historical perspective of the SSD market|
|Kaminario agrees 2012 could be a "kick
ass" year for SSD|
Editor:- December 22, 2011 -
are ready for take-off! - is a new 2011 SSD market year end review -
written by Dani
Golan founder of Kaminario.
BiTMICRO seeks SSD software talent in India
December 21, 2011 - BiTMICRO
has opened a
office in India.
"India is known for its highly skilled design
engineers. We wanted to tap their technological expertise to support our chip
and storage network system development ..." said Rey Bruce, CEO of
Texas Memory Systems want to be acquired
December 21, 2011 - A recent report
on CNBC confirms that Texas Memory Systems
is looking for a potential buyer.
Editor's comments:- earlier
this month when I interviewed
the company's CEO - Holly Frost the thought of what TMS might be
worth had crossed my mind. That's one of the legacies of the
2011 SSD market
- that we look at companies in a different way.
I'm not going to hazard
a guess at a valuation today - because I'm recovering from flu and my brain is
still populated by
bad blocks of
HDD warranties to be cut
Editor:- December 20, 2011
- The warranties offered on many new
hard drives will be
reduced next year - according to an article in
In a duopolistic market there's no need to make claims which are any
better than they need to be. The regulators should have seen this coming.
SSD price timeline on pingdom.com
19, 2011 - when blogger Magnus
Nystedt contacted me earlier this month saying he was working on an
article which would compare historic price trends in HDDs and SSDs I wasn't
I said - "SSD price per GB is a very
unreliable metric on which to base storage comparisons and I've written several
articles explaining why it gives a meaningless picture."
that didn't stop him writing his
as you can see by clicking on the link. The SSDs in that data set are
Here are some wider scoped articles which I've
previously written on this theme.
- Clarifying SSD
Pricing - where does all the money go? Includes indicative price data
for different types of SSD - including enterprise SSDs.
Enterprise storage is more about the value of
doing things with data. Consumer storage is more about the color and the shape
of the box..
- And in my roadmap
to the Petabyte SSD article - I explained why even if HDDs are given away
free - they will be uneconomic compared to
SSDs in the datacenter of
the future. Storage is about more than just raw capacity. It's the ability to
do useful things with data in a timely fashion in a physical space which you
can sustainably afford.
How Fusion-io changed the SSD market
December 15, 2011 - continuing the home page series -
Who's who in SSD? - I've written a
new article today about Fusion-io
which discusses the 3 main contributions they have made to altering the course
of enterprise SSD market history.
Who's next? - Anobit may go the way of Pliant and SandForce
December 13, 2011 -
rumors are discussing the possible acquisition of Anobit by Apple for $400 to $500 million.
I said in my 2011
summary - there's a growing realization that "SSD companies are
SandForce enables enterprise oems to tweak the flash capacity
Editor:- December 12, 2011 -SandForce today
it is sampling a new SSD controller - the SF-2481 - which provides increased
data security and
features compared to earlier models from the company.
comments:- the new SandForce controllers are aimed at enterprise bulk
storage applications / cloud
storage. Performance is about the same as before - and the encryption
strength is better - but the 2 main differences are:-
The over provisioning feature is a key parameter which
directly impacts the competitiveness of the oems who deploy SSDs with SF
controllers - who can now decide for themselves how they want to adjust the
flash in their systems between reliability - coping for
high IOPS -
or cost effectiveness in lower IOPS systems - where the SSD is being used in a
large storage array to
replace HDD storage.
- New improved media health test
Previous models of SF controllers hard coded this
parameter - which meant that arrays of (small architecture) SF inside SSDs were
uncompetitive compared to
SSD systems from Violin
or Texas Memory Systems.
you're selling a controller which can go into such a diverse range of apps -
it's impossible for the controller designer to choose a single set up which is
best for all apps. Fusion-io
has always enabled its oem partners to tweak this paramater in its PCIe SSDs. My
headline comes from the article
capacity - the iceberg syndrome which discusses these tradeoffs in more
will new RamSan rattle Violin?
Editor:- December 6,
2011 - Texas Memory Systems
imminent availability of the
- a 4 port (FC/IB) 1U
which provides 10TB of usable 2D (FPGA implemented)
RAID protected and hot
swappable - SLC
capacity with 100/25 microseconds R/W latency (with all protections in
place) delivering 400K IOPS (4KB), 5GB/s throughput - with no single point of
failure (at $20K/TB approx list).
The new SSD uses a
regular RAM cache
flash architecture which in the event of
loss has an ultra reliable battery array which holds up the SSD power for 30
seconds while automatically backing
up all data in flight and translation tables to nonvolatile flash storage. On
power up - the SSD is ready for full speed operation in less than a minute.
at HA tier 1 storage markets - the RamSan-720 consumes only 300-400 W - which
makes it practical for high end users to install nearly 1/2
petabyte of SSD
storage in a single cabinet - without having to worry about the secondary
risks which can arise from high temperature build-ups in such
Editor's comments:- I've
been talking to TMS every month for over 10 years - and I've been writing
about their memory appliances since the early 1990s - so you might think that I
would have run out of things to say by now. When I saw the preliminary specs
for the new RS-720 - the features which jumped out at me were:-
- the low R/W latency for this class of SPOF product. Which is 2x as
good as the next fastest product I know - the 6000 series fron
Violin - and several
times faster than some other tier 1 SSD vendors such as
A few days ago I spoke to
Holly Frost, CEO
and Dan Scheel,
President of Texas Memory Systems about their new SSD, what they think about
what's going on in the SSD market, and the philosophy that steers the design
of their SSDs. In a hour long discussion I learned enough new stuff to write
several new articles. So instead of condensing it down here into a couple of
bullet points - I'm going to give you the benefit of what I learned in a
new article tomorrow called -
talks SSD with Holly Frost."
- the high storage density - over 3x better than
Violin delivers in SLC -
and close to the usable RAIDed capacity that a
Fusion-io 1U server
can deliver in MLC when using Octal.
Going back to my headline - will
new RamSan rattle Violin? - I'm sure that Violin would say that this simply
validates what they are doing (and shipping) already - and that the enterprise
SSD market is big enough for all vendors in this category to
at a healthy clip. It make you wonder how much a company like TMS might be worth
new article - re SSD ASAPs
Editor:- December 6,
2011 - StorageSearch.com
today published a new article -
the New Business
Case for SSD ASAPs .
What's an SSD ASAP? - When I use this term it
It's going to be a huge market. SSD
ASAPs are 1 of the 6 main SSD product types that will be around in the pure
solid state storage datacenter of the future in the
- auto-tiering SSD appliances
- SSD cache - the automatic kind
- SSD acceleration As Soon As Possible
- Auto-tuning SSD Accelerated Pools of storage
- combinations of the above
The word "new" in the title is deliberate. It
replaces an article I wrote about SSD ASAPs when the market started in 2009.
Since then - my thinking - and that of key players in the market has
developed. This should no longer just be regarded as a tactical market to bring
the advantages of SSD acceleration to legacy hard drive arrays. ASAPs are an
essential interface between different levels of SSD storage. ...read the article
OCZ's revenue growth accelerated by enterprise SSDs
December 1, 2011 - OCZ
revenue for the past quarter (ended November 30) to be in the range $100
and $105 million - an increase of approximately 90% compared to the
year ago quarter.
"We expect to report record revenue in Q3'12,
driven primarily by increased traction for our enterprise and server SSD
offerings along with initial shipments of our new PCIe-based offerings,"
said Ryan Petersen, CEO of OCZ Technology. "Based on the exit
bookings rates from November, interest in these products is exceeding our
expectations, due to accelerated adoption of our SSDs by server OEMs and
enterprise customers," added Petersen.
what's unique about FIO's ioDrives?
December 1, 2011 - I've been meaning to do this for the past year - but I've
finally got around to writing up an
analysis of Fusion-io's
ioDrive and ioMemory accelerator SSDs - which is designed to help you
quickly understand why this product line from Fusion-io is different - and
whether those are differences which matter to you.
I'm an analytical
person - I started my
career as an
electronic engineer - which requires numeracy and modeling skills
(rather than just an ability to cut and paste press releases and operate a
spell checker) but this is one of those rare cases of where the raw
numbers - without the narrative - fail to tell the full story ...read the article
|3 things that could have
killed flash SSDs|
emerging size of
the flash SSD market as you see it today was by no means inevitable. It owes a
lot to 3 competing storage media competitors which failed to evolve fast enough
in the Darwinian jungle of the storage market in the
One of these 3 contenders is definitely on the road to extinction -
but could one of the other 2 still emerge to threaten flash SSDs?
SSD's past phantom
demons explores the latent market threats which hovered around the flash SSD
market in the past decade. They seemed real and solid enough at the time.
|| Getting a realistic
perspective of flash SSD's past demons (which seemed very threatening at the
time) may help you better judge the so-called "new" generation of nv
memory contenders - which are also discussed in the article. ...read the article|
|fast erase / purge MIL SSDs|
|The need for fast and
secure data erase - in which vital parts of a flash SSD or its data are
destroyed in seconds - has always been a requirement in military projects.
many industrial SSD
vendors offer products with extended "rugged" operating
environment capabilities - and even notebooks SSDs come with encryption -
it's the availability of fast destructive data purge which differentiates "truly
secure" SSDs which can be deployed in sensitive applications.
makes these SSDs? How do they work? And what are the characteristics and
limitations of the various methods used? Click on the link above to find out
more in my special article / directory about
fast purge SSDs.
sudden power loss|
|Why should you care
what happens in an SSD when the power goes down? |
This important design
feature - which barely rates a mention in most SSD datasheets and press releases
- has a strong impact on
SSD data integrity
This article will help you understand why some
SSDs which (work perfectly well in one type of application) might fail in
others... even when the changes in the operational environment appear to be
|Where does all the money
go? - inside SSD pricing|
|SSDs are among the most
expensive (and complex) computer hardware products you will ever buy and
understanding the factors which determine SSD costs is often a confusing
and irritating process... ...which is not made any easier when market prices
for apparently identical capacity SSDs can vary more than 100x to 1!
|| Why is that? There are
good reasons for these cost differences. But more expensive isn't always better
for you. To find out what goes into the price - and whether you need it - ...read the article |
|How big was the
thinking in this SSD's design?|
|Does size really does matter in SSD
By that I mean how big was the mental map? - not how many
inches wide is the SSD.
The novel and the short story both have their
place in literature and the pages look exactly the same. But you know from
experience which works best in different situations and why.
it comes to SSDs - Big versus Small SSD architecture - is something which was
in the designer's mind. Even if they didn't think about it that way at the time.
||For designers, integrators,
end users and investors alike - understanding what follows from these simple
choices predicts a lot of important consequences. ...read the article|
|the 3 fastest flash
PCIe SSDs - list / lists|
|You know the sort of
thing I mean - where a magazine compares 10 SSDs or a blogger compares 2 SSDs
against each other. It would be nice to have a shortlist so that you don't have
to waste too much of your own valuable time testing unsuitable candidates
StorageSearch's long running
fastest SSDs directory
typically indicates 1 main product in each form factor category but those
examples may not be compatible with your own ecosystem.
If so a
new article -
the 3 fastest PCIe
SSDs list (or is it really lists?) may help you cut that Gordian
knot. Hmm... you may be thinking that StorageSearch's editor never gives easy
answers to SSD questions if more complicated ones are available.
||But in this case you'd be
wrong. (I didn't say you'd like the answers, though.) ...read the article|