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Storage news - 2008, October week 4

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SMART Aims at Popular Core of 2.5" SSD Server Market
Fremont, CA - October 29, 2008 - SMART Modular Technologies, Inc. today announced availability of its Xcel-10 - a 2.5" SATA SLC flash SSD with upto 128GB capacity designed for the enterprise and commercial systems markets.

It delivers 5,580 IOPS at 100% read or 980 IOPS at 67% read, 33% write, for random I/O using 4K block size. For applications using large block sequential I/O, the Xcel-10 SSD delivers sustained read speeds of up to 115MB/s and sustained write speeds up to 125MB/s. (It really is faster than the read speed).

"The enterprise market for SSDs is in its early stages, but is on track for steady growth," says Jeff Janukowicz, Research Manager for Solid State Drives at IDC. "We project that the market will grow from $75 million in 2008 to more than $158 million in 2009, with continued growth in 2010 and beyond. Increasing storage performance and efficiency are key requirements for the enterprise and commercial systems market. Solutions, like SMART's new Xcel-10 SSD, are in a position to capitalize on the opportunities associated with these market needs."

"Since it supports both high sequential performance (measured in MB/s) or random I/O performance (measured in IOPS), the SMART Xcel-10 SSD is targeted at cost-sensitive enterprise server applications and embedded applications," explained Wade Campbell, SMART's Director of SSD Marketing and Product Management. "Most SSDs are optimized for applications using either sequential or random I/O. The Xcel-10 drive is unique because it has the versatility to easily support both types of applications in dedicated solutions and application mixes found in enterprise server environments."

Editor's comments:-
comparing SMART's new SSD with Intel's launched earlier this month illustrates the different choices made by SSD product marketers. There's a limit to how many chips you can pack into a 2.5" 9.5mm high SSD. So all products are a compromize with costs and features weighted differently for different (real or imagined) markets.

The Intel product delivers faster IOPS but has 4x lower capacity. You either have more controller chips or more flash memory. You can't do both in this form factor. Although other SSD form factors such as rackmounts and PCIe are not so restrictive in PCB footprint they have the disadvantage of addressing smaller available markets. Looking at the popularity of SSD vendors here on storagesearch.com suggests that SMART's product hits a bigger applications segment today.

pureSilicon Samples MIL SSDs

Editor:- October 28, 2008 - pureSilicon emerged from stealth mode today and said it is sampling the Renegade SSD - a rugged MIL-STD-810F compliant 128GB SATA flash SSD with integrated encryption.

To protect the SSD from harsh physical environments, the Renegade features a hard-anodized unibody enclosure, carved from a single piece of aluminum and the internal PCBs are conformally coated. Volume shipments commence in Q1 2009. See also:- Military & Rugged SSDs

Texas Memory Systems installs 1 million IOPS 20TB flash SSD

Houston, Texas - October 28, 2008 - Texas Memory Systems today announced it has shipped a datacenter class flash SSD system - the RamSan-5000.

Taking 40U of rack space it provides up to 20TB of RAID-protected flash memory and delivers 1 million random read IOPS at under one-millisecond response time and up to 20GB/s of read or write bandwidth using either Fibre Channel or InfiniBand interfaces.

Texas Memory Systems' new Turbo feature allows users to lock a logical unit of storage in the large RAM cache of the predominantly flash-based RamSan-500 units that make up the RamSan-5000 solid state system. The Turbo feature transitions the RamSan system into a self-contained tiered storage solution with frequently-accessed files placed in persistent RAM storage while the remaining files are stored in Flash. A single RamSan-500 with the Turbo feature can provide over 300,000 random IOPS based on a mixture of accesses to the locked LUN and Flash memory. Therefore, a RamSan-5000 comprised of 10 Turbo-enabled RamSan-500s offers several million random IOPS.

"We were installing a 20 terabyte one-million IOPS RamSan-5000 at a customer site while other vendors were announcing lab results," said Woody Hutsell, Executive VP at Texas Memory Systems. "We won the business because the system met strict performance requirements and was determined to be the most cost-effective solution available, today or on the horizon." See also:- the fastest SSDs

Dynamic Solutions International Signs 100th Virtual Tape Library Customer

ENGLEWOOD, Colo - October 28, 2008 - Dynamic Solutions International today announced it has implemented its 100th mainframe attached virtual tape library system at the City of Detroit.

DSI's VTL storage appliance is used by the City of Detroit's IT department as an enterprise backup solution for their Unisys MCP-based payroll system, Windows 2000 servers, Novell servers and a HP-UX test system. It has enabled backups to be completed in a fraction of the time that it used to take with the previous physical tape libraries.

Chris Johnson, VP of storage solutions for DSI said "We are the only FalconStor partner with support for mainframe attached VTL's, and with over 35 years for experience in the storage industry, have particularly strong relationships with our customers around the world. There has been much success with the DSI VTL family of products, and we are delighted to mark our 100th mainframe attached VTL installation with the City of Detroit."

MicroNet Ships Low Cost Unified SMB Storage

Torrance, CA - October 27, 2008 - MicroNet Technology today introduced its first unified NAS/iSCSI ipSAN-ready storage solution for the desktop SMB market with 5 hot swappable 3.5" drives.

Features include:- 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports with load balancing and failover, selective iSCSI target mode, RAID 0/1/5/6/10/JBOD/SPAN, 3 USB expansion ports and 1x eSATA port for storage and printer sharing. The MaxNAS is available immediately with an MSRP of $1,349 for a 2.5TB configuration, $1,699 for the 5TB model and $2,499 for the 7.5TB appliance. , NAS

Plasmon Restructures as New Company

Colorado Springs, Colo - October 23, 2008 - Newly formed Plasmon Holding LLC announced today that it has completed a management buyout and organisational restructuring of assets from Plasmon PLC, a trusted source of data archiving systems for over 20 years.

The transaction is intended to capitalise and reposition Plasmon over the long term. Under the restructuring, Plasmon Inc, formerly a US-based subsidiary to the UK company, will become the worldwide headquarters. The "new" Plasmon will offer its market leading archiving solutions and services in all global territories. See also:- Optical Storage Libraries

Samsung Takes its Ball Away

Editor:- October 22, 2008 - Samsung announced it has withdrawn its offer to buy SanDisk.

SanDisk replied - it remains open to "good" offers.

For the interrupted game commentary see either:- ...Samsung profile, ...SanDisk profile

Analyst comments:-
from - Jim Handy, Objective Analysis

"This is good for Samsung. Samsung's stockholders will be rewarded if the company can acquire SanDisk at the lowest possible price... (if) today's announcement helps Samsung push SanDisk's share price lower, making it possible to acquire the company at a better deal than the $26 per share that Samsung previously offered."

Later:- In 2015 SanDisk agreed to be acquired by WDC

Dot Hill Increments RAID IP

Carlsbad, Calif. - October 22, 2008 - Dot Hill Systems Corp today announced that the US Patent and Trademark Office has granted the company 3 new RAID related patents.

U.S. patent 7,340,555, "RAID System for Performing Efficient Mirrored Posted-Write Operations" - This relates to Dot Hill's SimulCache data caching architecture which leverages redundant RAID controllers, thus eliminating the performance degradation associated with conventional cache mirroring. The implementation of a high-speed dedicated PCIe bus streamlines write performance, resulting in superior overall system responsiveness to drive faster application throughput in database-related deployments.

U.S. patent 7,380,115, "Transferring Data using Direct Memory Access" - This relates to a method of improving controller performance by consolidating RAID functions into hardware and adding advanced memory controller technology.

U.S. patent 7,380,055, "Apparatus and Method in a Cached RAID Controller Utilizing a Solid State Backup Device for Improving Data Availability Time" - This relates to Dot Hill EcoStor, an environmentally friendly "green," battery-free alternative that leverages a combination of super capacitors and compact flash technology for non-volatile cache memory. With up to a 10-year life span, EcoStor practically eliminates service calls for battery replacement, new battery inventory management, and the issues of battery disposal, as well as the periodic replacement downtime associated with batteries. Additionally, it offers an improved customer experience upon installation or power restore as it does not require lengthy battery charging time. The array operates in high-performance write-back cache mode within minutes of installation, versus hours with batteries.

"OEMs look to Dot Hill for innovative 'out-of-the box' solutions that solve their customers' storage challenges and provide a competitive advantage to our OEM partners," said Jim Kuentzel, senior vp of Engineering for Dot Hill. "These latest additions to our ever-expanding patent portfolio are a testament to the expertise of our seasoned engineering team."

See also:- RAID systems, enterprise SSD market consolidation

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Megabyte's selection of storage news
all those years editing the news hadn't aged Megabyte one bit.
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Can you believe the word "reliability" in a 2.5" SSD ad?
Editor:- Reliability is an important factor in many applications which use SSDs.... but can you trust an SSD brand just because it claims to be reliable?

As we've seen in recent years - in the rush for the SSD market bubble - many design teams which previously had little or no experience of SSDs were tasked with designing such products - and the result has been successive waves of flaky SSDs and SSDs whose specifications couldn't be relied on to remain stable and in many products quickly degraded in customer sites.
storage reliability branding article As part of an education series for SSD product marketers - this case study describes how one company - which didn't have the conventional background to start off with - managed to equate their brand of SSD with reliability in the minds of designers in the embedded systems market. ...read the article
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In 1978 a 45MB enterprise SSD system from StorageTek cost $400,000 which was about half the price of the rotating IBM mainframe storage it could replace while at the same time running applications faster.
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Flashbacks from Storage History

6 months ago - IBM Previews Racetrack Solid State Storage

1 year ago - Seagate Pays for Shrinking the Kilobyte

2 years ago - Dell Says No - to More Tape Libraries

4 years ago - BiTMICRO Ships 1st Ultra320 SCSI Flash SSD

7 years ago - Alacritech Ships Industry's 1st GbE Accelerator
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