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SSD news - 2011, March 22 - 31

SSD's past phantoms

Editor:- March 31, 2011 - a new article published today on discusses why the SSD market's rock star status today owes much to 3 important past technology phantoms which most people expected to materialize - but which stayed behind the opera curtain. One of these "no-show" factor in the 2000 to 2010 period was the so-called "flash SSD killer" - a competing type of non volatile memory which might (one day) replace flash... the article

StoneFly accelerates iSCSI with Fusion-io

Editor:- March 30, 2011 -StoneFly announced that it will integrate Fusion-io's ioMemory accelerators into its iSCSI storage systems.

"By marrying our software with Fusion's cards, we provide customers with the possibility of creating a fully scalable, high availability, and high performance IP SAN storage system," says Mo Tahmasebi, StoneFly's President and CEO . "We are very excited to introduce this first of its kind breakthrough product line."

See also:- exciting new directions in rackmount SSDs

Web-Feet says embedded SSD revenue could reach $17 billion

Editor:- March 29, 2011 - Web-Feet Research says they expect the embedded flash drive market to approach $17 billion annual revenue in 2015.

In Web-Feet 's usage - "EFDs provide internal storage functions in mobile, consumer and some compute applications. They are the non-removable Flash storage positioned between Flash cards, found in many of these same applications, and SSDs. As the EFD evolves they take on many controller features found in the low end SSDs."

More details about their predictions are in their annual report (130+ pages, $6,500, outline pdf) See also:- SSD Market Analysts

Kaminario carves new market for RAM SSDs

Editor:- March 28, 2011 - Kaminario announced immediate availability of its K2 DRAM storage appliance a family of enterprise FC SAN rackmount RAM SSDs which scales up to 12TB and delivers 1.5 million IOPS with 16 GB/s throughput.

K2's entry level configuration provides 500GB of storage and delivers 150,000 IOPS with 1.6 GB/s throughput for $50,000. Kaminario's K2 has true N+1 high availability, including mirrored storage with automatic data recovery, redundant fibre channel connectivity and a UPS, to reduce the risk of losing data access.

Editor's comments:- I spoke to Gareth Taube, VP of Marketing and Dani Golan CEO about the new product and how they see Kaminario in the SSD market. We had a wide ranging discussion about the challenges in the enterprise SSD market, the growing new role of RAM SSDs, and how they solve the competing demands of reliability and speed. You can see those details in a new article published later today.

Overall I got the impression this is a company which really understands its market niche well and fills an important gap in the enterprise acceleration space which is not catered for economically by other vendors.

Re customers:- Kaminario said most of their customers already had experience with 2 or 3 previous SSD projects. Like all new SSD companies they like to talk about the successes they've had with accelerating enterprise apps performance in what I call the "usual suspects" - banks and other financial institutions - 10x speedup here, 25x speedup there. We've heard all that stuff before.

But Kaminario's products also match the budgets and performance needs of smaller companies in new markets. One of their customers in this category is Digital Trowel which extracts data from web sites and uses analysis and inference techniques to provide real-time alerts and predictions about stocks, prices, news and other significant market developments. That's the kind of "only with an SSD" can you do this - data factory model - I had in mind in my petabyte SSD article last year.

Digital Trowel 's CTO, Anton Bar said - "Other SSD storage had the same price, but much lower speed than the Kaminario K2 - a clear no-brainer. The bottom line is, the K2 shortened our identity resolution process by about 50%, and that's very important in our line of business."

Kaminario said its sweet spot in the hot data capacity range upto 12TB which is on the SAN and which has very high IOPS demand. Because Kaminario is unashamedly a RAM SSD company. Their "IOPS performance" doesn't need to be qualified by small print and hedging statements like those of flash SSDs. And I'll be saying more about the internal technology elsewhere. The best way to think about their ideal customer is the department in a large enterprise.

Kaminario said that many of their customers - having experienced the K2 - were now acting as internal evangelists to other parts of their organizations to advise them how to solve performance problems which had previously proved intractable to solutions by flash SSDs (due to latency) and traditional RAM SSDs (due to the complexities and side effects of failover architectures).

Intel launches new improved notebook SSD

Editor:- March 28, 2011 - Intel launched a new 2.5" SSD aimed at legacy notebook designs which have 3Gbps SATA ports.

The Intel SSD 320 (which includes 128 bit encryption) is available with MLC capacities from 40GB ($89 1k price) to 600GB ($1,069 1k). R/W speeds are 270MB/s and 220MB/s respectively. R/W IOPS are 39,500 and 23,000. In this new design , Intel has added redundancies that will help keep user data protected, even in the event of a power loss.

Editor's comments:- Intel's new SSD is really a catch up exercise with what others have already been doing in this market using SandForce controllers. Pricing in the low end consumer market hasn't changed much in the past 12 months. What's changed instead is you can get a faster product with similar capacity for about the same price.

analyzing the alchemy in Fusion-io

Editor:- March 25, 2011 - it's rare for companies to say complimentary things about their competitors - but a new blog about Fusion-io - written by Woody Hutsell who (until a year ago) was head of Texas Memory Systems does just that.

Woody's new article asks how did Fusion-io become such a successful enterprise SSD company? (Despite all his best efforts to the contrary.) the article

Foremay ships 32GB PATA disk on chip

Editor:- March 25, 2011 - Foremay today announced it is shipping 32GB PATA versions of its OC177 SSD Disk on Chip which measures 22 x 22 x 1.8 mm and has R/W speeds of 70 and 40MB/s respectively.

Editor's comments:- StorageSearch's 1 inch SSD directory lists over 30 companies which make very small SSDs.

M-Systems - pioneered the commercial DiskOnChip market. In 2001 M-Systems' DiskOnChip flash SSD offered 16MB capacity in a single 48-pin TSOP (Thin Small Outline Package). By 2006, when the company was acquired by SanDisk, the DiskOnChip capacity had grown to gigabytes.

OCZ joins SSD millionaire shipments club

Editor:- March 24, 2011 - OCZ today announced it has shipped its 1 millionth SSD.

Editor's comments:- a year ago WD revealed it had already shipped over 4 million of its SiliconDrive SSDs.

It's comforting to know that millions of SSD readers aren't just browsing web pages - but many of them have been engaged in serious economic activities related to solid state storage.

When you add all these little bits together they make a market. And when you're trying to predict who the leading companies in the future SSD market are going to be then it's handy to look at our quarterly top SSD companies list which started 4 years ago when there were only 55 companies making SSDs instead of 300 today. Who's got the time to find, analyze and comment on so many SSD companies? That's when the mice come in useful.
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today's SSD news

Top 30 SSD articles - in March 2011

  1. SSD Myths - "write endurance"
  2. the SSD Buyers Guide
  3. Magneto-flash wars - HDDs v SSDs
  4. the Top 20 SSD OEMs
  5. the Fastest SSDs
  6. SSD news
  7. PCIe SSDs
  8. 2.5" SSDs
  9. RAM v Flash SSDs - which is Best?
  10. Flash v Hard Disks - Which Will Win?
  11. are MLC SSDs safe in Enterprise Apps?
  12. RAM SSDs
  13. 3.5" SSDs
  14. 1.8" SSDs
  15. SSD market history
  16. SSD jargon
  17. SSD controllers & IP
  18. Surviving SSD sudden power loss
  19. SSD pricing explained
  20. SATA SSDs
  21. SAS SSDs
  22. What's the best / cheapest - PC SSD?
  23. the problem with Write IOPS in flash SSDs
  24. SSD market analysts
  25. rackmount SSDs
  26. Top 50 SSD articles on
  27. Storage Market Outlook to 2015
  28. this way to the Petabyte SSD
  29. 5 good reasons to buy SSDs
  30. InfiniBand SSDs
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