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Storage news - July 2010, week 3

the fastest SSDs
SSD market history
the Top 10 SSD Companies
Surviving SSD sudden power loss
SSD Pricing - where does all the money go?
Write IOPS - inflation problems in flash SSDs
Fusion-io's CEO talks to about the SSD market
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Micron's embedded memory market video

Editor:- July 21, 2010 - Micron's VP of Embedded Solutions, Glen Hawk discusses the company's strategy with respect to the embedded memory market and how the Numonyx business (which they acquired in February for $1.3 billion) fits in - in a video interview on YouTube which also mentions prospects for extending the life of NOR architectures using PCM and also hints at other applications - which I assume are SSDs.

$8 million financing for virtualization ISV Actifio

Editor:- July 21, 2010 - Actifio today announced $8 million in Series A financing for its data management virtualization technology - which virtualizes vendor-independent physical or cloud-based storage devices into a private, public or hybrid storage cloud infrastructure.

This financing was led by North Bridge Venture Partners and Greylock Partners.

Editor's comments:- let's hope they do a better job of managing their customers' resources than their own website - which was working OK earlier today and later gave this message - "This Google App Engine application is temporarily over its serving quota. Please try again later."

WD reports revenue

Editor:- July 21, 2010 - Western Digital today reported $9.8 billion revenue and net income of $1.4 billion for the fiscal year ended July 2, 2010.

Editor's comments:- WD's annual revenue is 21% higher than FY 2008 ($8.1 billion) - the period just before the credit crunch.

But if you compare the total revenue in the HDD market (for all companies) 2008 compared to today - you'll see it's essentially the same. Market share has shifted in that time - with WD gaining at the expense of Seagate.

PCIe SSDs steam enterprise Oracle clouds

Editor:- July 21, 2010 - Texas Memory Systems today announced that its RamSan-20 models (PCIe SSDs) have been deployed by Mercury Technology (a leading provider of Oracle enterprise cloud services).

"We chose Texas Memory Systems because it is the only company that has such a long history in this technology," Brian Day, VP of Sales at Mercury Technology. "...It's important to have a partner that is not only knowledgeable, but who also has first-hand experience with other customers running Oracle software.... We wanted to offer our clients the stability that only Texas Memory Systems offers today."

"Some of the biggest, most demanding Oracle customers are hosted with Mercury Technology so we were delighted that it chose our RamSan solid state disks over all competing alternatives," said Jamon Bowen, Director of Sales Engineering at Texas Memory Systems. "RamSan solutions are a proven way to turbo charge Oracle performance."
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DCIG article about PCIe SSDs

Editor:- July 20, 2010 - DCIG has published an article - Identifying the Right SSD Architecture which describes the thinking behind some PCIe SSDs - and in particular those designed by the article's sponsor Fusion-io.

One of the disadvantages of the Fusion-io architecture (in my view) is that if you install it into a slow legacy server - it will not give you the same speedup as some other designs which offload more of their internal housekeeping functions to an onboard SSD controller. That difference magnifies if you fit multiple SSDs into the same PCIe bus.

At the other end of the scale, however, the Fusion-io design includes future-proofing for the server oems who design it in - because to some extent the performance will scale upwards automatically when they deploy the same SSDs into newer faster multi-core CPUs in new models of their servers.

These very big differences are part of what I call the Legacy versus New Dynasty segmentation model - which has been happening in the rackmount SSD market for several years. Superficially similar looking products actually address very different markets - and if you know which side of the divide you're on (and it can be different sides for different projects in the same enterprise) that can shortcut your vendor qualification processes.

You can read more about fundamental disagreement within the SSD industry in an article here on called the the SSD Heresies.

MOSAID and Nanya sign 7 year DRAM patents agreement

Editor:- July 20, 2010 - MOSAID Technologies today announced that it has licensed its DRAM patents to Nanya Technology as part of a 7 year, royalty bearing patent portfolio agreement.

Seagate shipped 193 million HDDs in past year

Editor:- July 20, 2010 - Seagate today reported $11.4 billion revenue and net income of $1.61 billion for the fiscal year ended July 2, 2010 in which the company shipped 193 million disk drives.

Editor's comments:- Seagate's annual revenue is 16% higher than FY 2009 - which sounds good. But it's 10% lower than FY 2008 ($12.7 billion) - the period just before the credit crunch - which in my view is a more realistic comparison if you're looking at long term HDD market trends.

when the SSD brand sends the wrong signal

Editor:- July 20, 2010 - has published a new article - when the SSD brand sends the wrong signal.

This is the 1st in a new series of articles about branding strategies in the SSD market. the article

How can SSDs change your life? - the movie

Editor:- July 19, 2010 - as an alternative to SSD market research - which is hard to digest, and those long powerpoints and complicated spreadsheets can send you to sleep - Kingston's SSD marketers have launched a competition to learn how users might really benefit from using their SSDs.

It involves uploading a video with the theme "How Can a Kingston® SSDNow Drive Change Your Life?". 1st prize is $7,500. If your video wins - they might use it promotions (but you won't get any royalties). See also:- SSD videos -'s pick of the best on the web.

SSD fundamentals seminar -pre Flash Memory Summit

Editor:- July 19, 2010 - Chuck Sobey, on behalf of KnowledgeTek will present a 4 hour seminar on the fundamentals of SSDs - in one of the pre conference sessions of the Flash Memory Summit August 16.

This tutorial is designed for engineers, managers, and executives who need to make immediate decisions about whether to use SSDs in their data center or products. See also:- SSD Training

Nimbus improves features in NAS SSD

Editor:- July 19, 2010 - Nimbus Data Systems today announced higher density in its 10GbE 2U rackmount SSD systems - 10TB (enterprise MLC) - implemented as 24 x 400GB hot-swappable SAS flash blades.

The company also announced improved connectivity - upto 120Gbps - from its internal 12 port FlexConnect 'virtual switch' which makes all storage available to all ports without the need to create and assign volumes to specific ports. Every port can run all supported protocols – iSCSI, CIFS and NFS – simultaneously, enabling unified block and file storage and converged networking. Pricing for a 10TB system with FlexConnect is just under $110k.

Memoright announces new US distributor

Editor:- July 16, 2010 - Memoright this week announced a new authorized distributor for their SSDs in the US - First Commercial Technologies based in Beverly Hills, CA.

Editor's comments:- distributing 2.5" SSDs has been a risky business because consumer SSD fashions and prices have changed really fast. But knowledgeable SSD resellers can be a useful source of advice for SOHOs and SMBs.

There's not much on FCT's new website at the moment. But Jonny Brownleader at FCT - who sent me this news - had previously been selling flash SSDs for a couple of years at RocketDisk.

SANpulse announces 280% revenue growth for storage migration

Editor:- July 15, 2010 - SANpulse today announced revenue growth of 280% in the 1st and 2nd quarters of 2010 compared to the year ago quarters.

This results from continued Fortune 500 enterprise adoption of the company's SANlogics solution to simplify and automate storage migration and data center consolidation. In 2010 SANpulse reached new technology deployment milestones, transforming and optimizing more than 25,000 servers attached to over 40PB of data.

Editor's comments:- It's especially impressive growth for a company who has zero occurrences of the word "SSD" on its website.

It demonstrates that the storage market universe is very big indeed.

Though not as big as the web universe. Take a look at this interesting article - Want More Readers? Try Expanding Your Internet Universe - on - in which I recognized the eternal truth of author Brian Clark's observation that "Someone out there in the Internet-universe is struggling with something you learned 3 years ago."

Yeah. Who would have thought all that all that nichey SSD endurance and SSD reliability stuff would ever be of interest to a mass audience? Those SSD articles were published 5 years ago. Guess I'll have to wait another 5 years before some of my more recent articles - like this way to the Petabyte SSD - strike the right chord.

See also:- Solaris Migration - resources and articles.

Nimble Storage enters the ASAP market

Editor:- July 15, 2010 - Nimble Storage announced the release of the Nimble CS-Series an iSCSI compatible SSD ASAP which has been optimized for backup and compression performance.

The model CS240 has 18TB of primary storage and 216TB backup. At launch pricing was under $3/GB (usable) for primary storage and $0.25/GB for backup storage.

storage news

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Knowing what you actually know is
sometimes scarier than not knowing
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Significant news stories in past 12 months
Each link below takes you to a week of news.

SNIA publishes SSD performance doc - July 2010
Anobit aims at SandForce SSD slots - June 2010
SandForce brings branding to SSD chips - May 2010
Nimbus designs own SAS SSDs for arrays - Apr 2010
OCZ gets $15 million funding - Mar 2010
Seagate ships 2TB SAS HDD - Feb 2010
ioSafe launches disaster proof SSD - Jan 2010
Micron samples SATA 3.0 SSDs - Dec 2009
Google's new SSD based OS - Nov 2009
Active Media launches USB 3 SSDs - Oct 2009
Dataram ships auto-tuning SAN SSD - Sep 2009
STEC samples 6Gb/s SAS SSDs - Aug 2009
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What's the best way to design a flash SSD?

and other questions which divide SSD opinion
More than 10 key areas of fundamental disagreement within the SSD industry are discussed in an article here on called the the SSD Heresies.
click to read the article - the SSD Heresies ... Why can't SSD's true believers agree upon a single coherent vision for the future of solid state storage? the article
SSDs - the big picture
Editor:- was the world's 1st publication to provide continuous editorial coverage and analysis of SSDs (in 1998) and in the 12 years which have followed we've led the market through many interesting and confusing times.
click to read the story about why SSDs are taking up so much time on so many web pages If you often find yourself explaining to your VC, lawyer or non technical BBQ guests why you spend so much time immersed in SSD web pages - and need a single, simple, non very technical reference to suggest - this may be the link they need.

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