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SSD news - April 2013

This page includes the archived SSD news from for April 2013.

Companies mentioned in SSD news this month included:- Addonics, Astute Networks, Crocus Technology, Curtiss-Wright , Demartek, Diablo Technologies, EMC, Fusion-io, HP, Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium, IBM, Intel, Kaminario, LSI, Macronix, Micron, NetApp, NexGen Storage, OCZ, Pure Storage, Samsung, SanDisk, SMART Storage Systems, STEC, Taneja Group, Texas Memory Systems, WebFeet Research
NetApp validates FlashSoft caching

Editor:- April 30, 2013 - SanDisk today announced that its FlashSoft (auto caching) software has been validated for use with NetApp's enterprise storage products.

Editor's comments:- NetApp are pleased that their old fashioned storage arrays can be made to look more sprightly through the correcting lens of server side SSD cache. They've got a video and faqs page about the FlashSoft technology on this page.

SMART samples 2TB $3,999 SAS SSD

Editor:- April 30, 2013 - SMART Storage Systems today announced it is sampling a new 2.5" SAS SSD with 2TB capacity (oem price under $4,000).

Using 19nm MLC - the 100K/45K R/W IOPS - Optimus Eco - is rated at 10 drive writes per day endurance.

Diablo names SMART Storage as exclusive flash partner to pioneer memory channel SSDs

Editor:- April 25, 2013 - You may remember reading here before about a company called Diablo Technologies - which while in stealth mode - hinted it was working on a new technology which would enable SSDs to run on server motherboards with latency and throughput even better than PCIe SSDs....

Diablo has been creating the interface side of things - but I learned recently that implementing the flash side of this - in a manner which is both effective and affordable - requires a world leading mastery of enterprise flash IP - which Diablo wisely recognized it doesn't have.

So today Diablo has publicly announced an exclusive partnership agreement with SMART Storage Systems which will leverage its flash IP and controller assets to co-design a new family of ultra-low latency SSDs and system accelerators which connect via Diablo's memory channel storage architecture and which will be sold exclusively by SMART but jointly supported by both companies.

Editor's comments:- there are a lot of implications for the future direction of SSD server acceleration if this collaboration succeeds in delivering competitively attractive new types of SSDs. But there are also very difficult technical problems and ecosystems development problems to solve too in order to make it viable.

I discussed these topics in a conversation earlier this week with John Scaramuzzo, President and Esther Spanjer, Director SSD Marketing at SMART.

Among the many questions inspired by that conversation:-
  • how is the new technology different to what has been done before? - particularly with PCIe SSDs and with DIMM class flash?
  • if successful - what impact would memory channel SSDs have on the PCIe SSD market? - and application server architecture?
  • how will the new types of SSDs stretch the demands of flash endurance and latency?
  • how will competitors respond to this new technology? And how much of what they say should you take take on board or disregard?
  • who are going to be the among the first wave of customers to adopt these new SSD?
  • when will the first products be ready?
I'll be writing about these matters and more in a new home page blog on which will be published Monday 4pm ET. See you then.

Fusion-io enters the iSCSI array market

Editor:- April 24, 2013 - Fusion-io made 2 significant announcements today.

The 1st of these was anticipated:- FIO's financial results for the quarter ended March 31 - revenue of $88 million (down 27% from the preceding quarter and down 7% from the year ago quarter).

The 2nd of these was the real news - that FIO has acquired another company - NexGen Storage (for $119 million).

NexGen's n5 systems are SSD ASAPs (hybrid caching systems with integrated real-time dedupe and QoS controls for VDI apps) which use Fusion's PCIe SSDs in standard servers with conventional hard drives to deliver fast enough iSCSI hybrid storage for SME and departmental needs in a 3U rack which delivers upto 150K IOPS and 16TB to 192TB raw capacity.

NeGen claims that on a per-U basis their systems deliver 10x more IOPS than HDD arrays, 3x more IOPS / U than conventional hybrid arrays and 3x more GB / U for VDI apps than pure SSD arrays.

These kinds of comparisons always depend on which competitor you're comparing with and when the comparison was done. However - the company has enough customer case studies and independent analysis papers on its site to show that real customers liked the products.

Summing up the 2 stories today?

FIO had already indicated that its revenue from its known biggest customers would decline for a few quarters - so the financial results are not a great surprise. But the NexGen announcement has opened the door to an entirely new type of customer for Fusion-io at the other end of the SSD adoption scale - compared to the well known big customers which have until now dominated FIO's business.

Will it work?

FIO is used to being the leader in the PCIe SSD market which it largely helped to create as a significant new part of the server ecosystem. But it will require a different type of marketing and business development approach to convert the potential of NexGen's technology into an equivalent leading role in the more conservative and crowded iSCSI market.

On the other hand if you add NexGen's hybrid iSCSI IP to the marketing magic of Fusion-io - it's safe to predict that the iSCSI market will soon be getting a wake up call the likes of which it has never seen before.

...Next on the SSD world domination agenda - create better value in the cost sensitive iSCSI market

Editor:- April 23, 2013 - The iSCSI market hasn't been a fertile business development ground for SSD sales - a factor which I ascribe to the mood prevailing at its birth. At the start of 2001 - when the idea of iSCSI first attracted interest on the web - the storage market was still in a recession which would continue for another 2 years. Users could buy new or little used servers and storage recycled from the spending spree of failed dotcom companies for next to nothing. There was already a proven fast way of doing fast network storage - fibre-channel which had been around since 1994 (but it was complex to set up). Those various factors meant that iSCSI evolved - by necessity - into a cheap, simple to set up and maintain storage ecosystem for frugal applications which needed data.

Although there was nothing hard wired into the technology which prevented it from being scaled up - most of the early attempts by vendors to nudge iSCSI into the fast lane with dedicated hardware accelerators failed. There was no real customer appetite in the iSCSI base to encourage vendors to push for fast random IOPS or low latency. iSCSI was the frugal way of doing complicated network storage.

That's another reason why - prior to 2013 - none of the top 10 enterprise pure SSD array companies started in iSCSI. There wasn't enough market demand for the kind of low latency and fast IOPS which could open enough doors for SSDs in storage cabinets to make it worthwhile. Instead, most of the iSCSI arrays which have been in the market until recently were originally developed around technology optimized for FC SAN or were simply iSCSI HDD arrays with some SSDs thrown into some of the bays. When you saw "iSCSI" on the datasheet of a fast SSD you knew it had most likely been added to a model which had already been optimized for another market.

You could say that iSCSI has been a safe haven for enterprise hard drives - because whenever there has been a tension in the feature set between the cost of incremental capacity versus the value of incremental performance - it was cost - and getting the cost down as low as possible - which usually won.

I explained in my Petabyte SSD roadmap article a few years ago why one day - even the mantle of low cost per raw terabyte wouldn't be enough to protect delinquently slow and ineffcient hard drives from being evicted from enterprise network storage racks. And this culture shock will be knocking at the door of the iSCSI market from various different vendor directions in the coming year - with increasing urgency.

I was pondering these factors last week when I was waiting to dial Len Rosenthal, Senior VP Marketing Astute Networks who wanted to talk about the launch of new models in their ViSX family of fast-enough iSCSI rackmount SSDs - which have upto 45TB of raw SSD storage in a 2U rack which with dedupe enabled can deliver $2,000 / TB and even with dedupe switched off - comes in at about $5,000 / TB while being able to offer more than double the IOPS of much higher priced competing SSD systems.

The first thing I asked about was the company's iSCSI accelerator chip - which is one of the two technology factors which give them an edge in iSCSI. I had heard about it many years ago - but the company doesn't say much about it now. Len told me they were now on the 3rd generation of their iSCSI accelerator chip. The 1st generation had been designed for a US Navy project to enable fast access to embedded storage located around a ship while using COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) servers and storage.

In Astute's current ViSX systems I think you can view the iSCSI accelerator as being the technology which buys the time (in latency cost) which can then be spent on dependable real-time dedupe.

Len told me that although Astute have always known this gives them a theoretical performance advantage compared to competitors who use similar types of flash - it's only when he engaged Demartek to do some comparative testing recently and gave them a free hand to explore the differences - that they realized just how good their systems were. (I've seen summaries of these benchmarks - and they do confirm the advantages of the iSCSI silicon.)

Astute's new systems do now seem to offer a hard to beat SSD package for users in the mainstream iSCSI market. Len described this as "making flash affordable for the mid market."

Astute's earlier generations of iSCSI flash were too expensive for most users. But the current generation - not only offers attractive pricing - but comes with proven technologies - and cost effective replication - by what the company calls "high availability groups" (pdf)- which enables users to choose which systems provide failover clustering - and whether that's local or remote. In addition to providing data continuity when things fail - this scheme can also provide load balancing and imporved performance in the normal (unfailed) state.

One of the things which came across clearly from talking to Len is that Astute Networks is totally focused on the iSCSI SSD market. They know the market, they know the apps - and they aim to be one of the leading suppliers in this niche. For them iSCSI isn't something on the tick list - it's the whole list.

For alternative and competing companies in this market segment search for iSCSI SSDs

new SSD module for mobile military systems

Editor:- April 22, 2013 -Curtiss-Wright today announced the availability of conduction cooled secure 1TB SATA SLC SSD modules for use in its rugged 4 port NAS module which is designed to fit on an ARINC tray. The Vortex SSD - designed for applications such as helicopters, UAVs and mobile radar systems - is certified to FIPS 140-2 and provides 4 modes of key management.

Kaminario drops PCIe and turns to SAS to get costs down in new HA rackmount

Editor:- April 18, 2013 - "You don't have to be an investment bank like JP Morgan to afford our style of fast, scalable high availability SSD systems any more" - was the key message I got talking to Phil Williams, VP Business Development at Kaminario earlier this week when discussing with me aspects of the company's newest series of FC SAN compatible SSD arrays - the K2 v4 (6TB usable per U at a cost of $10K to $15K per TB) which was launched yesterday.

Phil was referring to the expectation that their products - which in the first generation were entirely RAM based SSDs - and then moved onto RAM / flash hybrids and then mostly pure flash (the flash components being implemented in the previous generation of K2's by Fusion-io's PCIe SSDs - a relationship direction which I suggested in a much earlier briefing conversation with Kaminario's CEO few years ago BTW ) - had acquired a reputation of being out of reach pricewise - and not just in a class of their own for resilience and scalability.

One of the ways that Kaminario has pulled off the affordability trick is to drop PCIe SSDs as the internal flash components and use instead SAS SSDs.

I've said before that in the enterprise arrays space - "SAS is the new SATA" - because there are so many companies which have moved into this segment that there's stiff competition. Unlike the PCIe SSD market -which is mostly sold on high performance - the SAS market includes a number of vendors who have been using adaptive R/W ECC to enable them to use cheap flash to build reliable fast-enough SSDs

Because Kaminario still has a lot of RAM cache in its server based architecture - it doesn't need the raw endurance and performance of FIO's ioMemory to deliver multi-gigabyte throughput at the rack level. And another factor is that Fusion-io itself is on course to become a significant supplier of rackmount SSDs (although not aimed at the same kind of customers.)

Kaminario didn't want to say which SAS product they're using. They might say later. But it doesn't really matter.

The K2 v4 also demonstrates that the key IP component in Kaminario's box is SSD software. When I suggested that future boxes could equally well discard SAS SSDs if 2.5" PCIe SSDs offered a better set of characteristics - Phil agreed that the company wasn't tied to any particular internal SSD drive form factor or interface.

Kaminario has paid Taneja Group to do some new testing on the performance aspects of simulated hard faults. These will be very useful for customers - and take the uncertainty out of the picture - giving hard numbers for various scenarios.

For example - when running at just under 200K IOPS and 5GB/s throughput - an entire node (controller) was removed to simulate a fault. I/O resumed after 23 seconds and performance dropped by less than 15% for 2 minutes before recovering fully.

Our PCIe SSD business is negligible today - but we plan to change that - says SanDisk's CEO

Editor:- April 18, 2013 - Nearly all SanDisk's enterprise SSD revenue still comes from SAS SSDs - derived from their acquisition of Pliant in March 2011 - and the company's PCIe SSD revenue today is "negligibly small" but they see PCIe SSDs as a large market opportunity which they want to get into with products they will launch in the 2nd half the year.

That was the gist of the message from Sanjay Mehrotra, cofounder and CEO SanDisk - in the company's earnings conference call yesterday.

Other things which emerged:- SSDs are 20% of SanDisk's sales this year, and like other flash memory makers SanDisk is reluctant to invest in new wafer fabs while there's still uncertainty about the exact direction and proven viability of flash technology beyond the current 2-3 years window. transcript on

OCZ will exit SandForce driven consumer SSD market

Editor:- April 17, 2013 - OCZ today disclosed estimated revenue for the quarter ended February 28, 2013 in the range from $65 million to $70 million.

Editor's comments:- That's in comparison to reported revenue of $110 million in the year ago quarter - which for most companies would indicate that business has been getting worse.

However, due to auditing problems which placed the company outside NASDAQ compliance limits last year and led to the departure of its founder - it may be that a better quality of new revenue - due to getting more of the right kind of business - may lead to a more positive place than getting more of the old wrong kind.

The company also announced today that it will move the majority of its consumer SSDs to its own fast in-house SSD controller technology in the next few quarters.

Effectively exiting the very competitive LSI/SandForce controller driven consumer SSD market should make it easier for OCZ to differentiate its products and get better profit margins.

the Top SSD Companies in 2013 Q1

Editor:- April 17, 2013 - today published a new edition of the Top SSD Companies.

new WebFeet report on 2012 non volatile memory market

Editor:- April 16, 2013 - the flash memory market was worth just under $28 billion in 2012 - down 3% from the year before - according to WebFeet Research - who have published a new report CS700MS ($2.5K) which analyzes nvm market share.

Editor's comments:- WebFeet have got a new website design too. It's worth a look and is significantly better than what they had before. Having said that - the design uses reversed text (white text on a dark background) - which is OK for sites where you aren't going to read much - but not so good on the eye for longer viewing,

IBM aims to be multi-billion dollar flash systems supplier

Editor:- April 12, 2013 - 3 years ago I wrote a blog about the confusing nature of the "RamSan" brand of SSDs from Texas Memory Systems given that all the recent models in the family were in fact flash memory rather than RAM based - and furthermore some of the models didn't connect via an FC SAN but used PCIe instead.

So it wasn't a surprise to see in yesterday's announcement by IBM (who acquired TMS last year) that the RamSan designation has been dropped in favor of the more accurate sounding "FlashSystem" in those models which migrated intact to IBM's enterprise flash product line.

So - for example in the category of high availability rackmount SSDs - the old RamSan-720 (SLC) and RamSan-820 (MLC) have become the new IBM FlashSystem 720 and 820. If you're not familiar with these fast HA SSDs - the thinking behind their design came out in an interview I has with Holly Frost, CEO of TMS when they were launched in December 2011.

Unless I missed them - then it doesn't look to me as though TMS's PCIe SSD models have been so fortunate. I couldn't see them in IBM's range of PCIe SSDs (High IOPS Modular Adapters) which are based on products and technologies from Fusion-io and LSI. That no-show may be due to the fact that - unlike TMS's rackmount systems which were software agnostic - a lot more work is required to efficiently integrate server based SSDs into a wide range of server products. But I anticipate that TMS's big architecture SSD controller technology will resurface in future IBM SSD cards.

Much more significant was the news that IBM is investing $1 billion in research and development to design, create and integrate new flash solutions into its portfolio of servers, storage systems and middleware. IBM also announced plans to open 12 centers of flash competency around the globe. That demonstrates confidence in the future scale of the SSD market and a clear sense of perspective about SSD's place in computer history.

let's hear it again for Samsung's 10nm TLC

Editor:- April 10, 2013 - the difference between "production" and "mass production" wouldn't normally be enough to rate a 2nd mention on this news page - even after an interval of 5 months by which time most editors will have forgotten the earlier news instance.

But a worthy exception to this little editorial rule of mine is Samsung's 10nm, x3 MLC, 128Gb nand flash which the company reannounced today.

Which way round did the transition go?

That would be a valid question if you knew nothing at all about the dynamics of the SSD market today.

And at some time in the distant future the flash fab taps may indeed be turning down the flow.

But just to reassure you - in case you have any doubt - it was the transition from "production" to "mass production" which the company noted today. No need to change the memory investment portfolio just yet.

Addonics launches SSD duplicators

Editor:- April 9, 2013 - Addonics today launched a family of mSATA SSD duplicators for copying 5, 9 or 11 drives at a time. Prices start at $849. They can also clone CF and CFast cards.

Crocus gets funding for x8 multibit magnetic semiconductor memory

Editor:- April 8, 2013 - Crocus Technology today announced it has been awarded a contract from IARPA to develop an 8-bit per cell memory based on its Magnetic Logic Unit technology.

This will greatly reduce the energy consumed per written-bit compared to any other memory technology, including DRAM, Flash, SRAM and MRAM.

Douglas Lee, VP, product development at Crocus compared the 8 bits per cell which the company thinks it can get from its MLU technology with the state-of-the-art in nand flash - which is 3-4 bits per cell and also compared to alternative magnetic semiconductor technologies like MRAM - which is still only 1 bit per cell storage (SLC).

Editor's comments:- here's some context.

If it were possible to do x8 MLC flash - then Samsung's model 840 SSD would have 16TB capacity instead of the 512GB which it has using x3 (TLC) - which is the state of the art bits per cell shipping in a regular 2.5" SSD. But don't get too excited by this comparison as x8 flash currently exists only in the realm of science fiction.

Having multibit capability in a magnetic semiconductor cell will undoubtedly be a breakthrough for that type of non volatile technology. But the density of such x8 MLU memories would still be 100x smaller than today's flash. The good news is that unlike flash - MLU will operate at very hot ambient temperatures - past 200 degrees C.

Intel oems LSI's RAID caching SSD technology

Editor:- April 8, 2013 - Intel - which already uses LSI's SandForce controllers in some SSDs - will oem LSI's dual-core RAID-on-Chip flash caching technology it was announced today.

LSI says their caching technology can double the number of VDI sessions supported in the same sever and flash environment.

"Intel's selection of LSI Nytro MegaRAID technology is another significant validation of our strategic focus and investments in flash-based server acceleration technology," said Gary Smerdon, senior VP and GM, Accelerated Solutions, LSI.

one of HP's most famous former employees

Editor:- April 7, 2013 - HP - which began shipping Fusion-io's PCIe SSDs in its servers 4 years ago - is now integrating FIO's ioFX SSDs into some of its workstations aimed at the movie and video editing market - it was announced today.

Editor's comments:- in a blog about this - HP's head of (related) product management Jeff Wood used the phrase - "one of HP's most famous former employees" - to describe Steve Wozniak - who before founding Apple - and long before becoming Chief Scientist at Fusion-io - worked at HP designing calculator chips.

Those were very sophisticated calculators - I recall - because my parents had been selling and repairing electronic calculators in their shop since 1964 - and later became HP's first calculator and PC dealers in the local area.

Calculator chipsets - and solving the problem of how to produce a wide range of useful products at low cost using a common set of silicon chips - were the genesis of the microprocessor market.

Hybrid Memory Cube spec ready for chip designers

Editor:- April 3, 2013 - back in October 2011 - I reported on this page the formation of a new industry ORG - the Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium - which could have an impact on future SSD packaging densities.

It takes a while to get these things going - but according to a press release this week by one of the founding companies - Micron - the 100 plus companies which are collaborating in this enterprise have agreed on an interface specification (pdf).

A key feature of the new multiplane memory architecture is that distributed memory controllers in an HMC module will handle the data I/O packet requests for the bunch of stacked memory chips in its own vault. This is similar to the distributed intelligent data mover concept which is already used in all proprietary big architecture SSD controller designs - because it's the only way you can get good aggregated global system performance while also dealing with low level local memory management issues at low latency.

As with earlier generations of remote distributed memory interfaces - such as InfiniBand - HMC is designed to optimize the request of small packets - which in the case of HMC is 16 to 128 bytes of data.

With today's semiconductor speeds - accessing the data in those distributed memory chips within the same HMC module presents similar technical problems to distributed memory cards in traditional computer designs - because traversing inches of physical space at high speed is as difficult as moving data across tens of feet at slower speeds.

HMC has been born as a DRAM technology - but don't ignore it - just for that reason. (Or because the data packet sizes are small compared to the block sizes in nand flash.) If and when these HMC packaging ideas result in viable products - the ideas and methodologies will spill into SSDs too -regardless of what the underlying memories used in SSDs may be at that time.

It's all about speed and scalability. According to the HMC faqs page - A single (1st generation) HMC unit can provide more than 15x the bandwidth of a DDR3 module. See also:- SSD interface glue chips.

"We've shipped more SSDs to the enterprise than any other supplier" - says STEC

Editor:- April 2, 2013 - In a press release today STEC's CMO, Ali Zadeh makes a contentious statement which goes something like this...

"...As the company that has shipped more SSDs to the enterprise than any other supplier, we have the unique capability to provide critical application knowledge and experience to solve our customers' most critical issues..."

Editor's comments:- OK you could say there's more than one issue here on which SSD commentators might disagree - so just to clarify - what I'm referring to - it's the first half of the sentence which I've highlightened in bold text.

At first glance - this positioning for enterprise SSD market leadership seems hard to reconcile with the state of the enterprise SSD market - because based on other publicly available data - there are other companies which have shipped significantly more petabytes of SSD storage into the enterprise than STEC.

Symantically, however, read the words carefully - and with respect to "units shipped" and a very narrow interpretation of what is meant by an "enterprise SSD" it may be possible to reconcile STEC's statement in the context of what I assume could be - lower capacity SSDs - defined in a very particular way to exclude other claimants to this title.

The 2nd half of STEC's assertion - re their "unique" knowledge of the enterprise SSD market is easier to defend.

STEC's loss of market share in enterprise SSD revenue in recent years - speaks clearly enough for itself. It's the kind of unique understanding of a market which competitors might be happy to do without.

BTW - STEC now sees itself as sTEC. I thought it was a typo when I saw it in my email this morning. But the lower case "s" has been carried forward into a compatible new image for STEC's logo. So I guess it was done deliberately. Should we be reading this as a clue to where the business priorities are for this SSD company?

PS - this seems like a good point to bring again to your attention the first bullet point in my article - the Survivor's Guide to Enterprise SSDs - "Don't believe everything SSD companies tell you about the past, present or future of the SSD market" - which, among other things, includes examples of very contentious statements made in the past by various leading SSD companies.

...Later:- April 4, 2013 - a blog by Taneja Group - sTec and the Enterprise - Yes, choice matters... argues that STEC's technical longevity in SSDs remains a strong argument for looking look at the company's products - and the article's author poses the question - "If youre looking for a highly reputable device these days, it frankly might come down to sTec, Intel, or one of these other vendors who has been swallowed up by a bigger critter. Which would you rather have?"

x4, hot flashes, paramagnetic semico and SSD

Editor:- April 2, 2013 - I decided not to run any "April fools" SSD stories yesterday - because the last time I did so - 3 years ago - in a spoof which linked strong magnetic fields to better data integrity and endurance - when used with adaptive read flash technology at the x4 level - both technologies all too soon had started to blur with real emerging technologies. And the SSD market is confusing enough without these misdirections as demonstrated by these real examples.
  • new flash chip functions - such as the superheaters described by Macronix in December 2012 - which stretch endurance past 100 million cycles.
  • all the various convoluted magnetic semiconductor strands of product development still going on in the "alternative to flash" segment of the nvm market.

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Breaking Taboos on SSD pricing
Editor:- April 16, 2013 - Many SSD marketers I talk to nowadays regard the price per gigabyte of their latest product almost as a badge of honor. But it wasn't always like that. SSD pricing used to be a taboo subject.

7 years ago - in April 2006 - Solid Access Technologies became the first SSD manufacturer to display end user pricing online for the full range of its SSD products - publishing a regularly updated price list for all models on its web site

Before then - the volatile nature of memory pricing and fear of price led competition had meant that most SSD oems declined to publish any pricing data online. That exclusion zone included press releases too - which made it really hard for buyers to make easy advance comparisons between prospective SSD vendors.

Although I had been extracting indicative SSD price data from the whole industry for my annual SSD Buyers Guides since 2003 - most vendors felt really uncomfortable about participating in this part of the process.

One casualty of my early price guides may have been a customer of mine (an advertiser) whose VCs pulled the plug on their enterprise SSD investment shortly after seeing in my article that their company was way too uncompetitive in every single product category.

Nowadays SSD vendors are much more relaxed about saying how much their systems cost - and for many SSD marketers I talk to - the price per gigabyte is seen today almost like a badge of honor - because the wide variations which still persist in SSD drives and systems are due to efficiencies in design and demonstrate the mastery of SSD controller, memory and software IP.

What happened to Solid Access?

For many years they were featured in the fastest SSDs list and even made it into early editions of the Top SSD Companies.

But their forward looking nature in pricing wasn't reflected in their memory technology vision. As a result - they were one of the many RAM SSD companies which lost their early leadership advantages in the enterprise SSD market when the it transitioned to flash..

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Can you trust SSD market data?
How fast can your SSD run backwards?
Recent Strategic Transitions in the SSD Market
understanding flash SSD performance limitations

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SSD endurance
the SSD reliability papers
principles of bad block management in flash SSDs
Efficiency - making the same SSD - with less chips
Failures In Time - reliability abstraction levels and SSDs

So called - "Enterprise Flash" - is a market phenomenon - not a technology such as SLC or eMLC.
Sugaring flash for the enterprise - describes - how the market changed (2004 to 2013) - and how it will change yet again.


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EMC's flash educational video
Editor:- April 15, 2013 - I've been saying for years that any simple analysis - like my enterprise silos model - makes it clear why no single flash product (or supplier) can economically satisfy all requirements.
frame from EMC flash ssd video
The first idea is graphically encapsulated in a video by EMC which they call "FLASH in a flash" which - because I'm not a fan of SSD videos - I only saw for the first time today.

This video also introduces a smart and almost apologetic way of positioning hard drive based storage - as being for applications which can "tolerate multi milli-seconds latency".

That's clever - because they know most of you already have these HDD systems, and EMC is best known for these slower rotating storage systems. That's how they get you to lower your guard by introducing the familiar.

The 2nd half of the video - which is not so good as a general flash video - suggests that EMC is the best supplier to look at because it's got 25 years experience in storage.

In my view that argument doesn't logically follow.

Experience in something that's so very different is irrelevant. It's like suggesting that breeding horses would have made Ford better at designing engines.

Nice try by EMC marketing at subtle SSD sales sophistry by linking irrelevant concepts though.

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Do you have impure thoughts
about deduping SSDs?
Editor:- April 11, 2013 - What comes to your mind when you think about SSDs and dedupe?

A theoretical ratio? - x2, x5, x10...

Or maybe you groan? - It's too messy to manage and even if capacity gets better, something else gets worse - so let's just forget the idea...

A recent blog - Introducing the SSD Dedupe Ticker (March 28, 2013) - by Pure Storage - looks at the state of customer reaility in this aspect of SSD array technology and comments on the variations you can get according to the type of app and the way of doing the dedupe.

Among other things the article also looks at the biggie question - of performance impact - answering the author's rhetorical question - "why hasnt deduplication taken the primary storage world by storm like it has the backup world?" the article

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