SSD news - July
2010, week 2
| SSD Bookmarks - from
SandForce's CEO |
Editor:- July 14, 2010 - StorageSearch.com today
- suggested by Michael Raam,
seems like nearly everyone in the
SSD industry wants to know
what SandForce is doing and thinking.
Michael Raam's suggestions
include some great SSD resources which I had never seen before - which is why
the SSD Bookmarks
Series was created.
Do you want to understand more about the
issues that drive SandForce's thinking? If so - read the article
SSD tuning is not "set and forget"
July 14, 2010 - a regular correspondent asked for my comments about a recent
Down Storage Complexity with SSD - by George Crump, founder of
was surprised to see - that in its enthusiasm for SSD - the article contains
a potentially misleading statement:- "SSD is as close to a 'set
it and forget it' option that storage I/O performance tuning has."
In my view - this statement is only true in 2 cases.
- that 100% of the data is put in the SSD - which is extremely rare in
enterprise apps, and
2 - that the SSD is an
all other cases - SSD tuning needs to be revisited whenever the shape of the
data or the ratio of SSD to HDD changes. In the worst case the tuning can
drift from the ideal and offer no worthwhile acceleration whatsoever.
error comes in an article which come from a respected author whose other work
- has in fact - been cited in the
SSD Bookmarks . It
shows we can all make mistakes when we get carried away by the flow of our prose
- and ignore the reality of the analysis - which sometimes tells a more complex
LaCie launches rugged USB flash stick
13, 2010 - LaCie
a rugged USB
flash drive - the
XtremKey - with upto 64GB capacity inside a 2mm metal pipe casing.
with wear-resistant screw threads and a rubber O-ring, it is watertight up to
100meters. The LaCie XtremKey is also resistant to 5-meter drops, fierce heat
and bitter cold. Non operating temperature is claimed to be (+200°C / -50°).
R/W speeds are upto 40MB/s and 30MB/s respectively. ...watch the flash key abuse
Editor's comments:- The XtremKey is not
an SSD. If
you're not sure about the critical difference between a flash drive and a flash
SSD - it's wear leveling.
rugged HDD and SSD drives see
military storage. If
you liked the LaCie video - check out
ioSafe's video linked in
our SSD video page
- which inspired it
return to - Are MLC SSDs Ever Safe in Enterprise Apps?
July 13, 2010 - I still get a lot of questions about my classic article (June
Are MLC SSDs Ever
Safe in Enterprise Apps?
The original article was aimed at
readers with an electronics background - and was (I thought) clear and
unambiguous in its presentation of the risks and benefits for different types of
flash in differing types of enterprise app.
But as more users in the
enterprise server space are now looking at these issues - the article has caused
confusion - because some SSD
jargon terms like "endurance" are getting more widely known -
whereas other electronics terms used in the article - which are equally
important to understanding the issues - are not understood.
should users need more than a degree in electronics to make safe choices in
today's SSD market?
I've discussed with some of the SSD industry's
leading thinkers and company founders. But sadly - we are agreed - users do
need to understand deep matters (physics, electronics and computer architecture)
when buying SSDs today - because not all SSD vendors understand the
underlying physics and architectural implications of what they are doing.
SSD is only as good as the people who designed it. SSD Architecture is not
an established computer science and is not taught at universities. Until it is
- maybe in 2016 - most SSD design teams are still learning what is important
as they go along. And the rules - of what is possible and sensible- are still
Going back to where I started with this note... I've updated
my "Are MLC SSDs Safe" article - with answers to 2 recent reader
questions - asking if better
SSD controller technology
and enterprise MLC flash have changed the views I originally expressed. ...read the article
New fitness service for Tape Library dinosaurs
July 12, 2010 - Crossroads
a new service for users of tape
overview analysis service provides comprehensive analytics on the health,
performance and utilization of tape libraries and helps users identify the
any sources of inefficiencies which can otherwise lead to backups
exceeding allocated time windows.
"Rather than tossing out
perfectly good media, storage administrators can avoid unnecessary costs and
headaches by viewing the precise status and health of their environment,"
said Elaine Pleshek, senior product manager at Crossroads Systems. "It's a
service that pays for itself. By gaining a reliable tool that continually
diagnoses operational backup errors, organizations can experience impressive
See also:- Storage
New NAS systems will scale to 100Gbps
12, 2010 - designing quad port 100Gbps ethernet will be made easier by a new
interface (PHY) from NetLogic
The device supports 10Gbps SFI-to-XFI, 40Gbps
XLPPI-to-XLAUI and 100Gbps CPPI-to-CAUI modes to enable a seamless migration of
data centers from 10 Gigabit to 100 Gigabit throughputs. See also:-
SNIA publishes draft SSD performance testing doc
July 12, 2010 - SNIA
today announced the availability of its
Solid State Storage
Performance Test Specification (version 0.9) for public review.
typical flash SSD
taken "fresh out of the box" and exposed to a workload, experiences a
brief period of elevated performance, followed by a period of transition to an
eventual performance Steady State. The new SNIA methodology will close the gap
between performance measurements
in the lab and in normal working life and make competitive vendor
comparisons more useful.
Editor's comments:- The SNIA
initiative is welcome but long overdue. All
standards ORGs are slow to
react to market trends.
2 years ago I published an article
called - Can you trust
flash SSD specs & benchmarks? - because it had been clear to me
that many oems and publications didn't know about what I called the "halo
effect" - which could make flash SSDs look better than they really
were. Prior to that I had asked some vendors to retest their devices using
longer test runs before publishing their benchmarks.
new directory of old style (parallel) SCSI SSDs
July 9, 2010 - StorageSearch.com
today published a new directory of
(parallel) SCSI SSDs.
SSDs aren't exactly a new topic in the
the SSD market. I benchmarked a SCSI SSD 20 years ago for use with an
embedded SPARC server. And there was a time when 95% of SSD manufacturers
made SCSI SSDs. Today that figure is 8%..
This is a market which has
resisted the upward suction of the
SSD market bubble.
Despite that - I know from many reader inquiries that customers with legacy
servers, and equipment designers with legacy products still search for SCSI
drives - and in many cases SSDs
are replacing HDDs -
simply because the original hard disk manufacturers have end of lifed SCSI
models. But many of the new SCSI SSDs available today aren't simply fossilized
versions of old designs. They include new security, performance and reliability
As an editor - creating a new SCSI SSD list has been low on
my priorities - because I thought the market had nearly gone away - and I
hoped I wouldn't have to do it. I was wrong. More SCSI SSDs are being shipped
today than at any time in the past. It's never going to be a huge market - but
for those of you who have been looking -
here it is.
upgrading old PCs with SSDs
Editor:- July 9, 2010 -
Old PCs with SSDs is a cautionary tale published on Denali Software's blog.
I've often told readers who asked me about this subject - that they
could be wasting their time trying to upgrade old notebooks with
SATA SSDs - because
most of the speedup benefits - if any - will be lost by the latency damping
effects of cheap and slow bridge
chips on the motherboard - and that - unlike in a server - notebooks have
precious little CPU headroom. It's nice to see these views are shared by the
author of this article who works for an
SSD IP vendor. ...read
Renice Technology looking for SSD partners
July 9, 2010 - Renice
Technology became the 166th SSD manufacturer to be added to
our SSD directory today.
in PRC - they are looking for international channel partners - email Rena,
firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested.