|Will hybrid SSD/HDD
Editor:- May 14, 2010 - a new article in
discusses prospects for the
market and SSD ASAPs.
arose when I was having a discussion with their experienced storage
Mellor. He asked what I thought about a recent web posting that
Toshiba might be
of new hybrid SSD products.
I said - "I've always thought that
2.5" hybrids (SSD + HDD) were a waste of space - ever since the idea
surfaced. It doesn't matter who makes them." - I then went on to explain
...Later:- May 17, 2010 - after seeing
the above article - a thoughtful SSD reader asked me to say more.
See what I said in
this sequel (and prequel).
What's the best / cheapest - PC SSD?
14, 2010 - I often get emails from readers which ask the above question.
long overdue new article published today on
StorageSearch.com - called
What's the best
/ cheapest PC SSD? - is my attempt to create a simple FAQs page - which
answers the question - of why I can't answer your question - and follows
on to pose some probing questions which you can ask yourself. ...read the article
flash SSD integrity architectures for space-craft
April 13, 2010 - for those interested in
flash SSD data
integrity issues - Phil White, President of ECC Technologies has
released a white paper -
Memories for Spacecraft (doc).
Phil has been working with ECC for
almost 37 years and his company is developing future ECC designs to
allow systems architects to develop
NAND flash memories that
are highly reliable
and fault-tolerant even if the NAND flash chips themselves are not so reliable.
NASA is using ECC Tek's designs in
multiple missions. 2 of the designs are in space at the present time and are
working perfectly. Phil White recently wrote a document for NASA and
JPL which outlines how to design NAND
Flash memories for spacecraft. The 22 page "preview" document
excludes confidential data but gives a taste of the technology available for
licensing. ...read the
5 Cloud Storage Tips from Nasuni
Editor:- May 13,
2010 - Nasuni
recently published a guide to the top 5 issues you should consider when looking
is a very hype-laden market - which has taken 10 years to get nowhere
substantial very fast - but I suppose others might (wrongly) say something
similar about the
it's taken for the SSD market
to get seriously started.
Because I have grown suspicious about all
new storage software
companies - I let this one sit in my inbox for a few days before looking at it
in more detail.. But the points made seem quite sensible. ...read
Mushkin's 2.5" SandForce SoC SSD
12, 2010 - Mushkin
has joined the throng of SSD
companies marketing SandForce (inside)
range includes a 240GB SATA
model with R/W speeds upto 285MB/s and 275MB/s respectively, and shopping cart
price of $666.49.
Fusion-io's SSDs validated for Oracle
12, 2010 - Fusion-io
that it has validated its PCIe based flash SSDs with
Monica Kumar, senior director OpenSource Product Marketing, Oracle
said "By collaborating with our partners such as Fusion-io (a Gold level
partner) Oracle continues to focus on helping customers deploy better, faster
and cheaper Linux solutions."
Cost reductions can arise from being able to run less servers to
achieve application performance goals due to the speedup obtained by
appropriately configured SSD accelerators (SSD CPU Equivalence
Editor's comments:- The idea of optimizing database
performance with fast storage and parallel processing goes right back to the
birth of these database products.
In 1988 I was lucky enough to be
development manager of a Unix oem called Databasix - where we played with
every technology we could think of to make applications go faster including
designing array processors, prototype RAID controllers and SSDs. We were lucky
to have customers who could afford to buy technology - if it could be proven to
run an order of magnitude faster than anything else that was available. I used
to joke with our sales people that we'll charge more for any systems that run
faster than the speed of light or break any other cherished rules of physics or
computer architecture. This was mostly for an application segment which I
used to refer to as "Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Or Superman?" (You
can replace the "Superman" part with the name of any particular bad
guys on government wanted lists.
But an important lesson learned from
this expensive education - which I'll pass on to you free - is that not all
applications do in fact speed up. You've got to know what you're doing and put
the fast bits in the right place. The bottleneck is not always where you think
it is. Or if it is and you fix it in one place - then you may have to fix the
next bottleneck upstream too. That's why "try before you buy" is
the golden rule for enterprise SSD acceleration.
In 2004 - 44%
of big budget SSD users said that try before you buy would be a necessary
step in their decision making process (StorageSearch.com SSD survey)
and I don't think the results would be very different today.
STEC may reshuffle SSDs to stay in the game
May 12, 2010 - an article in
suggests that STEC
will soon launch a PCIe
SSD to compete with the likes of Fusion-io and Texas Memory Systems.
not a real surprise. The enterprise server acceleration market is STEC's
biggest market. And the PCIe SSD market has - in less than 3 years -
established itself as the most important enterprise SSD form factor - based on
SSD search volume.
The author of the Register article -
- also said that STEC has been sampling a low capacity
10 years ago - RAM SSDs in hard disk form factors from companies like
TiGi were used by server
and switch oems to stealthily boost high end product speeds - but the smashing
of the flash
endurance barrier and steep
flash SSD performance
roadmap coupled with much
vs RAM capacity prices has nearly killed off that market segment.
- but not quite. DDRdrive
has found a niche for its own
low capacity RAM SSD
(launched a year ago) which is the same market eyed by STEC.
difference being that STEC will most likely maintain its volume oem route to
market - whereas end-users can buy the DDRdrive in quantities as low as a single
unit. (And STEC's product, being newer, should be faster.)
soon after publishing the above I was contacted by Chris George,
Founder and CTO of DDRdrive
who questioned my speculative anticipation that the (as yet unreleased) STEC
product would be faster than that the low latency DDRdrive X1 - which
delivers 300,000 IOPS.
The point I had intended to make is that
STEC has been in the habit of setting performance records with its flagship
enterprise SSDs. But if they haven't done their market research - and instead
launch an underwhelming RAM SSD acceleration product then they will have
missed an important market opportunity. We'll have to wait for news and
...Much later:- In
STEC was acquired by HGST.
STEC's main IP assets at that time were
controller technology and product lines in the
SAS SSD and
SATA SSD markets.
60GB SandForce inside SSDs - $220 from OWC
May 11, 2010 - OWC
Pro SSD family - which are
2.5" SSDs with
R/W speeds are upto 285MB/s . At the time of
launch prices and capacities were as follows:- 60GB - $219.99, 120GB -
$379.99, 240GB $699.99 and 480GB $1,579.99.
DCIG publishes buyers guide - midrange storage array market
May 11, 2010 - DCIG
has published the
DCIG Midrange Array
Buyer's Guide (100+ pages) which contains product information on over 70
different midrange arrays from 20 storage providers.
DCIG says the
guide is intended to narrow down the playing field to develop a list of
competitive products that have comparable features to meet specific application
or business needs. Developed to be the go-to resource for IT professionals, the
guide provides direct comparisons of storage systems classified as midrange
arrays and delivers insight into the range of offerings available on the market.
New for 2010, the DCIG Midrange Array Buyer's Guide provides product
comparisons among the widest range of storage array options and identifies the
winners and losers across five categories, including FC/iSCSI,
iSCSI only, hardware and
Pricing ranges from $5,000 for 1 print copy - upto $20,000 which
includes:- internal distribution, 1 hour of analyst debriefing and marketing
TwinStrata names customers using its CloudArray software
May 10, 2010 -TwinStrata
announced new customer deployments of its
CloudArray software - which
delivers cloud storage
functions (such as data replication,
archiving and DR) piped through an
TwinStrata says its software supports all market-leading
hypervisors: VMware ESX/ESXi, Citrix XenServer, and Microsoft Hyper-V.
PMC-Sierra acquires Adaptec's SSD ASAP and RAID business
May 10, 2010 - PMC-Sierra
agreement to acquire Adaptec's channel
storage business for approximately $34 million in cash.
includes Adaptec's RAID storage product line, its global VAR customer base,
board logistics capabilities, and
SSD cache performance
Editor's comments:- I had heard that
Adaptec's storage business was up for sale a few months ago.
storage market outlook
2010 to 2015 article - published last year - I explained why I thought that
the RAID controller
market couldn't stay as it was.
These companies have to get into
offering complete SSD
solutions in the long term. In the short term PMC-Sierra may be able to do a
better job aggregating a bigger percentage of whatever remains of the untied
RAID controller business.
I expect the RAID business (for
hard disks) will
eventually become a consumer / SMB market - while the enterprise storage array
part of this market will morph through an
SSD ASAP phase -
while users struggle to redefine
architectures for the datacenter.