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storage history - January 2009, week 3

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Asempra Announces a New Way to Instantly Rollback and Resume 24/7 Windows Apps
Santa Clara, Calif. - January 20, 2009 - Asempra Technologies today introduced its Business Continuity Appliance.

Designed for Microsoft environments the 2U rackmount iSCSI / FC SAN appliance (price $30,000) provides a Terabyte of storage which can be rolled back to any recovery point (with second by second resolution) and deliver data to applications within 30 seconds of a rollback being initiated, instead of hours or days with traditional D2d or tape backup systems. And unlike clustered servers or HA storage (which merely provide data continuity) Asempra's BCS can instantly restart from your chosen "good" data set - before a virus or software corruption occurred.

Editor's comments:-
$30,000 seemed like a steep price for a disk backup / recovery system - so I asked more about it. One of the problems with this product is terminology. It sounds like a lot of other storage solutions - but is actually a different class of storage. The technical stuff on Asempra's site is clear and you will quickly recognize if it's the right product for your type of application. Like RAM SSDs - it's not for everybody.

RamSan SSD Revenue Grew 20% in 2008

Houston, Texas - January 20, 2009 - Texas Memory Systems today announced that revenue from sales of its RamSan line of SSD products grew 20% in 2008.

The company also recorded record 4th quarter sales.

"We feared the global financial crisis and increasing competition would have a bigger impact on our 2008 results," said Woody Hutsell, Executive VP at TMS. "However, our solid state disks are often used in mission-critical applications and, in such applications, customers value Texas Memory Systems' engineering experience and 30-year longevity. Savvy IT managers will always be reluctant to put their critical data on a first generation product, whether it comes from a Fortune 500 company or a venture-funded startup."

"We are cautiously optimistic about 2009," continued Mr. Hutsell. "Solid state disks are an important part of modern telecommunications systems, financial exchanges, national defense systems and 'green IT' initiatives which are likely to benefit from new government investment. Additionally, a solid state disk can cost-effectively extend the life of existing IT infrastructure allowing cash-strapped IT managers to postpone major purchases." ...Texas Memory Systems profile

Editor's comments:-
while 20% annual revenue growth is indeed impressive - it nevertheless represents a slow down for TMS, which in some earlier years had reported growth rates between 45% and 80%.

One factor may be that in the past year the server acceleration market has become very competitive. Nearly 30 oems market rackmount SSDs - and if you add in the SSD speedsters from the 2.5" and PCI Express SSD markets you'll easily tot up more than 40 companies seriously competing in the space where Texas Memory Systems operates. Given those factors - and the recession - 20% revenue growth for TMS indicates a strong brand and product line.

In my article - Is the SSD Market Recession-Proof? (published July 2008) - I said "Overall a recession will be good for vendors of faster server oriented SSDs (both flash and RAM based) - but a recession will be bad for vendors of notebook SSDs." My many recent discussions with SSD vendors (and the press release from TMS today) seem to confirm this.

Austin Semiconductor Announces Smallest Mil Temp 4.8Gb DDR2

Austin, Texas - January 19, 2009 - Austin Semiconductor, Inc. announced volume availability of a new mil temp DDR2 memory device.

Packaged in a 16mm x 23mm, 208 ball BGA with a ball pitch of 1.00mm, the 4.8Gb device is organized as 64M x 72 and offers performance benchmarks up to 667Mbps data rate while operating within the Mil-Temperature range of -55 to +125 degrees C, which makes it ideal for hi-reliability applications. The 208 PBGA offers 61% space savings, 55% I/O reduction, reduced part count and reduced trace lengths for lower parasitic capacitance.

"With 208 PBGA we continue to expand our product line of high performance highly integrated iPEMs (Integrated Plastic Encapsulated Microcircuits). The AS4DDR264M72PBG1 is our smallest device in the 4.8Gb product offering and will continue to drive towards smaller, lower power and more reliable memory products using our integration process" says Frank Muscolino, VP of Business Development. ...Austin Semiconductor profile, storage chips, Military & Rugged Storage

Hitachi GST Attracts Magnetic CTO

SAN JOSE, Calif. - January 19, 2009 - Hitachi Global Storage Technologies today announced the appointment of Steven Campbell to the position of Chief Technology Officer.

As the top technology executive for Hitachi GST, Steven will play a strategic role in the company's future direction and business growth.

Steven has 30 years of experience in the electronics and data storage industry, having served in senior executive roles at Western Digital and technology management roles at Quantum and HP. Most recently he was CEO of Innotek Limited and its subsidiary Magnecomp Precision Technology, a strategic component supplier to major hard drive companies (which was acquired by TDK in 2007). ...Hitachi profile, Storage People

Dress Down Jeans Less Risky than Smart Suits - Implies Survey

Editor:- January 19, 2009 - Dry Cleaners are becoming an unintended potential recycling point for USB storage - according to a report today from CREDANT Technologies.

In a phone survey of 500 laundries in the UK - CREDANT found that on average 2 USB sticks were found each year by each site. Dry cleaners in the suburbs, on the commuter belt or based in city centres find the most USB or memory sticks. One dry cleaner in the heart of the City of London said he is getting an average of 1 USB stick every 2 weeks, another said he had found at least 80 in the past year.

Extrapolating from this sample, the company estimates the UK annual figure for USB storage left at dry cleaners to be over 9,000.

Are Brits more forgetful than others? Or does this show that wearing casual clothes (which can be processed in your own washing machine) presents a lower security risk than formal suits. See also:- Disk Sanitizers

Article Suggests - You Wash Backup Cares Right Out of Your Hair

Editor:- January 15, 2009 - AjaxWorld magazine has published an article called - "Taking Backup and Recovery Management off IT's To-Do List."

Author Bill Watson argues that outsourcing the responsibility for recovering data is a better idea for many organizations than doing it in-house. Coincidentally this is just the kind of service his company (Symantec Managed Backup Services) sells.

See also the classic (2001) article:- Developing a Disaster Recovery Procedure - by BakBone Software which concluded "A Disaster Recovery Plan usually cannot be written by the IT Deparment alone and should not be created for a given computer or data center. Typically, effective Disaster Recovery plans are a long-term project... "

A contra argument I suggest is that backup and data recovery are too important to entrust to a single external service provider. In the interests of data survivability you need diverse providers of this service (internal as well as external) just as you need diverse backup locations and media types.

Where did my headline come from? - Listen to the song on I'm gonna wash that man right out of my hair

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PCIe SSDs Set the Controls for the Heart of the Server
Editor:- January 16, 2009 - disclosed that pageviews for PCI Express SSDs had overtaken 1.8" SSDs during the first half of January.

"Interest in PCIe SSDs is definitely on the rise" said editor Zsolt Kerekes.

"This was the 4th most popular SSD form factor viewed by readers in December 2008, and is now the 3rd. Vendors of PCIe SSDs have often claimed this is a more natural fit for server acceleration than traditional storage networks or storage interfaces. As the credit crunch squeezes the fat out of server replacement budgets - more users will look at SSDs as an alternative way of doing more for less."

See also:- Pink Floyd (1973) video Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun

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Now we're seeing new trends in pricing flash arrays which don't even pretend that you can analyze and predict the benefits using technical models.
Exiting the Astrological Age of Enterprise SSD Pricing