for Storage Area Networks?|
how to find SAN content more easily
I first published a directory of Fibre-channel adapters way back in 1994
- as one of the many buyers guides within the
When I moved all the storage stuff here to
StorageSearch.com in 1998 - SANs were one of the most popular subjects - and I
expanded our coverage to include many other topics which mushroomed around the
SAN space such as routers, switches, GBICs,
SSDs, training, security
Today in 2011 - with hundreds of companies in the SAN market the
old long lists which used to be on this page are no longer useful for helping
you find SAN content.
Instead I suggest you can use site search below
to find SAN related vendors, guides and articles - or click
on this link to get a prepulated search for SAN which you can extend by
adding your own terms.
|In recent years I've been using "FC" as
an abbreviation for "fibre-channel" - particularly when it comes to
adapters and drives. So using FC in your searches will also get you useful
results:- as for example in this link
Because I've written about the SAN market since the
technology started I've been consistent about the way I used terms in news
stories and vendor profiles.
iSCSI - which started as
much later ethernet related terms are not going to get scrambled with your SAN
search results - unless there's a good reason.
The exception is "IP
SAN" - which is a term I resisted using for many years - but has become
widely adopted by vendors as a (they think it's cool but I think it's
misleading) alternative to the perfectly good legacy terms which existed before.
the early 2000s I started a list of SAN software vendors. That became irrelevant
as a directory after a few years when it became clear that most serious
enterprise software vendors had to support storage networks of all types
otherwise they weren't doing anything useful in the market.
all the content here on the mouse site is transitioning to
storage - you'll still find hundreds of articles and thousands of news
stories about traditional FC storage products on this site by using the
|classic SAN articles from
SAN History's 1st Decade
Tuning SANs with Solid
Data Security & Fabric Management
|Dot Hill's messages today|
November 4, 2014 - I haven't mentioned Dot Hill on these news
pages for a while - but a
release from the company today triggered a bunch of random reactions in my
brain which almost - for me - drowned out the significance of the central idea
of their new product announcement (a new SAN compatible hybrid storage box - and
2 of the distracting internal noises (in my head) were
sparked by product names:-
- "Dot Hill's entire line of storage systems (are) equipped with the
latest generation AssuredSAN 4004 storage controllers."
I'm sorry guys. I know numbers are just numbers. But for me the 4004 controller
will always be
chip family from Intel which was the first rumble in the microprocessor
show that the names
you give to SSD related products matter a lot - because the concepts which
spring to mind when people read these words and numbers - depend on what else
they have read before.
- RealTier, RealCache, RealQuick, RealPool - and others in Dot Hill 's
real-suffix list of product feature names - distracted me with the
recollection that 3 years before sampling its first ever real
PCIe SSD - the
P320h (in June
2011) - Micron had
demonstrated a less real (prototype / concept demonstrator) PCIe SSD - which
never made it to market. So - for me - the word "Real" attached to
an SSD related product - already has many associations.
On the other hand - I congratulate Dot Hill for
having planted these 2 messages in their press release text today.
- The idea of a 37-month "bumper-to-bumper" warranty.
- And this great
"This is absolutely the best product we've purchased
in the last 25 years."
HA SSD arrays - are now mainstream
13, 2014 - It's strange how a subject which I first heard about as an exotic
reference in a lecture 38 years ago keeps coming back to me in different ways.
But coming back to the present day - I can confidently tell you
fault tolerant /
high availability SSD systems have now entered the mainstream of the
Furthermore I suspect that debates about all the
differing faiths of
SSD systems level reliability (and what "reliability" itself
means) could (one day soon) come to consume nearly as much of your time
on the web (when researching
as reading about
See how this journey began for me - and also how you
may have come into this equation too - in my
new blog on StorageSearch.com
rackmount SSDs - new reports from Evaluator Group
September 24, 2014 - Evaluator Group
it's expanding its comparison report coverage (priced from around $2,750 for
IT end-users) related to
rackmount SSD and
The latest addition to EV's research area are product
analyses for 15 vendors, including:
the next 3 years Evaluator Group expects Solid State Storage Systems to be the
architecture adopted for primary storage," said Camberley Bates,
Managing Partner & Analyst at Evaluator Group. "Performance to reduce
latency and improve consistency,
along with reliability
will drive this change. It is important IT end users understand the trade-offs
of design and technical implementation to best suit their needs."
State Evaluation Guide to understand the critical technology characteristics
EV says IT end users can clearly identify their requirements and priorities. The
Solid State Comparison Matrix allows for side-by-side comparison of product
specifications and capabilities. Evaluator Group guides IT end users through the
process with product reviews and expertise on managing and conducting a Proof of
Concept. Evaluator Group Solid State Storage Systems coverage includes products
specifically designed to exploit the characteristics of all solid state
What will you be getting?
EV is offering a
evaluation copy of their report for the IBM FlashSystem to people who
sign up for it.
Editor's comments:- with so many different
for enterprise SSDs and
user preferences - it's unrealistic to suppose that any simple side by side
product comparisons will suit all permutations of user needs. But having said
that - any reliable information which assists
user education and
comprehension into SSD arrays is a good thing.
Some flash array
vendors - realizing the futility of expecting that users will understand what
their products do and how they will interact with the
and demands of user installations and workloads - have instead opted to
side-step these delay laden hard user selection quandries -
which are exaggerated by
the concerns of getting it wrong - by instead offering new risk
delineated pricing models - as described in my article -
the Astrological Age of Enterprise SSD Pricing.
enterprise SSD box riddle game,
storage market research,
enterprise SSD users want?
real-world performance of flash storage systems
July 23, 2014 - Editor:- July 23, 2014 - How does flash storage perform in the
real world? - Demartek
aims to provide some answers by reporting on the performance tests
which it has carried out on SSD and hybrid systems from many of the leading
enterprise SSD companies in a session next month at the Flash Memory Summit (August
Demartek says attendees will come away with reasonable estimates
of what they can expect in practice and the results also reveal additional
advantages of flash-based storage, with what Dennis Martin, President
- Demartek calls "happy side effects". ...more
SSD testing & analyzer
news, how fast
can your SSD run backwards?
Pure Storage's funding coffers fattened up to nearly $0.5
Editor:- April 23, 2014 - Pure Storage
it had raised another $225 million in funding - bringing the total in all
rounds to $470 million.
A3CUBE unveils PCIe memory fabric for
PCIe SSD architectures
Editor:- February 25, 2014 -
PCIe SSDs can now
access a true PCIe connected shared memory fabric designed by A3CUBE - which exited
stealth today with the
of their remote shared broadcast memory network -
RONNIEE Express -
which provides 700nS (nanoseconds) raw latency (4 byte message) and which
enables message throughput - via standard PCIe - which is 8x better
Editor's comments:- I spoke to the
recently - who say they intend to make this an affordable mainstream
The idea of using PCIe as a fabric to share data at low
latency and with fast throughput across a set of closely located servers
isn't a new one.
The world's leading PCIe chipmaker
PLX started educating
designers and systems architects about these possibilities
few years ago - as a way to elegantly answer a new set of scalability
problems caused by the increasing adoption of PCIe SSDs. These questions
- how do you make this expensive resource available to more servers?
the least year or so - we've seen most of the leading vendors in the enterprise
PCIe SSD market leverage some of the new features in PCIe chips - to
implement high availability SSDs with low latency.
- how do you enable a simple to implement failover mechanism - so that data
remains accessible in the event of either a server or SSD fault?
But although there
are many ways of doing this - the details are different for each vendor.
- until now - if you wanted to share data at PCIe-like latency across a bunch
of PCIe SSDs from different companies - located in different boxes - the
simplest way to do that was to bridge across ethernet or infiniband. - And even
though it has been technically possible with standard software packages - the
integration, education and support issues - compared to legacy SAN or NAS
techniques would be extremely daunting.
That's where A3CUBE comes into
the picture. Their concept is to provide a box which enables any supported PCIe
device to connect to any other - at low latency and with high throughput -
in an architecture which scales to many thousands of nodes.
heart of this is a shared broadcast memory window - of 128Mbytes - which can be
viewed simultaneously by any of the attached ports.
ever used shared remote memory in a supercomputer style of system design at
any time in the past 20 years or so - you'll know that the critical thing is how
the latency grows as you add more ports. So that was one of the questions I
Here's what I was told - "The latency is related to the
dimension of the packet for example: In a real application using a range of
64-256 bytes of messages the 3D torus latency doubled after 1,000 nodes.
With larger packets, the number of nodes to double the latency becomes grater.
But the real point is that the latency of a simple p2p in a standard 10GE is
reached after 29,000 nodes.
"A more clear example of the scalability of the system is this.
Imagine that an application experiences a max latency of 4 us with 64 nodes, now
we want to scale to 1,000 nodes the max latency that the same application
experience will became 4.9 us. 0.9 us of extra latency for 936 more nodes."
Editor again:- Those are very impressive examples - and demonstrates that the
"scalability" is inherent in the original product design.
didn't want to say publicly what the costs of the nodes and the box are at this
stage. But they answered the question a different way.
Their aim is to
price the architecture so that it works out cheaper to run than the legacy
(pre-PCIe SSD era) alternatives - and they're hoping that server oems and fast
SSD oems will find A3CUBE's way of doing this PCIe fabric scalability stuff -
is the ideal way they want to go.
There's a lot more we have to learn
- and a lot of testing to be done and software to be written - but for users
whose nightmare questions have been - how do I easily scale up to a 10,000
PCIe SSD resource - and when I've got it - how can I simplify changing
suppliers? - there's a new safety net being woven. Here are the
IBM shows off what's it's been doing with the RamSan rackmount
SSD product line it acquired from TMS - and also launches first memory
channel SSD based servers
Editor:- January 16, 2014 - For most of
the previous decade (2000 to 2009) Texas Memory Systems
was THE company which competitors aspired to match in market position when it
came to fast
In the early part of this decade (2010 to
2012) TMS lost
its monopoly on rackmounts as it inevitably had to share the expanding market
with a lot of other companies - starting with
Violin (which overtook
in 2011) and then
other companies like WhipTail,
Skyera which had all
established strong market recognition by the end of
in those latter years (from
not only was TMS competing against all those newbie rackmount vendors - but
it was also engaged in another hotly contested
part of the enterprise
SSD market in fast PCIe
SSDs - where its product line was trying to find a place somewhere in the
narrowing gaps between Fusion-io
Then a year ago - in January 2013 -
IBM completed the
acquisition of TMS (which had been announced in
August 2012) and
since then we haven't heard much about these products apart from a few
glimpses - which enabled us to observe that TMS's rackmount products had been
retained and renamed - while their PCIe products were quietly end of lifed.
week - among other things - IBM has launched a new fast rackmount SSD family -
architecture is effectively an enhanced adaptation of TMS's 8th
generation RamSan with some tweaks to incorporate newer memory, iron
out some RAS wrinkles (you can now change everything inside from the front or
back - without sliding the rack out) and a big investment to present a
software friendly face. The new software capabilities are being done by
products which are being offered as external-to-the-box unbundled
subsystems (control enclosures) for those who want them. This means that the
performance and efficiency of the raw flash array isn't compromised in any way.
new SSD box (a 2U
FC fast rackmount SSD with
upto 48TB usable capacity,
priced at $683K
approx list) is called the
Earlier this week I spent an hour talking about
this new product with Woody Hutsell
and Levi Norman -
who are both now back in the IBM branded TMS fold having both sampled the
delights of some other leading SSD companies in recent years. Woody wrote about
in a recent blog.
As I've known both of them for many years - I
couldn't help but start by saying - "This feels like one of those movies -
where they decide to make a sequel many years after - but all the actors look
much older. It's lucky for us this conversation isn't going out on YouTube."
can get a flavor of what IBM thinks it's doing with this new product - and more
details in its
document (pdf) - and I won't repeat much of that detail here.
said "It's interesting to me how much attention the flash operation is
getting within IBM's storage organization."
He went on to say
that IBM's big commitments to flash such as the $1 billion investment
announced last April
are seen within IBM as popular actions "which are important as we need to
compete." As a result - many competent people (in IBM) want to be a part
of the flashsystems effort.
Anther change in scale since TMS became
part of IBM is that the size of the development team for the flash systems
rackmount has quadrupled.
Sales are good too. IBM has shipped
over 1,500 of these flashsystems. In effect Woody said this was
limited by the fact that for 3 quarters IBM shipped everything they had planned
Woody said he thought that this alone - even without all the
other SSDs which IBM was selling into the enterprise market meant that IBM was
probably on its way to be one of the biggest vendors in the market.
said - a dominant market share in enterprise flash in 2014 might look like 5
or 10 per cent as there are hundreds of companies in the market. - We'll have
to see how things work
But my guess is that with a few assumptions about density,
channels etc this means this rackmount IBM product line has possibly been
generating about $500 million of revenue in the past year - which explains where
some of the revenue missing from competitors' reports may have gone to.
else which appeared in the briefing paper singing the praises of IBM's
expanding universe of enterprise flash product offerings - eXFlash DIMMs -
sounded to me like just another name for
to be the case) which appeared in another announcement
server announcements today - see footnotes for more.
final take on this? (FlashSystem 840 announcement)
IBM is now the
company to make comparisons with if you're looking for fast rackmount SSDs with
some high availability options. Particularly if you're working in a complex
environment - are a big customer and think you will be reassured by the
availability of compatible products and pre sales technical sales support.
density - in terms of rack units needed to build a
petabyte SSD - is
better than some other fast systems - but remains an order of magnitude less
Skyera - due to the
difference between IBM's use of eMLC compared to Skyera's claimed ability to
use TLC due to
controller architecture - which is 2 generations (4 years) ahead of what's
used in this particular IBM box. (Having said that - IBM does already use some
degree of adaptive flash SSD technology in other systems - by virtue of the
SSDs it designed in from
back to scary Skyera
- "On the other hand" - I said to Woody - "Skyera doesn't have
the same HA
or software in place
yet. But not everyone needs all these features."
Overall - for
competitors in the same high performance and reliability class as this new IBM
box (which includes companies like Violin,
Fusion-io etc) - IBM
can still be beaten on
price. It was ever
Footnotes - IBM's first memory channel SSD servers
SSD announcement today (alluded to above) about its new server
architecture which leverages
SSDs - and making a comparison with
PCIe SSDs - IBM said -
"Our evaluators are seeing 5-10 microseconds write latency for eXFlash
DIMMs in preliminary testing vs. 15-19 microseconds latency for PCIe-based flash
storage from Fusion-io,
Virident, and 65
microseconds latency for
Intel S3500 and S3700
We've seen increasing granularity of detail emerge about
the system characteristics of memory channel SSDs emerging in a trickle of
announcements, and experimental user reports in the past year. Now that the new
flash DIMM SSD products are becoming generally available - there will soon be
better clarity on real world costs and performance.
NetApp has shipped 59PB of SSDs in past 3 years
November 19, 2013 - Among other things - Network Appliance
it has has shipped over 59 petabytes of flash storage in the past 3 years.
comments:- What NetApp actually said was "over 60PB to date".
My calculation goes like this...
The company shipped 1PB in
its first year in the SSD market - which ended in the 3rd quarter of
it's shipped approximately 60PB in 3 years. Probably more than 1/2 of that will
have been in the past year.
How does that compare with others?
It doesn't sound like a lot in the context of today's market.
to a (quirkily pro-HDD)
by Toshiba - the
analyst data which
projects that 8,000 PB of enterprise flash SSDs will ship in 2014.
I think the likely figure (PB of enterprise flash installed in
systems) will be much higher than even that - because Toshiba's data probably
doesn't take adequately into account the ability of some systems vendors to ship
enterprise grade SSD racks using consumer grade flash chips (rather than using
enterprise SSD drives) due to technologies like
- and the increasing appetite for enterprise SSDs. See also:-
petabyte SSD shipment
WhipTail is now part of Cisco
Editor:- October 29,
2013 - Cisco
today announced it
has completed the acquisition
WhipTail's solid state memory systems will be integrated as efficient
performance accelerators into the computing fabric of Cisco's
Permabit has shrunk data storage market by $300 million
Editor:- September 30, 2013 - Permabit today
and hard disk customers have shipped more than 1,000 arrays running its
RAID) software in the past 6 months.
"We estimate that our
partners have delivered an astonishing $300 million in data efficiency savings
to their customers" said Tom Cook, CEO of Permabit
who anticipates license shipments to double in the next 6 months.
efficiency, new RAID in
SSDs, SSD software
another $150 million for Pure Storage
fastest growing storage company in history"
29, 2013 - Pure
Storage today -announced
that it has closed an oversubscribed $150 million Series E funding round with
institutional investors which brings the company's total capital raise to $245
million. The company has shipped hundreds of units of its FlashArrays
(fast-enough rackmount SSDs) to a diverse global customer base and claims
it's one of the fastest growing storage companies in the industry's history.
Editor's comments:- in 2001 I started an annual series which
listed the fastest growing
storage companies - based on revenue growth. I ended the series in 2007/8
when the credit crunch kicked in. But you can still see many of the archived
In the last year of the series there were 3 storage
companies which reported over 300% year on year revenue growth. Today Pure
Storage is hinting that its year on year revenue growth is north of 400%.
VCs and SSDs
EMC's acquisition of ScaleIO hints at an SSD server
afterlife for legacy SANs
Editor:- July 16, 2013 - EMC recently
it has agreed to acquire another storage software company - called ScaleIO.
EMC indicated that
ScaleIO's software - which emulates the capabilities of virtual SAN style
storage within the physical implementation of pools of server attached DAS
- makes it easier for users to manage expanding data volumes and reduces the
need for performance planning. The new software will be applied to extend the
application functionality of EMC's
PCIe SSD product lines
and XtremIO rack based flash systems.
Editor's comments:- One
way to view this is it will give EMC similar capabilities to
Nutanix. Or another is
that the EMC/ScaleIO solution (if and when it's done) can be seen as a shot
back across the bows aimed at
software. (You came into our market space - so we're coming into yours.)
a step back however, and it doesn't have to be so personal.
systems have shapes and architectures which date back to a command and control
SAN style architecture
dating back to the 1990s.
If you were trying to solve the same data
processing and content management functions from a clean sheet start today -
you'd probably go for a more "democratic" Google style architecture -
in which most racks in the datacenter are similar - and their function is
defined and can be changed by software - rather than being hardwired by the
description of the box at the time it was invoiced.
It's long been
known that SSD acceleration lets you speed up legacy architectures - but SSD
performance also gives you the freedom to emulate entire applications
environments on cheaper, and more
FIO's ION software in HP boxes enables Breakthrough Shared
Editor:- June 13, 2013 - The performance of
Accelerator software - which you can add to its PCIe SSD cards, any
standard server and some FC adapters to roll your own SAN
rackmount SSD -
is the point of a new
blog by the company
today which celebrates recent benchmarks for
2, 4 and 8
processor HP server configuartions (pdf).
IBM aims to be multi-billion dollar flash systems supplier
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
it wasn't a surprise to see in yesterday's
by IBM (who
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
availability rackmount SSDs - the old RamSan-720 (SLC) and RamSan-820
(MLC) have become the new
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
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
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
architecture SSD controller technology will resurface in future IBM SSD
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
SSD's place in computer history.
QLogic launches FabricCache PCIe SSD
22, 2013 - QLogic
yesterday entered the
enterprise SSD market
(in the PCI SSD and
SSD ASAPs segments)
its first product - the
10000 Series adapter (pdf) - which provides transparent sharable and
clusterable caching for FC SANs.
The 2 card set (upto 400GB flash,
and 2x 8Gbps FC ports) can deliver upto 310,000 initiator IOPS and
supports upto 2,048 concurrent logins.
Imation acquires Nexsan
Editor:- January 2, 2013 -
it has acquired Nexsan
(which among other things is in the
SSD ASAPs market) for
making history at the US Presidential Debate
October 22, 2012 - supporting the US
Presidential Debate taking place today at Lynn University is a high
storage array from Tegile
"Having won the university's request for proposal
process earlier this year we are diligently working to assemble the technology
that will bring the debate to millions of people and households," said Rob Commins, VP of
marketing, Tegile Systems. "We are honored to be a part of American history
in this important way."
future SSD capacity ratios in the server, SAN and archive?
September 14, 2012 - Have you ever wondered... how much SSD storage should sit
inside servers compared to being located on the SAN?
exact ratio depends on the diverse spread of your data processing activities and
the type of business you're engaged in.
At the extreme boundary
cases the answer will be different if you're Google (say) compared to if you're
an international bank.
For most enterprises the ratio will be something in between.
if you're looking for an ideal magic number - I think an interesting debating
point is to look at what people already do in HPC (high performance computing)
In these situations users have already tried to optimize
performance and the inevitable constraint of cost - but the starting premise is
to place weight on performance.
The storage ratios which emerged
from a recently published
by Intersect360 Research were
- 36% of storage in compute servers
Now I have
to remind you that those numbers were for storage and not for SSDs. But in not
too many years from now when all enterprise storage will be solid state - the
SSDs will still follow application and performance heirarchies too - and I think
the split shown in that report is a reasonable analog to describe
enterprise SSDs in the
silos from the ultrafast through to the fast-enough.
- 63% of storage at the site level (NAS or SAN)
But what about
bulk archive storage?
That will be SSD too -
it almost goes without
saying - but if you try to estimate how much SSD storage will be bulk
archive (performing similar roles to old style
tape libraries and
VTLs) compared to active
SSD storage - during the next decade - some curious factors creep in.
- in legacy storage systems - archive backups and storage are high multiples (in
capacity terms) of active working / online storage. You need copies of stuff for
legal and compliance
reasons, for backup,
disaster recovery etc.
And in the next 5 years or so that may continue to be the case - because it
takes a long time for enterprise architectures to change.
But as we
move towards the pure SSD driven economy - most enterprises will be creating
new data faster than they ever did before (1 month of new date could be more
than the whole year before) and at the same time the inefficiency of
architectures like RAID
will be replaced by the new efficiencies of
architectures - like XtremIO
and Skyera. I'm
tempted to say cloud
-like - but that would be inaccurate - because in raw implementation - there are
both very efficient and some inefficient clouds too.
I'm tempted to
think that the combined result of these 2 factors coming together will be to
shrink down the ratio of raw online to bulk archive storage to one - in best
of breed enterprises - (or maybe even less than one - because of
Are there any useful consequences of any of these
It can be usefule for sizing markets. One example came up on
the same day I was writing this article - related to the possible
cannibalization of 2.5"
PCIe SSDs (including 2.5" SCSIe SSDs) relative to
SAS. But there are many
Fusion-io does a few new things
Editor:- August 2,
2012 - the performance and strategic importance of
SSD software was
reinforced in 2 recent announcements by Fusion-io.
its new ION software
- which is a toolkit for bulding your own network compatible
SSD rack by
adding some Fusion-io SSD cards and their new software to any leading server.
The concept isn't entirely new - because oems have been doing this
with various different brands of
PCIe SSDs for years
and this is a well
established alternative market segment for PCIe SSDs. What is new - is
that it makes the whole thing much easier.
Fusion-io says this new
software product "delivers breakthrough performance over
iSCSI using standard
protocols." (1 million random IOPs (4kB), 6GB/s throughput and 60
microseconds latency in a 1U rack.)
Earlier this week FIO
it was collaborating on getting interoperability in server-side flash and
with NetApp. It's
easier now to write a list of major storage systems oems who aren't doing
something significant with FIO.
CWCDS offers 5TB version of SANbric SSD JBOD
June 19, 2012 - today Curtiss-Wright
Controls Defense Solutions announced a new version of its
FC compatible SSDs the
which supports just under 5TB and weighs about 5 lbs and is designed for
deployment in high speed rugged
data streaming apps such as on-board wide body aircraft, and helicopter
waiting for the true arrival of the PCIe FT SAN?
February 9, 2012 - What's a storage network?
I thought I knew the
answer to that question. Probably you do too. But the topology possibilities
enabled by a new generation of PCIe chips will change the way that servers and
solid state storage can interact - and open up a new fast lane for data. These
concepts are explored in a new article in
Who's who in SSD? - PLX.
And why do you need to know about PCIe chips? Remember there was a
time when no one
cared very much about SSD controllers too. ...click to read the article
highest density FC SAN SLC SSD racks with no SPOF
December 6, 2011 - Texas Memory Systems
imminent availability of the
- a 4 port (FC/IB) 1U
which provides 10TB of usable 2D (FPGA implemented)
RAID protected and hot
swappable - SLC
capacity with 100/25 microseconds R/W latency (with all protections in
place) delivering 400K IOPS (4KB), 5GB/s throughput - with no single point of
failure (at $20K/TB approx list).
The new SSD uses a
regular RAM cache
flash architecture which in the event of
loss has an ultra reliable battery array which holds up the SSD power for 30
seconds while automatically backing
up all data in flight and translation tables to nonvolatile flash storage. On
power up - the SSD is ready for full speed operation in less than a minute.
at HA tier 1 storage markets - the RamSan-720 consumes only 300-400 W - which
makes it practical for high end users to install nearly 1/2
petabyte of SSD
storage in a single cabinet - without having to worry about the secondary
risks which can arise from high temperature build-ups in such enclosures.
The high density and low power consumption of this SSD made it
feasible to stuff over 400TB of usable SSD capacity into a single cabinet
without fear of over
finally SAN-bound - Fusion-io inside Kaminario's K2
September 13, 2011 - Kaminario
it has integrated Fusion-io's
PCIe SSDs as a new
option in its
FC SAN compatible SSD
product line (which was until now
RAM SSD only) to
provide flash and
Using the new options the K2 can provide from 3 to 30TB of
non-stop, protected and self healing, blade server based flash storage in 4U
to 12U of rack space with R/W latency of 260 / 150 microseconds at a list price
of $30K / TB. ...click to
read comments and analysis
SANRAD launches front loadable PCIe SSD accelerators
August 31, 2011 - SANRAD
today introduced front loadable PCIe flash SSD accelerators as options in
V-Switch storage appliances
enabling upto 4TB of flash, together with
2x10GE networking and
2x8Gb FC, all in a single
1U rackmount appliance (or 10TB in 2U).
The unique front-panel installation allows for quick, easy maintenance
and upgradeability in the data center. It enables a "pay as you grow"
approach, allowing customers to add or replace PCIe flash modules without
opening the appliance, similar to the way
HDDs are added to a
SAN Shared File Systems with SSDs
Editor:- July 11,
Shared File Systems with SSDs is the subject of a new blog from Texas Memory Systems.
says in the article - "There is a new option that I have seen
getting deployed more and more often: using high capacity SSDs and a
SAN shared file system. A
SAN shared filesystem provides the locking to allow multiple servers to directly
access the block storage concurrently."
The "new option" above is narrative license - because I know that
TMS has been doing this for years - but this type of configuration is more
common now - because of
declining SSD costs.
I like this article for its conceptual purity (sticks to the theme and
doesn't waffle on about SANs or SSDs) - and it has a nice picture too. ...read
Oracle acquires Pillar
Editor:- June 29, 2011 -
announced it has
entered into an agreement to acquire Pillar Data Systems -
which was already majority owned by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.
comments:- I guess I'd say - So what? This simply ends a fiction which no
one seriously believed in. Pillar was hampered by its ownership which meant
that it could be yanked in any direction at a moment's notice. Pulling the
storage skunkworks inside the Oracle corporate fold will work better for
customers and as a business - even if it may upset some internal stakeholders.
EMC will enter PCIe SSD market
Editor:- May 9, 2011
- EMC today
new strategies related to the
other things EMC said it has created a flash business unit and will enter the
PCIe SSD market later
this year. The company indicated that its run rate of shipping flash storage
array capacity in 2011 is approximately 3x the level it had achieved in
Dataram doubles memory in XcelaSAN
Editor:- April 6,
2011 - Dataram
has doubled the RAM cache available in its
(2U rackmount fibre-channel SAN
SSD accelerator) to
256GB (the system price is approx $75,000).
XcelaSAN delivers up to
30x transparent R/W acceleration to attached
disk storage arrays with a
high-availability architecture (internal performance is
450,000 IOPS). Unlike vanilla SSD accelerators, XcelaSAN dynamically
caches high I/O activity application data when it is needed, to support multiple
applications many times larger than the cache itself.
new capacity upgrade, the XcelaSAN storage optimization appliance allows
customers to dramatically accelerate more applications with a cost-effective,
easy to install storage appliance," said
Caulkins, Chief Technologist, Dataram. "The added cache capacity
allows customers to add cache tiering to a wider range of applications in
addition to their mission critical applications, resulting in improved
performance across their entire business."
Editor's comments:- when Dataram launched the XcelaSAN in
September 2009 -
they published precious little performance data and they didn't offer a simple
high availability option. Now with benefit of customer experience and a
reworking of the design Dataram has a lot more info which describes the product
including a useful (and overdue)
page. Another factor which has changed in the meantime is that more than 20
other manufacturers now offer
SSD Accelerated Pools of storage) with their own flavors of interface, form
factor etc making this a confusing market for potential buyers.
simple pitch for the Dataram ASAP is:- it works with your existing FC SAN
storage arrays and installs in about an hour. Because it does the hot spot
tuning automatically it suits medium sized enterprises who may only need to buy
a single system. These users are not so attractive to high end SSD oems who
for business reasons prefer focusing their technical and sales talent on
customers with high multiple repeat business potential.
thing for me in seeing today's news about doubling the memory in the XcelaSAN is
that Dataram has for decades been the first memory maker to offer
memory capacity for leading servers. Now the company is doing the same thing
NetApp acquires Engenio
Editor:- March 9, 2011 -
announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase the Engenio external
storage systems business of LSI for $480 million.
The close is anticipated to occur in approximately 60 days subject to
customary closing conditions.
Engenio will enable NetApp to address
emerging and fast-growing market segments such as
full-motion video capture and digital video surveillance, as well as high
performance computing applications, such as genomics sequencing and scientific
research. NetApp has the channel reach and customer relationships today that
require high performance and big bandwidth capabilities that will be well served
by Engenio's storage platform. NetApp says these segments are expected to
collectively represent a $5
billion incremental market opportunity by 2014.
comments:- LSI has been trying to sell off Engenio since 2004. NetApp will
love them more. For a brief time this past week - searches for Engenio exceeded
that for "SSD". In the previous decade over
500 leading storage
companies were acquired, changed name or went bust.
Xiotech enters FC ASAP market
Editor:- January 31,
2011 - Xiotech
is the latest company to join the crowding
SSD ASAP market with
of its Hybrid ISE - a
3U FC rack with
14TB of capacity and 60,000
performance which internally uses a mixture of
2.5" SSDs and
to many other ASAP vendors - Xiotech claims its systems has "fully
automated set-and-forget simplicity". The company says that using ROI
calculations from weighted I/O counts, automated tiering begins within 1 minute
of I/O and continues to manage the performance requirements of applications in
Editor's comments:- in its
Jan 2011 blog - Xiotech
disclosed that a customer survey it had done about SSD usage revealed "only
9% in-use or currently evaluating the use of SSD. Another 8% responded
that SSDs were in 2011 plans. Of those who've adopted/currently testing SSDs,
over half were using SSDs as part of a storage array. Less that 25% were
deploying memory cards added to servers."
Those figures indicate the
which still remains for the SSD market.
Inside Texas Memory Systems' 8GB/s FC SSD
January 26, 2011 -Texas
Memory Systems today announced the availability of 8Gbps fibre-channel
interfaces for its
RamSan-630 - fast 10TB
3U rackmount SLC
Each unit can be configured with upto 10 independent 8Gb FC
ports for a total data transfer rate of 8 GBytes / sec. Ports can be mixed -
with the previously available (and 25% faster)
comments:- I interviewed Jamon Bowen,
Director of Sales Engineering for TMS - and learned a lot about the internal
design and architecture of this SSD which the company hasn't revealed
before. Click here
to read - key performance enablers inside the RamSan-630.
the future of enterprise data storage
January 23, 2011 -
future of data storage is the lofty sounding but aptly chosen title of a
new article published online today in Broadcast Engineering -
written by Zsolt
Kerekes editor of StorageSearch.com
It's a completely new article which synthesizes and
integrates concepts from several futuristic articles which have already
appeared here on the mouse site and wraps them into a cohesive whole. Anyone
who reads it will get a clear idea of where the incremental changes they read
about in storage news pages (like this one) are likely to end up. ...read
A new way of looking at the Enterprise SSD market
October 4, 2010 - StorageSearch.com
recently published a new article -
Legacy versus New
Dynasty - A new way of looking at the Enterprise SSD market
proposes a new classification method for "enterprise SSDs" which
will help you get through the jungle of new SSD web content - and see all
new products in a new light.