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SSD news - May 15 -30, 2012

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GridIron's SSDs can serve hundreds of concurrent databases effectively
Editor:- May 30, 2012 - GridIron Systems describes the setup required to exceed 1 million (4kB) IOPS in a 40x MySQL environment with mirroring - all in a single cabinet (including servers) using its FlashCube SSD systems (upto 80TB in this configuration), and some 10GbE and 16GbFC fabric switches in a new whitepaper (pdf) published today.

"In large-scale MySQL environments it's not uncommon to see hundreds or even thousands of database servers," said Dennis Martin, President of Demartek (which tested this configuration). "This reference architecture opens a new, more efficient architectural approach for serving increasing numbers of users and database queries per cabinet."

Apacer launches 256GB mSATA SSD for Ultrabooks

Editor:- May 30, 2012 - Apacer today launched a new small (50.8 x 29.8mm) mSATA SSD aimed at the Ultrabook market with upto 256GB (MLC) capacity and R/W speed upto 470/200MB/s and 50K IOPS.

welcome to the new alchemy - converting SSD software to gold

Editor:- May 29, 2012 - a new blog today on asks - where are we now with SSD software?

For over 30 years the SSD market operated in a software near vacuum. Why did it take so long for the systems software industry to do anything useful with SSDs?

And why are seemingly insignificant little SSD software companies today being gobbled up at prices which seem to have no connection to what they could ever earn from license sales? to read the new article

NEVEX offers free trial of $5K value Linux caching software

Editor:- May 29, 2012 - NEVEX says it's offering the 1st 30 people who trial its SSD ASAP / caching software for Linux - the option to keep the production version free.

I spoke a few minutes ago to Nigel Miller, VP Business Development, NEVEX - to test if his phone number is correct - because that's the response mechanism.

I asked how much can some one save by taking up the offer?

He said the regular price will be $5,000 per cached terabyte.

I also said it was unusual in the web industry to have nothing on their web site about this - and he said they wanted a quick and easy way to talk to people. He also said that if you are one of the early responders you will get good access to their technical support people. As time is of the essence here's the number if you're interested:- +1 647-393-2200

GreenBytes gets $12 million in Series B funding

Editor:- May 29, 2012 - GreenBytes today announced it has raised an additional $12 million in Series B funding from Generation Investment Management LLP with participation from Battery Ventures and GreenBytes management which the company will use to expand sales and marketing.

Editor's comments:- GreenBytes' systems are iSCSI compatble SSD ASAPs which include both SSD and HDD drives.

The company's GO OS (Globally Optimized Operating System) provides performance at a level which I would characterize as being at the slow end of fast-enough enterprise SSD storage (around 70K IOPS) but with deduplication, compression and other optimizations enabled they offer 60TB of virtual storage in a 3U rack .

OCZ unveils another 2.5" SATA3 SSD - Agility 4

Editor:- May 29, 2012 - we've had "Intel inside", and "SandForce driven" - and now a new one which I hadn't seen before (although it may have been around for a while) is "Indilinx infused" - which appears on the case of a new 2.5" SATA 3 SSD unveiled today by OCZ - called the the Agility 4.

Unfortunately the branding message and content isn't followed through (or updated) consistently yet. So whereas - Indilinx infused - appears in the bottom left hand corner of the Indilinx home page - when you click to see more info - what you see is all about the Everest 1 - rather than the Everest 2 controller which is the actual chip used in the new Agility 4.

The Everest has a regular RAM cache architecture - rather than the skinny type used in the LSI/SandForce design. That's the main attribute from which any performance differences stem. See also:- SSD controllers, Branding Strategies in the SSD Market

KingSpec enters the PCIe SSD market

Editor:- May 25, 2012 - KingSpec will show its first PCIe SSD in 2 weeks time at Computex 2012 in Taipei.

If you measure the start of the PCIe SSDs market by when volume customer shipments began - then 2012 is the 6th year of this market.

But instead of seeing market consolidation the huge demand for PCIe SSDs means that more vendors then ever before are entering this market - and offering a range of bewilderingly different concepts about exact functionality, performance and cost.

RunCore's new consumer SSD video - phone to purge

Editor:- May 22, 2012 - sometimes if I'm watching a movie I realize it's going to be bad - but in a way which is nevertheless all too fascinating to watch. How bad it will get? Look! - see it's getting worse - but still taking itself seriously. So - instead of zapping it like I should - I stay transfixed. Such bad movies are an artform.

What about promotional videos though? - on the subject of SSDs...

Mostly these are just time wasting. But today - in the "so dreadful I kept watching it nearly right to the end" category was a new video on YouTube from RunCore about its Xapear SSD.

RunCore was the first company to haul "phone to purge capability" over the cost chasm which divides military SSDs over to the consumer SSD market - which it did 2 years ago - and the new video is simply about their latest model which combines RFID with the phone zap technology in an external USB connected SSD.

As a security concept I was convinced the idea had merit - when I first wrote about it 2 years ago. So I wasn't keen to see another new video about the same topic. But I'm glad I did - because it's an artform. to watch video

Seagate to acquire LaCie

Editor:- May 22, 2012 - just when you thought there were no hard drive makers left to be acquired... Seagate announced today that it plans to acquire a controlling interest in LaCie .

new guide - 2.5" PCIe SSDs

Editor:- May 21, 2012 - today published a new article introducing the market for 2.5" PCIe SSDs .

Although some aspects of this new market are predictable - if you're already familiar with PCIe SSDs and SAS SSDs - the new SSD delivery package also opens up new possibilities which can sit above and below pre-existing 2.5"SSDs in price as well as performance. And the new 2.5" PCIe SSDs will also introduce and showcase new types of functionality which haven't been been feasible before at the SSD drive level. the article

Buffalo puts MRAM into SSD cache

Editor:- May 21, 2012 - Buffalo Technology is using a hybrid nvm approach in a new design of SSD - according to a report in Tom's Hardware - which says the company will use MRAM in its cache.

Editor's comments:- this was anticipated in my 2008 article - the Flash SSD Performance Roadmap.

The RAM cache flash ratio in SSDs varies from close to zero (skinny) upto 100%.

More RAM makes it easier for designers to meet symmetry goals which are desireable in some applications - but it also creates additional cost and complexity in the sudden power loss management subsystem.

RAMlike NVMs such as MRAM aren't a golden bullet either - but by compressing the time window required to maintain holdup for critical save operations from milli-seconds to microsends (and cleaning up the state on the next restart) such chips can enable a smaller footprint than other approaches.

At the other end of the spectrum - designers of skinny cache controller architecture can achieve the same in-system apps results with virtually no RAM. So - as usual in SSDs - you will see a diversity of approaches in competing SSDs. They aren't all going down the same path - even if the destination looks the same.

Kaminario speeds pet pill processing

Editor:- May 21, 2012 - Kaminario today published a case study (pdf) which describes how PetMed Express (a leading online pet pharmacy) saw a 4x performance improvement in its report processing and operational processes.

Editor's comments:- OK - I admit it. SSD makes something run faster isn't really a news story.

"SSD makes system run slower - but customer is very satisfied and says they would be happy to pay even more" - would be a better SSD news story instead.

It seems I will use any excuse to link the themes of SSDs, animals and medecine. Have I no shame? Guess not.

See also:- Animal Brands and Metaphors in the Storage Market, Animal brands in the SSD market, SSDs as tonic medicine

more money for Facebook will mean a bigger market for SSDs

Editor:- May 18, 2012 - All I'm going to say on the subject of Facebook's IPO is that the big sites in the internet economy today wouldn't be able to do what they do without SSDs.

And the only way they can get smarter, quicker and add new functionality is by using more. Eventually (by 2020) the infrastructure of all big internet sites will all be 100% SSD - because that's where cost and competitiveness will converge in the data factory economy. And all the client gadgets will be instant-on. See also:- SSD market analysts

the new fad in selling flash SSDs... life assurance and health care claims

Editor:- May 17, 2012 - in a new article today on - MLC flash lives longer in my SSD care program - I link goats, pills, angels and lifestyles to the newest trend in SSDs - selling SSD life insurance. the article

Pure Storage says what you can do with those hard drive arrays

Editor:- May 16, 2012 - Pure Storage today published a new video on YouTube which pokes fun at the idea of hanging onto hard drive arrays and suggests what you can do with them. The 142 second video packs a lot of humor into its tour of why their way of doing dedupe with flash is cheaper and better. And it includes animals too.

The company also unveiled a new generation of fast-enough (100K write IOPS) HA/FT SSD arrays today - with upto 100TB compressed capacity - which are clustered around InfiniBand.

I'm not great fan of SSD videos - because they mostly waste time - but this one will be added to my favorites list later today - because it's amusing and speaks for the SSD industry.

1U MLC RamSan accelerates backup window for Penn State University

Editor:- May 15, 2012 - a research group at Penn State University has reduced its backup time from 6 hours (with a 200 drive HDD array) to 1 hour by using a pair of 1U rackmount MLC SSDs (model RamSan-810) from Texas Memory Systems.

"With some of the other 3 solutions we tested, we poked and pried at them for weeks to get the performance where the vendors claimed it should be," said Michael Fenn, systems administrator at Penn State. "With the RamSan, we literally just turned it on and that's all the performance tuning we did. TMS was the best solution largely because of its maturity and performance. It seemed very stable and it just worked out of the box." See also:- SSD Backup

new guide for those seeking consumer SSDs

Editor:- May 15, 2012 - today published a new article - the consumer SSDs guide which will provide orientation for readers who have accidentally stumbled into our enterprise and mission critical SSD pages when all they were really looking for was something to help them decide about a notebook SSD.

It's surprising how much stuff has been written about a topic which in reality is so lacking in serious substance. It's a good job I don't write restaurant reviews - otherwise I'd starve for a living with that attitude. the new article
RunCore  SATA mini DOMs
RunCore has recently packaged its SATA SSD on a chip - the rSSD - onto 3 different plug-in MiniDOMs.

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How big was the thinking in this SSD
Does size really does matter in SSD design?

By that I mean how big was the mental map? - not how many inches wide is the SSD.
click to read the article - Big versus Small SSD  architectures For designers, integrators, end users and investors alike - understanding what follows from these simple choices predicts a lot of important consequences. the article
Surviving SSD 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 and operational reliability.

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 negligible.
image shows Megabyte's hot air balloon - click to read the article SSD power down architectures and acharacteristics If you thought endurance was the end of the SSD reliability story - think again. the article

After SSDs... what next?
Analysts - SSD market
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Calling for an end to SSD vs HDD IOPS
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Consumer SSDs guide - new
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IOPS - a problematic metric for flash SSDs

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Legacy vs New Dynasty SSDs

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