|SolidFire to be acquired by NetApp |
December 21, 2015 - Network
Appliance has agreed to acquire SolidFire for $870
million in cash according to an
today - which also said that "with SolidFire, NetApp will now have
all-flash offerings that address each of the 3 largest AFA
Editor's comments:- I had been expecting at
least one SSD company to be
December as this has become something of a tradition in recent years.
NetApp was ranked 43 in the
Q3 2014 edition of
the Top SSD Companies List. If it didn't do
acquisitions it wouldn't have any meaningful future in storage.
Memblaze gets more funding
Editor:- December 21,
2015 - Memblaze
it had received "tens of millions of US dollars" in Series C
funding. Among other things the company said it will now expand its sales
efforts in international markets.
Micron's $3 billion gamble on Inotera
Editor:- December 17, 2015 - Micron recently
a $3.2 billion transaction to complete its 100% share ownership of Inotera Memories.
comments:- Micron officially says this is about securing
RAM manufacturing capacity
- because Inotera supplies about a third of Micron's DRAM.
In an email
reply to a reader question at around this time (about Micron's 3DXPoint) I said
"I have never thought that 3DXPoint (if it was real) would
have any impact on the enterprise market in the next few years for
reasons I explained at the time. Flash based RAM replacements (from
SanDisk and others)
which use another memory tier will have the same effect on enterprise
DRAM revenue that SATA SSDs did on the 15K SAS HDD market. But much
sooner in 1- 2 years. At best 3DXPoint would have density
characteristics similar to what flash-as-RAM can already deliver now. And
flash is proven so it doesn't have to wait for a 2 year evaluation and
reliability assessment period before it can be used in servers. If 3DXPoint
was deliverable - its immediate applications would be limited to consumer
products where reliability is not important. There may be real products which
come out of the many alt nvms but in the short term these announcements
sound more like funding requests to keep the technology teams intact for
So why does Micron want more RAM capacity?
semi-serious interpretation might be - it's a poison pill. Who would want to
buy a RAM company? Except Micron which knows RAM.
interpretation is that - by paying a premium price for Inotera - Micron is
saying it is worth more too. We've seen this kind of huff and bluff many
times before in the storage market. It doesn't always follow that the valuations
On the other hand - it may be nothing to do with RAM at
It can be viewed as a convenient way of buying more
semiconductor wafer fab capacity in readiness for a market in which the SSD
ecosystem will be able to consume more memory than all the chip companies
It does take a little while to repurpose fabs from
making one type of memory to another - but it's not a big deal. The big deal is
knowing what SSDs the memories will wind up in.
NSF funds project to progress in-situ SSD processing
December 16, 2015 - NxGn
Data today announced
it has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 1
(about $150K) from the National Science
"We've made great strides in developing our
fundamental SSD technology, with a working prototype (of in-situ SSD processing)
now running in our lab," said Nader Salessi,
CEO and founder of NxGn Data.
The grant application says - "This
project explores the Big Data paradigm shift where processing capability is
pushed as close to the data as possible. The in-situ processing technology
pushes this concept to the absolute limit, by putting the computational
capability directly into the storage itself and eliminating the need to move the
data to main memory before processing."
Plexistor aims to bind factions in SSD DIMM wars
Editor:- December 15, 2015 - Plexistor (an SSD
software company emerging from stealth in stages)
today that it is on track for beta release of its Software-Defined Memory (SDM)
platform for next-generation data centers in Q1 2016.
that SDM will support a wide range of memory and storage technologies such as
DRAM and emerging nvm
devices such as
XPoint as well as traditional flash storage devices such as NVMe and
over Fabric, enabling a scalable infrastructure to deliver persistent high
capacity storage at near-memory speed.
File System for Use with Emerging Non-Volatile Memories (pdf) - Plexistor's
presentation at last summer's FMS
- which summarizes the value proposition thus - "Application developers can
focus on business logic, not storage".
what were the new ideas in the SSD market in 2015?
December 15, 2015 -
SSDs were one of the new big SSD ideas of
They're now part of the establishment. (Even judges know what they are and why
year-end review on StorageSearch.com
...read the article
- new ideas to assimilate
- big ideas to unlearn and forget
- the trends which will dominate our strategic SSD thinking in 2016
3 new educational flash blogs
Editor:- December 11,
2015 - Here are some flash SSD blogs I've seen this week which are aimed
at educating SSD specifiers in embedded markets.
in LDPC based SSD Controllers - from PMC-Sierra -
includes clear explanations about some of the read again (re-read) recovery
strategies which can be used as part of the tool set in
and DSP ECC when things go wrong.
For example - "Read the
same section as the original hard data but use a different set of read threshold
voltages inside the NAND."
These techniques are rarely shared
publicly in such detail and are real life optimizations unlike the imaginary
techniques I discussed in my 2011 fictional company profile of
101 - Everything You Ever Wanted to Know - aimed at newcomers to the
concepts and jargon in
is a new framework overview from Cactus Technologies
which links together a bunch of their earlier short blogs. These articles
include good diagrams.
Re the title "SSD 101 etc" - how
far it satisfies "everything" you want to know is debatable. But if
you're starting out in flash and need the reassurance that the technology
background is sound - this series is better than many others I've seen.
StorageReview.com looks inside Seagate's SAS SSDs
Editor:- December 4, 2015 - A new
of industry leading 2.5" SAS SSDs starring the multi-role
family from Seagate
(also available as the
inside the cases and commenting on performance says that the latency of
these SSDs for their SQL server benchmark is positioned "right in the
middle of the pack" (between HGST and Toshiba). ...read
Pure Storage reports high revenue growth
December 2, 2015 - Pure
that revenue in the recent quarter was $131.4 million - which was 2.6x
the revenue of the year ago period.
Pure Storage said it grew its
customer base to over 1,350 organizations, adding more than 250 new customers in
the third quarter, including Domino's Pizza and The Boston Globe. Existing
customers ConocoPhillips, LinkedIn and ServiceNow also expanded the scope of
their relationships with Pure Storage.
Pure Storage's revenue in the most recent quarter was approximately 10x
today by Violin.
Decembers of yore in
|December 2014 -
(which at the time offered the highest raw storage density of enterprise
flash per unit of rack space). |
December 2012 -
STEC said the
company's interim CEO, and former CEO and founder had both reduced their
salaries to $1.
December 2011 -
Apple acquired Anobit (a pioneer in
and DSP ECC controller IP for flash SSDs). One of the critical recurring
manufacturing costs for all smartphone makers at that time and in ensuing years
was the cost of flash memory. Adaptive technologies enabled consumer and
enterprise companies to deploy new generations of flash with smaller cells
despite their unreliability when using traditional meta-market statistically
based timing and ECC care techniques.
December 2009 - "Random
IOPS for flash SSDs are a poor predictor of likely application performance
in enterprise server applications" was my introductory link to an
article on StorageSearch.com
- the Problem
with Write IOPS - in flash SSDs.
December 2008 -
Texas Memory Systems
and Santa announced an initiative to replace all monolithic RAID
storage at the North Pole with energy efficient and super fast SSDs by the end
2001 - Platypus
Technology announced a channel strategy for its SSD aimed at the
database accelerator market. One of the arguments which Platypus used to
advocate its SSD accelerators was that users could significantly reduce their
server count and software licensing costs at the same time as speeding up