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Storage news - 2008, September week 3

SSD endurance
SSD market history
Surviving SSD sudden power loss
Exiting the Astrological Age of Enterprise SSD Pricing
SAMSUNG Securities Chooses Solid Access Technologies' SSDs to Accelerate AIX Servers

Newburyport, Mass - September 17, 2008 - Solid Access Technologies today announced a significant sale of its RAM based SSD accelerators to SAMSUNG Securities Co., Ltd, a full-service investment bank.

Solid Access (working with its Korean partner NEOframe Inc.) earned SAMSUNG Securities' business after an exhaustive 6 month evaluation in competition with other DRAM-based SSD vendors and an incumbent Tier 1 RAID supplier.

For use within SAMSUNG Securities' market data processing activities, 28x USSD 200 devices are being integrated with 28 IBM POWER6 570 servers running AIX.

With a 10 microsecond access time, Solid Access provides very fast IOPS and data bandwidth performance to tackle the demanding tasks of this critical business function, which requires low latency and high reliability. Meeting these benchmarks plus a track record of zero field failures after 2 years of 24x7 customer production usage, the USSD 200 met all the requirements of SAMSUNG Securities.

"This sale by Solid Access Technologies of a DRAM SSD solution into the financial space is testimony to the imminent, and significant market presence that SSD is going to have within users and applications that demand the highest performing possible storage systems," said Mark Peters, an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. "This presence will not be measured in terms of capacity, which is how we've traditionally measured storage devices, but will be in terms of raw throughput, delivering truly impressive I/O per $$ and per KW." ...Solid Access Technologies profile

Editor's comments:-
you can be pretty sure that the IT guys in SAMSUNG Securities can easily think of at least one locally based company which makes flash SSDs. This story clearly demonstrates that expert users with demanding applications understand the critical differences between RAM and flash SSDs.

Atempo Announces New Email Archiving Support for Macs

Palo Alto, Calif - September 17, 2008 - Atempo, Inc. has introduced a series of enterprise digital archiving solutions for combined Windows-Mac environments.

Atempo Digital Archive enables the automated and end-user triggered movement of data from primary disk onto archival media, saving on storage costs and protecting digital assets for long-term retention. Atempo Digital Archive for Messaging for Microsoft Entourage offers Mac users utilizing Entourage as their primary email client the same level of access to the archived messages as traditional Outlook users. ...Atempo profile, Backup Software

Samsung Loses Patience with SanDisk Management - Publishes Offer to Buy Shares

Editor:- September 17, 2008 - Samsung Electronics today published an open letter aimed at shareholders offering to buy SanDisk.

In this letter you can see that Samsung has been talking to SanDisk about this for many months - and is frustrated by unrealistic market and pricing expectations from SanDisk's management.

My own view re SanDisk is that the company wasted many opportunities it had in the SSD market which would have been enabled by its acquisition of M-Systems in 2006. Having acquired a company with a track record of innovation in high speed flash SSDs - SanDisk apparently ignored or deliberately dropped those server-ready product lines and focused instead on the suicide "me-too" consumer end of the SSD market. Not surprisingly as result SanDisk has been losing market share in the SSD market at high double digit rates.

Here are some comments from other SSD analysts.

Jim Handy at Objective Analysis... "SanDisk is in the midst of negotiations with Samsung to renew patent licenses under which Samsung is paying SanDisk hundreds of millions every year. Should Samsung succeed in this acquisition, Samsung will be in a position to receive a similar royalty stream, and to perhaps grow that stream to something significantly larger than SanDisk's current royalty revenue. Something we have not mentioned yet is that SanDisk not only owns a large share of the intellectual property covering 2-bit MLC, but they appear to be the only company to own 3-bit and 4-bit IP, and are likely to profit handsomely from this position over the next two years. What about Toshiba? Ever since SanDisk converted from NOR to NAND early this decade they have had a very close relationship with Toshiba. "

SanDisk focused blogger - Savo Lainen hasn't said anything as we go to press, but his comments are always interesting.

Gregory Wong founder of Forward Insights discussed this rumor last week and may have a follow-up.

SanDisk issued its own press release - effectively saying No! to Samsung's offer. And among other things -derided it as - "an opportunistic attempt to take advantage of SanDisk's current stock price, which is significantly depressed given industry cyclicality, the uncertainty resulting from the unresolved patent cross license agreement renewal with Samsung, and general equity market conditions."

Wasabi Expands iSCSI SAN Product Line

VMWorld, Las Vegas, NV - September 16, 2008 - Wasabi Systems has expanded its line of VMX iSCSI SAN appliances.

Targeted applications for the VMX series include disk-backup, digital archive, web2.0 infrastructure, video surveillance, digital media infrastructure and general office systems. The VMX series was designed to support virtual server infrastructure using VMWare, XEN or Hyper-V server virtualization technology. The VMX 2000e starts at under $6,000 for a 2TB system and can be expanded up to 12TB.

"Our initial iSCSI SAN appliances have been well received in the market place," said Frank G. Logan, Wasabi's President and CEO. "These new models have been upgraded and cover a much broader spectrum of the market and outperform many of the market leaders at dramatically lower price points. With the addition of 10GbE, thin provisioning, snapshot and volume shadow copy services, we cover the entire market spectrum from entry level to mid-range enterprise requirements." ...Wasabi Systems profile

Coraid Introduces EtherDrive Storage Priced at $500 / TeraByte

VMWorld, Las Vegas, NV - September 16, 2008 - Coraid today announced that it will now sell its popular line of EtherDrive SAN storage appliances with installed "Coraid certified" disk drives.

As an introductory offer, Coraid is now selling its popular EtherDrive SR2421 with 24 installed and tested terabyte enterprise RAID quality disk drives for a total price of $12,000.

"Coraid certified disk drives are now available from Coraid installed and tested with EtherDrive storage appliances. We maintain a continuous test environment to insure Coraid certified disks are the best disks available - based on reliability and performance," said James Kemp, CEO of Coraid. "Now customers can purchase complete certified storage systems from Coraid that include free service and support for 3 years, including disk replacement."

Coraid's EtherDrive Storage products use standard Ethernet and the open AoE storage protocol which eliminates the complexities and high cost typically associated with iSCSI or Fibre Channel systems by removing the need for expensive TCP/IP off-load Engine cards. Instead, AoE enables disks to be shared on a network to create scalable storage systems at a lower price. ...Coraid profile

Editor's comments:-
I was trying to remember how long it's been since Coraid started talking about their ATA over Ethernet.

The earliest reference to it here on the mouse site is a news story dated September 2003. I thought I'd mention that for conservative readers who don't like to get burned by becoming involuntary beta sites for new software.

It's all very well taking risks when risk-taking is in your job description and you have the technical resources to deal with the backlash. I used to do a lot of that in the past. Now I'm at the other extreme end of the spectrum.

I clung onto Windows 98 until January 2007 - and there was nothing wrong with my 7 year old PC when I retired it. I might look at Vista in another 5 years or so - but email and designing web pages are lightweight applications - (or should be). My wife who trains marketers in companies like Microsoft - used to jokingly call me the "customer from hell" - off the right hand edge of the technology adoption curve. I was also the only person in the UK who didn't have a cellphone. When she told this "Laggard" story to product marketers at a mobile phone company - they asked her to ask me what extra features would they have to add to a phone to persuade me to buy one. I said an electric shaver, torch and TV remote. I'm still waiting for those to appear.

One of the things on my "to-do soon" list is a an SSD directory for conservative buyers who don't want anything to do with risky new technology from suppliers who have only been in the market for 5 minutes. It's tentatively called "SSD-Classico" - and will include vendors who have been in that market for at least 3 years. There are many technical timebombs built into new products which newbie oems and their product marketers don't understand. Longevity is no guarantee of reliability either. But the new pages will offer a simplified way to find experienced vendors.

New Tool Helps Reduce Identity Theft

NEW YORK - September 16, 2008 - Identity Finder, LLC announced the upcoming release of Identity Finder Enterprise Edition 3.5 and their newest product, Identity Finder Monitoring Console.

Identity Finder Enterprise searches computers for Personally Identifiable Information and helps employees clean the data it uncovers, protecting themselves and their employers from confidential data loss. One of the biggest challenges to preventing data leakage is discovering all the places data exists. It can easily become buried anywhere on a computer such as within a hidden column in a spreadsheet from years ago.

Todd Feinman, Identity Finder's CEO, says, "Organizations can no longer rely on simple anti-virus suites to protect information as there are an ever increasing number of threats that steal personal data -- from viruses, worms, and Trojans to spyware, botnets, and malicious web application exploits. Even file sharing programs, voluntarily installed by many individuals, have become a large source of data loss and full hard disk encryption cannot protect against sensitive data exposure in these scenarios. Tools such as Identity Finder are required." ...Identity Finder profile, Storage Security

SiliconSystems Announces Faster 2.5" SiliconDrives

ALISO VIEJO, Calif. - September 16, 2008 - SiliconSystems, Inc. today announced faster, higher capacity, versions of its new 2.5" SATA and PATA SiliconDrives.

The new SSDs , designated SiliconDrive EP, feature read/write speeds up to 50MB/s and are shipping now in capacities up to 64 GB. The new SiliconDrive EP family of SSDs is a potential hard drive replacement in a wide range of embedded computing applications that demand industry-leading reliability for a lower total cost of storage ownership.

"SiliconSystems' new SiliconDrive EP SATA and PATA drives feature higher speeds and increased capacities to exceed the demands of a broad range of embedded computing applications," said Robert Fan, VP of marketing at SiliconSystems. "With these products, SiliconSystems is responding to rapidly increasing customer demand for higher performance and higher capacity versions of SiliconSystems' award-winning SiliconDrive products."

The new SiliconDrive EP 2.5-inch SATA and PATA family of products are excellent drop-in replacements for hard drives in critical storage applications. The read/write speeds and capacity of SiliconDrive EP SSDs make them ideal storage solutions for the latest generation of embedded computing applications such as multiple source video streaming, video surveillance, television broadcast video routers, and military and aerospace flight data recorders. ...SiliconSystems profile

Editor's comments:-
if you simply look at the headline performance of the new SiliconDrives your first impression may be - So what?

There are plenty of 2.5" SSDs which are faster - or offer even higher capacity. These are not the sexiest drives to design into consumer applications. But speed is just one dimension of a flash SSD. Another important one is reliability - described as a type #4 application in my SSD market adoption model.

Within this industry the differences between device lifetime and data integrity can vary by an order of magnitude - even within the set of devices which use wear-leveling and SLC flash. In many embedded applications trouble free operation over many years - is a more important consideration than being 30% faster - especially if the SSD is already fast enough to do the job.

WD's Portable USB HDD Weighs in at 71MB / Ounce

LAKE FOREST, Calif. - September 15, 2008 - WD today introduced its new 500GB capacity My Passport Portable USB Drives which are designed to make it easy to store a half a terabyte of music, videos or photos and carry them in the palm of your hand.

MSRP is $219.99 ...Western Digital profile

O&O Improves Defrag Control Granularity

Berlin, Germany - September 15, 2008 - O&O Software GmbH says Version 11 of its Defrag Professional and Server Edition is now available.

For the first time ever, O&O Defrag 11 lets you defragment individual files and folders as well as partitions and entire hard disks by simply right-clicking. The new File Status View is based on the already familiar Block View, which has itself been improved and extended in the new version. The File Status View displays the most heavily fragmented files as well as their number and level of fragmentation. ...O&O profile, Storage Software ISVs

greenBytes Launches Energy Saving NAS

Editor:- September 15, 2008 - a new NAS company called greenBytes emerged from stealth mode today with a NAS product line called Cypress.

Cypress uses the ZFS+ filesystem developed by Sun Microsystems. greenBytes says that by including native wire speed deduplication a 46TB "raw" system delivers 90TB of "effective storage capacity" at a price which is under a dollar per effective gigabyte.
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"In an ideal world - symmetry considerations would be on page 1 of the - how to design an SSD - cookbook."
how fast can your SSD run backwards?
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Is Cucku's Business Plan Cuckoo?
San Francisco, CA - September 18, 2008 - Cucku today announced version 1.20 of its free Social Backup software for Windows.

"Cucku Social Backup puts a new twist on the age-old chore of backing up," said Laura DuBois, storage software research director at IDC. "With Cucku, people enjoy the peace of mind of backing up their data at a remote location, with the added benefit of knowing exactly where their backup resides, and who is looking after it. Cucku brings an element of social connection to the backup process that is difficult to match by traditional hosted backup providers."

Cucku Social Backup relies on a partner approach whereby files are encrypted and backed up on a friend or family member's computer. Social backup offers the same peace-of-mind provided by hosted online backup solutions, without the cost. The current version is free. A Pro version may be launched later. ...Cucku profile

Editor's comments:- Cucku faqs page answers a lot of questions such as - What happens if my backup partner's computer has a virus or spyware infection?

This software is in the same market space as BuddyBackup from Databarracks.

Unlike the first generation of free consumer online backup services which appeared in the late 1990s (which were mostly supported by invalid web advertising models) you don't have to worry that your backup will disappear if the original software supplier does.

The business model behind the new social backup products seems to be - that if a tiny percentage of users convert to a paid version with more features - then overall - the customer acquisition costs are lower than would be the case by advertising only a paid version. Advertising is expensive. (We know. We sell it. And so does Google. ) Advertising is not sustainably viable for many low value single lifetime purchase products.

Will the new generation of give-away social software products survive? It's hard to say. Our gone-away list includes nearly 500 storage companies who thought they had better plans. Only time will tell if there are enough consumers who care about backup to make social backup viable. Could be a better long term prospect than most banks though.
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There are hundreds of SSD articles on
Here are some examples.
  • RAM Cache Ratios in flash SSDs - it's important to know the underlying RAM cache architecture - even if you're happy with the R/W and IOPS performance.
  • 2010 - 1st Fizz in the SSD Bubble? - even the dogs in the street know this is going to be a multibillion dollar market. Greed will play as big a part as technology in shaping the SSD year ahead.
  • the pros and cons of using SSD ASAPs - auto tuning SSD appliances are a new category of SSD which entered the market in the 2nd half of 2009 to accelerate servers without needing human tune-ups. How can you tell if they are right for you? And how well do they work?
  • the Problem with Write IOPS - in flash SSDs - long established as a useful performance modeling metric - this article explains why some specs are exaggerated when applied to flash SSDs - or predict the wrong results for many common applications.
The simplest way for vendors to signal to the world that they are masters and commanders of the enterprise flash array high seas - rather than merely floating barges of chips which can be swept along in any direction by the latest technology gust of wind - is to hoist new colors of SSD pricing.
Exiting the Astrological Age of Enterprise SSD Pricing

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