|MLC inside financial
servers - new interview with Fusion-io's CEO|
Editor:- December 7,
2010 - Fusion-io
announced that it has been
working closely with Credit
Suisse to integrate ioMemory SSDs with its
Execution Services trading platform to improve its data access performance,
maximizing the effectiveness of its low latency trading platform architectures.
Editor's comments:- trading banks using SSDs isn't new. So my initial
inclination was to ignore this news story. But I'm glad I didn't - because I
learned a lot when I spoke to Fusion-io's CEO
David Flynn yesterday.
this link to see the interview.
Watts that DRAM doing to the power budget?
December 7, 2010 - Rambus
said it will
a new power modeling tool designed to understand and predict energy
consumption in current and future DRAM device today at the MICRO-43 conference in
The paper will later be posted on its
Flash Cache Realities
Editor:- December 4, 2010 -
Mike Workman, CEO of
Pillar Data Systems
recently published a blog -
In it he demonstrates why one of the failures of reality
versus expectation in enterprise SSD acceleration is the "average flash
cache performance" beloved by marketers. It's the peaks which are the
memorable parts of the apps speedup experience.
RAM Cache Ratios
in flash SSDs.
CWCEC launches new rugged XMC/PMC SATA SSD
December 3, 2010 - Curtiss-Wright
launched the XMC-552
- a rugged 256GB XMC/PMC form factor
SATA SSD with 200MB/s
throughput, fast purge
(in 4 seconds), bad
block blocking and 128-bit AES encryption - for
defense and aerospace
will Micron's enhanced flash memory really eliminate error
Editor:- December 3, 2010 - Micron recently
announced availability of enhanced 16GB to 64GB 25nm
flash memory chips with integrated error management - which the company
says - removes the burden of ECC from the host and simplifies the use of flash
in enterpise apps.
"The pace of NAND scaling is largely
responsible for the incredible growth and success the industry has seen to date,
and for helping to create new flash-based storage solutions," said Glen
Hawk, VP of Micron's NAND Solutions Group. "While the advantages in NAND
scaling are evident, so are the challenges with the technology becoming
increasingly more difficult to manage. Micron's ClearNAND products remove this
management burden for our customers and extend the life of this all-important
Editor's comments:- as discussed in my recent article -
management in flash SSDs good blocks and less good blocks have always
coexisted in flash memory. But as device geometries shrink (to increase
capacity and speed) the margin of error between usable and non usable cells has
shrunk too. In practical terms this means that the raw media quaility of new
flash chips has declined in the past decade from under 1% defects, then 2%, 5%
and I've seen projections as high as 10% for emerging MLC.
these defects (which in theory are isolated and can be quarantined by vrtual
address management techniques) is just one of the many
challenges which SSD
controller designers have to work with.
What is not generally
appreciated is that it takes a lot of work and experience with the raw
flash to create a model
which you think represents how these bad bits will be distributed inside the
chip population over time. The ECC designer's job is to create a correction
model which gives the best data outcomes - given the raw material with which
they have to work. Different designers may choose different strategies based on
their intellectual understanding of the problem, patent portfolio, the market
the SSD is designed for and other constraints.
If you could clone
a bunch of flash chips and place them in 3 different SSD designs - the
lifetime of those 3 SSDs would vary significantly - even running the same
application and identical data. The difference would be due to how well the
controller designers matched their management techniques to the decaying
processes in the flash array.
By burying some of the ECC stuff inside
the flash chip - Micron makes it easier for SSD designers to create an SSD which
looks good when it is new. But it also introduces another risk factor - because
if Micron get their models wrong - then many SSD designs may fail much earlier
than predicted. That's always been true in the past too. In 5 years time we'll
know better which designers got it right and which didn't.
distant past I
used to design measuring instruments which pushed technology boundaries - and
an important part of making them work was creating and testing error budget
models - over time. Then in the process control world as now in SSDs - physics
and chemistry are the realities which can rudely interrupt all your carefully
contrived plans. Sometimes you're lucky it happens in the lab, or the test
sites, but when there's a disagreement between the concept and the real world -
reality always wins - reality is not a compliant servant and doesn't always fit
snugly within the urgency of marketing plans.
2011 will be Year of Reality Checks for SSD Makers
December 2, 2010 - Now's a good time to catch on your SSD reading - and time
for me to predict what I think will be the main theme of the SSD market in 2011.
become a tradition in recent years as you can see if you trawl through my
charts the 35
year rise of the SSD market.
What Women Want has a funny
scene where Mel Gibson is putting on panty hose. That could be a metaphor for
product marketers in the SSD market too.
So I think 2011 is going to
be the Year of Reality Checks for SSD makers.
Good for some (who
discover that their markets are much bigger than analysts predicted) and bad for
others (who discover that no one really cares if they exist or
how their SSD
IOPS compares with a hard drive).
new article - SSD Data Recovery Concepts and Technologies
December 1, 2010 -
published a new article -
Introduction to SSD
Data Recovery Concepts and Technologies - written by Jeremy Brock,
It's hard enough understanding the
design of any single SSD. And there are so many different designs in the
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 one of a rare new
breed of SSD recovery
experts will give you some idea. I've waited more than 3 years to find
someone to write an article on this subject for you. And now it's only a click
away - read the
CERN chooses routers for teen petabyte era
December 1, 2010 - Brocade
today announced that
has selected its routers to work in a data environment that exceeds 15
petabytes per year.
Editor's comments:- there's a list of
historic petabyte milestones in my article -
SSDs - reaching for
the petabyte .
what's inside the SSD? - readers want to know more
December 1, 2010 - StorageSearch.com
today listed the top 20 SSD articles (viewed by readers in November) on the
market research page.
of the classic SSD
endurance article grew 48% year on year - making it the #1 most
popular article for the 1st time - and dislodging the previous encumbant
SSD Buyers Guide.
The latter article has been shortened to make it more readable. For readers who
still want to see a full 12 month timeline of noteworthy news stories in
the SSD market this year the
place is here.
Reader interest in the nuances of technologies
inside SSDs is indicated by the upward creep of the
SSD controller page in
this list - and the sustained strong interest in MLC, SLC and RAM memory
issues and how they affect SSD performance, price and reliability. ...see the top 20 SSD
storage news on this
MLC inside financial servers - new Fusion-io interview
that DRAM doing to the power budget?
Flash Cache Realities
launches new rugged XMC/PMC SATA SSD
Micron quarantines flash errors
will be Year of SSD Reality Checks
new expert article on SSD
CERN chooses routers for teen petabyte era
inside the SSD? - readers want to know more