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Capacitor hold up times in 2.5" military SSDs
should we set higher expectations for memory systems?
What were the big SSD ideas to learn and forget in 2016?
latency reasons for fading out DRAM in the virtual memory mix
unraveling the unreal positioning of AFA startups
compared to EMC...
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"...not only were we the fastest-growing storage vendor named in IDC's report, but we cracked of the top 10 storage vendors (for revenue) globally not just for all-flash storage, but for ALL external enterprise storage."
Scott Dietzen, CEO - Pure Storage - in his recent blog - Reinforcing a generational shift in data center storage. (June 20, 2016)

See also:- storage market research

"EMC's and every legacy array vendors problem is that cheap flash IOPS has destroyed the value of years of array controller optimizations for hard drives."
Robin Harris, StorageMojo, in his recent blog - EMC perfumes the pig - (June 10, 2016).

See also:- HDDs in an SSD world

"We looked at where the large corporates failed to satisfy their clients, such as when low profits and inconvenience caused those big companies to be disinterested, we then approached the clients with customized solutions"
Kevin Wang, VP Sales - Longsys - talking about business growth tactics in the blog - Longsys taps into IoT market with custom-made solutions (June 14, 2016)

See also:- customization vs standardization - SSD push-me pull-yous (and other SSD ideas in 2015/16)

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Altera discusses FPGA offload in cohabiting memory arrays
Editor:- June 8, 2016 - a recent white paper from Altera - Stratix 10 MX Devices Solve the Memory Bandwidth Challenge (pdf) - discusses the role of more intelligent FPGA usage in next generation DRAM architecture.

Noting the design challenges from power budgets and bandwidth constraints on chip pins from legacy logic and memory approaches - Altera says its memory cohabiting FPGA architecture - HBM2 - unlocks new applications.

"One of the key functions for FPGA offload involves data extraction and comparison with in-memory data structures. For these access patterns, the increased bandwidth, channel count (from 4 interfaces to 64 channels), and increased open bank count (from 64 banks to 512 banks) have positive impacts on memory subsystem performance. The extra channel count and bank pool count allows more accesses to hit successfully on open DRAM banks. Because operations can avoid the bank activation penalty, this implementation increases performance." ... read the article (pdf)

See also:- storage interface glue chips

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How committed (really) are these companies
to the military SSD business?
a not so simple list of military SSD companies

Now we're seeing new trends in pricing flash arrays which don't even pretend that you can analyze and predict the benefits using technical models.
Exiting the Astrological Age of Enterprise SSD Pricing

What's the role of systems software?

In the past it has always been about optimizing whatever was seen as the most valuable resource.

At various times and in various places that "most valuable resource" has meant different things.
Where are we now with SSD software?
memory channel storage
memory channel SSDs ...
SSD SoCs controllers
SSD controllers ..
SSD processors
CPUs in SSDs ..
pcie  SSDs - click to read article
PCIe SSDs ..

SSD news - June 2016

Diablo invites ISVs to play with Memory1 at new experience center

Editor:- June 28, 2016 - Diablo Technologies today announced the opening of its ISV Development and Customer Experience Center at the company's Silicon Valley office in San Jose, California. This will be the main hub for hands-on demonstrations and customer engagement activities related to Diablo's Memory Channel Storage and Memory1 (DIMM wars) products.

Virtium offers encryption in all its industrial SSD form factors

image shows mouse building storage - click to see industrial SSDs article
industrial SSDs
Editor:- June 28, 2016 - Virtium today announced self-encrypting drive features as options throughout all the form factors in its StorFly range of industrial SSDs.

"These support multiple SATA form factors, including 2.5", 1.8", Slim SATA, mSATA, M.2, and CFast. Additionally, they support all 3 StorFly reliability classes – CE (MLC), XE (industrial-grade MLC) and PE (SLC)" said Scott Phillips, VP of marketing at Virtium.

Virtium says many industrial-system makers and their customers continue to push functionality closer and closer to the network edge and the end-customer. This puts systems and the data they hold at risk of hacking and data theft. Virtium's new SEDs provide security for data at rest without sacrificing industrial features.

placing 3D XPoint claims in context

Editor:- June 23, 2016 - If you've been trying to renconcile Intel / Micron competitive claims about 3D XPoint compared to flash and DRAM - it has been problematic due to absence of adequate hard data.

A new video - 3D XPoint, reality, opportunity, competition - by Sang Yung Lee, President & CEO - BeSang - places the known features of 3D XPoint into context, and looks at the limitations, manufacturing costs and best likely application roles for this new technology.

If you're interested in analyzing the impact of DIMM wars in your future plans - then the 12 minutes you spend listening to the narrative in this video will remove any mysteries of how the IM technologies could fit into the pattern of adoption and just as important - you'll see where 3D XPoint is unlikely to be the best fit technology too. the video

Mangstor has P2P in NVMe-based PCIe SSDs

Editor:- June 22, 2016 - Mangstor announced that its MX-Series family of NVMe-based PCIe SSDs now features higher capacity 5.4TB usable models (FHHL) as well as Peer-to-Peer (P2P) capabilities which provide low latency access to an extremely large storage pool of non-volatile memory, bypassing host resources.

pcie  SSDs - click to read article
The new models have been shown this week at the ISC High Performance Conference in Germany.

""Our innovative ability to separate data control from the data path optimizes I/O, reduces latency spikes and system bottlenecks, and delivers accelerated performance" said Paul Prince, CTO for Mangstor

can memory do more?

Editor:- June 17, 2016 - in a new blog on - I ask - where are we heading with memory intensive systems and software?

All the marketing noise coming from the DIMM wars market (flash as RAM and Optane etc) obscures some important underlying strategic and philosophical questions about the future of SSD.

When all storage is memory - are there still design techniques which can push the boundaries of what we assume memory can do?

Can we think of software as a heat pump to manage the entropy of memory arrays? (Nature of the memory - not just the heat of its data.)

Should we be asking more from memory systems? the blog

QLogic to be acquired

Editor:- June 15, 2016 - QLogic today announced it has agreed to be acquired by Cavium in a transaction worth approximately $1.36 billion.

Editor's comments:- Cavium describes itself as a "provider of highly integrated semiconductor processors that enable intelligent networking, communications, storage, video and security applications."

Micron's Inotera deal put on ice

Editor:- June 10, 2016 - Micron has announced that it will not be completing the acquisition of Inotera in mid July as previously anticipated.

Instead - "Micron expects to provide an update toward the latter part of calendar 2016."

Editor's comments:- the DRAM market is not what it used to be.

The demand for DRAM is expected by market researchers to shrink dramatically in the next 5 years due to retiring and retiering enterprise DRAM (SCM DIMM wars having been one of the big SSD ideas of 2015).

And this year we've seen companies like Marvell showing that the flash as DRAM substitution concept might work effectively at cell phone scale too.

I had doubts about interpreting the Inotera acquisition as a RAM deal when it was announced in December 2015. Here's what I said then.

"Why does Micron want more RAM capacity? A semi-serious interpretation might be - it's a poison pill. Who would want to buy a RAM company? Except Micron which knows RAM. Another 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 are sustained. On the other hand - it may be nothing to do with RAM at all. 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 currently make."

The longer the delay the more likely that the terms of the deal will have to be rethought.

A blog on Seeking Alpha about this delay by financial blogger Electric Phred says "Inotera's CFO Peter Shen has resigned."

See also:- an SSD view of semiconductor memory boom-bust

Weka.IO has raised over $32 million for its SDS cloud cookbook

Editor:- June 8, 2016 - another new name unstealthing in the software defined storage market is Weka.IO, founded in 2014, which has announced the closing of Series B funding bringing its total capital raised to over $32 million.

Editor's comments:- In various slideshares by Weka.IO cofounder and CTO - Liran Zvibel - you can see how they're progressing with their big idea of enabling clouds and enterprises to have a single software based storage solution with good performance, efficiency and scalability.

There are interesting comments here about the latency impacts of garbage collection within the D software development environment.

Zvibel says an infrequent (few times an hour) latency of 10mS for GC can become an infinite wait if the kernel is stressed on memory.

The variability of DRAM latency took many years to be widely appreciated and is what created opportunities for PCM and flash as DRAM (Micron and Diablo in SCM DIMM wars) and also big PCIe RAM fabrics likes those from A3CUBE.

what was the spark of opportunity for Weka.IO?

Liran's slideshare (from 2014) - the future of the data center - includes this comment:- "IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, SAP, Dell and the like lost their ability to shape the future of data centers."

See also:- SSDs in the cloud, SSD software, towards enterprise storage systems consolidation
What happened before?
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What do want our memory systems to do for us?

And how do we want them to behave?

An emerging trend has been to demand much more from memory systems, and to offload data compute and other functions where ever it makes more sense from an energy and performance point of view to perform such functions inside the memory array.
there's more to upcoming SSD change than DIMM wars

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is data remanence in NVDIMMs a new risk factor?
maybe the risk was already there with DRAM

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the awards winning silicon
accelerating world's leading SSDs
from Seagate

related guides
90% of the enterprise SSD companies which you know have no good reasons to survive.
market consolidation - why? how? when?

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the Top 10 most viewed SSD articles on in June 2016
  1. home page - unlike many other sites - our home page is also the place where many new SSD articles begin.

    The home page blog in June 2016 was - where are we heading with memory intensive systems and software?

  2. the Top SSD Companies - in 36 quarterly articles this series has provided the answers to this question:- Who are the top SSD companies?...the companies which you absolutely have to look at if you've got any new projects involving SSDs?
  3. SSD news - gives you a real-time view of the whole SSD market from chips to cabinets.
  4. SSD endurance - this is the "forever war" in the flash SSD market - managing flash endurance. New factors in the market are the overlapping capabilities of memory types due to geometry effects (3D), architecture (TLC and OLC) and virtual hardening.
  5. Charting the Rise of the Solid State Disk Market - tracks SSD market history from the 1970s upto the present day. It includes significant events from thousands of SSD news stories and first hand conversations with the people who built this market.
  6. high availability and fault tolerant SSDs - news and articles.
  7. the SSD Heresies - Why can't SSD's true believers agree on a single shared vision for the future of solid state storage?
  8. what's the state of DWPD? - when this article began SSD makers only listed DWPD for enterprise drives but since then the usefulness of this role descriptor has expanded the scope of this article to all markets.
  9. the upside and downside of hold-up caps in MIL SSDs - looks at the extreme design boundaries of hold up times in 2.5" military SSDs and the consequences of these design approaches for deployments.
  10. SSD controllers & IP - this is a directory of merchant market SSD controller chip technology providers and related articles.

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