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storage news - April 1-14, 2010

flash SSD Jargon Explained
the Top 10 SSD Companies
Surviving SSD sudden power loss
SSD Myths and Legends - "write endurance"
Adaptive R/W and DSP ECC in flash SSD IP
Efficiency - making the same SSD - with less chips
Exiting the Astrological Age of Enterprise SSD Pricing
Decloaking hidden preference segments in the enterprise
Megabyte's selection of storage news
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ECC Tek seeks high integrity acquirer

Editor:- April 14, 2010 - Phil White, President of ECC Technologies said today he's looking for a suitable company to possibly acquire ECC Tek (and its patent portfolio).

The company has IP which can increase the data integrity in mission critical SSDs.

See also:- SSD controllers, adaptive R/W and DSP in flash SSD IP

PLX samples eSATA bridge encrypt SoC for consumer HDDs

Editor:- April 13, 2010 - PLX Technology is sampling the OXUFS944SE - a low cost ($7 in volume) 0.4W controller chip which bridges between an eSATA, FireWire or USB 2.0 interface and a hard drive.

It can also deliver on-the-fly eSATA encryption / decryption of data at upto 80MB/s write speeds.

David Raun, VP of marketing at PLX said the company has shipped more than 30 million external storage controllers to leading global brands since 2000.

NextIO launches "Fusion-io in a box"

Editor:- April 13, 2010 - NextIO announced availability of its vSTOR S100 - a 3U PCIe connected SSD with upto 7TB modular capacity and 1.7 million IOPS (4TB model).

When I spoke to NextIO's Product Marketing Director, Mike Lance, last month he mentioned that Fusion-io was one of their partners so I've been expecting this product announcement.

The best way to think about it is "Fusion-io in a box"- for applications where you need ultimate rackmount performance - but don't want to be locked in to proprietary SSD rackmounts.

NextIO launched a conceptually similar product using Texas Memory Systems PCIe SSDs in November 2009. But unlike the TMS based solution - which is SLC only - the Fusion-io based vSTOR also includes optional (lower cost) MLC which is reliable enough and more economic for applications like video.

Because the integration's already done for you using best of breed technologies - and because the systems are already parameterized - they offer convenient and affordable building blocks for serious users of datacenter SSDs.

Strontium brings 2.5" SSD oem count closer to 90

Editor:- April 13, 2010 - Strontium entered the SSD market and announced the availability of a new 2.5" SATA flash SSD family - called Swift - with upto 256GB capacity and R/W speeds of 236MB/s and 160MB/s respectively.

New 8 bay SAS desktop JBOD / RAID

Editor:- April 13, 2010 - Proavio launched the EditBox EB8Sx - an 8 drive desktop SAS box (with 750MB/s internal storage bandwidth) designed for the video editing market.

A single SAS host port can connect up to 128 disks by adding additional boxes.

Finally! - movies preloaded on the HDD

Editor:- April 12, 2010 - Seagate today announced that its 500GB FreeAgent hard drives have been preloaded with 20 movies which can be activated via a license fee - including 1 free copy of Star Trek.

Malik Ducard, senior VP at Paramount (Seagate's content collaborator) said "...with over 38 hours of movie viewing enjoyment pre-loaded onto the portable device, we are offering consumers a great opportunity to jump start their digital libraries."

Editor's comments:- it's taken a long time for storage oems to get round to this. 8 years ago in an article - Differentiating Storage Appliances with Software and Services - I predicted that consumers should be able to order storage devices online with user selectable movies or music preloaded.

the Top 10 SSD oems - Q1 2010

Editor:- April 8, 2010 - today published the 12th quarterly edition of the top 10 SSD oems - which includes rankings for the period January 1 to March 31, 2010.

Newcomers to the list in this quarter include Micron and PhotoFast.

The best predictor of future winners in an SSD market which currently numbers over 180 oems - this popular feature tracked search volume for over 250,000 influential SSD readers in this quarter. See who's in and why - the article

TMS ships 10TB 500K IOPS 3U SLC SSD

Editor:- April 8, 2010 - Texas Memory Systems today announced the availability of the RamSan-630 an FC / InfiniBand compatible 3U SLC SSD with 4 to 10TB capacity, 500,000 IOPS, 8GB/s bandwidth, and R/W latency of 250 / 80 microseconds in a 450W power budget.

Levi Norman, Director of Marketing and OEM for Texas Memory Systems explained the rationale behind the new product - "We developed it in response to observing how customers were struggling to boost performance without adding to their data center footprint. The explosive growth in IT and storage over the years is resulting in many data centers reaching their limits for space and power draw."

Finally- a useful PCIe SSD from OCZ

Editor:- April 6, 2010 - OCZ today launched the Z-Drive R2 - a bootable PCIe MLC SSD with upto 2TB capacity and upto 950MB/s sustained write throughput.

R/W IOPS are 29,000 and 7,200 respectively - an order of magnitude slower than the fastest PCIe SSDs today - but nevertheless useful for many applications - unlike the original Z-Drive (March 2009) which so slow that it couldn't be regarded as a serious contender.

Gartner names cool storage aspirants

Editor:- April 2, 2010 - StorSimple was 1 of 5 companies named in an 8 page report published by Gartner today - Cool Vendors in Storage Technologies, 2010 ($495).

The other companies were:- APTARE, Atrato, Avere Systems and Pliant Technology.

XLC invites HDD partners for "enterprise" x4 hybrids

Editor:- April 1, 2010 - XLC Disk announced details of a paper it will discuss later this month at the NV Memories Worskhop (UC San Diego) called - Paramagnetic Effects on Trapped Charge Diffusion with Applications for x4 Data Integrity.

The company says its findings could have applications in the enterprise storage market by solving the data integrity problems in x4 MLC SSDs within a new class of hybrid storage drives. more

earlier storage news

SSD ad - click for more info
Consumer SSDs in notebooks are about 5x more reliable than hard drives when used in the same work environment - according to a research study...
Data Recovery for flash SSDs
how fast can your SSD run backwards? - 11 key symmetries

Where are we now with SSD software? - (And how did we get into this mess?)

the new SSD efficiency - making the same (functional) SSD - but with a lot less chips

why use SSDs? - user value propositions - the classic article

adaptive R/W flash care management IP (including DSP ECC) for SSDs - what is it? and who does it?

memory channel storage SSDs -what are the technical challenges? How will these new SSDs affect the PCIe SSD market?

enterprise SSDs - exploring the limits of the market in your head - is about enterprise SSD futurology.

the Survivor's Guide to Enterprise SSDs - a list of do's and don'ts

Surviving SSD sudden power loss - the power management system is one of the most important parts of the SSD which governs reliability.

Strategic Transitions in SSD - roundup of disruptive changes in the SSD market in the past year.

the SSD Buyers Guide to SSD guides - includes summary of everything important that's happened in the SSD market in the past year - and has a top level list of SSD articles themed by markets, interfaces and form factors

what do enterprise SSD users want? - and why aren't vendors asking.

The big market impact of SSD dark matter - some of the very biggest direct customer opportunities for SSDs aren't the big name computer and storage oems.

Can you tell me the best way to SSD Street? - I'm like the Old Woman of the SSD Village who talks to everyone that passes through.

comparing the SSD market today to earlier tech disruptions - applying a sense of perspective to what's happening now with SSDs

RAM Cache Ratios in flash SSDs - Knowing whether a flash SSD is skinny, regular or fat tells you a lot. Each SSD type has common modalities.

more SSD articles - sometimes it's hard knowing where to look next...
Heck no! - whatever gave you that silly idea?
Can you trust SSD market data?

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