Editor:- June 30, 2009 - Despite the fact
that June's not yet over - pageviews of the
SSD buyers guide
this month are already 58% higher than a year ago.
the most popular subjects and articles this month can be seen, as usual, on the
storage market research
My new article on the
market is only 2 weeks old - but already in the top 20 articles viewed this
Looking ahead to July -
StorageSearch.com will publish a
new directory for
This is a market which has been in the so-called "emerging" state for
more than a decade. But due to the low capacity of commercially available
products, its use has been restricted to embedded markets in which no other
technology can do the job - such as car crash recorders in which the write speed
of flash is too slow, and
high mechanical forces have precluded the use of battery backed
bucks lure of the flash
SSD market has gotten the attention of MRAM developers. They're waking up to
the industry changing possibilities that could occur if they can deliver higher
capacity products. Over the next few years - this is one of several non volatile
memory technologies we'll be talking about more.
quarterly edition of the the
Top 10 SSD OEMs will be published after the holiday on July 7. That's got
a big surprise in it - which you'll see when it's published. It will reveal a
lot about the changing currents in the market - and the upwards (and
downwards) shifts in SSD search affinity.
Calls for Sponsors|
|Editor:- June 24,
2009 - the 9th annual Storage
Visions Conference is now open for presentations,
It will be held at the Riviera Hotel Convention Center
in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 5 & 6, 2010.
technologies that will be discussed include:- next generation
hard disk drive,
flash memory and
storage for content delivery networks and new storage-related standards that
will change the world. |
|According to conference
Coughlin - "The next decade will give us new tools to capture and
organize our lives, more content created by more people and more ways to
distribute, monetize and make that content useful. From cloud storage to
life-logs, from external direct attached and networked storage to the
increasingly high resolution content that we will surround ourselves with
wherever we go-we live in an age when the personal and collective memory of
humans will reach new levels."
Usefulness of Cheap SSDs with Virtual SAN Software|
24, 2009 -
of tests using entry level SSDs
virtual SAN software.
In an ESX environment of 8 servers with 1
SSD drive per server, IOmeter benchmark results showed 36,000 IOPS (random read
4K) for a system with an overall cost under $20K (including the cost of SSDs and
Exanodes VM Edition).
"'Traditional arrays have been designed to work efficiently with
spinning disks and can't give the promise of SSDs in terms of performance and
scalability for example," said Frank Gana, Business Development Director at
Seanodes. "This limits the usage and markets and as a consequence most
people use them as Direct Attached Storage with all the usual known problems
that come with DAS. Thanks to Exanodes and its innovative design we can
aggregate and use SSDs efficiently, opening new markets and applications to this
Editor's comments:- Seanodes says it's trying to
fix the problem of aggregating and sharing multiple low capacity, low cost
SSDs between servers without requiring special tuning skills. But I have to
say the quoted IOPS don't sound impressive to me compared to the
fastest SSDs. So
why wouldn't you use less servers and a better SSD instead?
many other competing solutions in the
rackmount SSD and
PCIe SSD market - I
suspect that Seanode's solution may only provide an economic price point for a
tiny fragment of possible applications - or none at all. There isn't enough
data in the press release to be sure.
Adaptec Ships Flash Cache Backup for RAID Controllers
June 24, 2009 -
announced the availability of
backup options for its SATA/SAS
Zero-Maintenance Cache Protection protects data stored in controller cache for
up to 10 years with no installation, monitoring, maintenance, disposal or
replacement costs unlike lithium batteries.
the industry's 1st flash cache backup module for RAID controllers was
announced in February
2009 by Viking
Phase Change Memory Designers Promised 2nd Source
June 23, 2009 - Numonyx
agreement with Samsung
Electronics to develop common specifications for
Change Memory (PCM) products.
Both companies expecting to have
compliant devices ("pin for pin" comatible) available next year.
Editor's comments:- some large oems prefer to have alternate
sources before designing in new chips. It was
insistence than Intel allow an official 2nd source for its x86 processors -
as part of the original Wintel PC design - which sowed the seeds for decades of
legal acrimony with AMD. (Intel and AMD didn't like each other much before that
Caringo Offers Free 4TB Cloud Storage Evaluation
June 23, 2009 - Caringo
it's offering a free way to evaluate the benefits of its cloud storage -
with the release of a Windows compatible CloudFolder linked to 4TB storage.
company says users can drag and drop individual files or whole directories to
CloudFolder for remote storage and can also make it a shared folder. Retrieving
files is as easy as double clicking on a file or folder.
CEO at Caringo says "We believe CloudFolder will inspire users to test and
deploy private cloud storage within an organization or throughout a network of
managed service customers."
Samsung Samples Netbook SSD
Editor:- June 23, 2009 -
sampling a SATA mini-card SSD for use in the expanding
marketplace with these key parameters:-
"The market is beginning to embrace a
smaller SSD for the
nascent netbook sector," said Jim Elliott, vp, memory marketing, Samsung
- footprint:- 30mm by 51mm by 3.75mm
- weight:- 8.5g
- capacity options:- 16GB, 32GB and 64GB
- R/W speeds:- 200MB/s and 100MB/s respectively
- power:- 0.3W
Cleveland Indians Fix Baseball Backup Headaches
June 23, 2009 -
today published a
case study which describes how the
Cleveland Indians migrated to
their backup software due to problems with Symantec.
Cleveland Indians were among one of the first teams in Major League Baseball to
develop a state-of-the-art video system to capture nearly 2,600 games
played by all teams throughout the season for use in training and advanced
scouting. According to the team it now takes less than 5 minutes to restore a
video clip that once took more than an hour to locate and retrieve. And admin
overhead has been cut from 45 minutes a day to less than 30 minutes a week.
Crossing the T's in STEC's SWOT
Editor:- June 23,
2009 - an article published yesterday in EnterpriseStorageForum.com
poses the question -
SSD Maker STEC Be Stopped?
As far as it goes - it makes some good points. But if you're
going to publish a
for STEC (or indeed any
other SSD company) you need a far deeper understanding of the currents swirling
around in the SSD market.
Because STEC's future success seems to be tied heavily to oems who use
its products in the server acceleration market, the main factors which
threaten that success are - in my view - the following:-
- PCI express SSD
While it's not intuitively obvious that PCIe SSDs compete head
to head with 2.5" SSDs
- the reality is they do. The growing search volume for PCIe SSDs - which
StorageSearch.com has been tracking in the past year indicates that PCIe SSDs
will be the main factor which limits the size and acceptance of DAS connected
small form factor SSDs in the server box.
- Outside the server box - in the
space - the market has moved beyond the traditional
RAM versus Flash
The new debate here is how the market will split
between the 2 main options:-
- proprietary flash SSDs (such as those made by
Texas Memory Systems,
and Violin Memory).
- arrays of Commercial Off The Shelf flash SSDs - such as those marketed
by EMC and
Sun Microsystems (who both
oem STEC's SSDs). But another scope for fragmentation within the COTS space
itself is the appearance of rackmount SSD arrays populated by COTS PCIe SSDs
such as Dolphin and
I have discussed in previous articles - I expect all these various
architectural forms to grow and prosper - rather than for any clear winners
to emerge in the near future. That's because users have widely different
profiles with respect to performance needs and risk tolerance - which no single
technology or vendor fits most economically.
To keep this
analysis short - I haven't gone into internal business factors such as cash
flow, logistics and supply chains. Any of these coming under stress could
impact STEC's ability to service increasing demands from its customers (even
without the external competitive threats listed above.) As you can see - the
picture and outlook for STEC (or any other SSD company) is far from clear and
certain. The market will decide - once it has absorbed and processed the
confusing range of
SSD choices on offer.
- Inside the 2.5" SSD market itself - there are many emerging point
products which can threaten STEC from a performance point of view.
I think the biggest 2.5" SSD threat comes from STEC's customers designing
their own SSDs (if they perceive that the small form factor SSD is indeed the
way they want to go). With more than
20 chip companies
offering the bits and pieces needed to design SSDs - and with the option of
mixing and matching acquisitions
with internal and external technology
it's getting easier.
The advantage to big server oems doing this - is that they can tailor products
which meet their exact needs - and add unique features which can't be easily
copied by their systems competitors. That's a much bigger threat to STEC than
its customers than them buying SSDs from companies using
controller (which was mentioned in the ESF article).
One useful way to see which SSD companies are
getting more interest or less interest from customers in the market is to
analyze changes in the quarterly
top 10 SSD companies
published by StorageSearch.com. The next edition will be published July 7.