Optimized for Supermicro UIO servers, these cards feature 667MHz 256MB DDRII cache to deliver hardware RAID 5 and 6 data protection with flexible options for internal or external SAS/SATA connections.

"When installed, these high-performance UIO SAS cards become part of the server board, and the system still retains all of its PCI-Express and PCI-X slots for expansion cards," asserts Charles Liang, CEO and president of Supermicro. "Supermicro UIO cards enable our customers to create optimized SAS solutions to match their specific requirements." ...LSI profile, ...Super Micro profile

New Head at Hitachi's Head Business

SAN JOSE, Calif - June 20, 2007 - Hitachi today announced the appointment of Pantelis Alexopoulos to the position of VP and general manager, Head Business Group.

Alexopoulos has spent his entire 26 year professional career in the hard drive industry, beginning with a thorough technical foundation established within IBM's hard drive business. This was followed by nearly a decade at Seagate and Maxtor.

In leading Hitachi's Head Business Group, Alexopoulos will have responsibility for revenue performance, profit and loss, volume growth and cost management for one of 5 major business groups. The head – which performs the important task of reading and recording data – is one of the 2 key components of the hard drive (the other is the media upon which data is stored). Head technology requires deep understanding and application of nanotechnology, magnetics and metrology, which enable data recording with nanometer precision. ...Hitachi profile, Storage People

Mendocino Extends InfiniView to VMware

Fremont, CA - June 19, 2007 - Mendocino Software today announced that its InfiniView continuous data protection solution, now supports VMware ESX Server, Version 3 and higher.

By offering InfiniView's "one button" instant recovery capability for use with virtualized servers running on ESX Server, Mendocino is offering faster, simpler recovery that will help to maximize the overall availability of VMware environments. Mendocino also supports Windows, Solaris, AIX, HP-UX, and Linux. ..Mendocino profile, SAN

Seagate Launches New 400G 10k RPM SAS Hard Drive

SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif - June 19, 2007 - Seagate Technology today announced the Cheetah NS - a 400G 10,000 RPM hard drive, developed for enterprise network storage applications.

Seagate claims the Cheetah NS provides the lowest price-per-gigabyte and watts-per-gigabyte (hard drive) for the enterprise. The Cheetah NS also delivers higher IOPS performance when compared with standard 10K-rpm drives. With a seek time of 3.9ms, and operating at 10K-rpm, random performance is increased by 10% while sequential performance is improved by as much as 23%. It's available with the following interfaces, 3Gb/sec Serial Attached SCSI or 4Gb/sec Fibre Channel. ...Seagate profile, Squeak! - Animal Brands in the Storage Market, Disk to disk backup

Editor's comments:-
Seagate quotes an MTBF (reliability) figure of 1.4 million hours for this new drive. However, some recent reports have discredited hard disk oem MTBF figures as being far too optimistic and having no clear relationship to failure rates observed in datacenter environments.

Peeking Inside the Next Generation SiliconDrives

Aliso Viejo, Calif., June 18, 2007 - SiliconSystems, Inc. today announced the next-generation of its SiliconDrive technology platform.

It features advanced versions of the company's patented PowerArmor and patent-pending SiSMART technologies, and its industry-leading ECC, wear-leveling and storage management technologies. SiliconSystems is actively developing and will soon introduce SATA, USB and UDMA SiliconDrive product families.
SSD ad - click for more info

Top 20 Storage Searches
The top 20 most popular storage categories on in June 2007 were as follows... Figures in brackets (n) indicate rank the month before.
  1. Disk to disk backup (1)
  2. Solid state disks (2)
  3. Hard drives (3)
  4. 2.5 inch SSDs - new to top 20
  5. RAM based SSDs - new to top 20
  6. NAS (4)
  7. Flash - based SSDs (5)
  8. Flash memory (9)
  9. RAID systems (6)
  10. iSCSI (7)
  11. SAN (8)
  12. Market research (10)
  13. Boxes & enclosures (13)
  14. Removable Storage (12)
  15. Serial Attached SCSI (15)
  16. Serial ATA (SATA) (11)
  17. Acquired, dead, renamed etc (14)
  18. Backup software (16)
  19. Data Recovery (18)
  20. USB storage (17)
SSD ad - click for more info
top news stories in recent months


week 1 - Idealstor's Terabyte Removable Disk Backup


week 1 - MOSAID Promises 800MBps Flash SSDs
week 2 - STEC has $100 million SSD War Chest
week 3 - Catalyst Introduces 6Gb/s SAS Emulators
week 4 - New $4 billion Non-Volatile Storage Co is Born


week 1 - First 8Gbps Fibre Channel Protocol Analyzer
week 2 - Seagate Launches DIY Data Recovery Software
week 3 - Mellanox Demos 40Gb/s Over Copper
week 4 - CebaTech Launches iSCSI Chips


week 1 - 60nm DRAM in Production
week 2 - Intel Enters the SSD Market
week 3 - Maxell Launches World's 1st iVDR Hard Drive
week 4 - Silicon Image Ships New Storage Processors
New generations of SSD centric software will shrink the amount of flash needed to replace all enterprise hard drives.
utilization rates, revenue crashes and other consequences of the enterprise SSD software event horizon
Squeak! - SSD Myths and Legends - "write endurance"
Does the fatal gene of "write endurance" built into flash solid state disks prevent their deployment in intensive server acceleration applications - such as RAID systems?
It was certainly true as little as a few years ago.

What's the risk with today's devices?

This article looks at the current generation of products and calculates how much (or how little) you should be worried.
read the article - SSD Myths and Legends
RAM based SSDs have been used alongside RAID for years - but flash SSDs are physically smaller and have bigger capacity (160G in 2.5") and are lower cost than RAM-SSDs and could actually be configured in standard RAID boxes. F-SSDs aren't as fast as RAM based products but a single flash SSD can deliver 20,000 IOPs - which when scaled up in an array - starts to look interesting. the article, storage reliability solid state disks

SSD ad - click for more info
SiliconDrive internal  architecture
According to Alan Niebel, CEO of Web-Feet Research, "OEMs are beginning to face a number of challenges as next-generation host system interfaces and smaller storage component process geometries find their way into embedded systems. As a result, there definitely is a need right now for a solid-state storage platform that provides a viable solution to endurance, low voltage and other storage management issues presented by these changes." ...SiliconSystems profile, article:- Overcoming the 5 Myths of Solid-State Storage (pdf)

Editor's comments:-
SSDs are complex products with a lot of internal things going on to emulate (and improve on) the hard drives which they are gradually replacing. The picture above, from SiliconSystems, gives you an idea of the main functional blocks in their SiliconDrives.

Educational ORGs Get Preset Archive Templates

SPRINGFIELD, MA - June 18, 2007 - C2C today announced the addition of preset education-specific archiving policies, for its email archiving solution Archive One.

With its simple architecture Archive One is ideal for educational institutions that not only have to cope with the rapid growth in email volume and message size but also face stringent requirements to comply with public access and state-specific "sunshine" laws.

Recent court rulings allow the community access to public records without having to identify themselves or specify why they require the information. As public establishments, all information contained in an educational institute's email system can be considered a public record, and is therefore subject to open-record laws. Failure to save email messages may lead to a violation of these laws.

"We're seeing a rise in concern related to email usage in the education space." said Dave Hunt, CEO of C2C. "We understand that these IT departments need to be compliant with the law, have to protect private and personal information stored in email, manage ever changing, transient email populations and still meet service expectations."

Recently enhanced for educational users by incorporating pre-set policy templates to further speed implementation times, Archive One delivers an education focused solution at a low total cost of ownership – especially for student mailboxes - and is deployable in under a working day.

"C2C's Archive One saved us valuable time in alleviating the headache of determining what to save, and how and where to save it. With Archive One in place, I can rest assured that our email retention system meets both legal compliance and public record requirements," said John Orbaugh, Director of Technology Services of the Tyler Independent Schools District, the largest school district in northeast Texas. ...C2C Systems profile

Editor's comments:- I think this is a really good idea. Saves time for users - adds marketing advantages to the vendor.

Data Domain is Top Fortune 1,000 Deduper

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - June 18, 2007 - Data Domain today announced it was named the top in-use data deduplication vendor at Fortune 1.000 and Midsize Enterprises in the TheInfoPro's Wave 9 Storage End User Study.

44% of storage managers interviewed are planning to deploy dedupe technology by early 2008. ...Data Domain profile, ...TheInfoPro profile

Fujitsu Signs Synnex as US Hard Disk Disti

Sunnyvale, CA - June 13, 2007 - Fujitsu today announced a distribution relationship with SYNNEX Corp to begin shipping Fujitsu enterprise and mobile hard disk drives to resellers in the United States.

In addition to HDDs Synnex will also offer other leading edge products including XG Series 10Gb Ethernet switches to its customers. As the first to bring small form factor Serial Attached SCSI HDDs to the enterprise market, Fujitsu's comprehensive enterprise product line features a breadth of both 3.5" and 2.5" form factors, and continues to be a strong advocate of key interfaces such as SAS and Fibre Channel. ...Fujitsu profile, ...SYNNEX profile, Selected Storage Resellers in the USA

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