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Storage news - 2007, March week 1,

. Megabyte's selection of storage news
More oems now make 2.5" SSDs than make hard drives.
animal brands in the SSD market
Data Recovery from Flash SSDs?
RAM Cache Ratios in flash SSDs
SSD Myths and Legends - "write endurance"
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iSuppli Reports on Top Hard Disk Manufacturers

El Segundo, Calif - March 7, 2007 - Global shipments of Hard Disk Drives rose 15.5% in 2006 to 434 million units according to iSuppli.

Along with strong sales to established markets in computing and consumer-electronics products, the HDD industry benefited from the rise of a new application: external hard drives. In 2006, 2.6 million external HDDs were shipped, up 37% from 2005. Demand for external HDDs is being driven by the desire of consumers to store and backup large-sized video and audio files downloaded from Internet services.

The top 5 HDD makers (ranked by unit shipments) were:-

1 - Seagate Technology - 33% market share
2 - Western Digital - 20% market share
3 - Hitachi GST - 16% market share
4 - Samsung - 10% market share
5 - Toshiba - 9% market share

Demand slowed for tiny 1" HDDs because makers of MP3 players increasingly are turning away from rotating media and toward flash memory for music storage. As a result, small-sized HDD Cornice declared that it was changing its business strategy of serving the MP3/PMP/mobile phone market by switching from selling HDDs to offering flash based solutions. storage market analysts

Asempra Awarded Patent for Continuous Data Protection

Sunnyvale, Calif - March 6, 2007 - the US Patent Office has granted Asempra Technologies a new patent 7,096,392 for "a method and system for automated, no downtime, real-time, continuous data protection".

Asempra's file aware continuous data protection technology provides guaranteed application and data availability for Windows environments. Using Virtual On-Demand Recovery technology, an application's data is available for use within minutes, even seconds, of recovery. The data recovered is guaranteed to be completely usable on the first recovery, eliminating the need for multiple, costly manual recoveries that often result from other technologies and products. Backup Software

Fujitsu Launches New 2.5" SATA Drives

Sunnyvale, CA - March 6, 2007 - Fujitsu today announced the global launch of its MHW2160BJ series 2.5" mobile hard disk drives.

These feature SATA interface, capacities up to 160G and 7200 RPM speed. The MHW2160BJ series will begin shipping in second quarter 2007.

SiliconSystems Signs New European Distributor for SSDs

ALISO VIEJO, Calif - March 6, 2007 - SiliconSystems. today announced the signing of a distribution agreement with ACAL Semiconductors.

The agreement establishes ACAL as an authorized distributor in Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, and UK.

Steve Carr, managing director at ACAL explained, "The addition of SiliconSystems to our linecard... allows us to offer an alternative solution for embedded applications using SBCs and processor modules where the need for absolute robustness, and the ability to withstand vibration and shock, can rule out the use of conventional storage products."

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Agere Samples Faster Hard Disk Preamps

ALLENTOWN, Pa - March 6, 2007 - Agere Systems - today announced that it is shipping samples to customers of its latest high-performance, low-power preamplifier IC specifically designed for use in enterprise hard disk drives.

Agere's new TrueStore PA7800 preamp offers exceptional performance, with the industry's fastest operating speeds topping 2.5Gbps while consuming nearly 30% less power in write mode than the previous-generation Agere chips. The worldwide market for preamps is estimated at $466 million in 2007. , storage chips

Editor's comments:-
Agere has published a simple Disk Drive Basics page for those of you curious about the major subsystems within a hard drive.

IDC Reports on Data Recovery Market

FRAMINGHAM, Mass - March 5, 2007 - IDC today released its first market size and forecast for the data protection and recovery management market.

IDC believes the DPRM market reached $58 million in 2006 and will increase to $200 million by 2011. Traditional approaches to data protection are being augmented with disk-based data protection technologies fueling the need for tools that can monitor, report and manage heterogeneous data protection configurations.

Editor's comments:- is this really a new market segment? I doubt if it really qualifies - as it sounds like just a bit of what people have already been doing with backup and data recovery.

Storewiz Launches New Compression Appliances

SAN JOSE, Calif - March 5, 2007 - Storewiz. today introduced its STN-6000 3rd generation data compression appliances.

Designed for enterprise NAS implementations, the new appliances provide improved data compression approximately 10% greater than previously offered with the STN-5000. Storewiz's patent-pending engine results in wire speed compression and enables existing infrastructures to store on average 3 times more data on the same storage network with no performance degradation. The STN-6000 is a plug-and-play solution that is completely transparent to users, applications, databases, storage and network environments.

Editor's comments:-
compressing your storage network using a hardware compression accelerator can help defer storage upgrades, improve performance or increase reliability. Storewiz has written some case studies which show how various customers have benefited from this approach.

NetApp Supports New Cisco Switch

Sunnyvale, Calif. – March 5, 2007 - Network Appliance. today announced worldwide availability of Cisco's MDS 9124 switch for NetApp SAN solutions.

The Cisco MDS 9124 is a 24-port Fibre Channel SAN switch.

iStor Presents at Montgomery Technology Conference

Irvine, CA - March 5, 2007 - iStor Networks will be presenting this week at the 4th annual Montgomery Technology Conference.

This invitation-only conference will showcase the West Coast's finest growth technology companies before an audience of technology executives, venture and institutional investors from around the world.

"The presenting companies were carefully selected for their strong revenue performance, experienced management teams and growth potential." said James Montgomery, founder and CEO of Montgomery & Co.

Targa's SATA Storage Targets Military

Ottawa Canada - March 1, 2007 - Targa Systems today announced the availability of SATA Data Transfer Systems for the Military and Aerospace markets.

2 versions of the SATA DTU's are available:

Series 3 PC Card SATA DTU: Capacities to 16GB Transfer rates to 5MB/sec

Series 4 Removable Disk SATA DTU's Capacities to 96GB Transfer rates to 50MB/sec

The Targa Series 3 PC Card SATA Data Transfer System is the perfect device for your military & aerospace systems. Typical airborne platform application systems include flight management, cockpit instrument display, terrain awareness and warning, map systems, radar systems, cockpit/ground communications, navigation positioning, and satellite communications. With PC Card capacities now at 16GB, and soon to be 32GB, the removable PC Card feature of the Series 3 product line allows for easy updating of files.

In those applications requiring higher storage capacity and/or greater read/write speeds than PC Cards can offer, Targa offers its Series 4 Removable Disk SATA DTU's. The Series 4 SATA DTU offers capacities up to 96 GB in a compact, rugged and removable 2.5" flash disk. The removable disk feature of the Series 4 product line allows for easy updating of files. Data Transfer rates up to 50GB/sec are available.

Gateway Puts a New GLO into NAS

IRVINE, Calif - March 1, 2007 - Gateway today announced 5 new rackmount NAS devices.

The new storage servers include Gateway Lights Out system management. GLO brings a high-level of efficiency to professional customers, allowing a server to be remotely shut down, re-started and managed regardless of its power condition. The new storage servers are available now, with prices starting at $2,549.

Editor's comments:-
the lights were out on March 1 - with this message " is currently undergoing a site update. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please check back later."

60nm DRAM Now in Production

Seoul, Korea - March 1, 2007 - Samsung announced today that it has begun mass producing the industry's first 1Gb DDR2 DRAM using 60 nanometer class process technology.

Use of the new process technology is a significant milestone in that it increases production efficiency by 40% over the 80nm process technology deployed in DRAM fabrication since early 2006, and offers twice the productivity of 90nm general process technology. 60nm DRAM revenues are expected to reach $32 billion by 2009.

Editor's comments:-
understanding Moore's Law helps explain how every couple of years for the past 4 decades silicon chips have gotten faster, more complex and cheaper. For those who are more used to capacity abbreviations (G, T and rarely P) a nanometer is a billionth of a meter - which is also a million times smaller than a millimeter. That was a great help wasn't it? If you used a tape measure marked in nm to measure your height than your average height would be about 2 billion nm .
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A New Chapter in the Hard Disk Market Story
In March 2007 - commented on the overheating market for 2.5" SATA solid state disks...

"There are now more oems now making 2.5" SSDs (22) than make hard drives."

You can see the full list in the SSD Buyers Guide

In 2003 we published our prediction that the SSD market would become a $10 billion plus market, and released the first edition of our SSD market penetration model which described in detail where SSDs would be used and why they would be adopted very much faster than anyone expected based on simplistic price per gigabyte considerations.

Marketers and company presidents throughout the SSD industry in established companies and new start ups have commented how useful the model was in alerting them to new opportunities which had previously been experienced in a fragmented form.

As predicted in 2003, once the SSD market had moved past the $1 billion revenue milestone (in 2006), market analysts (the usual suspects and some others which had long tracked the flash market) leapt on the bandwagon and started pouring out competing predictions that place the eventual size of the SSD market anywhere from $5 billion to $10 billion in the next several years.

You can see how the SSD market moved from technical obscurity into the mainstream in our 20 year timeline article:- Charting the Rise of the Solid State Disk Market.

Is the hard disk market under threat from SSDs?

Some parts are already becoming an endangered species - as decribed in my article - Who's Eating Whom in the Storage Market?. But the threat to hard disks is not the same as that we discussed in 2001 when we started saying why disk to disk backup would eventually kill tape backup. (Tape is a market which is still surviving - but not growing - in isolated enclaves).

In contrast hard disks will survive and thrive but not in the same applications which dominate the hard disk market today.

Instead hard disks will predominantly be used as an archive media (for movies, email and other bulk content). Looking ahead 5 years to 2012 it will be rare to see a hard disk directly attached to a high performance server - except as part of a RAID system or D2d backup system connected by a storage network.

The storage hierarchy will be rewritten as:- core processor, core chip cache, motherboard cache, DRAM, SSD and then hard disk storage - with the SSD being the new factor (as predicted in 2004 - supported in the operating system).

Other storage publications mainly write about the market after things have happened. We do that here too. But from time to time I dust off the crystal ball and share its revelations with the most important segment in the storage market... that's You - the reader.
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the future of data storage
Editor:- the future of data storage is the lofty sounding but aptly chosen title of a recent article published in Broadcast Engineering - written by Zsolt Kerekes editor of (that's me).
click to see the tv SSDs page - about movie creation, IPTV servers, set top boxes and DVRs using SSDs It's 2020 in the datacenter of a leading content factory. We used to call these companies broadcasters - "...the only spinning devices in the storage cabinets will be the cooling fans." the article

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