image shows mouse building storage - click to see industrial SSDs article
industrial SSDs ..
top 10 SSD oems
top 10 SSD oems
read the article on SSD ASAPs

enterprise buyers guides since 1991

storage search
"leading the way to the new storage frontier"

SSD news - February 2009, week 3

Megabyte's selection of storage news
Megabyte loved reading news stories
about the storage market
... the Fastest SSDs
SSD news archive
the Top 10 SSD Companies
Are we there yet with SSDs?
RAM Cache Ratios in flash SSDs
3 Easy Ways to Enter the SSD Market
SSD Myths and Legends - "write endurance"
say farewell to reassuringly boring industrial SSDs
SSD ad - click for more info
Hyperstone Launches CF SSD Controller
Editor:- February 19, 2009 - Hyperstone launched a controller chip for oems designing industrial grade CF compatible SSDs.

The F4 provides safe power-fail handling, error detection and correction and static wear leveling. Data transfer rate to the attached flash memory array (16 chips) is upto 80MB/s. Sustained R/W via the CF interface is upto 50MB/s and 40MB/s respectively. Alternatively oems can add a SATA bridge, or RAID controller for other markets.
SSD controller block diagram

Viking Launches SSD Backup Module for RAID Cache

Editor:- February 18, 2009 - Viking Modular Solutions announced ArxCis-NV - a flash SSD based backup for cache memory in RAID controllers.

"Current technology of backing DRAM modules with batteries provides protection for approximately 72 hours and also brings a host of battery related issues to IT managers. ArxCis-NV products help eliminate these issues..." said Adrian Proctor, VP of Marketing for Viking Modular Solutions.

The ArxCis-NV is a JEDEC edge compatible registered DRAM module with ECC which can write to its associated embedded SSD at 80MB/s triggered by a drop in rail power. The module hold-up power (typically 10 to 15 seconds, depending upon DRAM density) is supplied by Supercapacitors, which only require 10 seconds to fully charge.

See also:- memory channel SSDs, flash backed DRAM DIMMs

Seagate Still Waiting for Legal Costs Related to Cornice Litigation

agrees to dismiss claims against STEC

Editor:- February 18, 2009 - a report today on says Seagate is suing its legal insurer for not paying in full the costs incurred in suing Cornice.

Cornice would have failed in the small form factor disk market anyway - even if it had won the case (which it didn't) - because of the price advantages of flash memory compared to low capacity HDDs.

A year ago Seagate's legal team fired a seemingly random warning shot at the SSD market - when it started proceedings against STEC.

Seagate today is in a desperate market situation. It dominates segments of the hard disk market which are rapidly going out of fashion. And it will most likely fail the SSD Challenge too.

When markets decline companies often switch the focus of business development activities from their marketers to their lawyers. But they still need to retain engineers to mine the gold (real or imagined) in their patent portfolios - or to build defences - because the grey suits can't do that on their own.

...Later:- February 19, 2009 STEC announced the mutual dismissal of the patent infringement lawsuit with Seagate Technology.

"This is an important development in light of the mass adoption of SSDs," said Manouch Moshayedi, chairman and CEO of STEC. "With Seagate having dropped its case against us, we believe the uniqueness of SSD design relative to traditional HDD technologies has been established. We have always contended that SSD does not borrow from existing hard-drive technology but rather offers an all-together new approach to storage. In addition, since STEC plays a major role in the proliferation of SSD technology, we view the dismissal as a vindication of our technology. We have a 15-year history of SSD design and development, over which time we have amassed strong SSD intellectual property. We have always maintained that the allegations brought against us by Seagate were without merit. With this case behind us, we can now optimize our resources to take full advantage of the market opportunities at hand."

ATTO Ships 16 Port 6Gb/s SAS PCIe Adapters

Editor:- February 18, 2009 - ATTO Technology today announced availability of its first 16-port 6Gb/s SAS PCIe Host Adapters - the ExpressSAS H60F.

Throughput is up to 600MB/s per port. OS compatibility includes Windows, Mac and Linux environments.

StorMagic Launches Virtual iSCSI SAN Manager

Editor:- February 18, 2009 - StorMagic today announced SvSAN - which helps small to mid-size organisations build a cost-effective virtual iSCSI SAN in just a few minutes.

The StorMagic SvSAN is designed to enable the deployment of a high-availability shared storage solution for VMware ESX environments for less than $2,000 allowing users to take advantage of enhanced server virtualisation functions without the need to purchase expensive shared storage. SvSAN supports upto 1,024 simultaneous sessions and 256 targets per appliance. For a limited time end-users can obtain a promo key for a free copy of SvSAN, with no expiration date.

Data Remanence vs Permanence - flash SSD's Jekyll & Hyde Personality

Editor:- February 18, 2009 - continuing the tradition of educating users about factors which they might want to think about when using SSDs in serious applications - will next week publish a new original article which looks at the flip sides of Data Remanence versus Permanence in flash SSDs.

How erased is a flash SSD when you over write the entire disk?

How long will the data in an MLC flash SSD stay uncorrupted - if you take care to manage endurance with world class wear leveling and write attenuation?

Stay tuned for some revealing answers.

COPAN Gets $18.5 million New Funding for Enterprise MAID

Editor:- February 17, 2009 - COPAN Systems announced it has secured$18.5 million in new capital financing.

The round was led by new investor Westbury Partners and includes participation from existing COPAN Systems investors Austin Ventures, Globespan Capital Partners, Firstmark Capital and Credit Suisse. The funding will help expand the company's product development, sales, marketing and channel efforts globally and build on its success in the enterprise data storage market.

"Increasing energy efficiency and reducing data center footprint are fundamental goals in the technology decisions of every company and government agency," said Mark Ward, president and CEO of COPAN Systems. "We've enabled our customers to dramatically increase the amount of digital assets stored online at a fraction of the cost of traditional disk storage vendor solutions."

Sun Proposes Standardizing Tape Storage Encryption

Editor:- February 17, 2009 - Sun Microsystems today announced an open source initiative for removable storage encryption in Solaris environments.

This is based on the key manager which Sun already uses in some of its Tape Libraries.

Toshiba Hopes Fujitsu's HDD IP will Fast Track New Server SSDs

Editor:- February 17, 2009 - it was confirmed today that Fujitsu plans to transfer its hard disk drive business to Toshiba.

The companies aim to complete the transaction in the first quarter of fiscal 2009. Fujitsu will facilitate the transfer by bringing its HDD-related businesses and functions together in a new company. Toshiba will acquire about an 80% stake in this company and make it a Toshiba Group subsidiary. In order to promote a smooth transfer, Fujitsu will continue to hold a stake of under 20% in the new company for a certain period of time, after which it will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Toshiba.

Toshiba anticipates this will ease its entry into the enterprise HDD market where Fujitsu is currently a leader. Toshiba also plans to marry its flash SSD technology with Fujitsu's HDD IP to spawn new enterprise SSDs .

DTS Launches Fastest 3.5" SATA flash SSD

Editor:- - February 17, 2009 - DTS today announced availability of the fastest 3.5" SATA SSD - the Platinum HDD 2009 model.

Internally it has a 1GB RAM SSD which operates as a non volatile RAM cache for an internal flash SSD (320GB to 512GB). Aimed at server acceleration applications performance is 25,000 R/W IOPS, read speed is 250MB/s, and write speed is upto 240MB/s. DTS says the huge nv cache also attenuates writes (the opposite of write amplification) - thereby reducing flash wear by x10 to x400 compared to conventional flash SSDs.

Editor's comments:-
in my article Predicting Future Flash SSD Performance I noted how having a non volatile RAM cache is a key architectural factor in flash SSD tune ups.

In the rackmount SSD segment the RamSan-500 from Texas Memory Systems (launched September 2007) and in the 2.5" form factor the ESSD from Memoright are other examples of this type of implementation.

DTS's original Platinum drive (launched a year ago) was a hard disk / RAM SSD hybrid. The new 2009 model benefits from the faster IOPS performance which stems from embedding a flash SSD instead of HDD. It also builds on the experience of refining the internal cache which accelerates many types of server app - without any modification to the application software. You just install it like a hard drive. DTS says it's particularly good for VMware and similar multiple client environments. Their website includes comparative benchmarks.

Petabyte NAS for Gas has Small Footprint

Editor:- Landmark announced today the immediate availability of its PetroStor disk storage platform, which provides petabytes of online capacity for users with large seismic data sets in the oil and gas exploration markets.

Combining enterprise-class storage from NetApp with real-time compression from Storewize, the PetroStor costs less than $1,000 per terabyte. Landmark can help users migrate their archives from tape to disk and also index files according to their specific architecture, as well as incorporate metadata that makes users' files easy to find in their ever-growing libraries of data.

"The traditional tape model is cumbersome and it restricts an organization's ability to make timely, informed decisions," said Patrick Rogers, VP of Solutions Marketing at NetApp. "With the PetroStor storage solution, customers can keep all their data on enterprise disk storage - providing fast, efficient and reliable access to data and thereby enhancing their decision-making process while also eliminating the financial and operational burdens of tape."

earlier storage news

SSD ad - click for more info
Serial Attached SCSI  ssds
Megabyte had already mastered serial SCSI
for RPM storage - so SAS SSDs were a breeze.
read the article about SSD integrity written by SandForce
Data Integrity Challenges in flash SSD Design
Editor:- - has published a new article called - Data Integrity Challenges in flash SSD Design - written by Kent Smith Senior Director, Product Marketing, SandForce.

Since bursting onto the SSD scene in April 2009, SandForce has achieved remarkably high reader popularity. How did a company whose business is designing SSD controllers achieve this? - especially when the direct market for its products today numbers less than 1,000 oems.

The answer is - that if you want to know what the future of 2.5" enterprise SATA SSDs might look like -you have to look at the leading technology cores that will affect this market. Even if you're not planning to use SandForce based products yourself - you can't afford to ignore them - because they are setting the agenda.

Reliability is the next new thing for SSD designers and users to start worrying about.
read the article about SSD integrity A common theme you will hear from all fast SSD companies is that the faster you make an SSD go - the more effort you have to put into understanding and engineering data integrity to eliminate the risk of "silent errors." the article
Top 20 Storage Articles on

The top 20 most popular articles on in February 2009 - were as follows...
  1. the Solid State Disks Buyers Guide
  2. War of the Disks: Hard Disk Drives vs. Flash SSDs
  3. the Fastest SSDs
  4. SSD Myths and Legends - "write endurance"
  5. the Top 10 SSD OEMs
  6. NAS, DAS or SAN? - Choosing the Technology
  7. RAM SSDs versus Flash SSDs - which is Best?
  8. the Benefits of SAS for External Subsystems
  9. Flash Memory vs. Hard Disks - Which Will Win?
  10. Looking Ahead to the 2009 SSD Market
  11. Are MLC SSDs Ever Safe in Enterprise Apps?
  12. Understanding Flash SSD Performance (pdf)
  13. Z's Laws - Predicting Future Flash SSD Performance
  14. A Storage Architecture Guide
  15. What's a Solid State Disk?
  16. Can you trust flash SSD specs & SSD benchmarks?
  17. Unrealistic SSD vs HDD IOPS Comparisons
  18. LVD, SE, HVD, SCSI compatibility - or lack of it
  19. the 10 biggest storage companies in 2012?
  20. SSD Market History
SSD ad - click for more info
Flashbacks from Storage History

1 year ago - Feb 2008 - HD DVD Retires Early - Toshiba pulled the plug on its HD DVD standard conceding the removable optical disk platform war to Blu-ray.

But as I said many years earlier - web downloads of video content will eventually make Blu-ray's victory irrelevant

2 years ago - Feb 2007 - STEC Divests RAM Business to Focus on SSDs - it seemed like a good move at the time, and looks even better now, as commodity memory businesses (both RAM and flash) are struggling to survive.

3 years ago - Feb 2006 - HP Ousts Fiorina - (HP effectively sacked its CEO). I commented that HP's marketing was rubbish - for which she had to take full share of the blame.

...Later:- in March 2008 I read Carly Fiorina's book - Tough Choices - and became more sympathetic to the problems she had faced shaking up the neanderthals in HP's caves / tribal business units.

5 years ago - Feb 2004 - Cornice Secures $51 Million in Venture Funding - that was the start of a doomed effort to create a new miniature hard disk company.

...Later:- Cornice was slammed by patent suits from the hard disk barons.

But even without those setbacks - they were barking up the wrong tree. This segment of the hard disk market was the 1st to surrender to flash.

6 years ago - Feb 2003 - world's first terabyte class SSDs announced

Concurrent announcements from Imperial Technology and Texas Memory Systems that you could buy such things (for around $2 million) were of great interest to a small hard core of our readers who actually went out and bought them.

...Later:- in January 2009 - pureSilicon said it's sampling a terabyte flash SSD in 2.5" form factor. Nevertheless the performance of those 2003 vintage SSDs (2 million IOPS) is still hard to beat today.

8 years ago - Feb 2001 - 1st Mention ofSerial ATA /SATA

A whole bunch of new storage interfaces were being launched at around that time. SATA was the fastest to get adopted, and became the most successful in the market.
SSD ad - click for more info

storage search banner

storage history (1949 till last week) STORAGEsearch SPARC Product Directory ACSL - the publisher