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Storage news - October 2010 - week 2

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Overland says cloud storage technology can scale NAS VTLs

Editor:- October 14, 2010 - Overland Storage today announced that it has acquired MaxiScale - a cloud storage technology company.

Dr. Geoff Barrall, CTO and VP of engineering at Overland Storage said "The logical next step for us is to create a clustered scalable NAS forming a local cloud of storage. When the opportunity arose to acquire MaxiScale's well-regarded technology, we took notice. MaxiScale's architecture will provide our customers with the ability to scale hundreds of (our) SnapServers into one unified pool of storage."

will iPads open doors for ASAPs?

Editor:- October 12, 2010 - Dataram has launched a campaign called - Let us prove it to You - to persuade users to evaluate its XcelaSAN (an FC rackmount SSD ASAP) - which the company says can dynamically and transparently improves I/O performance up to 30x in the user's own SAN environment with block-level caching.

Dataram is so confident in the results and ease of installation that a 32GB iPad will be given to organizations that complete the evaluation.

"Companies often invest time and money to plan, simulate, monitor and report the anticipated results of performance enhancements, and then repeat the process to install and test the solution in their environment," said Phyllis Reiman, Manager, Storage Product Marketing at Dataram. "XcelaSAN is a better alternative that installs quickly, without taking systems offline. Customers run their own data and validate the actual improvement. No guessing - just proof and immediate results."

To register your interest - phone 1-800-DATARAM (choose option 5 and mention code prove it to me) or email:-

Editor's comments:- I'm dubious about promotions which offer material inducements to users - to perform product evaluations (which should be in the self interest of their organizations anyway). But making it easier for users to try before they buy is a sound marketing strategy for enterprise SSDs - which got a good score as a market penetration disinhibitor in our 2004 SSD buyer attitude survey.

Hyperstone will use Toshiba technology in next generation SSD controllers

Editor:- October 12, 2010 - Hyperstone today announced that Toshiba (Europe) has agreed to provide the company with a variety of ASIC design and manufacturing services.

New SSD controllers based on Toshiba semiconductor process technology will sample in Q1, 2011.

Editor's comments:- Some of Hyperstone's products appear in consumer SSDs - and this is a market which is noted for its lack of effective backups (unlike the enterprise SSD market) - so I asked the company if they had any views about the emerging SSD data recovery market.

Axel Mehnert, VP Marketing at Hyperstone told me - "Regarding data recovery, we do not really have any particular statement or policy. It depends on the firmware. Customers (SSD oems) use different implementations. Depending on the deletion process or errors' root causes data recovery might be possible or, in other cases, not even desired. Our customers specify their requirements and we adopt our firmware accordingly. Quite possibly, you will find different types of implementations when looking at the same controller ID."

STEC's SSD Bookmarks

Editor:- October 11, 2010 - a new edition in our SSD Bookmarks series was published today - with links suggested by Scott Stetzer, VP Marketing STEC.

This is the long running series in which we ask leaders in the SSD industry to suggest high quality SSD articles on sites outside the well known space (which was the 1st site to focus on SSDs over 10 years ago). The SSD Bookmarks series introduces you to other views and ways of looking at the SSD market - with quality assured recommendations. the articles

2.5" defense SSD juggles 30K IOPS

Editor:- October 10, 2010 - SMART announced it is sampling a new 2.5" 200GB SATA SLC flash SSD for mission-critical defense and industrial applications.

The Xcel-100 solid-state drive achieves up to 30,000 IOPS random read/write and 250MB/s sustained read/write. Validated to MIL-STD-810F it's designed to operate in a temperature range that extends from -40°C to +85°C, with the ability to sustain 50g operating shock and 16.4g operating vibration.

The Xcel-100 offers high reliability and data integrity (< 1 in 1017 bits read) that is supported by extensive error-correction and detection capabilities, multi-level data-path and code protection, data-fail recovery, and data-integrity monitoring. The Xcel-100 also supports the ATA-7 Security Erase. feature for applications where data elimination is required.

PhotoFast launches low cost terabyte PCIe SSD

Editor:- October 8, 2010 - PhotoFast is taking orders for a new 960GB PCIe MLC flash SSD - which - with an onboard 512MB RAM buffer - delivers upto 1,500MB/s write speeds - and costs approx $4,300.

flash SSD endurance - new executive summary

Editor:- October 8, 2010 - I still get a lot of emails about my classic article - SSD Myths and Legends - "write endurance" - originally published more than 3 years ago.

It was useful in its day and helped prepare the ground for users in the enterprise market to accept the idea of SLC flash SSDs in the datacenter - which prior to 2007 - had been strictly verboten - and I specifically told you not to do it in all previous editions of the SSD Buyers Guides going back to the year dot.

It was clear to many of us in early 2007 that a combination of new SSD controller architectures and qualification processes could (and did) completely change the shape of the SSD enterprise market - which previously had been all RAM SSDs. It was also clear that a lot of customers would get burned if they used flash SSDs in high IOPS apps - which hadn't been designed correctly for those environments. And that burnout risk - is true in every new generation of flash memory.

The original article - which was long to begin with - has now got so many sidebars and supporting links - that sometimes readers get to the end and still haven't taken in all the key concepts. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing - and although the original article was vetted for technical correctness by many leading flash SSD companies at the time - I still get readers who are new to these issues asking questions which I have already answered many times before.

So to make my life easier - and yours too - if you are new to this subject - I have created an executive summary at the top of the article - which means you don't have to read the whole thing. the article

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Imprinting the brain of the SSD
Editor:- How did the SSD market change from:- Who cares? to You care! about the identity of SSD controllers.
click to read the case study - about the SandForce Driven program My article - Imprinting the brain of the SSD - compares SandForce's SSD processor branding program with previous examples in chip history and analyzes key business success factors.
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the SSD Bookmarks series click to see more SSD  Bookmarks
Now we're well and truly in the SSD market bubble there are thousands of websites which talk about SSDs.

But how can you tell the good ones from the bad ones - which frankly don't understand the market or the technology?

You already know about - the most respected site on the subject of solid state drives - which we have covered extensively since the 1990s.

But what about other good SSD sites and articles?

I asked SSD industry leaders to name their own favorites and tell our readers why you should look too.

They're busy people - running their companies and making the SSD future happen sooner. But they all agree with me that better understanding about the SSD market is an important factor in its success.

I always look forward to seeing these suggestions.

The SSD Bookmarks series will take you to new quality sites and articles which you may not have seen before.
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