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SSD news - January 2012 - 3rd week

Server Side Caching article

Editor:- January 20, 2012 - "What can a CIO do to improve VMware performance without forklift upgrades?" - is a question posed by Woody Hutsell , Sr. Director of Product Management at Fusion-io in his new blog about -Server Side Caching.

Micron follows SSD software acquisition trend

Editor:- January 20, 2012 - Micron today announced it has acquired the assets of UK based Virtensys which marketed rackmount SSDs stuffed with Micron's PCIe SSDs and supported by a patented multi-server sharing virtualization interface.

Editor's comments:- if buying an SSD software company was a good idea for leading PCIe SSD makers Fusion-io and OCZ - then Micron has to follow suit or get out of the game.

Chipmakers generally dislike buying "systems" software companies - because they don't understand systems and risk alienating their oem customers. But Micron's reputation won't be dented if they can't leverage the Virtensys software. Everyone knows how hard it is to get real value out of a software acquisition. And in the next few weeks more people will take another look at Micron's Micron's SSD pages. So it's paid for itself already.

WhipTail gets more funding

Editor:- January 17, 2012 - WhipTail today announced it has secured a Series B funding round led by RRE Ventures, with Ignition Partners and Spring Mountain Capital also participating.

The new funds will be used to increase resources in sales and marketing.

WhipTail says over 100 customers have installed its enterprise SSD arrays and over 1/3 of the company's revenue comes from repeat business.

See also:- rackmount SSDs and VCs in SSDs

STEC prospecting for more enterprise SSD business

Editor:- January 17, 2012 - STEC announced that industry veteran Vaughn Miller has joined the company's Systems and Software Group as VP of Business Development.

Mr. Miller is responsible for developing business opportunities with OEMs and ISVs that focus on enterprise applications.

During the past 16 years, Mr. Miller held various key management positions in business development for Cisco Systems, NeoPath Networks, Acopia Networks (acquired by F5 Networks, Inc.), NetApp and Auspex Systems. Prior to his roles in business development, Mr. Miller served as an engineer for Landmark Graphics (a Halliburton company) and Modcomp.

Editor's comments:- if you're unfamiliar with the earlier companies in this virtual cv - before we get to the storage companies - the themes are "real-time" and "big data analysis", the world's first NAS company (Auspex) and "virtualization".

I've said for years that STEC didn't put enough effort into enterprise business development. The company lost market share in the enterprise SSD market in 2011. Better late than never to grab a map and shovel in this year of the Enterprise SSD Goldrush.

BiTMICRO's new SSD controller design

Editor:- January 17, 2012 - BiTMICRO has named its new SSD controller - which has just gone through tape-out.

It's called TALINO-DE - Translation and Linking of I/O Nodes -Device Edition. - Not very catchy - but all the best SSD names have gone.

The multi-core TALINO-DE is big SSD architecture (manages hundreds of flash chips) and includes full data path protection, end-to-end data integrity, embedded AES engines for data security, embedded XOR engines for delivering faster transaction processing in RAID configurations, power management, and other resource optimization.

Editor's comments:- the new controller appears to be in a similar conceptual class to those which have been shipping in some PCIe SSDs from TMS and Virident for example - although these in turn are very different - starting at the RAM cache basics (TMS designs range from regular to fat, whereas Virident is skinny.)

If the new BiTMICRO controller lives up to its promise - and if it's marketed as a merchant chip set - it could lead to a commoditization of PCIe and rackmount SSDs similar to the effect SandForce had on the enterprise 2.5" SSD market.

..Much later comments:- That didn't happen. One reason is that BiTMICRO's early controllers didn't support adaptive DSP - and were therefore only able to work with more expensive memories - which made such products very uncompetitive.

Other reasons were marketing and financial weaknesses by BiTMICRO compared to a growing number of exdtremely competent SSD competitors.
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The most significant emerging technology in 2012 was adaptive R/W DSP ECC flash management.

Although this had been around for over 2 years - 2012 was the first time that the number of SSD makers using adaptive DSP hit double digits.

This fact surprised many of the leading companies withn this technology segment when I told them they weren't as alone as they had imagined at the start of this year.

Strategic Transitions in SSD Year 2012

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SSD news
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the Top SSD Companies
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A to Z directory of SSD articles

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SanDisk, EMC, Dot Hill, Skyera,, Fusion-io, STEC, WhipTail...
Over 50 SSD company acquisitions in the classic article - 3 Easy Ways to Enter the SSD Market

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I work at a financial institution which has started to cover the storage market - and in particular enterprise flash.

I'm trying to estimate:-

• how big will the SSD market will be when SSDs replace hard drives?

• when will it happen? and

• what will be the revenue of the SSD market at that time?
impacts of the enterprise SSD software event horizon

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