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2008, November week 3

M.2 SSDs
SSD news
hybrid DIMMs
the Fastest SSDs
the Top SSD Companies
what's the state of DWPD?
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Megabyte's selection of storage news
Megabyte loved reading news stories
about the storage market
A-DATA Launches Dual Interface 2.5" SSD

Taipei, Taiwan - November 21, 2008 - A-DATA launched the XPG - a dual interface USB and SATA 2.5" flash SSD.

Available with capacities from 32GB to 192GB - it has a read speed upto 170MB/s and write speed upto 100MB/s. Operating temperature is -10°C to 70°C. It weighs 85 grams and has a shock resistance upto 1500G/0.5ms. ...A-DATA profile

Editor's comments:-
STEC launched the world's first dual interface 3.5" SSD in September 2005. At launch time the Zeus Dual Interface SSD which had both a USB and SATA interface, offered capacities up to 192GB and sustained read/write rates of 60MB/s.

Samsung Ships Fast 2.5" MLC SSDs

Seoul, Korea - November 20, 2008 - Samsung announced today that it has begun mass producing 2.5" SATA MLC SSDs with 256GB capacity in standard 9.5mm height, with 220MB/s read, and 200MB/s sustained write speed.

Aimed at the notebook and desktop PC market Samsung says it can store large data sets - such as movies - 3x faster than a 7,200 RPM hard disk, and load applications 10x faster while consuming less than ½ the power. No IOPS data was available at launch. But on published R/W specs - this is one of the top 3 fastest 2.5" SSDs.

Samsung Semiconductor's VP memory marketing Jim Elliott said - "Getting our exceptionally high performing 256GB SSD in a notebook is analogous to having a 15,000 RPM drive, without all of its size, noise, power and heating drawbacks." ...Samsung profile, 2.5" SSDs

TheInfoPro Reports High ExaGrid Penetration in D2d/Dedupe

Westborough, Mass - November 19, 2008 - ExaGrid Systems, Inc. today announced it is the 2nd most used vendor of deduplicating disk backup appliances in mid-size enterprises according to recent market research from TheInfoPro.

ExaGrid VP Marc Crespi said "ExaGrid has established itself as the performance and scalability leader in the rapidly growing disk-based backup with deduplication market." ...ExaGrid profile, ...TheInfoPro profile

Toshiba Announces 500GB 2.5" HDD

IRVINE, Calif. - November 18, 2008 - Toshiba today announced a 500GB 2.5" hard drive for mobile applications.

The SATA compatible MK5055GSX HDD has 4 heads and 2 platters and spins (with low acoustic noise) at 5,400 RPM. Media transfer rate is upto 952Mbps ...Toshiba profile, Hard disk drives

Emulex Promises FCoE for Sun's COMSTAR

COSTA MESA, Calif. - November 18, 2008 - Emulex Corp today announced that it will offer FCoE adapters for use with Sun Microsystems' COMSTAR.

COMSTAR - Common Multiprotocol SCSI Target - is a software framework that enables you to turn any OpenSolaris host into a SCSI target that can be accessed over the network by initiator hosts. Emulex's FCoE adapters can simplify networking infrastructure by consolidating Fibre Channel and networking traffic over a 10Gb/s Ethernet network, to reduce overall infrastructure costs. ...Emulex profile, SPARC Product Directory, FCoE - editor mentions on STORAGE search .com

Spansion Launches $100 billion Flash Suit

SunnyvaleCalif. - November 17, 2008 - Spansion Inc. today announced that it is filing patent infringement complaints against Samsung with the ITC.

In one of the largest patent infringement claims ever filed, Spansion is seeking the exclusion from the U.S. market of well over 100 million mp3 players, cell phones, digital cameras and other consumer electronic devices containing Samsung's infringing flash memory components. The complaint also seeks an injunction and 3x damages for patent violations relating to Samsung flash memory, that Spansion estimates has accounted for more than $30 billion in Samsung's global revenues since 2003.

Although Samsung is the target of the litigations, Spansion is required to name the manufacturers of downstream products containing Samsung's infringing devices in its ITC complaint. Companies named in the ITC case include: Samsung, Apple, Asus, Kingston, Lenovo, PNY, RIM, Sony, Sony-Ericsson, Transcend, some of their subsidiaries and 3rd party manufacturing companies.

The Spansion patents named in these law suits are fundamental to floating gate technology, which is the foundation for approximately 90% of the flash memory market. Spansion is also leading the industry with MirrorBit, a charge-trapping technology, that represents a growing share of the Flash memory market and is expected to replace floating gate technology in the future. Flash memory companies including Samsung have publicly announced their plans to transition to charge-trapping type technologies for their future generation products. ...Spansion profile, ...Samsung profile

Analyst comments:-
from Jim Handy founder of Objective Analysis - "Spansion explains that they have been in conversations with the majority of flash memory manufacturers to discuss friendly ways of licensing their charge-trapping IP on fair terms, but that the company's negotiations with Samsung came to a sudden stop a few months ago..." article analyzing this (pdf)

Solid Access Technologies Launches World's Fastest 1U SSD

Austin, TX - November 17, 2008 - At SC08 today Solid Access Technologies announced the immediate availability of its new generation of DRAM SSD products, the USSD Series 300.

Solid Access says the 4 new models are aimed at organizations requiring the highest capacity, "no compromises" IOPS and data bandwidth performance in the smallest possible footprint. Interface options within the family include 8Gbps Fibre Channel, 6Gbps SAS and 320MB/s LVD SCSI interfaces. R/W latency is under 10 microseconds and the models support upto 100K IOPS on a single port.
  • Model 310 is a 256GB, 1U rackmount offering for high IOPS needs
  • Model 310T is a 1TB, 4U tower, targeted at high performance databases
  • Model 315 is a combined server and 128GB RAM SSD, 1U device, for custom projects
  • Model 320, a 256GB, 2U product which supports upto 6 ports and 4GB/s sustained aggregated data bandwidth.
Solid Access says it guarantees equivalent or better application I/O acceleration as well as the lowest price of any comparable SSD, and has launched a "test before you buy" program.

"Five years ago when we introduced the first open architecture, ultra-fast DRAM SSD, our goal was to offer the best performance, most flexible interfacing, highest density and best price of any offering in the segment" said Tomas Havrda, Solid Access Managing Director. "The new USSD 300 Series is the capstone to our efforts in a year in which we have enjoyed 500% growth. The recent 28 unit USSD sale to Samsung Securities is further proof that customers of all sizes are taking notice." ...Solid Access Technologies profile

Editor's comments:-
for several years there has been a gap in the market for a really high performance 1U rackmount SSD. My gut feeling is it could become a very popular form factor in Google style (democratic) server architectures - which contain large numbers of identical servers..

As the cost of RAM SSDs easily makes them the most expensive box per rackmount unit in the datacenter - the availability of 1U models reduces the incremental deployment costs for customers who are continuously upgrading their systems. It also lowers the cost of holding immediately deployable spares.
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A-DATA Offers Less Irritating USB Flash Drive

Editor:- November 17, 2008 - A-DATA has recently launched the S805 - a 2GB to 8GB USB flash drive with a swivel design connector to eliminate cap loss.

Housed in zinc alloy the S805 has a sports accessory style clip for attaching to a key chain.

One of the irritating scenarios with some key chain USB sticks is when you're part way through a 30 minute back-up and need to remove your keys to get something from outside.

Although I use a short USB cable to connect my notebook to its backup - the thin wire loop on many backup devices is a mechanically weak link in the design.
click for A-DATA profile

BiTMICRO Ships Flagship 3.5" SSDs

Austin, TX - November 17, 2008 - BiTMICRO Networks announced at SC08 the first customer shipment of its E-Disk Altima 3.5" 4Gb Fibre Channel SSD.

The drive, a 128GB E-Disk Altima FC SSD, was shipped to Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd of Israel.

The high capacity product family (upto 1.6TB SLC) delivers full duplex burst rates upto 800MB/s and sustained throughput upto 230MB/s.

"...We were very pleased at how the E-Disk Altima 4Gb Fibre Channel SSD came together and successfully passed performance and manufacturability tests for engineering prototypes with flying colors," said Rudy Bruce, Executive VP for Marketing and Sales of BiTMICRO Networks. "The enterprise storage market is primed for the entry of solid state storage devices, and our company believes that the E-Disk Altima solid state drives will deliver outstanding storage performance required by IOPS-hungry commercial applications." ...BiTMICRO profile, 3.5" SSDs

EDN Publishes Benchmarks on Intel's Fast Flash SSD

Editor:- November 17, 2008 - EDN has published benchmarks comparing Intel's new fast SLC flash SSDs with various other SATA flash SSDs and HDDs.

The author, EDN Senior Technical Editor Brian Dipert, has also published useful raw results on R/W IOPS and throughput.

However Dipert voices some concerns about the validity of these tests on flash SSDs.

"Since the data sets I wrote to the drives were fairly small in comparison to the SSDs' total available capacities, and since the drives were freshly formatted at the beginning of the tests, I suspect that the file patterns I wrote to the SSDs didn't trigger much if any media management. But sooner or later under normal usage conditions, the drive controller will need to begin tackling..."

The halo effect caused by invalid hard disk benchmark assumption were discussed in my article Can you trust your flash SSD's specs?

storage history

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Looking for 2009 Storage Plan Inputs?
Editor:- November 17, 2008 - traditionally this is the time of year when storage marketers realize it would be good to include some plausible projections, trends, quotes or even hard facts inside their otherwise "wishful thinking" based business plans for next year.

If you're in that predicament the market research page lists nearly 70 analyst organizations which cover the storage market.

And if you're looking at SSDs you're in luck - because there's an SSD analysts directory devoted exclusively to that very subject. But be warned.

It's a very complicated market which will segment into many application strands during the coming years as the market gets bigger.

For many vendors - the outlook next year is dimmed under the shadow of recession. But excellent products and services which solve real customer needs conveniently or economically can actually do better in budget constrained circumstances.

Users too face problems. Because the Old Regime's expensive solutions are no longer affordable - users are forced to look at alternative suppliers and technologies. And although it's hard work and uncomfortable researching new ways of doing things - and thinking in new ways - it can lead to greater efficiency.

Many parts of the storage market will emerge bigger and stronger after several years of recession - while others (which were already past their use-by- date anyway) will shrink and disappear.

We've been here many times before - see what happened last time in - Storage Winners and Losers from the 2000-2003 IT Recession
Flashbacks from Storage History

4 years ago - Seagate Samples SAS Hard Drives

5 years ago - IDC Reports End of Recession in IT & Telco Markets

6 years ago - InfiniCon is First to Deliver End-to-End InfiniBand


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It may seem like a huge leap from a 4U $290K rackmount RAM SSD (with internal flash backup and load) to hybrid DIMM (modules) but good ideas in SSD architecture have often made that kind of transition in SSD history.
flash backed DIMMs / NVDIMMs

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storage history (1949 till last week) STORAGEsearch SPARC Product Directory ACSL - the publisher