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SSD & storage news - 2008, September week 2

enterprise SSD silos
Strategic Transitions in SSD
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New Article - FC SAN SSDs

Editor:- September 13, 2008 - today published a new article and directory on the subject of - "Fibre-Channel SSDs."

"I've tracked the SAN storage market since the first commercially launched products in 1994" said editor Zsolt Kerekes. "As the number of market-active SSD oems listed on Storagesearch approaches 90 companies I thought I should make it easier for readers to disentagle the info related to this important market segment - which was getting lost in tables deep in our SSD Buyers Guide. The new SAN SSD page lists all current vendors and also explains how this market fits in a historical context." the article

Zetta Raises $10 million Funding

SUNNYVALE, Calif. - September 12, 2008 - Zetta today announced that it has closed a $10.7 million Series A financing round led by venture capital firms Sigma Partners and Foundation Capital.

Zetta plans to use the funding to expand product development, marketing and operations. Zetta was founded by industry veterans Lou Montulli, Jeff Whitehead, Jason Harrison and Jeff Treuhaft.

Editor's comments:- Zetta's home page contains no useful information yet.

See also:- VCs in storage

Sonnet Launches Speedy SATA ExpressCard for Notebooks

IRVINE, CA - September 12, 2008 - Sonnet Technologies today announced the Tempo SATA Pro ExpressCard/34, a dual port SATA host controller for notebooks.

It enables users to connect from 1 to 10 SATA hard drives to any compatible notebook computer with an ExpressCard/34 or /54 slot. Suitable for video capture and editing it supports sustained data throughput of up to 200MB/sec. OS compatibility includes MacBook Pro systems running Mac OS 10.5 and 10.4, as well as with notebooks running Windows Vista and XP SP2. The Sonnet card will be available in October at a suggested retail price of $299.95. ...Sonnet profile, consumer SSDs

SDK Starts Shipments of 1.89-Inch 120 GB HD Media

Tokyo, Japan - September 11, 2008 - Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) has started commercial shipments of 1.89-inch hard disk media with storage capacity of 120GB per disk.

To the best of our knowledge, our new 1.89-inch HD media have the world's highest storage capacity for this size available on the market today. The new product has been developed by improving the magnetic layer for 1.89-inch 80 gigabyte HD media commercialized in August 2007. SDK is the world's only commercial producer of 1.89-inch HD media. ...SDK profile, 1.8" storage drives

Samsung's OneDRAM Accelerates Multimedia Phones

Seoul, Korea - September 11, 2008 - Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. today announced that its embedded memory, OneDRAM is being used in its new SGH-L870 handset was launched in Europe last month.

The 512 megabit OneDRAM will be mass produced for multiple communication carriers in several other smart phones worldwide in the 4th quarter of 2008. Samsung has also begun sampling a gigabit OneDRAM.

Samsung's single chip OneDRAM receives data from the modem processor at 533MB/s and forwards it to the application processor at 1.06GB/s which enables a 10x increase in the data processing speeds between the 2 processors in mobile handsets. The OneDRAM interface complies with the JEDEC low-power, double-data-rate and eliminates the need for DRAM and SRAM chips as buffer memory. ...Samsung profile, storage interface chips

Editor's comments:- OneDRAM is a dual port RAM chip that reduces the PCB footprint and increases data throughput between processors in a mobile phone. Dual port RAMs can speedily solve tricky design problems and they let you optimise functional blocks in a product with minimum interaction. It's a long established architectural concept. I used this technique to interface 2 different technology embedded processors in a product I designed in 1978.

30 years ago no one imagined that phones would become as capable as they are today. We used to laugh at the communicators used in the first TV series of Star Trek when they said "Beam me up Scotty." - They'll never be able to make them that small - we said - wrongly convinced that the battery alone would have to be bigger than the entire phone.

Soliware Brings 2.5" SSD oem Head Count to 39

Editor:- September 11, 2008 - as you can on our main SSD Page - the number of active SSD oems has crept up to 84.

This week I've added 2 oems and one SSD VAR. They don't all rate news announcements. Soliware is a new oem whose website is starting to flesh out. They bring the total of 2.5" SSD oems up to 39. Although some of these are rebranded versions of each other.

ATTO Ships First Quad-Channel 8Gbps Fibre Channel HBA

Amherst, NY - September 10, 2008 - ATTO Technology, Inc. announced the release of the industry's first quad 8Gbps Fibre Channel PCIe HBA.

With aggregate speeds of up to 3,200 MB/sec. for reads or writes, the FC-84EN is designed for intensive data applications, including 2K and 4K film editing, tape streaming and backup, rich content delivery, and complex database environments. Driver support includes Windows, Linux and Mac OS X . ...ATTO profile, Fibre-channel adapters

the SATABeast Shall Lie Peacefully with the Cougar

Thousand Oaks & Campbell, Calif. - Sept. 10, 2008 - ONStor Inc. and Nexsan today announced that the 2 companies have entered into a worldwide OEM agreement that expands the companies' channel presence.

ONStor will incorporate Nexsan's SATABeast and SATABoy storage systems into its Pantera line of NAS products. In addition, ONStor has certified the Nexsan SATABeast with the ONStor Bobcat and Cougar NAS gateways. ...Nexsan profile, ...ONStor profile, Disk to disk backup, Animal Brands and Metaphors in the Storage Market

Toshiba Ships 240GB 1.8" HDDs

IRVINE, Calif. - September 9, 2008 - Toshiba Storage Device Division today announced the world's first dual-platter 240GB 1.8-inch PATA HDDs.

The 240GB unit uses 33% less power than Toshiba's previous generation 160GB 3,600 RPM 1.8" model and is aimed at light-weight mobile PC applications and high-end digital video camcorders, which require high capacity and ruggedness to protect users' valuable digital assets. The new series (which all spin at 4,200 RPM) also includes 80GB and 120GB single-platter models. Toshiba's new 1.8" HDDs will be incorporated into consumer products shipping this holiday season. ...Toshiba profile, HDDs, 1.8" drives

NEC Announces 2nd Generation HYDRAstor

Santa Clara, Calif. - September 9, 2008 - NEC Corp today unveiled the 2nd generation of its HYDRAstor HS8 grid storage platform

This HYDRAstor grid platform evolves with new technologies - without forcing the user to start a new grid system, without data migration, provisioning, forklift upgrades, application downtimes and data loss. HYDRAstor's unique "community of smart nodes" enables IT to non-disruptively ride both technology and growth curves so that a single storage grid can continually evolve with greener, denser, and faster nodes.

Each new NEC HYDRAstor HS8-2000 Accelerator Node provides 300MB/s performance, 12TB raw capacity (which NEC says is 157TB of effective capacity based on a 20:1 deduplication ratio) and a default protection 3x greater than RAID 5. ...NEC profile

Lexar 's 300x 16GB CF

Fremont, CA - September 9, 2008 - Lexar Media announced imminent availabality of the Lexar Professional UDMA 300x 16GB CF card.

Speed-rated at 300x, which represents a minimum sustained write speed of 45MB per second, the new CF card is aimed at professional photographers and photo enthusiasts. ...Lexar profile

Tarmin Technologies Appoints US Sales Director

Ongar, UK - September 9, 2008 - Tarmin Technologies announced today that Bruce Holbert has joined Tarmin as director of sales, North America.

Holbert was most recently partner accounts manager for national accounts at EMC. Prior to that, Holbert spent over 15 years at several start-up and reseller-oriented companies where he was involved in numerous partnership, channel management, and direct sales roles. ...Tarmin profile

Editor's comments:-
I'd never heard of this company before getting this press release so I read some of their whitepapers. The papers seem sensible, but bland, and I'm not sure why the world needs another archiving company. Their expert opinion page includes comments from various storage soothsayers if you want to read more.

Axstor Launches2U 8 Port iSCSI Storage

Coventry, UK - September 9, 2008 - Axstor, announces the Ai-Pro 5108 - a 2U, 12 bay fast iSCSI storage system.

With 8x 1Gb iSCSI ports, the Ai-Pro 5108 can deliver more than 80,000 IOPs from a single controller, and a data transfer rate of more than 800MB/s. It's fully dual-ported to ensure that there is no single point of failure. Initially supporting up to 60 drives and 90TB capacity, the system can be expanded to support 128 drives with the planned release of new firmware in January 2009. ,,,Axstor profile

Fusion-io Unveils fast NAS SSD

San Diego, Calif. - September 8, 2008 - Fusion-io unveiled the ioSAN - a 10GbE or Infiniband attached flash SSD on PCIe form factor.

Using a standards-based, memory-speed protocol over either 10GigE or 40GBps QDR InfiniBand, the ioSAN shares ioMemory capacity between servers. With latencies of less than 2 microseconds, the ioSAN incorporates an integrated network interface that can dynamically alternate between 10Gb/s Ethernet or 40Gb/s quad data rate InfiniBand. The built-in network interface makes it easy to create networked storage across servers with increased performance and flexibility, and with zero footprint. This networked storage is extremely easy to integrate and manage within existing server infrastructure. Prior to general availability of the ioSAN, Fusion-io is inviting innovative and visionary companies to join them as they launch their 3rd party development program at the beginning of next year.

"With this development, everything you thought you knew about SSD and storage networking is no longer true," said David Flynn, CTO of Fusion-io. "The ioSAN fuses SSD with storage networking, combining the best of direct-attached and storage networking with the best of SSD and traditional storage. With this revolutionary advancement, Fusion-io has commoditized high-performance network storage in the same way that companies like NVIDIA and ATI commoditized high-performance graphics processing. Fantastic applications of this technology are now beginning to emerge." ...Fusion-io profile, PCIe SSDs

Editor's comments:-
Fusion-io's full press release text says this is "the world's first networked enterprise SSD."

That's not strictly correct because fiber-channel SSDs have been available from many oems for over a decade. And it's not the first "ethernet NAS SSD" either. We ran an ad here in 2002 for the NAS-168F from IEI.

And it's not the first "enterprise NAS SSD". In April 2008 Nimbus Data Systems announced an SSD acceleration option for its Breeze Hybrid series of multi-protocol 10GbE IP storage systems.

And it's not the first InfiniBand SSD either. That was Texas Memory Systems in 2005.

What is special about Fusion-io's new product is that it could become the first high performance native NAS SSD to cross the chasm between PR-ware and success in the market. Although high speed NAS SSDs have been announced before on these storage news pages by various companies in years gone by none of them left a deep impression in the market. The reason? - the benefits of SSD acceleration were not cost effective when channeled through slow ethernet networks. The low cost of Fusion-io's flash array coupled with its high speed and 10GbE interface could place this product in new territory in the SSD roadmap.

Intel Ships Me-too 1.8" & 2.5" MLC SSDs

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - September 8, 2008 - Intel Corp has begun shipping 1.8" and 2.5" SATA MLC flash SSDs for laptop and desktop computers.

The Intel X18-M and X25-M Mainstream SATA SSDs are available in 80GB capacities, with 160GB versions sampling in the 4th quarter of this year. The 80GB drive achieves up to 250MB per second read speeds, up to 70MB per second write speeds and 85-microsecond read latency for fast performance. The 80GB version is priced at $595 for quantities up to 1,000. T ...Intel profile, 1.8" SSDs, 2.5 inch SSDs

Editor's comments:-
these are low performance products which would rate a yawn if announced by any other company. The market is waiting to see how Intel will deliver on its high performance SSD pledges. The company says it will announce a faster SLC SSD line in the next 90 days.

Storage Software Market Grew 14% in Q208

FRAMINGHAM, Mass - September 8, 2008 - According to IDC - the worldwide storage software market experienced its 19th consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth in the second quarter of 2008 with revenues of $3.1 billion, a 14% increase over the same quarter one year ago.

This was the first time that the worldwide storage software market surpassed $3 billion in revenues in a single quarter.

"The overall storage software market grew at a faster rate in the second quarter than in the usually slow first quarter of the year. The year-over-year growth for 2Q08 was 14.2% compared to 9.4% for 1Q08. Most of the top vendors experienced accelerated growth in the second quarter, which helps to explain the strong Q2 results," said Michael Margossian, research analyst, Storage Software at IDC. "The smaller vendors also had a strong quarter, but had less impact on the overall market than the top vendors." "

EMC led the overall market with 24.2% revenue share. Symantec took the 2nd position with 19.1% revenue share, while IBM finished in the 3rd position with 13.3% revenue share. NetApp finished in the 4th position with 7.8% revenue share while HP and CA rounded out the top 5 in a statistical tie with 4.8% and 4.4% revenue share, respectively. ...IDC profile, Storage Software ISVs

Samsung SanDisk Synergy Dissected

Editor: - September 8, 2008 - in his latest blog Gregory Wong founder of Forward Insights analyzes the business arguments for and against a rumored Samsung acquisition of SanDisk.

...Forward Insights profile, SSD analysts, Acquired storage companies

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