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SSD & storage news - April 2009, week 1

Megabyte's selection of storage news
Megabyte loved reading news
the Fastest SSDs
the SSD Buyers Guide
flash SSD Jargon Explained
the Top 10 SSD Companies
Data Recovery for flash SSDs
can you trust SSD market data?
Are MLC SSDs Safe in Enterprise Apps?
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Fusion-io Secures $47.5 million Series B Funding

Editor:- April 7, 2009 - Fusion-io announced it has closed $47.5 million in Series B funding and named a new CEO, David Bradford.

Bradford brings 30 years of experience to Fusion-io, including 15 years at Novell where he helped lead the company from startup status through a series of acquisitions, public offerings and global business development activities to its position as a multi-billion dollar corporation. During his last 3 years at Novell, he reported directly to the CEO, Eric Schmidt.

"I am delighted to hear that David Bradford has been appointed CEO of Fusion-io," said Dr. Schmidt, now the CEO of Google. "I have great confidence in his ability to lead this innovative company."

"In just over a year, this company has demonstrated through its ground-breaking product offerings that it has the potential to change the way enterprise organizations think about storage," said Scott Sandell, general partner at NEA (one of Fusion-io's early investors). "This round of funding will enable Fusion-io to build on that momentum and help the company keep pace with the growth demands of the marketplace, while permitting them to continue leading the evolution of network storage."

Samsung Pays Spansion $70 million

Editor:- April 7, 2009 - Samsung Electronics will pay Spansion $70 million as part of a flash memory patent settlement announced today.

The companies have also exchanged rights in their patent portfolios in the form of licenses and covenants subject to a confidential settlement agreement.

ExaGrid Revenue Grows 120%

Editor:- April 7, 2009 - ExaGrid announced today that revenue in Q109 was up 120% compared to the same quarter last year.

If you're not familiar with the company - you might think from the numbers - it's another SSD vendor.

But you'd be wrong.

ExaGrid makes old fashioned rotating disk-based backup systems adorned with stylish trendy data deduplication.

One thing it does have in common with SSDs, however, is it's green. Its compression and dedupe technologies reduces the disk space required for backup by upto 50 to 1. ExaGrid has published 100 customer quotes to persuade dedupe skeptics. I haven't actually counted them But it looks like a lot.

OCZ Pitches 2.5" SSDs at Mac Users

Editor:- April 7, 2009 - OCZ Technology Group today unveiled new 2.5" SATA flash SSDs for MacBooks.

OCZ has also published a list of MacBooks which the company says are compatible.

new home page for - SSD SoCs

Editor:- April 7, 2009 - today launched a new directory of merchant market SSD SoC vendors.

What's a "merchant market SSD SoC vendor?"

In this context - it's a chip company which sells SSD controller (System on a Chip) technology on the open market.

Traditionally in the SSD market - oems designed their own proprietary controllers to manage the RAM or flash media in their SSD products. That was partly due to necessity - because the market was small and there were no established standards. And also to protect the many secret ways they dealt with reliability and performance issues.

In recent years, however, as the size of the SSD market opportunity has become clearer, the supply of IP related to designing flash SSDs has, itself, become an attractive market.

In datamining our online content I discovered that the number of companies which market SSD SoCs, already listed on these pages, has nearly reached double digits. And - for growing markets - that's always been the trigger point to create a new directory. It will make them easier to find, defragment related news and provide a home page for articles.

Product marketers who are in such companies, and who are not already listed, should contact me by email - with the subject line "SSD SoCs".


Editor:- April 6, 2009 - a report on says that Intel is EOLing its Z-P230 SSD module which was aimed at the netbook market.

If you look at the 1.0" SSDs directory here on you'll see that 25 companies now make SSD chips, DOMs or modules designed to fit into very small footprints.

LSI Acquires 3ware RAID Adapter Line........................................
Editor:- April 6, 2009 - LSI today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the assets and certain associated intellectual property of the 3ware RAID adapter business of AMCC for approximately $20 million in cash.

Editor's comments:- There are nearly 500 storage acquisitions and mergers listed on Here are some others, previously acquired by LSI.
  • Agere Systems (merger) - storage controllers / adapters
  • AMI's RAID business
  • Infineon's HDD Chip Business
  • IntraServer Technology - SCSI & Ethernet HBAs
  • Mylex - RAID adapters
  • SiliconStor - SATA chips
  • StoreAge - SAN systems

HP and Fusion-io Demonstrate Scalabity of PCIe SSD Accelerated ProLiant Server

Editor:- April 6, 2009 - Fusion-io announced today that its SSD technology has enabled HP to achieve 1 million IOPS (using 2KB random 70/30 read/write mix) and 8GB/s sustained throughput from a single ProLiant server.

Working together in HP's ProLiant engineering labs in Houston, technologists from HP and Fusion-io built a system using 5x 320MB ioDrive Duos and 6x 160MB ioDrives in a single HP ProLiant DL785 G5 server, running with 4 Quad-Core AMD Opteron processors.

"These results show the true power of combining our PCI Express and NAND flash technology with HP's ProLiant architecture," said David Flynn, CTO of Fusion-io.

Editor's comments:- Fusion-io's SSDs were the secret ingredient in an IBM "million IOPS" story last summer.

The point of this kind of story is not the performance number, or the throughput, but to show the scalability of the solution.

End-users like scalable speedups - because they know that no matter how well an accelerator solves their problem today - if the application is successful - the growth in demand for it will mean they'll need yet another speedup 3 to 6 months later.

I used the term "scalability" instead of "glass ceiling" - because you can't assume you'd get this performance from all other brands of MLC PCIe SSD cards. (Even when the SSD oems of such cards have actually built as many as 11 prototypes!) That's because:-

1 - the backplane would melt - due to excessive power consumption, and / or

2 - some products incur a lot of host overhead - which gives good results for a single card - but suffer a drop off in incremental performance when more cards are added

See also:- million IOPS - editor mentions on

FalconStor Announces Faster Backup

Editor:- April 6, 2009 - FalconStor today announced a VTL Backup Accelerator option (list price $20,000).

The company says that by offloading backups - they can be done from 4x to 8x faster than host-based backups. See also:- Disk to disk backup / virtual tape

April Storage Events

Editor:- April 6, 2009 - the main Storage Events this month are:- Many vendors have already pre-announced details of new papers or products this week at SNW. If anything really newsworthy does appear I'll let you know on this page.

New Venyu Announced for Online Backup

Editor:- April 6, 2009 - Venyu is the new name for AmeriVault.

It follows AmeriVault's recent merger with NTG.

How Good SSD Controllers Manage Flash Data Integrity

Editor:- April 3, 2009 - SNIA has published a new white paper - "NAND Flash Solid State Storage for the Enterprise - an in-depth Look at Reliability." (pdf)

It's co-authored by:- Jonathan Thatcher Fusion-io, Tom Coughlin Coughlin Associates, Jim Handy Objective Analysis and Neal Ekker Texas Memory Systems.

The article contains the best integrated explanation I've seen of the design trade-offs for error correction schemes and how they affect bit error rates compared to the raw uncorrected results. It goes on to explain the importance of the SSD controller and memory architecture (dispersing data among many chips) and how these can improve data integrity by managing read disturb errors. It also discusses wear-leveling and write amplification which have been well covered elsewhere. the article

SSD Reliability papers
adaptive R/W & DSP ECC for SSDs
Data Integrity Challenges in flash SSD Design

SSD Bookmarks from Solid Access Technologies

Editor:- April 2, 2009 - Solid Access Technologies' President, Tomas Havrda - shares his SSD Bookmarks today on the home page of

This is a company whose revenue grew 400% in 2008 and whose customers include Samsung Securities. So you may be surprised what Tomas Havrda has to say on the subject of flash SSDs for enterprise acceleration. He's not convinced it's a good idea.

How 3D Memory Stacks Up - New Market Report

Editor:- April 1, 2009 - Forward Insights has released a new 70+ page report (price $5,499) called - How 3D Memory Stacks Up.

3D memory technologies offer the promise of continued increases in storage capacities and lower cost per bit necessary to enable emerging applications such as solid state drives. Among the candidates: stacked NAND technologies employing charge trapping technology, vertical memory cells etched in a pillar and stackable cross-point memory arrays. This report explores the feasibility of each of these alternatives as a candidate to replace NAND flash memories within the next 4 years.

New Edition of - the Top 10 SSD OEMs - Signals Market Shift

Editor:- April 1, 2009 - today published a new edition of - the Top 10 SSD OEMs.

In the past 8 quarters this popular feature has tracked the storage searches of more than 2 million SSD readers.

"Search volume based rankings of vendors in fast growing markets has proved to be an important predictor of future market behavior" said editor, Zsolt Kerekes who has been publishing enterprise IT directories online since 1996. "That's because the biggest enterprise buyers research new suppliers and technologies up to several quarters in advance of purchasing new systems. Interpreting the shifting signals from such a large and strategic focus group can provide valuable insights into what will happen in the market a year or more ahead."

There's something significantly different about the new #1 company. the article

SSD Guide Pageviews Grow 74%

Editor:- April 1, 2009 - today updated its monthly list of the top articles and subjects viewed by storage searchers in March.

16 out of the top 20 articles viewed were related to the topic of the SSD market.

Pageviews of the #1 article - the SSD Buyers Guide increased 74% in March 2009 compared to the year ago period.

Pageviews of the top 5 SSD articles in March 2009 grew 51% year on year. ...see the list

earlier storage news

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Raw speed is no longer the same guarantee to market success for SSDs as it once used to be. But since you asked...
the Fastest SSDs

top news stories in recent months

March 2009

week 1 - Pretec Samples Highest Capacity ExpressCard SSD
week 2 - Viking Launches SATA Cube SSD
week 3 - Dolphin Launches PCIe Rackmount SSD
week 4 - WD Enters the SSD Market

February 2009

week 1 - SalvationDATA Unveils Data Recovery for flash SSDs
week 2 - SanDisk Announces Imminent X4 Flash
week 3 - Viking Launches SSD Backup Module for RAID Cache
week 4 - Hitachi GST Buys Desktop SSD Company

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What's a Solid State Disk?
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Can you trust your flash SSD specs?
Is the SSD Market Recession-Proof?
Are MLC SSDs Safe in Enterprise Apps?
SSD Myths and Legends - "write endurance"

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