SSD news - April 1 - 7
SSD endurance -
the forever war
how long for hard
drives in an SSD world?
directions in rackmount SSDs
Adaptive R/W and
DSP ECC in flash SSD IP
Efficiency - making the
same SSD - with less chips
how will Memory
Channel SSDs impact PCIe SSDs?
|Dataram doubles memory in
Editor:- April 6, 2011 - Dataram has doubled
the RAM cache available in its
(2U rackmount fibre-channel SAN
SSD accelerator) to
256GB (the system price is approx $75,000).
XcelaSAN delivers up to
30x transparent R/W acceleration to attached
disk storage arrays with a
high-availability architecture (internal performance is
450,000 IOPS). Unlike vanilla SSD accelerators, XcelaSAN dynamically
caches high I/O activity application data when it is needed, to support multiple
applications many times larger than the cache itself.
new capacity upgrade, the XcelaSAN storage optimization appliance allows
customers to dramatically accelerate more applications with a cost-effective,
easy to install storage appliance," said
Caulkins, Chief Technologist, Dataram. "The added cache capacity
allows customers to add cache tiering to a wider range of applications in
addition to their mission critical applications, resulting in improved
performance across their entire business."
Editor's comments:- when Dataram launched the XcelaSAN in
September 2009 -
they published precious little performance data and they didn't offer a simple
high availability option. Now with benefit of customer experience and a
reworking of the design Dataram has a lot more info which describes the product
including a useful (and overdue)
page. Another factor which has changed in the meantime is that more than 20
other manufacturers now offer
SSD Accelerated Pools of storage) with their own flavors of interface, form
factor etc making this a confusing market for potential buyers.
simple pitch for the Dataram ASAP is:- it works with your existing FC SAN
storage arrays and installs in about an hour. Because it does the hot spot
tuning automatically it suits medium sized enterprises who may only need to buy
a single system. These users are not so attractive to high end SSD oems who
for business reasons prefer focusing their technical and sales talent on
customers with high multiple repeat business potential.
thing for me in seeing today's news about doubling the memory in the XcelaSAN is
that Dataram has for decades been the first memory maker to offer
memory capacity for leading servers. Now the company is doing the same thing
Virident does that 1 million IOPS thing in 1U SGI server
April 4, 2011 - Virident
Systems today announced
that working with SGI
they demonstrated 1 million IOPS performance in a 1U server rack using just 2
of its tachIOn
PCIe SSDs at a system
list price of less than $.05 per IOPS.
among other things Virident says "this solution needs only 800GB of
operating storage to achieve 1 Million IOPS, versus up to more than 5TB in some
What this alludes to is that the more
flash memory chips you've
got in an SSD array the easier it is to juggle the
controller design to
ensure an adequate population of "ready for write" chips - which in
turn gives you faster
By not having to over
provision the SSD storage users can save space, electrical power and
money. Having said
that -Virident like TMS
- and unlike Fusion-io
- only uses (more expensive)
SLC flash in
their enterprise SSDs.
Finally a note about performance.
IOPS SSD" has been the common currency of SSD marketers on this site
for over 8 years. What matters is whether you can afford that performance and
how well its behavior correlates with the demands from your own apps and
in your own servers.
a day later - Virident issued another press release with quotes from
various other oems and integrators who are using its tachIOn SSD - which should
appear soon on its own news
Marvell flies a kite for DragonFly accelerator
April 4, 2011 - Marvell
today unveiled a PCIe
compatible SSD ASAP.
Marvell claims 10x speedups can be realized using its new
Virtual Storage Accelerator - which is designed to reduce
to external storage arrays and acts as an OS agnostic multiprotocol storage
cache for NAS,
DAS storage arrays.
The product - is expected to sample in Q3.
more than 20 companies have launched similarly impressive sounding accelerators
in the past 2 years in form factors ranging from cards to racks. Based on the
track record of the SSD industry in this particular segment I think it would be
realistic for users to think about a timescale which is more like another
year than another quarter before application software issues are resolved
in this new product - and the speedup ratio quoted may or may not be sustainable
Animal brands in
the SSD market - Would users buy an SSD just because it has an animal
printed on the label? If so - what animal should it be?
SMART samples XceedIOPS2 SATA SSDs
4, 2011 - SMART
today announced sample availability of its
6Gb/s SATA SSDs in 1.8"
and 2.5" form
factors which use with the latest SandForce SF-2000
series SSD processors.
with eMLC or commercial MLC in capacities from 50 to 400GB, the new
XceedIOPS2 SATA SSD delivers upto 60K random IOPS and sequential performance
of 520MB/s. Designed to deliver superior reliability (backed by a 5 year
warranty) the XceedIOPS2 includes SMART's proprietary PowerGuard
"The XceedIOPS2 SATA SSD from SMART leverages
industry-leading technologies proven to meet the requirements of Tier-1
enterprise applications," said John
Scaramuzzo, GM of SMART's Storage Business Unit. "This 2nd
generation product incorporates advances in both established and proprietary
technologies, resulting in a highly reliable design that delivers best-of-breed
SSD cost and performance for the enterprise."
Editor's comments:- I asked for more info about PowerGuard
technology because it touches on a reliability topic (SSD sudden power
loss) that has recently been become
In January 2011 - SMART published an application note -
Power Failure Protection (pdf). It describes the 3 most vulnerable SSD areas
which can get corrupted due to sudden power loss - and describes typical
architectures to prevent it.
SMART's view is that supercaps aren't
reliable enough for enterprise SSDs. "For every 10°C of ambient
operating temperature rise, the life expectancy of a supercapacitor can be cut
approximately in half." So instead they use NbO capacitors in an array.
These have MTBFs 100x
better than Al based supercaps, have little degradation of capacitance with
temperature and fail to open circuit (which is acceptable) and the array
guarantees there is sufficient capacitance remaining if this happens.
Daily storage searches spiked in March
April 1, 2011 - readership and pageviews on StorageSearch.com in March were
at their highest monthly levels for 6 months - with peak daily pageviews higher
than at any time in our
15 years on the web
- despite the fact I'm covering a much narrower range of subjects nowadays -
the twists and turns and transitions towards a solid state storage future.
lot of stuff to analyze - and as soon as it makes any sense to me - I'll write
more about it - including the quarterly update of the
top 10 SSD companies
- which will be next Wednesday. If it was just a simple list - it would be
sooner. It's the 25 or so supporting articles which take a little bit of time
for me to write - not to mention everything else that's going on in the
Thanks to the many thousands of you who have linked to my
content or mentioned it in other electronic communications. I don't spend nearly
enough time looking at what web
marketers call "backward links" - and when I do discover something
nice that someone has said - it's often years after the event. Anyway thanks
again and have a good weekend.
every 10°C of ambient|
operating temperature rise, the life
of a supercapacitor can
be cut approximately in half."
|...SMART - in a news
story on |
this page (April 4, 2011) scroll
down to see more.
|Retiring and retiering
enterprise DRAM was one of the big SSD ideas which took hold in the market in
Since then more than 20 companies have already announced
products for this market among which are Memory1, 3DXPoint etc
But what are the underlying reasons that will make it feasible for slower
cheaper memory to replace most of the future DRAM market without
reasons for fading out DRAM|
| "One petabyte of
enterprise SSD could replace 10 to 50 petabytes of raw HDD storage in the
enterprise - and still run all the apps faster and at lower cost."|
|meet Ken and the SSD