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SSD & storage news - March 2009, week 2

see also:- SSD market history
Solid Access Technologies Wins Best of FOSE Award for Storage
Editor:- March 12, 2009 - Solid Access Technologies was named one of just 14 companies to win the Government Computer News Best of FOSE Awards for 2009.

Solid Access was singled out by the editors of GCN for its USSD 200 Model SPO - a 16GB RAM based SSD which costs less than $10,000.

Dolphin Launches PCIe Rackmount SSD

Editor:- March 12, 2009 - Dolphin launched the StorExpress a rackmount SLC flash SSD with upto 960GB capacity.

The PCIe connected SSD has R/W throughput upto 2,700MB/s and 50 microsecond access latency. Dolphin quotes a figure of 270,000 IOPS but the initial datasheet doesn't break out IOPS figures for reads and writes. The StorExpress can be located upto 10m from the host bus using copper cable and 300m with optical fibre.

After SSDs? - Predicting the Storage Market's Next Obsession

Editor:- March 12, 2009 - has published a new article - After SSDs... What Next?

It looks beyond the next 3 years of hoopla in the SSD market and predicts what will be the next "big thing" in storage after that. the article, SSD market research & analysts

SSD Bookmarks from SiliconSystems

Editor:- March 12, 2009 - SiliconSystems' VP of Product Planning, Gary Drossel - shares his SSD Bookmarks today on the home page of

Coincidentally SiliconSystems announced today that it has shipped over 4 million SiliconDrives integrated with its SiSMART technology.

STEC Reports 20% Annual Revenue Growth

Editor:- March 12, 2009 - STEC announced that its revenue in 2008 had grown 20% year on year to $227.4 million.

STEC's CEO - Manouch Moshayedi - said "Based on current customer indications and momentum, we believe that revenue from our ZeusIOPS product line - for just the first 6 months of 2009 - will surpass the total of ZeusIOPS revenue ($53 million) achieved during the full-year 2008."

Fusion-io Raises the PCIe SSD Ceiling - Announces ioDrive Duo

Editor:- March 11, 2009 - Fusion-io announced an enhanced version of its ioDrive - called the ioDrive Duo which will ship next month.

Capacity of this PCIe SSD has doubled to 640GB with 1.2TB planned for the 2nd half of 2009. Performance has been enhanced too. The ioDrive Duo can easily sustain 1.5 Gbytes/sec of read bandwidth. Read IOPS performance is 186,000 (4k packet size). Write IOPS reaches 167,000 (4k packet size).

Fusion-io says the performance for multiple ioDrive Duos scales linearly, allowing any enterprise to scale performance to 6Gbytes/s of read bandwidth and over 500,000 read IOPS by using just 4 drives.

Data integrity and reliability have been engineered into the design at many levels providing triple redundancy for a single storage component. These factors include:-
  • Multi-bit error detection and correction
  • Patent-pending Flashback protection, offering chip-level N+1 redundancy and on-board self-healing so that no servicing is required
  • Optional RAID-1 mirroring between two ioMemory modules's SSD market model suggests that the market opportunity for PCIe SSDs (in server acceleration roles) is as large in revenue as the total market for 2.5" SSDs . There are enough competing alternative vendors in the PCIe SSD market today to minimize the risks for end-users and systems integrators - who choose this route for their SSD speedups.

Sun Launches Flash SSD Analyzer Tool to Boost Server Sales and Performance

Editor:- March 11, 2009 -Sun Microsystems launched its new Sun Flash Analyzer - a free Java tool to help users determine how much their (Solaris, Windows and Linux) servers could benefit from SSD acceleration.

The company also launched a try before you buy marketing promotion for its servers which have Sun branded 2.5" SLC flash SSDs pre-integrated. The 32GB SATA SSDs have sequential R/W upto 250MB/s and 170MB/s respectively. Random R/W IOPS are upto 35,000 and 3,300 respectively (4k blocks). Endurance is 3 years - assuming max write speed and 100% write duty cycle.

Viking Launches SATA Cube SSD............
Editor:- March 10, 2009 - Viking Modular Solutions has launched the SATA Cube - a miniature flash SSD which provides upto 256GB capacity in a small 30x32mm footprint.
Sustained R/W speeds are 110MB/s and 79MB/s respectively. It's available as a BGA device or with a MicroSATA connector.

"The SATA Cube3 is an ideal solution for OEMs that require the benefits of non-volatile solid state storage and SATA performance in an ultra small form factor," said Adrian Proctor, VP of Marketing for Viking Modular Solutions.

Viking says that designers of card based SSDs on form factors such as AMC, XMC, PMC and PCIe will find the low volumetric density and high storage capacity of the SATA Cube a strong candidate for their space constrained application. See also:- BGA SSDs
... SATA Cube SSD

Spectra Launches Highest Density Tape Library

FOSE 2009, Washington D.C. - March 10, 2009 - Spectra Logic today announced the T680 - the first tape library which stores a full petabyte of data in a single rack .

It supports 12 full-height tape drives and 680 tape cartridges. Interface connections include - FC, SCSI or iSCSI. Throughput is 10.4TB/Hour (compressed ) with LTO-4 drives and media. Pricing for a 50-slot T680 with 4x LTO-4 drives, BlueScale Encryption with key management and a 1 year standard warranty begins at $67,780.

"The T680 offers the highest density and most energy efficiency in a single rack" said Nathan Thompson, Spectra Logic's CEO. "...It promises total media security and complete library reliability, with features that eliminate backup failures caused by dirty or overused tape media. Spectra Logic is confident that the T680 will obsolete thousands of storage systems installed in data centers today." ...Spectra Logic profile, Tape Libraries, Record Breaking Storage

RRAM Steps Closer to Commercial Fabs

Editor:- March 10, 2009 - 4DS announced additional funding as part of a multi-million dollar equity investment to port its RRAM technology to existing semiconductor fabs.

"PPP's investment during a very tepid investment climate is testimony to the strength of our technology and strategy," said Kurt Pfluger, CEO of 4DS, Inc. "We have demonstrated the leaps in performance, flexibility and cost from our proprietary process that will help enable a variety of compelling future memory applications. With this additional investment from PPP, we are better positioned to bring this technology to market." See also:- 3 things that could have killed flash SSDs, flash and other nv memory

LSI Announces SSD Aware RAID Features

Editor:- March 10, 2009 - LSI has announced better support for flash SSDs in the latest update to its MegaRAID SAS adapters.

LSI calls this feature SSD Guard - which can anticipate some types of flash SSD failures in RAID 0 configurations and starts rebuilding data on a spare unit.

Seanodes Seeks Beta Sites for Clustered iSCSI SAN Software

Boston, Mass. - March 10, 2009 - Seanodes today announced a Beta version of its Exanodes software for Microsoft Windows Server 2008, enabling these users to repurpose commoditized or existing hardware as an iSCSI SAN.

Exanodes allows fast rebuilds thanks to an intelligent, innovative approach that distributes the RAID set across multiple network nodes and minimizes the risk of a second disk failure during the rebuild window. ...Seanodes profile, SAN software ISVs, iSCSI

TMS Joins the Surging Tide for PCI Express SSDs

Editor:- March 10, 2009 - Texas Memory Systems today unveiled a PCIe SSD that will ship in Q2 2009.

The RamSan-20 has 450GB of RAID protected SLC flash with 80 microseconds latency. R/W bandwidth is 700MB/s and 500MB/s respectively. Sustained IOPS are:- 120,000 random read, and 50,000 random write. Endurance is rated at 12 years (assuming 25% continuous writes). List price is about $18,000.

With the number of PCIe SSD oems already in double digits and expected to go north of 30 in 2010, I asked TMS's President, Woody Hutsell what was different about their offering?

He agreed with my observation that the technical barriers to entering this market are low. But he said that unlike most other PCIe SSD vendors - this is the 14th generation of SSD for TMS and they already have 18 months of customer experience with flash SSDs in the most demanding server applications with their earlier RamSan-500. The implication being - their new flash SSD will work in enterprise accelerator apps - without nasty surprises - and TMS knows what to tell the customers who need tuning advice. They've been training up additional technical support people to cope with the anticipated ramp in questions from new customers.

Woody Hutsell also said the new RamSan-20 has a very low server load footprint which enables users to realistically configure multiple units, and the onboard controller ensures that no data will be lost in the event of a power outage or server crash. (In some enterprise flash SSD array designs the controller functions such as flash block remapping are done by the host server - which theoretically could result in data corruption if the host CPU is abruptly terminated.)

As has already reported - reader interest in PCI Express SSDs has surged in the past 9 months. If that translates into buying behavior - there will be more than enough business for the companies in the market.

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Aleratec Launches High Volume USB Flash Duplicators

Chatsworth, CA - March 10, 2009 - Aleratec Inc. announces 2 new USB flash duplicators.

Both the 27 way model (ESP $3,799) and 118 way model (ESP $15,749) can copy up to 33MB/s. Aleratec's President and CEO, Perry Solomon says - "The performance of the duplicators is not degraded when simultaneously copying large numbers flash drives, a common shortcoming in most USB flash drive duplicators." ...Aleratec profile, Disk Duplicators

SSD Bookmarks from a Flash SSD Pioneer

Editor:- March 10, 2009 - BiTMICRO's CEO - Rey Bruce - shares his SSD Bookmarks today on the home page of

Lots of flash SSD companies nowadays like to call themselves "pioneers". In this case it's true, and the choice of label was my own. BiTMICRO launched an 18GB 3.5" flash SSD 10 years ago - in 1999. See also:- SSD Market History

Samsung Announces 40nm Geometry for Flex-OneNAND

Seoul, Korea - March 10, 2009 - Samsung Electronics - today announced that it has begun using 40nm process technology to produce an 8Gb Flex-OneNAND fusion memory chip.

Flex-OneNAND incorporates SLC and MLC NAND on a single piece of silicon, allowing application designers to choose the portion of SLC and MLC NAND storage to be used in any particular design through a simple adjustment to the accompanying software. This maximizes the performance and efficiency of the embedded flash chip. storage chips, Hybrid Drives

Seagate Demos 6Gbps SATA Prototype Hard Drive

SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. - March 9, 2009 - Seagate and AMD will collaborate in the first public demonstration of 6Gbps SATA storage this week at a conference in New Orleans.

The demo features 2 Seagate SATA disk drives - one a shipping Barracuda 7200.12 3Gb/second hard drive and the other a prototype Barracuda 6Gbps drive - in a desktop PC to show the performance difference between the 2 generations. The PC is powered by an AMD prototype SATA 6Gb/second chipset. The Seagate SATA 3Gb/second drive runs at more than 2.5Gbps and the SATA 6Gb/second drive at 5.5Gbps with the performance of each storage interface displayed on the PC monitor. ...Seagate profile, storage chips

Pillar Launches Axiom SSD Brick

Editor:- March 9, 2009 - Pillar Data Systems launched the Axiom SSD Brick, a storage module with upto 12 Intel SSDs which is compatible with Pillar's distributed RAID systems.

Pillar's application aware QoS software dynamically chooses storage types (SSD, FC-HDD, or SATA-HDD) and tunes performance to satisfy quality of service priorities based on user selections for each type of application.

Olixir Announces DataVault Support for FIPS 140-2

Washington, D.C. - March 9, 2009 - Olixir Technologies announced it will add new security features to its family of DataVault hard drives in Q2 2009.

This will make them fully-compliant with the requirements outlined in the Federal Information Processing Standards FIPS 140-2.

Incorporating an advanced set of security features including anti-virus, anti-malware and encryption agents, which have already been approved by the DOD DARTT Team, Olixir's external drives will meet all criteria to be connected via USB cables to U.S. Department of Defense networked computers. This comprehensive security capability will be resident on the Mobile DataVault products and run independently of the host computer to proactively protect the drive and the network from malware and virus infections. ...Olixir Technologies profile, Storage Security

OCZ Joins the PCIe SSD Crowd

Editor:- March 9, 2009 - OCZ Technology Group unveiled a PCIe SSD last week at CeBIT.

The Z Drive uses MLC flash and has 1TB capacity. According to a show report on Tom's Hardware - R/W speed is 600MB/s and 500MB/s respectively.

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what do I need to know about any new rackmount SSD?
better thinking inside the box - new directions in SSD racks
Bottlenecks in the pure SSD datacenter will be more serious

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