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Storage news - 2007, May week 4 ..

. Megabyte's selection of storage news
"I waste my time - so that my readers
don't have to waste theirs
Surviving SSD sudden power loss
animal brands in the SSD market
Why I Tire of "Tier Zero Storage"
Data Recovery from Flash SSDs?
RAM Cache Ratios in flash SSDs
a new way of looking at Enterprise SSDs
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Hard Drive Unreliability Costs are Reason to Switch to SSDs

Aliso Viejo, Calif., May 30, 2007 - SiliconSystems, Inc. today announced the publication of a white paper called - "Solid-State Storage is a Cost-Effective Replacement for Hard Drives in Many Applications."

The paper cites data from Google and Carnegie Mellon University that indicates hard drive field failure rates are up to 15x greater than quoted in disk manufacturer data sheets. The white paper was developed by SiliconSystems to educate OEMs about the numerous technical and business decisions they must successfully navigate to select the best storage solution for their application. the article (pdf), ...SiliconSystems profile

Editor's note:- storage reliability is a type 4 application in our SSD Market Adoption Model.

Solid State Disk Accelerates Online Chip Clearing House

Editor:- May 30, 2007 - Texas Memory Systems, Inc. today published a case study to show how its RamSan solid state disk accelerated a large database.

Most previous SSD case studies have been about large user populations. This is different, because the problem was due to regularly updating a huge database in a real-time online market.

The customer, IC Source, brings over 3,000 buyers and sellers of electronic components together online. The company lists over 40 million inventory items, many of which become obsolete after a limited shelf life. Ensuring that component inventory data is accurate and up to date is the key to helping customers pinpoint the best deals. Therefore, real time inventory data is core to IC Source's business.

With its customer base and the number of listed components growing daily, performance delays started to create a backlog of inventory updates. Unless the company could eliminate this backlog and improve database performance its ability to remain competitive by offering the industry's fastest, most accurate component inventory was threatened.

"We are better than our competitors because we are faster than our competitors," said Peter Moran, President of IC Source. "Database speed is critical to us so we did what most IT people do to boost data access speeds. We optimized the database and doubled the number of hard disk drives in our RAID storage system. This didn't work, despite the high cost of such monolithic RAID systems. We saw a zero-percent improvement in performance."

Conventional hard disk drives cannot deal with the simultaneous read and write access requests required by IC Source. 70,000 inventory line items might need to be written to the database while users need read access to search and view available inventories at the same time. A solid state disk, not a hard disk solution was required.

IC Source installed a single RamSan-400 solid state disk from Texas Memory Systems and immediately saw a 400% performance improvement in their database.

"For us that was a major breakthrough in speed," said Mr. Moran. "Let's say you update inventory at 8:00 AM. With the old RAID array you would be lucky to have it in the database by 1:00 PM. Now with the RamSan, you can expect to see it online within the hour. In some cases the inventory is updated in just seconds." ...Texas Memory Systems profile, storage chips, ...more SSD case studies

Samsung moviMCP will Shrink Mobile Phones

Seoul, Korea - May 30, 2007 - Samsung today announced that it is sampling a 4 gigabyte multi-chip package for mobile phones that eliminates the need for an external memory card slot.
industrial mSATA SSD
industrial grade mSATA SSDs
from Cactus Technologies

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Surviving SSD sudden power loss
Why should you care what happens in an SSD when the power goes down?

This important design feature - which barely rates a mention in most SSD datasheets and press releases - has a strong impact on SSD data integrity and operational reliability.

This article will help you understand why some SSDs which (work perfectly well in one type of application) might fail in others... even when the changes in the operational environment appear to be negligible.
image shows Megabyte's hot air balloon - click to read the article SSD power down architectures and acharacteristics If you thought endurance was the end of the SSD reliability story - think again. the article
Fast Purge SSDs
The need for fast and secure data erase - in which vital parts of a flash SSD or its data are destroyed in seconds - has always been a requirement in military projects.

Fast Purge flash SSDs directory & articlesAlthough many industrial SSD vendors offer products with extended "rugged" operating environment capabilities - and even notebooks SSDs come with encryption - it's the availability of fast data purge which differentiates "truly secure" SSDs which can be deployed in sensitive applications.
The new moviMCP stacks flash and RAM vertically to enable a small footprint device which satisfies the high-speed data transmission needs of mobile phones, while fully supporting the communication features within the handset.

According to iSuppli, the 3G mobile phone market - which is the main target for Samsung's new moviMCP - is expected to reach 392 million units in 2007 and will grow 40% annually till 2010. ...Samsung profile, storage chips
news image Samsung  - click for company profile
Editor's comments:- the result will be thinner, lighter mobile phones without compromising features.

ATTO RAID Expands TV Production Options

Editor:- May 29, 2007 - ATTO Technology, Inc. today published a case study about how its FastStream RAID has been used by NY based TV company Thirteen/WNET for upgrading an existing Avid post-production environment.

The existing storage at Thirteen/WNET could only record approximately 4 hours of material. The company needed the ability to expand storage on-the-fly and to easily disconnect one client's storage and connect another's over a Fiber Channel connection. The company also required fast performance for high-speed access to shows being edited, and it wanted to keep its existing storage environment. the article (pdf), ...ATTO profile, tv SSDs

Data Domain Provides D2d for U.S. Army Data

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - May 29, 2007 - Data Domain today announced that the U.S. Army has deployed Data Domain's DDX Arrays to protect a major military communications portal that serves 1.8 million globally dispersed users.

The client's communication portal supports more than 400,000 unique log-ins and 700,000 log-ins daily. The implementation provides both backup and disaster recovery capabilities, with network-based replication via satellite network from a Data Domain DDX Array located in Southwest Asia to a DDX Array located in the United States.

In this challenging and unusual Data Domain system implementation, the sandy environmental conditions of the desert in close proximity to deployed troops prohibited the use of tape media for data protection.

The Chief of Architecture for the U.S. Army client explains, "The U.S. Army has a very low tolerance for loss of data and we knew, given the physical environment and the network type we were dealing with, that this project would not be an easy one. Data Domain's support was both exceptional and critical to the process. Our mission was to deliver more reliable and responsive communications services to soldiers in-theatre on the other side of the world. Data Domain helped us make it happen." ...Data Domain profile, Military Storage, Disk to disk backup

Old Shoulders at StorageWorks Get New Head

PALO ALTO, Calif - May 29, 2007 - HP today announced the appointment of David E. Roberson to senior VP and general manager of the company's enterprise storage business, effective May 30.

Roberson was most recently CEO of Hitachi Data Systems. As head of HP StorageWorks, he will be responsible for building on HP's foundation as a leading provider of storage solutions and pursuing new opportunities for growth worldwide. Roberson will report to Scott Stallard, VP and general manager of HP Enterprise Servers and Storage. He succeeds Bob Schultz, who has continued to run HP StorageWorks after his appointment in January to senior VP and general manager of the newly formed HP Enterprise Server and Storage Software organization.

Roberson became chief executive officer of HDS in 2006 after serving as president and chief operating officer since April 2002. In addition to his 26 years in key executive management positions at HDS, Roberson has served as a board member of several public and private companies, spanning semiconductors to IT services. Before HDS, he began his career at Amdahl. ...HP profile, Storage People

Editor's comments:-
StorageWorks is one of the longest enduring brands in the storage market. We ran an online storage ad for StorageWorks 10 years ago when it still belonged to DEC. In the late 1990s open systems RAID vendors like EMC and Compaq grew their businesses on the soft underbelly of Sun's server business (which in revenue terms was double the size it is today). Sun's home grown storage products were weak and the Sun base was an easy target. Sun eventually changed its strategy to one of buying storage companies (Cobalt Networks, HighGround Systems, Pirus Networks, Procom Technology, StorageTek) and reselling products from others.

IP Storage Technologies & Solutions - SNIA Webcast

London - May 25, 2007 - SNIA Europe today announced that it will be hosting a 1 hour webcast on 'IP Storage Technologies & Solutions' next Thursday (May 31).

Through case studies it will explain how IP Storage delivers distinct benefits to IT organisations. Future capabilities will also be considered, including 10GbE. ...SNIA profile, SSDs in IPTV, movie creation and tv

PNY will Unveil SSD Product Line at Computex

PARSIPPANY, NJ - May 24, 2007 - PNY Technologies, Inc. will showcase its new solid state drive lineup next month at Computex.

"As we see flash prices continue to decrease, the significant advantages that SSDs provide over traditional rotational disk solutions will be justified by the consumer" said Jason Breakstone, product manager, Solid State Drives for PNY Technologies. Details regarding product offerings, availability and pricing for PNY's new SSDs will be officially announced on June 5th. ...PNY profile, ...Computex 2007

Editor's comments:-
I like Jason Breakstone's assertion that it's the value seen by the consumer that is driving this market (and not just cost per gigabyte). That was the fundamental tenet in my article Why Are Most Analysts Wrong About Solid State Disks? - published a few years ago - which I know from my discussions helped to boost confidence in many SSD product managers worldwide - when they were planning the new generation of SSD products for hypothetical markets which did not clearly exist at that time.

IDC Predicts Gradual Decline in Tape Library Market Revenue

FRAMINGHAM, Mass - May 23, 2007 - IDC's long-term outlook for the total worldwide tape automation market is for a declining market value through 2011.

IDC expects shipments to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 1.4%, totaling nearly 154,500 units in 2011, while market value is expected to decrease at a 5.7% CAGR through 2011.

"Hardware-based disk backup solutions, tighter integration of virtual tape library application software, and the trend away from direct-attached tape solutions will adversely impact the tape automation market on the long-term," said Robert Amatruda, research director, Tape and Removable Storage at IDC. The low-end tape automation market will feel the greatest impact, in part from disk and distributed VTL products. ...IDC profile, Market analysts

Editor's comments:-
nothing unexpected in this report. 3 years ago in my article:- Predicting the Long Term Future of Hard Disks, Tape and Optical Storage - I wrote "hard disk drives will replace tape in all but the largest systems." - The timeline for the market transition from tape to D2d is recorded in a Short History of Disk to Disk Backup

A New $4 billion Non-Volatile Storage Company is Born

GENEVA and SANTA CLARA, Calif - May 22, 2007 - STMicroelectronics, Intel and Francisco Partners today announced they are creating a new independent semiconductor company from the key assets of businesses which last year generated approximately $3.6 billion in revenue.

With assets and resources from Intel and STMicroelectronics, including a patent portfolio of approximately 2,500 patents the new company will have the scale to benefit from the increasing demand for non volatile memory. The integration of phase-change memory programs from the 2 companies will help to bring the benefits of advanced flash memory technology to potential customers more quickly and efficiently. ...Intel profile, ...Francisco Partners, ...STMicroelectronics profile, VCs in Storage

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