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Storage news - July 2009, week 4

Megabyte's selection of storage news
Megabyte loved reading news stories
about the storage market
... the fastest SSDs
the SSD Buyers Guide
the Top 10 SSD Companies
What's the best / cheapest PC SSD?
SSD Pricing - where does all the money go?
Write IOPS - inflation problems in flash SSDs
SSDs - what to tell your friends about this strange obsession
Rivals Race to Unplug Sun's Storage Base

Editor:- July 31, 2009 - an article in Infoworld says Sun Microsystems' customers are being targeted by IBM and HP who are preying on customers' doubts about Sun's long term hardware strategies under Oracle's ownership.

Author Jon Brodkin writes - "Sun customers were already showing a willingness to switch" - even before these targeted Sun-away campaigns. the article, SPARC Product Directory

Introducing - Fat, Regular, Skinny SSDs

Editor:- July 28, 2009 - today proposed new terms to describe - RAM Cache Ratios in flash SSDs.

It is hoped that the new classification jargon will be useful to users who have to evaluate lots of products, and useful to vendors as a shorthand when communicating about different segments within their flash SSD product lines. the article

WD Remains Profitable

Editor:- July 28, 2009 - Western Digital said its annual revenue declined 7% in the year ending July 3 to $7.5 billion compared to the previous year.

Net income was $470 million.

"In a challenging time for the worldwide economy and the hard drive industry, WD maintained profitability and stayed cash flow positive throughout the fiscal year," said John Coyne, president and chief executive officer. "Our fiscal 2009 and June quarter results demonstrate customers' ongoing preference for WD products based on their exceptional quality, reliability and availability, as well as the continued effectiveness of the WD business model and the passion, nimbleness and capabilities of the WD team."

Editor's comments:- analysts and commentators will naturally compare these results to those announced last week by Seagate.

In my view WD's better comparative business performance is partly due to the successful outcome (due to a combination of good judgment and luck) of long term strategic decisions during the past several years about which segments of the hard disk market to engage in and which parts not to.

With the benefits of hindsight WD has demonstrated that competitive market analysis and modeling are as important as the technical ability to fill online catalogs with products. Anticipating what people want is what counts. But that's easier said than done. Because the strategic plans and investments have to be made sometimes years before customers can articulate their own needs.

Micron Solidifies PCIe SSD Plans

Editor:- July 27, 2009 - IDT announced it was working with Micron to develop a commercial PCIe flash SSD for the server market.

Micron had previously tested market reaction by unveiling a prototype PCIe SSD (with 800MB/s R/W speeds) in November 2008.


Editor:- July 27, 2009 - Curtiss-Wright launched the VPX3-FSM a rugged 256GB encrypted SLC flash SSD in a 3U VPX form factor module.

Aimed at integrators in the aerospace and defense markets, the conduction-cooled SSD can be configured to appear to the host as 4 separate 64GB SATA drives or as a single drive with hardware RAID0 support. It's rated at 160MB/s memory R/W when configured as RAID0, and 75MB/s per port in a JBOD configuration.

WD's 2.5" TB USB HDD

Editor:- July 27, 2009 -Western Digital is shipping a new 3 platter, 2.5" terabyte mobile hard drive.

The WD Scorpio Blue is 12.5 mm high, has a USB interface and costs $249.99

TPC-H with Fusion-io SSDs in Dell Results

Editor:- July 27, 2009 - Fusion-io today announced today the results of TPC-H benchmark tests sponsored by, and running on, Dell servers, and audited by Performance Metrics, Inc.

The tested system achieved 28,772 QphH (Query-per-Hour Performance Metric) on a 100GB database, at a cost of $1.47 per database transaction. (The typical 3 year cost of ownership for the whole system including software is quoted as $41,998.)

These results (which Fusion-io says are comparable to a 160 hard disk drive based system) were accomplished using a single Dell PowerEdge T610 server equipped with 4x Fusion-io 80GB ioDrives, and 8 hard drives, running Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition x64 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Enterprise Edition x64.

"At a cost-per-transaction, inclusive of the server, software licensing and storage, the Fusion-io solution, which used solid-state technologies, reduced the cost of database transactions by almost half," said David Flynn, CTO, Fusion-io.

Paul Prince, CTO, Dell Enterprise Product Group said "In the past, high-performance SSDs were simply too cost-prohibitive to be taken seriously and these results (using off-the-shelf products) confirmed that such configurations are a very real consideration for many applications in enterprise IT solutions."

Report Senses New Ways to Tap MLC

Editor:- July 24, 2009 - Forward Insights has published a market report - Key NAND Flash Memory Design IP (price is $9,999).

Technical innovations in NAND flash memory design are key enablers of MLC flash memories, especially 3 and 4 bit-per-cell technologies.

The report identifies important intellectual property related to sensing architectures, source voltage noise compensation, programming algorithms, disturbs reduction, temperature compensation, high voltage switch, coding schemes and error correction codes from Hynix, Micron, Samsung, SanDisk, STMicroelectronics and Toshiba.

The author, Luca Crippa is an MLC flash memory designer with more than 10 years of experience and is the author/co-author of 20 U.S. patents. SSD analysts , SSD IP, XLC Disk (spoof)

Overland's New Marketing VP

Editor:- July 22, 2009 - Overland Storage today announced the appointment of Jillian Mansolf as VP of worldwide sales and marketing.

Previously, Mansolf served as senior VP of sales and marketing at Data Robotics. Prior to that, she held various executive positions at Motion Computing, Maxtor and Dell. At Snap Appliance, Mansolf played a pivotal role in doubling sales and establishing the company as the worldwide NAS volume market leader. Storage People, Disk backup
SSD ad - click for more info
SSD ad - click for more info
the problem with flash SSD  write IOPS
the Problem with Write IOPS - in flash SSDs
This article explains why some specs are
exaggerated or predict the wrong results.
SSD Pricing - where does all the money go?
SSDs are among the most expensive computer hardware products you will ever buy.

Understanding the factors which determine SSD costs is often a confusing and irritating process...
Clarifying SSD Pricing - where does all the money go? - click to read the article ...not made any easier when market prices for identical capacity SSDs can vary more than 100x to 1! Why is that? the article
SSD ad - click for more info
What's the best / cheapest - PC SSD?
Editor:- I often get emails from readers which ask the above question.

An article on - called What's the best / cheapest PC SSD? - is my attempt to create a simple FAQs page - which answers the question...
click to read this article ...of why I can't answer your question - and follows on to pose some probing questions which you can ask yourself. the article
the fastest SSDs

Speed isn't everything, and it comes at a price.........
But if you do need the speediest SSD then wading through the web sites of over 180 current SSD oems to shortlist products slows you down.

And the SSD search problem will get even worse as we head towards a market with over 1,000 SSD oems.
the fastest SSDs  sorted by interface and form factor - click to read article ... Relax - I've done the research. And this whizzy wish list is updated daily from storage news and direct contacts from oems. the article,
What's the best way to design a flash SSD?

and other questions which divide SSD opinion
More than 10 key areas of fundamental disagreement within the SSD industry are discussed in an article here on called the the SSD Heresies.
click to read the article - the SSD Heresies ... Why can't SSD's true believers agree upon a single coherent vision for the future of solid state storage? the article

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