|SandForce oems shipped over
100 Petabytes of new SSDs |
Editor:- February 14, 2011 - SandForce today
announced it has shipped more than one million of its
SF-1500 and SF-1200 SSD
Processors since they were released into production in 2010.
Driven SSD manufacturers shipped more than 100 Petabytes of NAND flash into
the mainstream computing markets.
"We designed the SandForce SSD
Processors to kickstart the SSD market by bringing
performance and longevity to SSDs made with cost-effective commodity MLC flash,
and that's exactly what has happened," said Michael Raam,
President and CEO for SandForce. "...We anticipate our shipment volumes to
increase by several multiples as the
proposition of SSDs based on our technology further proliferate into the
Editor's comments:- are you
surprised? If you are - then maybe you haven't been reading StorageSearch.com
very long. I suggest you start reading back issues of the
top 10 SSD lists - to
avoid any more future SSD shocks.
Petabyte SSDs -
roadmap and market milestones
SanDisk promises 64GB miniature SSDs in Q3
February 14, 2011 - SanDisk
preannounced details of a new
miniature SSD which
will ship in Q3 2011 - the
has upto 64GB (x3 MLC) capacity in a 12mm x 16mm x 1mm package.
smartphones and tablets, every millimeter of thickness counts," said Amir
Lehr, VP, embedded business, SanDisk. "Designers are constantly looking for
new ways to make mobile devices as small and thin as possible. To meet that
need, SanDisk's advanced NAND process and packaging technologies allow us to
pack more storage into smaller and slimmer footprints. This in turn enables OEMs
to design more compact devices while freeing up precious board space for other
needs, such as larger batteries."
STEC's revenue bucks SSD market trend
February 14, 2011 - STEC
that its revenue for full-year 2010 was $280 million, a decrease of
20.9% from $354.2 million for 2009.
At the current rate of progress
STEC's SSD revenue - on the way down - may intersect with that of
OCZ during 2011 going up -
contrasting the fortunes of a company (STEC) which once had technical
leadership in the SSD market - with a company (OCZ) which never had technical
leadership in any SSD segment - but knows how to market and sell SSDs.
Now you see it. Now you don't.
Solaris support for
Foremay's PCIe SSDs
Editor:- February 14, 2011 - I
recently I had a complaint from a reader who said that our editorial indicated
that Foremay -
a manufacturer of PCIe
- supported SPARC
But the reader told me that when they asked about
Solaris support they were told by Foremay they'd have to pay a very significant
sum to get it developed sooner. Had I misunderstood something?
so I was not alone. Confusingly similar - but incompatible SSD models and
numbering and the lack of a clear technology roadmap are some of the issues at
the heart of this problem. You can read more in the editor's column on the
right hand side of this page.
Kingston lends hand to JMicron
Editor:- February 11,
reports have said that Kingston Technology
is investing $3 million in JMicron.
from the garage to a top 10 SSD company
February 10, 2011 - OCZ's
CEO, Ryan Petersen reveals in a new article on
the difficulties he faced when he decided his business had to get out
of the memory business and focus on SSDs. ...read
the top SSD companies,
VCs in storage
Dataram validates ASAP concept for EMC VMware
February 10, 2011 - Dataram
new benchmark white paper (pdf) which shows how EMC users could
significantly improve the performance obtainable from 15k RPM based
SAN storage arrays in
VMware environments at about 1/10th of the cost by using Dataram's
XcelaSAN (FC SAN
compatible SSD ASAP).
The simulated workload was based on a concept described in
100K IOPS, one ESX host blog (2008).
"XcelaSAN allows IT
managers to easily and cost effectively accelerate application data in VMware
environments without the need to install additional midrange storage or migrate
to high-end storage," said the report's author - Eric Schwartz, Sr. Systems
Engineer with Dataram. "In a virtualized infrastructure, XcelaSAN reduces
the need to overprovision by providing more efficient resource utilization. The
result is significant reduction of the total cost of computing."
comments:- while it's not news that SSDs can slash user costs in high
IOPS environments - the difficulty has always been getting someone you
can trust who has SSD tuning expertise related to your apps environment to give
you the time of day to look at your problems.
What is news is that
Dataram is starting to talk more about validating the concept of its auto
tuning acelerators. That's the value proposition of SSD ASAPs - no more waiting
for the SSD hot-spot hot-shots - because the software does the analysis and
caching for you.
Frankly if you're not already a top tier SSD
customer then you have a better chance of chatting to President Obama about
world problems at your coffee machine than talking to a genuine SSD tuning
Business opportunities from Intel's imperfect bridge chips
February 9, 2011 -
Knowingly Sells Faulty Chipsets. are they Crazy? is a new article on PCWorld.com which discusses how Intel
is dealing with the issue of a bridge chip with known defects in some
rarely read that publication because my interests are enterprise storage and
SSDs - but the author Keir Thomas
had linked to StorageSearch.com from another recent article he wrote -
SSDs are Doomed (at Least for Now) - which showed up in my web stats.
I started my storage
reliability directory in 2006 - I knew that large storage vendors would ship
flaky SSDs and hard
drives - but I assumed that would be due to the unwitting and creeping use of
and testing methodologies
- rather than deliberate business decisions.
characteristic of this Intel chip is that if oems populate all the
RAM slots which it "supports"
- the speed drops down to unattractive levels.
But that's not bad
news for everyone. Adrian Proctor,
VP of of Marketing at Viking
told me last month it means there's a growing population of DIMM slots on
motherboards which can't be used for RAM - but could be used instead to save
space and power by installing their
SSDs to replace HDDs as boot drives. Other companies make
1 inch and smaller SSDs
network SSDs stack profits for Nimbus
February 8, 2011 - Nimbus
Data Systems announced that it
profitability in its fiscal year ending December 31, 2010.
announcement of achieving profitability marks Nimbus' maturity from an
innovative startup to an established storage player intent on achieving rapid
market expansion, unmatched innovation, and leadership in the emerging
sustainable storage and flash memory storage market," stated Thomas Isakovich,
CEO and founder of Nimbus. "Our commitment to customer satisfaction and
responsible growth reflects in this important company milestone."
comments:- I said in my
2011 SSD forecast
that this year will be a year of reality checks for SSD makers.
Getting to profitability in a fast growing market like the enterprise SSD market
is a noteworthy achievement - which stems from
stack from the choice of silicon up through the OS and into the network"
- as Thomas Isakovich explained to me in an interview last year.
how times change - the fastest SSDs
February 8, 2011 - I've updated
the fastest SSDs list
This article actually gets updated many times each month -
and attracts a lot of vendor emails - when companies aren't listed - or get
bumped off the list.
I also thought it might be interesting to look
back again at the
edition of the fastest SSDs list in 2007 (which you can see on the internet
The fastest SSDs today are about 3x to 5x
faster than they were back in
2007 (which I
called - the Year of SSD Revolutions.)
was it worth it? - the ROI of a web page is the beating heart
of all web business
Editor:- February 8, 2011 - in a new blog
life of a web page? - I look at the economics of online content.
Google calculate ROI on the cost of indexing different web pages? - That's
something I muse about too. ...read the
Violin announces $35 million Series B funding
February 7, 2011 - Violin
a $35 Million Series B funding round which includes
Toshiba - a strategic
investor since April 2010.
Also joining this round is Juniper
Networks, along with other corporate partners, crossover investment funds, high
net worth industry leaders and private equity general partners.
Google cites SMART defense in HyperCloud memory patent dispute
February 3, 2011 -SMART
the US Patent & Trademark Office has granted its request to re-examine and
invalidate 2 Netlist
patents related to "rank multiplication" technology associated with
high density registered DIMMs
that support the server market.
SMART believes that its filed SMART Patent Application No.
2006/0117152 shows that SMART engineers developed "rank multiplication"
technology in 2003. Since SMART's '152 application was filed before the Netlist
7,619,912 Patent, SMART believes that Netlist is not entitled to the '912
patent. Thus, in addition to the request for reexamination, SMART has previously
also filed a Continuation Application as the necessary initial step in the USPTO
to have the '912 patent awarded to SMART.
Google, Inc. and Inphi Corporation have both been sued by Netlist for
potentially infringing the '912 patent, which Netlist refers to as enabling
Memory. Google is using the SMART '152 patent application in its defense.
View from the SSD Viking Longboat
February 3, 2011 - I had a briefing recently in which I learned more about Viking's SSD business.
in the embedded market - so most of you won't be familiar or interested in what
they do. But if you move in those (physically restricted and confined) circles
you can read my article in their
SolidFire secures $11 million to bring flash to clouds
February 3, 2011 - SolidFire
announced it has raised $11 million in financing this month which followed an
earlier seed round of $1 million.
The company is developing SSD
enabled cloud storage.
comments:- SSDs are the perfect example of virtualized storage - because
they enable you to create products with any mix of performance and capacity
characteristics you want.
As I've discussed in
articles - not all SSD
paths lead to the fastest performance. Instead the enterprise SSD market will
have a spectrum of products which cover a range of performance more than 1,000
to 1 - and capacity costs which range from the price of a bunch of servers at
one end down to below the cost of rotating hard drives at the other -
depending on what is being replaced and why in the application slot they are
designed to fill.
Judging an SSD by its interface
Editor:- February 1,
does the interface say about an SSD? - is the subject discussed in a new
blog written by Woody Hutsell,
Application Acceleration Practice Director at ViON.
takes you on a brief tour of the interface types you'll find in the enterprise
SSD market with a note about the place of each. ...click
here to read the article
Editor's comments:- I agree
with the author that the interface type is a good starting point for narrowing
down most SSD vendor searches. The only exception being SATA SSDs which
encompasses such a large number of suppliers and products - that it's not
the most useful starting point any more - compared with other descriptors such
as form factor or intended market (notebook, rugged, enterprise etc).
You can navigate SSD content by popular interface type here on
StorageSearch.com using this alphabetic list of links:-
parallel SCSI SSDs,
SSDs, SAS SSDs,
USB SSDs and
|the fastest SSDs|
the SSD Buyers Guide
the Top 10 SSD Companies
trust SSD market data?
Branding Strategies in
the SSD Market
How will hard
drives fare in an SSD world?
flash SSD performance characteristics and limitations
needs clearer OS support info and technology roadmaps
|Editor:- In February 2011 - one of my
readers who wanted to evaluate Foremay's PCIe SSD cards for Solaris apps was
told that it wasn't actually available - but could be expedited for a
considerable development fee. It looked as if Foremay might have
preannounced a feature that doesn't yet exist! It's not unusual for SSD "unveiling"
announcements to be done 6 to 12 months in advance . But this OS support
feature was listed in a press release 16 months ago.|
February 14, 2011 - Foremay emailed me about the above statement and said "We
feel the comment is not fair. As you may know, our EC188 D-series PCIe is in
the market for quite a while and well accepted by various customers. It supports
various OSs such as Windows, Mac, Linux and some Unix such as FreeBSD, but we
did not claim our current EC188 D-series PCIe SSD support Solaris."
But when I checked these documents
press release and
datsheet I found these statements respectively...
D-Series PCIe SSD card supports various operating systems including Window 7
/Vista/XP/2000/Server, Mac OS X 10.4/5/6, Solaris, Linux, UNIX and more"
EC188 also supports all major operating systems for server and workstations such
as Windows server OS, Mac server OS, Linux enterprise versions, Unix, Solaris,
Editor:- I queried this and got a better explanation.
are 2 version of the EC188 D-series - (models X and V). One is a popular older
version which supports Solaris - and the other is a newer thinner version which
doesn't. The material on Foremay's public website doesn't say there are 2
nearly identical part numbers for 2 non interchangeable products.
suggested Foremay should publish an OS support matrix for their SSDs. Without
that the info on their site is so liable to misinterpretation that it's
unusable. I've been told they're going to do that.
the need for
There's another issue in here - which applies
to many other SSD companies too and not just to Foremay - and that's the fact
that a driver for the newer "apparently" similar PCIe SSD would either
involve a considerable cost or delay. It suggests to me that the new product
has a very different internal architecture.
In general oems and users
can't be sure when they qualify a particular SSD product that they will be
offered a smooth transition to successive product generations. SSD oems need to
talk more about their internal architectures and - if they own the IP in their
designs - talk about their roadmaps to create confidence in their ability to
supply products which their customers will like in the future. Without that -
customers and vendors risk regular requalification costs and churn.
Acceleration Guides |
|Editor:- 2011 is my
company's 20th year publishing enterprise buyers guides. The problem
remains the same... How to make server apps run faster. Only the solutions have
changed (or become more affordable).|
In the early 1990s there were only
a handful of SSDs listed in my directories. So what did I spend my time
researching and writing about?
In those days the big moves in apps
acceleration - which I wrote about in the
Directory - were escalating CPU clock rates (which went from 40MHz to
1,000MHz in the 1990s), widening data busses for microprocessors (from 16 bits
to 64 bits in the 16 years upto 1995) , the move to multiprocessing support in
standard desktop operating systems (starting with SunOS in 1991), the seemingly
slow adoption of RAID systems
(from about 1987 to 1998), the use of optical links (in
and ever faster parallel SCSI.
the single biggest factor which will advance performance and reliability in all
segments of the computer market is solid state disks.
which I christened the Start
of the SSD Bubble - SSDs are now indisputably a multi-billion market -
with the potential (I think) to grow by another order of magnitude in the next
It's always fun (and also a serious undertaking - if you get
it wrong) to guess what the future holds.
I've finished my
List of 11
SSD market predictions for 2011 - which emerged daily in the closing
days of 2010.
years these SSD market predictions have accurately anticipated the tone
of market twists and shifts.
How about other types of storage? And
other people's predictions?
|Why size matters in
the New Business Case
for SSD ASAPs
How fast can your SSD
the Problem with
Write IOPS - in flash SSDs
Can you trust flash SSD
specs & benchmarks?
will Memory Channel SSDs impact PCIe SSDs?