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storage news - February 2010, week 3

Megabyte's selection of storage news
Megabyte loves reading storage news.
... SSD market history
flash SSD Jargon Explained
the Top 10 SSD Companies
can you trust SSD market data?
SSD power down management architectures
SSD Myths and Legends - "write endurance"
the Problem with Write IOPS - in flash SSDs
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Aitech's new XMC SSD

Editor:- February 18, 2010 - Aitech launched a new model in its family of PMC/XMC SSDs.

The M224 has 128GB capacity, and hardware RAID options which support the onboard flash array. Sustained sequential R/W speeds are 170MB/s and 120MB/s respectively. The M224 is available in air-cooled and conduction-cooled versions as well as in 3 levels of ruggedization depending on shock, vibration and humidity requirements. OS support includes VxWorks, Windows and Linux.

DRAM market may reach $32 billion this year

Editor:- February 18, 2010 - iSuppli announced today it expects global DRAM revenue in 2010 to grow 40% to approx $32 billion - compared to 2009.

Toshiba Spins 600GB SAS Drive

Editor:- February 16, 2010 - Toshiba today announced it's sampling a 600GB 2.5" 10K RPM HDD with 6Gbps SAS interface.

This results from the integration of Toshiba and Fujitsu's HDD business last year. Some of the new models include drive-based encryption.

SSD Backup - new directory for a new market

Editor:- February 16, 2010 - launched a new directory for - Solid State Storage Backup.

Although these are still early days for the S3B market - the new page will help you filter out news, articles and messages from the S3B pioneers which otherwise might get lost in the clamor of the SSD market bubble.

"In the early days of the disk to disk backup market the old tape vendors scoffed the idea that hard disks might one day steal their market. Now most of those old tape dinosaurs are gone and the hard disk backup market reigns supreme" said editor, Zsolt Kerekes.

"Despite that - I expect that most vendors in the D2d / VTL market today will not even be dreaming about the possibility that SSDs will one day transform their own cozy market too. But they urgently need to start having fresh ideas about what backup and recovery are really for? The S3B page will chronicle the news from the nascent Solid State Storage Backup market - and help to accelerate those changes."

In Space the Data Recovery Engineer can't hear You Scream

Editor:- February 15, 2010 - NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, launched last week, uses an SSD error correction architecture designed by ECC Technologies.

Phil White, inventor of this scheme says - "You can think of the SDO spacecraft as containing a parallel-transfer, fault-tolerant SSD that uses DRAM chips instead of NAND Flash chips. It uses exactly the same PRS ECC that I have proposed for use in solid state disks. All of the data collected by SDO is encoded by the PRS encoder, stored in the SSD and decoded by the PRS decoder. Multiple DRAM chips can fail with no loss of data or performance."

Editor's comments:- understanding the data failure modes in solid state storage arrays isn't rocket science. But rocket science thinking (high mission cost of data failure without the cushion of a service engineer) - is a critical starting point in the design of SSDs with high data integrity.

Here are some other "SSDs in space" links And see also:- Data Recovery for flash SSDs

Good Blogs from Xiotech

Editor:- February 15, 2010 - the Great Shrinking Disc Drive is a new blog by Rob Peglar at Xiotech.

"The entire idea of using 2.5? drives in the enterprise has been anathema for many years. Enterprise 2.5" drives have been around for several years, but vendors never designed arrays to use them, because they not only wouldn't but couldn't – they were too small, too fast and too unpredictable. ...But the big news of 2.5" drives is this – the upcoming capacities of these drives are rapidly expanding... and Xiotech has been the first enterprise array vendor to architect these drives into a fully-baked architecture."

In this context - I have to clarify that Peglar is talking about the enterprise market shrinking towards 2.5" hard drives - and not the kind of shrink I had in mind when I said the whole hard drive market would shrink to nothing.

I've only just started to read through his back catalog of articles today. My favorite so far is his January 2010 article - Performance (Still) Matters - in which Rob Peglar says - "...there's only 24 hours in a day, and that is the inexorable limit we all battle."

I often think that if I had 25 hours in each day - but everyone else was limited to just 24 - I'd do a better job. And while we're on this subject - if I could be in 2 places at once...
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What happened to the home page of
Editor:- February 19, 2010 - it seems that every time I read a new book or, article, about web marketing - something good (or bad) happens to my home page.

You may have noticed a few tweaks in recent days to the main index page of

"Index page" seems like a quaint old fashioned term - but when the original designers of the web were thinking about how readers would navigate - that's what they had in mind - a list of the contents you can expect to see when you encounter a new site.

Nowadays search-engines and zillions of deep links mean that you probably arrive at a new web site somewhere different than the home page. And most home pages are not navigationally useful.

I can recommend the web design book BTW - here's a sample chapter. It's not the book's fault that my own web pages look the way they are.

Talking about books. This month is the 18th anniversary of the 1st sales for my original enterprise server / storage buyers guide. More about that in the sidebar article lower right.

In all that span of time - I fervently believe that this is the most exciting time to be in the storage market.

And here's an apology for the later than promised delivery of a new article I've been working on - which will predict key milestones in the market adoption of SSD Backup. It was getting so complicated I decided to split it into 3 separate articles - starting with the subject's own home page which appeared earlier this week.
Top news stories in recent weeks gone by
Each link below takes you to a week of news.

Foremay samples 200k IOPS PCIe SSDs
Silicon Motion's SSD SoCs - Ready for 20nm
$10 million funding for AoE storage pioneer
Samsung agrees to pay Rambus $900 million
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18 Years of Enterprise Storage Guides
Editor:- February 18, 2010 - it's 18 years since I sold the 1st edition of my enterprise server and storage buyers guide - the SPARC Product Directory.

Little did I imagine back then (in 1992) that SSDs - a technology I had used to boost the reliability and speed of servers in the 1980s - and which occupied less than 1% of the pages in that heavy $79 book - would one day become the #1 hot topic for millions of my readers - as it is today.

2010 - year of the SSD market bubble - is one of the most exciting times and places to be involved in the computer industry.

It's got... the buzz I felt in 1977 as an electronics engineer working with microprocessors. The uncertainty of being a web publisher in 1996. The thrills of the dotcom boom days in 1998 which gave me the confidence to put a cartoon character - Megabyte the mouse - on the home page of a serious new publication about RAID, SCSI, HDDs and SSDs - which I boldly named

Today - the storage market is the hot center of flaming innovation in computer architecture.

SSDs are going to enable us to evolve new digital markets faster than possible using the tired sagging clock rates and fat cores of 30 year old processor architectures with hard drives.
SSDs over 163  current & past oems profiled There are thousands pages here on - and our readers, contributors and sponsors include many of the thought leaders in the SSD industry. Together - we're "leading the way to the new storage frontier".

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