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SSD history - November 2009, week 3

... SSD news
flash SSD Jargon Explained
adaptive R/W and DSP in flash SSDs
the BIG market impact of SSD dark matter
Enterprise SSDs - the Survive and Thrive Guide
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Hard Disks Need Not Apply - Google's New SSD Based OS

Editor:- November 19, 2009 - Google opened its doors to developers who want to work with Chrome OS - a new operating system for web notebook products that will ship next year.

In the opening video of the Chrome OS blog we learn that the architects of the new OS are "obsessed with speed". Therefore the new netbook OS is designed from the ground up to support only flash SSDs as the default mass storage. Google says - there is no room in this OS for outmoded 50 year old hard disk technology.

Foremay Offers SSD Sanitzation

Editor:- November 19, 2009 - Foremay today announced that secure erase options are now available for most models in its SC199 SSD product family.

Foremay's Secure Erase function completely erases and sanitizes all user data by overwriting or destroying both the file tables and data in allocated blocks, as well as the data in reallocated defective blocks on the flash hard drive.

"Foremay is pleased to offer 3 secure erase options to suit the need for different levels of data sanitation," said Jack Winters, CTO of Foremay. "These options are:- software-based secure erase through a standard ATA command, hybrid software and hardware-based data sanitation, and hardware-based one-key self-destroy disk purge."

Editor's comments:- although these functions have traditionally been associated with military drives, the company says civilian applications include - the financial sector, medical and insurance administration and other public security and utility applications, where information is strictly confidential or private, such that the data needs to be purged before disposal, either voluntarily or involuntarily.

$9 million Funding Round for flash SSD Enabled SAN Backup

Editor:- November 18, 2009 - Axxana announced it has secured $9 million Series B investment led by Carmel Ventures.

Axxana's existing investors, Gemini Israel Funds and the serial entrepreneur Moshe Yanai, also participated in the round.

The funds will be used to accelerate the adoption of The Phoenix System - the first "Black Box" Enterprise Data Recorder which was demonstrated at EMC World in May 2009.

"Axxana's EDR brings a disruptive solution that is well poised to transform the entire storage replication market and create a whole new category within it," said Ronen Nir, Partner at Carmel Ventures. "We are impressed with Axxana's strong founding team and their achievements so far, including impressive endorsement by leading storage vendors worldwide."

Editor's comments:- Axxana's solution is a lossless data recovery system which sits on the SAN and records data into a rugged flash SSD-enabled, locally situated, data survival box. Although Axxana talks about it "complementing" other types of data protection - such as offsite / online backup my gut feel is that if the product shows itself to be usable and reliable in a wide range of environments - it will set a new standard for backup which will supercede anything possible with rotating disk backup systems or tape.

The clearest explanation is in Axxana's datasheet (pf) from which I've taken these snippets.

"Axxana's solution combines concepts used in airplane Flight Data Recorders (Black Box) with newly developed materials and technologies to create a hardened "Enterprise Data Recorder" storage system capable of withstanding extreme conditions to preserve business data in the event of a disaster... The Phoenix system was designed to survive calamitous events such as Earthquake, Weather, Floods, Fire, and the consequences of a terror attack. The system was successfully tested and meets international standards for various threat scenarios."

see also:- Solid State Storage Backup

Fusion-io Unveils World's Fastest SSD Card

Editor:- November 17, 2009 - Fusion-io today unveiled details of a very fast PCIe form factor, InfiniBand compatible, flash SSD designed for 2 undisclosed government customers.

The ioDrive Octal card, occupies 2 slots and delivers 800,000 IOPS (4k packet size), 6GB/s bandwidth and has upto 5TB maximum capacity (implemented by 8x ioMemory modules).

Each deployment consists of hundreds of terabytes of solid-state storage capacity and is capable of sustaining over one terabyte per second of aggregate bandwidth with access latencies under 50 microseconds.

"We were eager to take on the challenge of creating a device that meets the intense demands of high performance computing" said Steve Wozniak, Chief Scientist at Fusion-io. "With this architecture, IOPS are easy. We achieved over 100 million IOPS, more than enough performance to meet our customer's requirements. The real power in our architecture was the ability to also scale bandwidth. We look forward to productizing the ioDrive Octal in the future, and bringing the power of this solid-state storage technology from the world of HPC to the enterprise."

See also:- the fastest SSDs (from SSDs on a chip to rackmount appliances)

DDR PHY SoC Pop Art from Denali

Editor:- November 17, 2009 - Denali Software today published a simple cartoon style guide which introduces the complexities involved in designing DDR PHY.

What's a DDR PHY? - To quote one of the captions - "I sit between the memory controller and I/O pads and make your SoC shine!"

Even if you're not a chip level storage designer - appreciation of these design issues are helpful to an understanding of product architectures, strengths, weaknesses and adaptibility.

PhotoFast Unveils Fast 1.8" PATA SSDs

Editor:- November 16, 2009 - PhotoFast today unveiled a new range of 1.8" native PATA MLC regular flash SSDs with internal garbage collection -the G-monster-1.8" IDE V4.

Capacity options include:- 32/64/128/256G. Internal cache is 64MB, R/W speeds are upto 128MB/s and 90MB/s respectively.

PhotoFast says that its internal hardware garbage collection makes the SSD especially suited to traditional OS's which don't have TRIM such as XP. The drive rearranges itself when the laptop is in idle time. The benefits might not shine through in server style benchmarks (which assume 100% duty cycles) but for real life notebook usage it should work adequately.

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Top news stories in recent weeks
Each link below takes you to a week of news.

NextIO Launches very fast PCIe rackmount SSD
VAIOs get SanDisk SSDs
Foremay enters PCIe SSD Market
Samsung invests in Fusion-io
Active Media launches market's 1st USB 3 SSDs
Top Storage Articles - November 2009
  1. the Solid State Disks Buyers Guide
  2. the SSD Bookmarks
  3. War of the Disks: Hard Disk Drives vs. Flash SSDs
  4. the Top 10 SSD OEMs
  5. the Fastest SSDs
  6. SSD Myths and Legends - "write endurance"
  7. Flash Memory vs. Hard Disks - Which Will Win?
  8. NAS, DAS or SAN? - Choosing the Technology
  9. RAM SSDs versus Flash SSDs - which is Best?
  10. A Storage Architecture Guide
  11. Overview of the Notebook SSD Market
  12. the Benefits of SAS for External Subsystems
  13. After SSDs... What Next?
  14. Are MLC SSDs Ever Safe in Enterprise Apps?
  15. Can you trust flash SSD specs & benchmarks?
  16. What's a Solid State Disk?
  17. flash SSD Jargon Explained
  18. Z's Laws - Predicting Flash SSD Performance
  19. 3 Easy Ways to Enter the SSD Market
  20. LVD, SE, HVD, SCSI compatibility - or lack of it
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PATA SSD directory and market overview
Megabyte found old style wide datapaths
quick enough and reassuringly familiar.
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