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storage news - September 2009, week 2

Megabyte's selection of storage news
Megabyte loved reading news stories
about the storage market
... the Top 10 SSD Companies
RAM Cache Ratios in flash SSDs
3 Easy Ways to Enter the SSD Market
SSD Myths and Legends - "write endurance"
Fast Purge flash SSDs - when "Rugged SSDs" won't do the job
How Bad is the Fallout from Choosing the Wrong SSD Supplier?
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Pliant Samples Fast 2.5" 3.5" SAS SSDs

Editor:- September 14, 2009 - Pliant Technology started sampling its Lightning family of 2.5" (150GB) and 3.5" (300GB) skinny flash SAS SSDs.

The SLC drives deliver R/W rates upto 525/340MB/s and 160,000 IOPS (for a 90% R, 10% W mix).

"The exceptional performance and reliability features of Lightning Enterprise Flash Drives allow IT managers to address the most significant challenges they're facing today, namely, keeping up with continually increasing storage demands with fixed budgets, limited data center floor space and the ever growing cost of power," said Amyl Ahola, CEO of Pliant Technology.

Editor's comments:- the realistically addressable market for native SAS SSDs in disk form factors looks a lot smaller today than 3 years ago when Pliant was founded. That's because SAS SSD opportunities have been shunted aside by PCIe SSDs and squeezed from below by fast SATA SSDs.

The result has been that SSD vendors have been reluctant to enter this part of market. But the good news for the handful of companies actually shipping such products is they don't have to worry about dozens of competitors going for every design slot. That means higher margins for the forseeable future.

See also:- Pliant Technology's - SSD Bookmarks suggested by Greg Goelz - VP of Marketing.

Intel Walks the SSD Notebook Talk

Editor:- September 14, 2009 - Intel has published a case study about the productivity benefits of using SSDs instead of hard drives in business notebooks.

Following an internal evaluation Intel says it will deploy up to 10,000 SSD notebooks this year to its own employees.
  • Benefits to users include:- increased productivity, reduced data loss and drive-related errors, and lower thermal footprint for more comfortable use.
  • Benefits to IT include:- faster malware scans, better performance with less RAM, and extended battery life cycle.
Despite the higher cost of SSDs - Intel concluded that the case for replacing notebook HDDs (which averaged 4.9% annual failure rate according to its own experience) - was "compelling". the article (pdf)

3D Memory Market Reality Check

Editor:- September 13, 2009 - How is the 3D memory chip market stacking up? - An article in Semiconductor International reviews the market's progress.

Author Philip Garrou says - "3D memory surely will happen, just not that quickly" - and reminds readers that a few years ago analysts were predicting it would be an established market by 2010. the article

Toshiba Sources Flash Controllers from ITE Tech?

Editor:- September 11, 2009 - A report today in DIGITIMES said that Toshiba has ordered flash memory card controllers from ITE Tech to diversify its supplier base. SSD Controllers / IP

Sonnet Launches Camera to Hard Drive R/W Module

Editor:- September 10, 2009 - Sonnet Technologies today announced the Qio professional universal media reader/writer.

It's a convenient high speed alternative to stand-alone card readers, SATA controllers and various adapters, combining their functionality in a compact rugged case, and fulfilling the data handling needs of videographers with multiple cameras using different memory card formats.

We talked to many customers who had combinations of Sony, Panasonic and Red cameras who wanted some way to transfer the data from any of them at full speed to hard drives, needed drive-to-drive copy capability, and desired a compact, portable, rugged, and battery-operable package," said Robert Farnsworth, CEO of Sonnet Technologies. "The Qio does this and more!." Removable Storage

ATTO Demos 6,400MB/s HBA at IBC

Editor:- September 10, 2009 - ATTO Technology is demonstrating its 6Gb/s SAS HBAs and 8Gb/s Fibre Channel HBAs this week at IBC in Amsterdam .

Demos include a quad-channel card that delivers the fastest available Fibre Channel data transfer rate of 6,400MB/s. Storage Events, Record Breaking Storage

Adaptec Enters the SSD Market

Editor:- September 9, 2009 - Adaptec announced a new platform for integrators building hybrid storage pools using SSDs (ASAPs).

Its MaxIQ SSD Cache Performance Kit (which operates with upto 4x customized 32GB Intel SSDs) includes software that identifies frequently (hot) read data blocks and optimizes subsequent "reads" by moving "hot" data directly into the SSD cache for lower latencies and higher system performance.

Adaptec president and CEO Sundi Sundaresh said that the new product "Underscores the potential that we see for significant future management and conditioning of data through the I/O path, which is central to our new ... strategy."

Comparing Enterprise flash SSDs

Editor:- September 9, 2009 - a recent article published in InformationWeek includes a useful table listing prices and R/W IOPS for several leading enterprise flash SSDs.

The article's author Howard Marks runs a product testing and editorial services company called

What I think is missing from the article is an additional column for comparing's SSD accelerator magic numbers.

That's - dollars per write IOPs per terabyte.

As these products are aimed at solving performance bottlenecks, it's the random write IOPS which matters most, and the read IOPS is almost irrelevant (because it's always a good number relative to the interface available).

If you perform this calculation for the products named in the article you'll see Fusion-io is best, closely followed (18% behind) by Texas Memory Systems, and then way behind (approx 6x worse) is Intel, which in turn is about 2x better value than STEC.

So why doesn't everyone just buy according to the SSD magic number?

It's a good way for assessing value for money for products in the same class. But when it comes to any given real application - you have to consider other factors too.
  • How well does it fit your budget? That depends on the competitive ecosystem for your application. If you've hit a hard brick wall with a big server budget your entry level SSD products are beefier than if you've hit a soft haystack with an embedded blade server app.
  • And just as important:- how comfortable do you feel with doing business with that company based on its support and services?

See also:- SSD historic price trends

TMS Acquires SAN IP from Incipient

Editor:- September 8, 2009 - Texas Memory Systems has expanded its IP base with the acquisition of data management patents and source code from Incipient.

"The patents and software provide Texas Memory Systems with a new set of tools for virtualisation and storage management that complement our solid state storage systems," said Woody Hutsell, President at Texas Memory Systems. "The newly-acquired technology will accelerate our development of new high-performance storage that meets the demanding and complex needs of our enterprise customers."

Texas Memory Systems has not acquired any interest in Incipient, Inc. Both companies remain independent.

earlier storage news

SSD ad - click for more info
The simple idea - that one new SSD thing can replace one old SSD thing - is rarely as simple as the advocates of the new thing say.
PCIe SSDs versus memory channel SSDs
"You'd think...
someone should know all the answers by now. "
what do enterprise SSD users want?
1 year later...

the Top 50 SSD articles & subjects - Sep 2010
  1. the SSD Buyers Guide
  2. War of the Disks: HDDs vs. Flash SSDs
  3. SSD Myths & Legends - "write endurance"
  4. the Top 10 SSD OEMs
  5. the Fastest SSDs
  6. SSD oems list (all types)
  7. PCIe SSDs
  8. 2.5" SSDs
  9. Flash vs. Hard Disks - Which Will Win?
  10. What's the best PC / notebook SSD?
  11. 1.8" SSDs
  12. RAM SSDs vs Flash SSDs - which is Best?
  13. 3.5" SSDs
  14. RAM SSDs
  15. SSD Pricing
  16. Are MLC SSDs Safe in Enterprise Apps?
  17. the 10 biggest storage companies in 2012?
  18. SATA SSDs
  19. Notebook SSD market overview
  20. SSD market history
  21. SSD jargon
  22. the Problem with Write IOPS - in SSDs
  23. Storage Market Outlook 2010 to 2015
  24. SSD controllers / IP
  25. SAS SSDs
  26. flash SSDs
  27. flash SSD performance roadmap
  28. 1" SSDs (and smaller)
  29. SSDs - the big market picture
  30. Let's end SSD vs HDD IOPS comparisons
  31. rackmount SSDs
  32. this way to the petabyte SSD
  33. flash memory and other NVM
  34. SSD market research reports
  35. What's an SSD?
  36. Fibre-Channel SSD Market
  37. RAM Cache Ratios in flash SSDs
  38. 2010 - Year of the SSD Bubble?
  39. Data Integrity Challenges in flash SSD Design
  40. Can you trust flash SSD specs?
  41. SSD Market Adoption model
  42. After SSDs... What Next?
  43. Increasing Flash SSD Reliability
  44. Fast Purge flash SSDs
  45. ExpressCard SSDs
  46. PATA SSDs
  47. SSD ASAPs
  48. Can you believe the word "reliability" in a 2.5" SSD ad?
  49. data recovery from flash SSDs
  50. How Solid is Hard Disk's Future?
  51. Imprinting the brain of the SSD

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