- editor mentions on StorageSearch.com , OCZ's
|Editor:- January 30, 2014 - despite all the
kerfuffel surrounding the stability of OCZ's finances in Q4 2013 (and
maybe to some extent lifted by renewed fascination in the company as an
acquisition prospect) OCZ's rank in the Q4 2013 edition of the
Top SSD Companies List
which is researched and published by StorageSearch.com
(and which is based on SSD reader search volume) - rose 5 places in the
quarter to #8.|
OCZ's highest historic rank in these lists was
#4 - which was reached in
the past few years OCZ's rank in these SSD lists has always been higher than
that of Toshiba - even
though OCZ entered the SSD market 2 years later than the company which ended up
This disparity in rank (a lower ranked SSD company
buying a higher ranked one) has often been the relative picture in
The guys with more money buy the guys with desirable SSD IP.
was ranked #9 in Q1
2008 - when it first entered the Top 10 List - at which time the
numbered only about 70 companies.
Who's who in SSD? - OCZ Storage Solutions
by by Zsolt Kerekes,
January 22, 2014 - The new OCZ - starts out in a strong competitive
position - as it not only inherits a well established enterprise SSD business
(which I discussed in an
article in November
2013) - but it sheds many of the disadvantages which limited the revenue
scalability of the old OCZ entity in the year leading up to its bankruptcy.
advantages which the new OCZ will benefit from include:-
- less constrained future access to
flash memory for its SSDs
The old OCZ suffered from allocation and cost issues related to its
perceived riskiness as a flash customer.
- strengthening of the
brand was already very strong in the SSD market. But for some customers
in enterprise and embedded markets - there would always be an element of doubt
about the long term roadmaps due to instabilities in the SSD market. Now as
part of the long established Toshiba group of companies - many users will be
happy to temporarily set such concerns aside - and focus more on the individual
merits of particular products and their technical suitability .
- access to more flash
and SSD IP.
acquisition in the
SSD market is different - early indications are that OCZ could become a
launch pad for integrating and expanding some of Toshiba's legacy SSD assets
into bigger markets - especially in the enterprise segments.
|editor's introductory comments:- October
OCZ entered the SSD market in
March 2008 and
has been in StorageSearch's
top SSD companies lists
In Q3 2013 OCZ was ranked #13.
ever rank was
#4 first achieved in
Q2 2012 and then
maintained upto Q4
In the 1st half of 2012 OCZ's peak quarterly SSD revenue
exceeded $100 million / quarter. And it looked like the company's fast rate of
growth was unstoppable. But soon after the company revealed that its revenue
recording systems had been flawed and that most of the company's sales of
consumer SSDs were unprofitable. That led to a major re-organization in the
company lasting over a year - during which time the company slimmed down its
product lines to reduce its reliance on the consumer market - and shift more
focus onto its enterprise SSDs.
In recent quarters enterprise SSDs
have accounted for between 40% and 50% approx of the company's revenue.
product lines still include leading and notable SSD products in these
segments:- PCIe SSDs,
consumer SSDs and
|"At some stage I think the company (OCZ) is going to have to
decide what markets it's really in - and exit the least profitable segments"
- editor's comments July 6, 2011 - the Top 20 SSD OEMs - in
|Editor:- November 5, 2012 - re OCZ - the new
/ short version.|
Even before the recent events which have forced
the need for a change of CEO, reorganization and sharper business focus within
OCZ - it's been clear for the past year that OCZ has become a significant
factor in the enterprise
SSD component market - especially in the customer segment which I called -
dark matter (hard
to reach but potentially big SSD customers) - and small to medium size oems -
because OCZ's sales culture made the company's products easier to acquire and
design into new apps (for this type of customer) than alternative enterprise
SSDs from Micron,
reading and interpretation of what's going on now is that OCZ's enterprise
PCIe SSDs line and related software will most likely remain at the heart of the
product line because there's a market gap for a company like OCZ which is easier
to do business with if you're a smaller or medium size oem customer.
Who's who in SSD?
editor - November 25, 2011
(deep breath and begin)...
are 1 of many companies in the
market, 1 of more than 100 companies in the
2.5" SSD market, 1
of more than 40 companies in the
PCIe SSD market, 1 of
30 companies in the SSD
controller and IP market... 1 of (soon to be hundreds) of companies in the
auto-tiering SSD market,
an innovator in the hybrid
SSD market - (but I haven't finished yet - good job I took in that deep
breath at the start) - OCZ also make SSDs with
USB interfaces... And they
are also in the top 20
SSD companies and fastest
SSDs lists too. (Phew!)
I could have made this list longer.
I could have made it shorter by writing about the complementary market sets.
For example - I could have said - "OCZ doesn't sell
FC SAN SSDs or
hard military SSDs."
then I would have had to add an important qualifier at the end. - "Yet".
And then maybe added - "As far as I know."
are involved in so many segments of the SSD market it's hard to keep up - even
though the company and its products are very accessible.
with OCZ is like tracking about 20 other SSD companies - if I blink - I find
they're in another market.
Can all these SSD market experiments
No single company can be best at
everything. But OCZ do make it easy to buy their products and they have wide
visibility into which SSD segments are hot for business and which are not.
I'd guess they understand the comparative attractions of these SSD market
segments better than most
SSD analysts -
because OCZ is right in there in the shopping cart - so they don't have to wait
to read what's been selling in the past quarter in market research
reports published by the usual
It looks to me that OCZ are spinning the handles in many parallel
SSD market slot machines. If there are going to be any winners - they'll
be among the first to know. And if a segment looks like a loser - OCZ
knows where it can get a better game.
To conclude - I'll use the
summary I wrote recently in my Q3 2011 top SSD companies roundup.
there is a science to the art of selling and pragmatically marketing SSDs -
then OCZ is the master of it..."
I currently talk to
more than 300 makers of SSDs and another 100 or so companies which are
closely enmeshed around the SSD ecosphere - which are all profiled here on
the mouse site.
I learn about new SSD companies every day, including
many in stealth mode. If you're interested in the growing
big picture of
the SSD market canvass - StorageSearch will help you along the way. Many
SSD company CEOs read our site too - and say they value our thought leading SSD
content - even when we say something that's not always comfortable to hear. I
hope you'll find it it useful too.
|"In March 2008 -
OCZ entered the SSD market with the launch of its first 2.5" flash
SSD - taking the number of SSD oems listed on StorageSearch.com at that time to
Rise of the SSD Market|
In March 2009 -
OCZ unveiled a
PCIe SSD at
MLC flash and has
capacity of 1TB. But soon after:- OCZ disclosed that the sustained write
speed is a mere 200MB/s - which is 4x slower than single slot PCIe SSDs
Texas Memory Systems.
- OCZ unveiled new
SATA flash SSDs for MacBooks. OCZ also published
list of MacBooks which the company says are compatible.
compatible SSDs. Aimed at
notebooks OCZ miniPCI-E options include:- 16GB or 32GB capacity, and 2
models - have R/W speeds 110MB/s and 51MB/s respectively .
models - have R/W speeds 45MB/s and 35MB/s respectively.
In May 2009 -
SATA SSDs -
Summit Series - with 200MB/s sustained write and 250GB capacity.
not the fastest SSDs
in the industry, they are more than 2x as fast as OCZ's Core series
launched less than a year before.
In July 2009 -
OCZ was ranked #12 - just
outside the Top 10 SSD
companies - Q2 2009 - in the 9th quaterly edition of this popular feature
based on search volume.
Also in July 2009 -
faster versions of its
SATA flash SSDs. By increasing the internal cache speed by 8% the Vertex
Turbo now delivers read and write speeds clocking in at up to 270MB/s read and
210MB/s write. These are fast for
consumer SSDs -
but see the
fastest SSDs list
for much faster devices.
In November 2009 -
it will launch a new SAS
SSD family based on SSD
SoCs from SandForce
which will probably be shown at CES in
Also in November 2009 -Symwave
its USB 3.0 controller
has been designed into a new
flash SSD by
OCZ - which will be shown
at CES in January 2010.
In March 2010 -
it's shipping a 32GB 2.5"
SSD for under $100.
R/W speeds are
unremarkable - at a mere 125MB/s and 70MB/s respectively - but the main point
of this launch - according to OCZ's CEO, Ryan Petersen - was to
publicize the price
point and show what the company is doing "to make SSDs more affordable
Editor's comments:- You get exactly what
you pay for in
SSD pricing. The
big problem is knowing what you want. OCZ's new
is a very low capacity, slowish
which is unsuitable
for server apps. But it does appear to be a good price today according
comparison. (It may not look so good later.)
Also in March 2010 -
has closed $15
million in funding to support its growing SSD business.
OCZ launched the
R2 - a bootable PCIe
MLC SSD with upto 2TB capacity and upto 950MB/s sustained write throughput.
R/W IOPS are
29,000 and 7,200 respectively - an order of magnitude slower than the fastest
PCIe SSDs today - but nevertheless useful for many applications - unlike the
original Z-Drive (March 2009) which so slow that it couldn't be regarded as a
In June 2010 -
OCZ unveiled the RevoDrive
PCIe SSD with R/W
speeds up to 540MB/s and 530MB/s respectively and 75,000
2010 - the architectural weak points of
OCZ's early PCIe SSDs were
criticised in an interview with
CEO published on StorageSearch.com.
In August 2010 -
plans to wind down its commodity
DRAM business and focus
more resources on SSDs
- OCZ achieved its best
ever listing in the quarterly
top 10 SSD oems list
based on SSD search volume in Q3 2010.
Also - in the same month -
2nd generation version of its
- a bootable legacy
PCIe SSD with R/W
speeds up to 740MB/s and and 120,000
uses 4x SandForce
In November 2010
- StorageSearch.com learned from reliable sources that
OCZ has acquired
intellectual property assets from
Solid Data Systems.
OCZ announced it had
signed a definitive agreement to acquire
Indilinx for for
approximately $32 million of OCZ common stock.
In June 2011 -
OCZ was one of several
compatible companies named in
FlashSoft's launch of
its auto tiering SSD
In August 2011 -
PCIe SSD - the
RevoDrive Hybrid - which integrates 100GB SSD capacity along with an onboard 1TB
SSD ASAP / auto hot spot
cache tuning controller capable of 910MB/s peak throughput and upto random
write 120,000 IOPS (4K) at an MSRP under $500. This was reviewed later (Oct
2011) in an
in HotHardware.com .
In September 2011
is supplying custom 7.5mm high 128GB SATA SSDs which use its Indilinx
Everest SSD controller to LG for use in its in
OCZ also launched its
Cache Series 2.5" SATA SSDs for Windows 7 environments. The new SSDs
(64GB / 128GB, R/W speeds upto 510/550MB/s, 80,000 IOPS) integrate
cache / SSD ASAP
software to dynamically manage the SSD in conjunction with standard
hard disk drives. When
used to support a pre-existing terabyte hard drive - the overall performance for
popular PC benchmar tasks can be 4x to 6x faster - as the
software learns the where the hot data is for that user's PC - according to
benchmarks and data in
related white paper (pdf)
. No data migration or OS installation is required.
In October 2011
OCZ agreed to
UK Design Team
(approximately 40 engineers located in Abingdon) and certain assets from
PLX Technology which will
enable OCZ to accelerate the development of its next generation of fast SSDs -
while also reducing development costs.
In November 2011 -
OCZ launched 2 new models
in their full height PCIe SSD range - aimed at the Windows consumer market -
3 Max IOPS (120GB to 480GB costs $549-$1,399) and
3 X2 Max (240GB to 960GB costs $849-$2,499) with 4KB random write
performance of up to 245,000
R/W rates upto 1,900MB/s and 1,725MBs/ respectively.
OCZ also started sampling
dual port 6Gbps
SAS SSDs in a smaller
form factor - the
2 SAS SSD provides upto 70,000 4K
(75R/25W) and upto 1TB capacity in
only available in 3.5"
In December 2011 -
revenue for the past quarter (ended November 30) to be in the range $100
and $105 million - an increase of approximately 90% compared to the
year ago quarter and a 30% increase compared to the immediately preceding
quarter. The company attributed much of this to its growing traction in the
enterprise SSD market.
In January 2012 -
now demonstrating at the Storage
Visions 2012 Conference new
PCIe SSDs - which use
jointly developed with Marvell
(instead of - as in previous models - controllers from
has acquired SANRAD for
In February 2012 -
imminent shipments of new high capacity
PCIe SSDs optimized
for cloud apps. The
R4 CloudServ (which uses 16x
SandForce 2581 SSD
processors) has up to 16TB of storage capacity on a single full height
card and is supported by auto-caching
SSD ASAP fuctionality
(based on the acquisition of SANRAD's
VXL) and OCZ's
which together enable host migrations without loss of performance or
interruption of service.
In April 2012 -
OCZ launched what the
company says - is the industry's
2.5" SATA MLC SSD
family (across a range of apps) - the
4 (based on OCZ's own
regular RAM cache
Everest 2 controller) delivers 95K / 85K random
blocks) and 535 MB/s throughput.
In March 2013 -
the general availability of
1.3 (SSD software) -
which enables PCIe SSD
flash volumes (on the company's
Z-Drive R4) to be
virtualized and synchronously mirrored, so they are continuously available to
support HA and
FT services from within the virtualized host without the need for any
back-end SAN or storage
In July 2013 -
the general availability of its
Accelerator - an SSD
ASAP appliance - delivered as a PCIe SSD (600GB, 800GB or 1.6TB) and
bundled software - which optimizes caching of SQL Server data in Windows
environments - and can provide upto 25x faster database performance.
October 2013 -
OCZ announced that its
filings had restored the compliance into compliance for its listing on NASDAQ.
2014 - Toshiba
details of how OCZ
Storage Solutions (which was based on the recently acquired assets of OCZ
Technology Group) will operate within the Toshiba Group of Companies. The
new OCZ Storage Solutions, under the continuing direction of CEO Ralph Schmitt
- will leverage Toshiba's NAND and combine it with the company's proprietary
controllers, firmware and software to provide both client and enterprise
customers with innovative and cost-effective SSD solutions.
||Editor:- my very short list of useful
SSD videos includes
this one from OCZ
(Feb 2012) which demonstrates
vs HDD in a VDI bootstorm. It illustrates how fast virtual desktops
power up - on the SAN - when 1/2 are connected to HDDs and the other 1/2 are
accelerated via one of the company's Z-drive PCIe SSDs. |
is published by
|"This product is aimed
at the same applications as Violin's Windows Flash Array (WFA). But OCZ has been
selling into the entry level enterprise SQL acceleration market as a business
focus for much longer than Violin (years rather than months)."|
ships ZD-XL SQL Accelerator 1.5 (July 15, 2014)|
|OCZ launches Z-Drive 4500|
WXL caching PCIe SSD
|Editor:- March 4, 2014 - OCZ is still using LSI's
SandForce SSD controllers
SF-2582 enterprise SATA (pdf)) in its newest PCIe SSD - the
Z-Drive 4500 Series
today - which has upto 3.2TB of usable
19nm flash, R/W bandwidth
of 2.9GB/s and 2.2 GB/s respectively, and 252K / 76 K R/W
in a FHHL form factor and is integrated with OCZ's new WXL caching software.
4500 briefing notes (pdf)
Editor's comments:- OCZ's
VXL bundles have been very successful in small to medium scale enterprise
deployments. The evolution of this product line - supporting as it does
another new generation of (lower cost) memory - will further extend its reach.
|OCZ relaunches as a
Toshiba Group company|
|Editor:- January 21, 2014 - Toshiba today
some details of how OCZ
Storage Solutions (which was based on the recently acquired assets of
OCZ Technology Group) will operate within the Toshiba Group of Companies.|
The new OCZ Storage Solutions, under the continuing direction of CEO Ralph Schmitt
- will leverage Toshibas cutting-edge NAND and combine it with the companys
proprietary controllers, firmware and software to provide both client and
enterprise customers with innovative and cost-effective SSD solutions.
OCZ Storage Solutions will continue to maintain its established
worldwide sales channels. Its headquarters will remain in San Jose, California,
with strategic design centers located in Irvine (California), Tel Aviv (Israel),
and Abingdon (UK).
The acquisition of OCZ further expands our
solid-state storage capabilities and represents Toshibas commitment to this
high-growth area, said Seiichi Mori, VP of Toshiba's Semiconductor and
Storage Company. Our goal is to offer a leading edge portfolio of solid state
solutions to address the storage challenges faced by both client and enterprise
customers, and the acquisition of OCZ is an ideal addition to our team in
realizing this strategy.
The acquisition provides Toshiba with OCZs
enterprise and client SSD businesses and enables the established OCZ brand to
continue in full force with a current product portfolio that includes SATA and
PCIe consumer drives for high-performance and mainstream applications, and SATA,
SAS and PCIe enterprise drives supported by virtualization, cache and
|Toshiba offers to buy
assets of OCZ|
|Editor:- November 29, 2013 - Just before the
its working credit lines had been terminated - forcing the company to
file for bankrupty. |
OCZ also said it has received an offer from Toshiba to acquire
substantially all of its assets in a bankruptcy proceeding provided various
conditions are satisfied - which preserve the value of OCZ's business
including the retention of employees. ...more in SSD news
|OCZ's new enterprise SSD
health care tool|
|Editor:- October 29, 2013 - OCZ today
the availability for immediate download of a new enterprise
management tool which leverages the internal SMART log files and controllers in
OCZ's enterprise SSDs installed on various hosts and operating systems in
the customer's connected networks.|
"SSDs have become a critical
component of the modern data center and IT managers expect enterprise-tools that
optimally manage and maintain them. Our StoragePro XL management system is
designed to centrally manage our complete portfolio of enterprise drives
covering SATA, SAS and PCIe and does so in a very easy and non-obtrusive manner"
said Dr. Allon Cohen
VP of Software and Solutions for OCZ. "This level of remote host and SSD
management provides the system information and SSD health that IT professionals
- provides a structured group-based view of host and SSD activity throughout
the data center
- enables customisable alerts triggered by parameters in SMART log data
- simplifies SSD installation - such as firmware updates
Editor's comments:- the
simplest way to get what all this is about is to click on the
XL product page which shows various screenshots.
- can generate SSD maintenance reports - such as raw read error rate,
wear-out stats, and other usage data
the SSD reliability
SSD testing &
seniors live longer in my SSD care home
|SSDserver rank is a latency
based configuration metric - proposed by StorageSearch.com - which can tersely
classify any enterprise server - as seen from an SSD software perspective - by a
single lean number rating from 0 to 7. |
|what's in a number?
|OCZ 's delicate balancing
act with good and naughty SSD market revenue|
|Editor:- October 15, 2013 - OCZ reported
for the quarter ended on August 31. Revenue was $33.5 million compared to
$55 million in the preceding quarter and had declined 62% compared to
the year ago period. |
CEO of OCZ said - "This has been a difficult quarter as demand for our
products continues to be greater than our ability to supply, given our capital
Editor's comments:- this situation has been
well analyzed by the financial
press - so I won't repeat what they say here. But for the non financial
techies out there - here's my summary...
Just as you know there's
good flash and
naughty flash - so too in the SSD market of recent times you could say
that there has been 2 types of SSD revenue too:-
- good SSD revenue (the enterprise kind) and
Most companies - if they
have the choice - are trying to shift the balance of their SSD revenues over to
the good kind - where they lose less money.
- naughty SSD revenue (the consumer kind).
In this difficult
rebalancing act - OCZ had got to the point in the prior quarter where the good
revenue (enterprise) was 60%. Now it's dipped back down to 50%.
picking products aside - ideally OCZ would find a way to extricate itself
cleanly from the consumer
SSD market - and focus entirely on the enterprise markets. And this is a
topic which has fed the rumor mill again recently.
|Every year I learn 2 new
important new ideas about SSDs. But every year I also have to remember to forget
or discard 1 old idea which was vital to know before because it's no longer
useful, valid or true|
lessons from 2013|
|OCZ ships PCIe SSD based
SQL accelerator |
|Editor:- July 23, 2013 - OCZ today
the general availability of its
Accelerator - an SSD
ASAP appliance - delivered as a PCIe SSD (600GB, 800GB or 1.6TB) and
bundled software - which optimizes caching of SQL Server data in Windows
environments - and can provide upto 25x faster database performance.|
functionality works through Microsoft SQL Server AlwaysOn technology, so that
in the event of planned or unplanned downtime, can continue operations from the
stopping point, retaining all of its data as if no downtime had occurred.
"We believe that the industry is primed for this type of tightly
integrated, plug-and-play use-case acceleration solution..." said Ralph Schmitt,
CEO - OCZ Technology.
Editor's comments:- One of the
differentiators in SSD caching products is the sophistication of their
behavior when viewed from a time basis. This is 1 of the
11 key SSD
symmetries - which I call "age symmetry".
In this respect
- a key feature of ZD-XL SQL Accelerator is its business-rule pre-warming
cache engine and cache warm-up analyzer that monitors SQL Server workloads and
automatically pre-loads the cache in advance of critical, demanding or important
SQL Server jobs. It achieves this by identifying repeated access patterns that
enable DBAs to set periodic time schedules to pre-load the cache.
product won Best of Show Award at an event called Interop in
|OCZ is now an enterprise
|Editor:- July 15, 2013 - OCZ's quarterly
enterprise SSD revenue has grown to over $25 million - approximately half of
its total SSD revenue - the company
Editor's comments:- from a revenue perspective
OCZ's situation is way down compared to the situation it had predicted in
May 2012 - when
the company reported that its revenue for the year ending February 29, 2012 was
$338 million - and at that time OCZ was suggesting that its revenue for the
following year would be over $600 million.
That didn't happen for
reasons reported earlier - partly due to errors in accounting but also due to
better judgement - and decisions to withdraw and downsize sales in the
most unprofitable segments of the SSD market - which at that time were
latest results show that it is possible for a company which started out
as a consumer SSD company to change itself into being a (mostly)
enterprise SSD business. (Although it wasn't quick, painless or easy.)
an identity switch which some other significant SSD companies would also like
to do for themselves too.
|OCZ's newest new PCIe SSD|
|Editor:- January 7, 2013 - OCZ already has several
SSD families aimed at different markets. This week at
CES the company will demonstrate another
new range called the Vector series which is based on its Indilinx Barefoot 3
| "One petabyte of
enterprise SSD could replace 10 to 50 petabytes of raw HDD storage in the
enterprise - and still run all the apps faster and at lower cost."|
|meet Ken and the SSD
|OCZ's new VXL software
release includes fault tolerant support for arrays of PCIe SSDs|
|Editor:- October 23, 2012 - OCZ today
a new version (1.2 ) of its
cache and virtualization software - which provides high availability,
synchonous replication and enhanced VM performance across arrays of the
company's Z-Drive R4 PCIe
The company says this assures that host-based flash is
treated as a continuously available storage resource across virtualized clusters
and yields no data loss and no VM downtime even during complete server
"By combining the power of storage virtualization and
PCIe flash caching, and by working centrally with the hypervisor rather than
with each local VM, we have developed a solution that takes full advantage of
flash without losing any of the benefits associated with virtualization,"
said Dr. Allon Cohen,
VP of Software and Solutions, OCZ. "VXL's ability to transparently
distribute flash resources across virtualized environments provides IT
professionals with a simple to implement solution..."
into a historical context:- OCZ anticipates that its SSD revenue
(FY13) will be bigger than the entire SSD market generated in 2008 - when the
size of the market passed 100 SSD companies..."|
|Editor's comment in
SSD news May 2012|
|are you ready to adapt to
new ways of thinking about DRAM?|
|Editor:- April 2, 2014 -
DRAM doesn't have to be as
boringly predictable in design as you think. |
intelligence to flash makes better SSDs - then how about revisiting all the
assumptions in DRAM too?
Some researchers have been thinking about
this topic for years.
And if only some of their ideas prove workable
- there may be enough critical mass to create a new type of enterprise DRAM -
which is an intelligent storage component.
DRAM inherently costs a
lot per bit - so why not demand more QoS benefits than you can expect from a
"passive slave"* type of DRAM whose DNA origins lie in 1970s
Intel memory circuit design layouts which were done by hand?
ideas are brought together in the new home page blog on
StorageSearch.com ...read the article
This "passive slave" description of classic DRAM architecture -
which I really like - comes from a paper by Onur Mutlu - which is
discussed in my new blog.