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storage news - February 2009, week 1

Megabyte's selection of storage news
Megabyte loved reading news stories
about the storage market
the Fastest SSDs
the Top SSD Companies
Data Recovery for flash SSDs
can you trust SSD market data?
the naughty enterprise flash memoirs
how fast can your SSD run backwards?
7 SSDs for the spin-free solid state datacenter
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SalvationDATA Offers Better Hope of Data Recovery for flash SSDs
Sichuan, China - February 6, 2009 - SalvationDATA announced it has developed a new technology for flash SSD data recovery.

Data Recovery
Data Recovery
The company says its methodology will work with all commercial devices (excluding military and industrial SSDs which have inbuilt secure erase). The new tools are expected to launch in May 2009 - and will be priced at about $1,300. ...SalvationDATA profile

Editor's comments:-
I didn't think this would be feasible - and even wrote an article explaining why it would be very difficult.

It is difficult! - and does need a new approach. But this is one prediction about which I'll be glad to be proved wrong. Lack of an affordable flash SSD data recovery industry could have triggered a backfire, damping enthusiasm in the consumer SSD revolution - and such a setback could have been a reactionary market differentiator favoring notebook HDDs. (Most consumers and SMBs don't do effective backups - a trend which hasn't changed in all the many years I've reported market research on this subject.)

StorageSwitch Announces 1st XAM App

Boulder, CO - February 5, 2008 - The first XAM (eXtensible Access Method) compliant application was released today by StorageSwitch LLC.

StorageSwitch CEO Clark Hodge said " XAM storage is the future of fixed content storage and the StorageSwitch FileSystem Gateway for XAM provides the access."

XAM removes the traditional proprietary vendor-lock on fixed content storage.

"Fusion-io - in the right place at the right time" - says new Chief Scientist, Steve Wozniak

Salt Lake City, UT - February 5, 2009 - Fusion-io announced today that Steve Wozniak has joined the company as its Chief Scientist.

Wozniak will act as a key technical advisor to the Fusion-io research and development group. He will also work closely with the executive team of Fusion-io in formulating a company strategy that will accelerate the expansion of major global accounts.

"With the revolutionary technological advances being made by Fusion-io, the company is in the right place at the right time with the right technology and ready to direct the history of technology into the 21st century and beyond," said Wozniak. "The technology marketplace has not seen such capacity for innovation and radical transformation since the mainframe computer was replaced by the home computer. Fusion-io's technology is extremely useful to many different applications and almost all of the world's servers."

Prior to this appointment Wozniak was a member of the company's advisory board, where he counseled the company on market trends, product road maps and other strategic activities - which will continue. ...Fusion-io profile, ...Steve Wozniak profile, Storage People

Careful with that Storage Cocktail Eugene! - compression, dedupe, encryption

Editor:- February 5, 2009 - earlier this week Storewize issued a press release suggesting users could get a 200% improvement in capacity utilization when real-time compression is used together with dedeuplication.

There are a lot of magic potions being offered to enterprises - and I was concerned that the type of users who might be looking at these techniques might also be looking at encryption too. I had recently read an old paper by Coughlin Associates which suggested that encrypting data on hard drives could result in capacity bloat when followed by compression - because the resultant storage needed could be more than before compression. So I asked Storewize about that.

I got a helpful reply to my query today from Peter Smails Senior VP Worldwide Marketing at Storewize - who said "Our technology is based upon real-time compression so we compress data before it is written to disk. We are also completely transparent to any downstream operation whether that be encryption, deduplication, etc. We actually make them both more efficient. You are correct that due to the exceptionally high entropy of encrypted data it is not recommended to compress encrypted data."

They would be happy to discuss with with readers who are interested. It's a complex subject - like many aspects of the storage market.

A simple way of thinking about it is mixing cocktails. As I have found from experience - it's possible to take perfectly good raw ingredients - mix them together and get good (or bad) results depending on whether you know what you are doing.

As too with SSDs. If you don't know what you're doing - they won't accelerate your application at all - but simply result in more expensive storage. And even if you think you understand the bottlenecks in your infrastructure - try before you buy is the safest thing to do. See also:- video:- Pink floyd - Careful With That Axe Eugene

Cypress Announces Management Change in Memory Division

SAN JOSE, Calif. - February 5, 2008 - Cypress Semiconductor Corp. today announced that Ahmad Chatilla, EVP of the Memory and Imaging Division will be leaving the company this month to pursue an opportunity as the CEO of a semiconductor wafer supplier.

He will be replaced by 21-year Cypress veteran, Dana Nazarian, who is currently the VP of the synchronous SRAM business unit of MID.

"Ahmad has been a valuable member of the Cypress executive team. Working with Dana and the rest of the management team in MID, he has created an extremely profitable and cash-flow-generating enterprise-even in the current economic environment," commented T.J. Rodgers, CEO of Cypress. "We are sorry to see Ahmad leave after 15 years with Cypress, but we take pride in what he has been able to accomplish and we wish him the best in his new career as CEO of MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc."

Dana Nazarian joined Cypress in 1988 as a new college graduate from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a BSEE and rose steadily throughout the company in a variety of technical and business roles. ...Cypress Semiconductor profile, storage chips

CommVault's CEO "Unhappy" with 19% Year over Year Revenue Growth

Oceanport, N.J. - February 4, 2009 - CommVault today announced $60.1 million revenue for the 3rd quarter ended December 31, 2008 - effectively 19% year on year revenue growth.

But this was also a decrease of 5% over the prior quarter.

"We achieved 19% year over year growth in total revenues" said CommVault's chairman, president and CEO N. Robert Hammer. "This is not a growth rate we were happy with especially since our underlying business and pipeline growth is strong. The major issue that negatively impacted our reported results was big deal slippage. The outlook for our business continues to be good and we are really excited about the announced introduction of Simpana 8. Specifically, on January 26, 2009, we announced the launch of our next generation software release, the CommVault Simpana 8 software suite - which will enable our customers to reduce costs and improve operating efficiencies. We believe it will enable us to further strengthen our position in the data and information management market to sustain our track record of innovation and double digit growth." ...CommVault profile

Editor's comments:-
when I compiled the list of the Fastest Growing Storage Companies in 2007-2008 - 34% was the minimum entry requirement and there were several companies in the 200-300% region. With the effects of the recession you may doubt if any company this year will reach those dizzy heights. You would be wrong. I'll be running more stories about those in upcoming articles and news bulletins. From them we can learn a lot about what the storage market will look like in the future. Reports Top Searches

Editor:- February 4, 2009 - today updated its monthly list of the top articles and subjects viewed by storage searchers in January.

9 out of the top 10 articles viewed and 8 of the top 10 subjects viewed were related to the topic of the SSD market.

Pageviews of the #1 article - the SSD Buyers Guide increased 32% in January 2009 compared to the year ago period.

Pageviews of the main PCI Express SSDs page increased 52% in a single month, making this the 2nd most popular SSD form factor viewed by readers - after 2.5" SSDs.

For the top 10 listings see the market research page.

Coughlin Predicts Dead Hard Drive Bounce

San Jose, CA - February 4, 2009 - Hard disk drive shipments in Q408 declined about 19% from Q308 according to a quarterly report ($199 / year) from Coughlin Associates.

Tom Coughlin, principal analyst at Coughlin Associates writes that "there is more downside than upside ahead and as a consequence, HDD unit shipments in 2009 will experience their worst year over year decline ever. The total decline in HDD units in 2009 over 2008 will be between 5% and 9% with a decline of 7% being likely."

Total HDDs shipped in 2009 could be about the same as in 2007, about 500 million units. The decline in HDD revenue year over year could be much worse depending upon how well HDD companies can control costs and inventories.

Long term, Coughlin says digital storage device demand will recover. Actual storage needs continue to grow and as a consequence, a lack of growth this year will lead to significant disk drive unit growth when the economy recovers. It is expected that there will be positive growth in 2010, year over year, and that with a recovery, 2011 could see annual unit growth much greater than the average, perhaps even 20% or higher (like in 2003).

Editor's comments:- storage clairvoyants don't always agree.

Although Coughlin Associates has an impressive long term track record of being right about predicting trends in the hard disk market - I already stuck my neck out in commenting on Seagate's recent financial results by saying that when the recession ends - maybe in 2012 - I think the hard disk market will be 1/2 the size in revenue it was in 2008. You don't have to look far on this web site to see the reasons why. So I'm not anticipating much dead cat bounce for the hard drive market.

NetApp Starts Walking the SSD Talk

Sunnyvale, Calif. - February 3, 2009 - NetApp unveiled 2 strands in its solid state storage acceleration strategy today - support for Texas Memory Systems' RamSan-500 flash SSD array and also a new Performance Acceleration Module.

Support for the 100K IOPS RamSan-500 SSD is supplied by NetApp's V-Series storage controller and Data ONTAP software. The RamSan-500 can be utilized as a large, fast networked cache, or otherwise partitioned to maximize storage efficiency.

Meanwhile - the new PAM provides a read cache (16GB to 80GB) implemented by PCI Express DRAM cards. These enables NetApp customers to significantly increase application performance in FC disk arrays by 35% using 1/2 the number of hard disks typically used in over-provisioned HDD arrays. Alternatively customers can deploy lower cost, higher density SATA HDDs instead of FC disks while still maintaining performance and making substantial savings in costs. ...Network Appliance profile, ...Texas Memory Systems profile

Editor's comments:-
better late than never - NetApp's announcements today make it easier and less risky for their customers to feel comfortable in following a long established trend to accelerate network applications performance with SSDs while reducing overall systems costs

Although NetApp's PAM is a PCIe RAM card and not a PCIe flash SSD - it's just a short walk from one to the other. I have little doubt the company has already been evaluating options in this market space..

New Tool Acts as Bouncer for Up Market Tape Joints

Boulder, Colo. - February 3, 2009 - Spectra Logic has extended its Media Lifecycle Management technology outside the library with a new reader - now shipping.

The MLM Reader (approx $2,500) is a portable device that allows customers to check tape health on any computer through USB, without loading the tape into a library, and is designed to proactively identify faulty tape media before it is required for a data restore. It tracks over 30 non-volatile statistics about data tapes, such as export details; remaining capacity; encryption information; number of reads and writes; date of last access; born-on date; and cleaning log. ...Spectra Logic profile, Storage Testers & Analyzers, storage reliability

A Hard to Duplicate Offer on Hard Disk Duplicators

Chatsworth, CA - February 3, 2009 - Aleratec Inc. launches the 1:5 HDD Cruiser - a 5 way hard disk drive duplicator and 6 way sanitizer for SATA drives combined in a single unit (ERP $1049).

The base unit is designed for 3.5" drives, but an optional $105 kit converts it over to 2.5" operation. Duplication speed is approximately 40MB/s. As an introductory promotion Aleratec is offering a free 3 way PATA disk duplicator to customers who buy the 5 way model this month. ...Aleratec profile, Disk Duplicators, Disk Sanitizers

Seagate Pre-Announces 2TB Hard Drive

Editor:- February 2, 2009 - Seagate today preannounced its Constellation hard drive - a 3.5" 2TB SAS model spinning at 7,200 RPM that will be available in Q3.

This follows hot on the heels of an announcement a few weeks ago that WD is actually shipping 2TB hard drives. Although the WD units are slower - it doesn't make much difference for most server apps - which will use SSDs to grease the dataflow anyway.

today's storage news

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Serial Attached SCSI readers click here for other storage news
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Looking Ahead to the 2009 SSD Market
Reviewing the main achievements and failures in the SSD market in 2008 - this article predicts the shape of things to come in 2009. It was the #1 most popular article viewed by readers in December 2008.
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SSD topics from A to Z

1.0" SSDs
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2.5" SSDs - all
2.5" PCI Express SSDs
3 contenders once threatened flash SSDs
3.5" SSDs
7 SSD types - all you need for enterprise
11 key symmetries in SSD design architecture
513 gone-away storage companies (2000-2009)

About the publisher -21 years of guides
Acquisitions in the SSD market - 2000 to 2013
Adaptive R/W flash management in SSDs
Advertising SSDs
After SSDs... what next?
Analysts - SSD market
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Architecture guide - storage
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Branding Strategies in the SSD market
Buyers Guide to SSDs

Calling for an end to SSD vs HDD IOPS
Can you tell me the best way to SSD Street?
Chips - storage interface / processors
Chips - SSD on a chip & DOMs
Cloud storage - with SSD twists
Consumer SSDs guide
Controller chips for SSDs

Cost of SSDs
CPU-SSD equivalency

Dark matter users in enterprise SSD
Data integrity in flash SSDs
Data Recovery - all
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Disruptive tech markets and SSD
DSP in flash SSD controller IP

Education - re SSDs
Efficiency - comparing SSD designs
Enterprise MLC SSDs - how safe?
Encryption - impacts in notebook SSDs
Endurance - in flash SSDs
Enter the SSD market - 3 easy ways
ExpressCard SSDs

Failure model flaws in SSDs
Fast purge / erase SSDs
Fastest SSDs
Fibre-Channel SSDs
FITs (failures in time) & SSDs
Flash Memory
Flash SSDs
flash SSD vs RAM SSD
Forecasts for SSD market

Garbage Collection - SSD jargon
Green storage

Hard disk drives
Heresies - SSDites don't agree fundamentals
High availability enterprise SSDs
History of data storage
History of SSD market
Hybrid Drives

Iceberg syndrome - invisible SSD capacity
Inanimate Power, Speed & Strength Metaphors
Industrial SSDs
InfiniBand SSDs
IOPS and flash SSDs - a problematic metric
IOPS Comparisons - SSDs and HDDs !@*#

Jargon - flash SSD

Legacy vs New Dynasty SSDs

Market research (all storage)
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Memory channel storage SSDs
military rugged SSDs
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News page
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Over-provisioning in flash SSDs

Petabyte SSD roadmap
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Rackmount SSDs
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Silos in the solid state datacenter
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Standards ORG directory
Surviving SSD sudden power loss
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Symmetry impacts in SSD behavior

Testing SSDs
Top 20 SSD companies
Transitions in the SSD market

User value propositions for buying SSDs

VC funds in storage
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Wear leveling
What's an SSD?
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