image shows Megabye the mouse reading scroll - click to see the top 30 solid state drive articles
popular SSD articles ...
image shows megabyte waving the winners trophy - there are over 200 SSD oems - which ones matter? - click to read article
top SSD companies ..
Notebook SSDs
Notebook SSDs ..

enterprise buyers guides since 1991

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

SandForce SSD processors - click for more info
the award winning silicon driving leading SSDs
up to 500MB/s & 60,000 IOPS
from SandForce

storage news - November 2009, week 1

storage news
I'm too old to do that chimney stunt again
this year thought Megabyte hopefully.
Wrong again!
... the SSD Bookmarks
flash SSD Jargon Explained
the Top 10 SSD Companies
RAM Cache Ratios in flash SSDs
Bad block management in flash SSDs
New way of looking at Enterprise SSDs
Data Integrity Challenges in flash SSD Design
How Bad is the Fallout from Choosing the Wrong SSD Supplier?
SSD ad - click for more info
Reports Confirm Weakness of STEC's Channel to Market

Editor:- November 6, 2009 - STEC has disclosed that its biggest customer, EMC, hasn't sold as many of its SSDs as expected - and will carry inventory into 2010.

If this was a surprise to anyone it's only because they didn't read my analysis (published April 1, 2009) which appeared in the 8th quarterly edition of the top 10 SSD oems and was repeated in my comments in STEC's profile page.

I said - "Although STEC has been successful in getting its products designed into storage arrays by large storage oems such as EMC - STEC's partners have not added enough value or IP to their own rackmount SSD offerings.

Consequently these "STEC inside" SSD systems are weak in comparison to many competing systems which are faster or cheaper (due to better leveraged SSD technology). In the view of - STEC relies too much on market pull-through by partners who are me-too or weak in the SSD space. Unless it invests more in its SSD branding - its business is vulnerable to substitution and replacement by any new SSD kid on the block with a faster SSD controller."

Google provides clearer reflection of what it knows about You

Editor:- November 5, 2009 - Google today - announced new audit tools - which give users (of its sign-in services) better visibility about the data which is stored about them.

I had a look myself at, one of these - the new Google Dashboard. I consider myself a weak user of Google's opt-in services - but I was impressed by the unified view it provided - reminding me of functions I had started to look into long ago but then forgotten about.

Toshiba Ships Leanest 120GB 1.8" Hard Drive

Editor:- November 4, 2009 - Toshiba announced volume shupments of the industry's most power-conservative SATA hard drive - the 1.8", 5mm high, 120GB, single platter, 4,200 RPM MK1235GSL.

Significantly surpassing 2.5" HDDs in durability it can tolerate up to 1,500Gs of non-operational shock and 500Gs of operational shock.

New SSD Features - coming soon

Editor:- November 4, 2009 - will publish 3 new major feature articles on the SSD market in the next 30 days. See sidebar (right) for more details.

VAIOs get SanDisk SSDs

Editor:- November 3, 2009 - SanDisk announced that its 64GB (9,000 vRPM) pSSD module has been selected as a standard SSD option in Sony's new VAIO X ultra-thin laptop.

Adaptec Publishes Naively Designed SSD Benchmark

Editor:- November 3, 2009 - Adaptec today released the results of 3rd party performance testing of its new MaxIQ SSD Cache Performance Solution in MySQL environments.

AppLabs evaluated the performance of MaxIQ in its MySQL Testing Environment (which assumed 95% reads and 5% writes) and found that read and write throughput increased 8x with MaxIQ SSD cache enabled. Transactions per second improved 6.9x going from 346 tps with SSD cache disabled to 2,374 tps with SSD cache enabled.

Editor's comments:- I was underwhelmed by these results compared to fast SSD accelerated environments - but I suppose Adaptec's thinking is that it shows worthwhile speedup results using cheap affordable Intel SSDs - and without needing expensive SSD hot-shot tuning.

Like all such tests - the setup has elements of unreality about it.

In real-life you wouldn't use Adaptec's product to sit between an 80GB database and a 32GB flash SSD. Instead you'd put all the data into SSD. And it would give you better results than using Adaptec's middle-ware.

In deployments with larger databases - a more typical HDD to SSD ratio (based on economic constraints) might be closer to 10 to 1 rather than 3 to 1.

...Correction:- In a comment regarding a news story about Adaptec earlier today, I mistakenly referred to their MaxIQ SSD product as "MLC".

Thanks to Scott Cleland, Director of Marketing at Adaptec who pointed out that this uses SLC.

Scott Cleland also said "All benchmarks have a sense of unreality to them. We cannot test in live environments so we seek 3rd parties to help validate our claims. The acceleration that MaxIQ provided to this particular environment can be duplicated and can be realized in environments with multiple medium sized data sets that are tagged a "hot" by our I/O path logic."

He continued - "The MaxIQ solution is completely I/O, OS, file system agnostic. It is designed to bring the benefit of SLC-SSD read performance to environments that require and can take advantage of higher levels of I/O performance as well as the cost/GB value proposition of SATA HDDs. it is a hybrid solution and one-of-a kind at this price point."

WD Ships 2.5" 10K SAS HDDs

Editor:- November 3, 2009 - Western Digital announced volume shipments of its 1st 2.5" 10K RPM SAS hard drive.

The WD S25 provides up to 300 GB of high-performance storage suitable for both mission-critical enterprise server and enterprise storage applications, such as high-I/O-driven applications and configurations, as well as data centers and large data arrays.

"Our entry into the traditional-enterprise market continues the strategic expansion and diversification of WD's broad market and product portfolio, and significantly increases our addressable revenue opportunity," said John Coyne, president and CEO of WD. "As with our previous market expansion and diversification efforts, WD will approach the traditional enterprise space with the same focus on quality, customer service, technology and value that has earned us strong positions in every market we serve."

Editor's comments:- 15K RPM hard drives are obsolete for new designs - because if you want acceleration - you get more server bang per buck using 2.5" SSDs. But in the 10K area HDDs can still deliver high capacity with tolerable performance and lower cost than SSDs.

In order to optimize overall economy, reliability and performance - the well architected enterprise storage systems of the near term future will lean towards using more 10K RPM (and slower) hard drives - for bulk content - and towards using various levels of SSDs for performance. In the long term it will all be solid state - but that's still 10 years away.

GUC takes SSD SoC HeadCount to 23

Editor:- November 2, 2009 - Global Unichip announced mass-production of its ARM7-based GP5080 series SSD SoC platform for portable consumer electronics products.

There are 2 different models in this series.

GP5080 is optimized for cost sensitive applications by removing the need for external DRAM cache (skinny SSDs), while GP5086 supports DRAM cache for (regular SSD) applications needing extra extended lifetime (write attenuation).

The complete GP5080 design kit includes SoC samples, evaluation board, reference design. With the GP5080 series solution, SSD makers or system providers can provide quality products for customers with substantially reduced development cost and time-to-market.

GP5080 series solution is a highly integrated SSD SoC, based on advanced 90nm process technology. Its architecture has been optimized to fully utilize the maximum data transfer of NAND flash with minimum operating power. The 4 independent flash channels deliver excellent sequential and random R/W performance and support all major vendors' SLC/MLC NAND flash devices. The SSD data integrity is guaranteed by the on-chip hardware BCH-ECC engine which can correct up to 16 bit errors per 512 byte data.

The 32-bit ARM7 processor will provide high computing capability for advanced SSD management firmware such as Flash Translation Layer, Bad Block Management, Wear Leveling Algorithm, Power Fail Recycling, SMART function, Disk Recovery/ROM Disk, etc. In addition, it supports PATA and SATA2 dual interface to provide extra flexibility and wide temperature range from -40°C to 85°C for industrial grade applications.

See also:- processors used in real SSDs

Unigen Signals 2.5" SAS SSD Intent

Editor:- November 2, 2009 - Unigen announced it will manufacture a new range of flash SSDs using SSD processors from SandForce.

The 2.5" SSDs will be available with SATA or SAS interfaces.

Foremay Ships Fastest 2.5" SATA SSD

Editor:- November 2, 2009 - Foremay announced it is shipping the world's fastest 2.5" SATA flash SSDs.

The SC199 Cheetah Y-Series has R/W speeds up to 290/280 MB/s in 2.5" and 3.5" SATA form factors - which approaches the theoretical speed limit of the SATA-II protocol. It also delivers impressive R/W IOPS of up to 50,000/45,000 respectively.

"It is Avalanche technology that makes the SC199 Cheetah Y-Series the world's fastest SSD drives with SATA interfaces," stated Jack Winters, Foremay's Co-founder and CTO. "Avalanche is not a single technology breakthrough; rather it is a novel technology platform that integrates various patented and proprietary SSD technologies from hardware to firmware and design to manufacturing process, along with engineering synergy from suppliers, partners and customers."

New Report on MLC in the Enterprise

Editor:- November 2, 2009 - Forward Insights publishes a new market report this month - SSDs: Enabling MLC Technology in the Enterprise (price is $6,499).

The report's author - Gregory Wong - says "Due to demanding performance workloads, SLC technology has been the technology of choice for SSDs in enterprise computing environments. Therefore, it came as a surprise when in August of this year, STEC, a leading enterprise SSD vendor, announced that it will offer MLC based enterprise SSDs."

Are these products aimed at niche applications or do they suggest the beginnings of broader adoption of MLC technology in SSDs in the enterprise space? This report provides analysis of SSD usage models and what applications could conceivably be addressed by MLC technology. ...more info (pdf)

See also:- SSDs - market analysts , Are MLC SSDs Safe in Enterprise Apps?, Hybrid Storage Drives

SSD Data Recovery Company Secures $18 million series C funding

Editor:- November 2, 2009 - Link_A_Media Devices has secured $18 million series C funding - enabling it to bring its products to market sooner.

Lightspeed Venture Partners, a new investor in the company, led the funding round. Other key investors are ITOCHU Technology Ventures, Keynote Ventures, SunAmerica Ventures and several strategic partners.

"I am very pleased with Link_A_Media's ability to attract new and previous investors to this round. The interest we generated from the investment community is a direct reflection of the huge opportunity for the company in the storage markets based on our technology leadership," said Dr. Hemant Thapar, CEO and chairman of Link_A_Media. "Over the past 2 years, we have begun deploying our leading technologies into custom SoC products for our customers to enable their next generation products. Strong customer interest in our technology is validating the imminent transitions in data recovery technology trends for peripheral storage devices, both HDDs and SSDs."

SSD Guide Popularity Grows 127%

Editor:- November 2, 2009 - disclosed that pageviews of the Solid State Disks Buyers Guide increased 127% in September 2009 compared to a year ago.

The SSD Guide - the #1 most popular article with our readers - is a useful digest of the SSD market - especially for readers who don't have time to read the hundreds of other in-depth articles and analysis here on the mouse site.

Pageviews for the top 5 articles (all on the theme of SSDs) increased an average of 73%.

earlier storage news

SSD ad - click for more info
SSD Jargon explained - click to see article
flash SSD Jargon Explained on
Megabyte didn't always understand the signposts
he saw on the trail to the new storage frontier.
SSD Pricing - where does all the money go?
SSDs are among the most expensive computer hardware products you will ever buy and comprehending 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 ...which is not made any easier when market prices for apparently identical capacity SSDs can vary more than 100x to 1!

Why is that? the article to find out
New SSD Features - coming soon

Editor:- November 4, 2009 - will publish 3 new major feature articles on the SSD market in the next 30 days.
  • the Problem with SSD Write IOPS.

    Flash SSD random write IOPS are now similar to read IOPS in many fast SSDs. So why are they such a poor predictor of application performance? And why are users still buying RAM SSDs which cost 9x more than SLC? - even when the IOPS specs look similar. We'll tell you why the specs got faster - but the application didn't.
  • Experienced SSD Buyer Seeks Trustworthy Partner.

    We'll be looking ahead at the key issues in the SSD market in 2010. Over 80% of SSD business could be decided by power SSD specifiers who are no longer SSD virgins.

    How was it for you?

    For many it was a rite of passage - and when they choose products for their next projects they'll be looking for more caring, trustworthy partners - not just suppliers who look good in the disco lights. Much of that SSD reputation - good or bad - is already in the public domain. But some is not.
Megabyte is busy writing new articles about his favorite subject - SSDs The new article will also look at key technology and market developments which can be expected in the 2010 timeframe - some obvious (like faster products) - some not. And if you thought that 2009 was the Year of SSD Confusion - next year will be... find out and see.
top news stories - October 2009

week 1 - Active Media launches market's 1st USB 3 SSDs
week 2 - Storspeed unveils NAS SSD Appliance
week 3 - Samsung invests in Fusion-io
week 4 - Foremay enters PCIe SSD Market
SSD Data Recovery Concepts & Methodologies
It's hard enough understanding the design of any single SSD. And there are so many different designs in the market.
broken barrel image - click to read this data recovery article If you've ever wondered what it looks like at the other end of the SSD supply chain - when a user has a damaged SSD which contains priceless data with no usable backup - this article - written by Jeremy Brock, President, A+ Perfect Computers - who is one of a rare new breed of SSD recovery experts will give you some idea. read the article

SSD ad - click for more info

storage search banner

1.0" SSDs 1.8" SSDs 2.5" SSDs 3.5" SSDs rackmount SSDs PCIe SSDs SATA SSDs
SSDs all flash SSDs hybrid drives flash memory RAM SSDs SAS SSDs Fibre-Channel SSDs is published by ACSL