SanDisk Corporation is
the global leader in flash memory cards, from research, manufacturing and
product design to consumer branding and retail distribution.
SanDisk's product portfolio
includes flash memory cards for mobile phones, digital cameras and camcorders;
digital audio/video players;
USB flash drives for
consumers and the enterprise; embedded memory for mobile devices; and
solid state drives for
computers. SanDisk is a Silicon Valley-based S&P 500 company, with more than
half its sales outside the United States.
in SSD? - SanDisk|
editor - StorageSearch.com
- June 2016
SanDisk had been #1 in the
Top SSD Companies for
3 consecutive quarters leading up to the close of its acquisition by
Western Digital in
was WDC's 7th SSD company acquisition.
As often happens at such times -
SanDisk's web site has become blurry - with many product lines which were once
clear and easy to locate now having disappeared or moved somewhere else.
much of this is due to deliberate planning (the end of lifing of product lines,
and the decision to utilize acquired technologies in different ways in yet to
be defined future product lines) and how much is simply due to the deletion and
oprhaning of online content which happens when big web sites are tidied up to
fit in with new web marketing views
- cannot be said with certainty right now.
Except we've seen such
things before -
and I would expect many product lines to disappear - while at the same time
SanDisk brings to WDC the opportunity to leverage a bigger set of powerful SSD
brands than it had before.
So maybe we might see some readjustments:-
Fusion-io becoming the predominant PCIe SSD brand in the mix maybe?
becoming the new brand for the SAS SSD product lines from SanDisk?
to what will happen with the InfiniFlash range of rackmount SSDs? That's hard to
say. We saw Skyera's
product line disappear without a trace - although the technology is still there
All that can be said with some certainty at the moment is
that despite the huge amount of SSD IP currently within the management of WDC -
there are still big gaps compared to the needs of the enterprise and cloud
markets. So I would expect to see more acquisitions in the next 2 years.
Editor:- May 31, 2016 - SanDisk's search
volume was 2x as high as either of the next 2 companies in the list in
the Q1 2016 edition
Top SSD Companies List
Editor's earlier comments:- January 15, 2014
- SanDisk was
#2 in the Q3
2014 edition of the
Top SSD Companies List
which is researched and published by StorageSearch.com
This isn't SanDisk's highest rank ever. SanDisk was #1 in
Q3 2007 - at which
time there were only 60 companies active in the
(approximately 10x less companies than today).
acquisition of the #1 ranked SSD company
the company's ambitions in the enterprise market. Although it became clear
later (in January 2015) that SanDisk didn't want to keep everything which came
in that package - resulting in the spin-off of
earlier acquisition by SanDisk - that of
SMART Storage in
July 2013 -
has erupted with negative consequences recently - as part of a year long
legal dispute related to a technology partner
Diablo and its patent
disupte with another company
problems arise from disputed technology patent and licensing rights related to
the DIMM interface within SanDisk's ULLtraDIMM SSDs. Although this product line
was a small part of the flash SSD IP acquired by SanDisk - and was negigible
in revenue terms in 2014 - this type of SSD (memory channel SSD)
will become more widely used in 2-3 years. Therefore it's essential for the
patent and licensing aspects to be clear before more companies can feel
confident about commiting themselves to this ecosystem.
conference briefing document - December 2014 (pdf) - SanDisk said it
expects its enterprise SSD revenue in 2015 to exceed $1 billion.
|look who's thinking like
an enterprise systems SSD company now?|
editor - April 15, 2014
Can a semiconductor company - like SanDisk
- ever truly do box level enterprise SSD thinking?
I used to
think not. But SanDisk is getting up to speed in enterprise SSD thinking to a
degree I wouldn't previously have believed possible.
That's the short
Now - here's where the longer version of this blog post
People who talk to me about the
SSD market know how
hard I find it to stick with discussing any one particular SSD thing.
And that's never more true than when it comes to so-called "new
product briefings" - in which case - (unless the technology is truly
revolutionary) then we need to find something else to talk about for the other
55 minutes of our allotted hour slot - especially if the pdf or ppt which I got
beforehand - explains everything - or if I can easily google or guess what
else my readers might need to know.
I've been having these kinds of
new product or new business briefing conversations for over 20 years.
- you'll note - than there actually have been pdfs or ppts to brief with.
Whatever did we use before?
But 3 weeks ago a new record for brevity
when it comes to sticking to the time allocated to discussing the planned
topic - in this case - a new SSD product - was established - in a
conversation I had with SanDisk.
Because our time ran out -
and we never even got as far as page 1 of the briefing document at all.
started like this.
I was talking to someone in SanDisk I hadn't
spoken to before - so I said how much I've seen SanDisk change when it comes to
its enterprise learning curve.
I said - it's not just the
but I've also noticed - from looking at various blog postings and linkedin etc
- that SanDisk has also been growing its enterprise marketing talent organically
Something he said - made me realize I was speaking to another "enterprise
If you've been in the enterprise market long
enough - you recognize enterprise thinking when you see it.
So then our
conversation took a new turn.
For me the strategic core of future
developments in enterprise SSDs is centered around
thinking - and the ability to create new SSD IP which better integrates -
not just the memory arrays (at the
firnware level) - but also leverages or changes the internal assumptions of all
the software which
touches the SSD array too.
I said - I had asked myself many times in
the past whether semiconductor companies (like
SanDisk) which design
enterprise SSDs could ever design the best SSDs? - given that - in my view
- the most efficient
design optimizations require box level thinking and box level adaptation
about matters such as:- where to partition algorithmic functions and how to
leverage metadata and anticipate ongoing data R/W intentions intelligence
from other parts of
the SSD array.
I had concluded before - that the answer was no!
in the past 2 years - my assessment has been gradually shifting as a result
of conversations with people in some of the enterprise SSD companies which
have been acquired by SanDisk (such as
SMART) and also as
a result of seeing changes in the way that SanDisk corporate itself portrays
its thinking about, and management of, its enterprise business.
key enabler to this business intelligence - has been SanDisk's ability to
talk to enterprise users - and view their SSD needs and aspirations in a systems
perspective - because of SanDisk's FlashSoft software.
My gut feel
is that SanDisk's enterprise SSD business is now able to do the same kinds of
enterprise-aware SSD systems talk as traditional
And that has come - not just from the affordability of having
acquired some useful SSD IP - but from a corporate will to learn, evolve and
adapt to being a new type of enterprise SSD centric business entity.
- if it sustains - would put them into a better vantage point than some of the
other large scale component SSD companies they compete with.
having said that - just as with all enterprise SSD companies - there are
differences of opinion
what they're seeing - and differences too - about the
best ways to translate
that into new product designs.
Anyway - those were the sort of
things we were talking about.
And I hope that explains why we
never got onto the first page of the new product briefing document in the webex.
(Which I still haven't seen BTW.)
The briefing was supposed to be
about some new products fleshing out SanDisk's
CloudSpeed (SATA SSD)
But I had already written about the thinking behind this
product family in May 2013
- where CloudSpeed appears as a footnote in an article describing (at that
time) the architecture, technology and business thinking in SMART's SAS SSD
So it was lucky we had something else to talk about.
- after our conversation I looked up the bio of the person I'd been speaking
It was Brian
Cox, Senior Director of Outbound Marketing, SanDisk Enterprise Storage
whose background (as you can see) is indeed in real enterprise systems stuff -
as I had deduced in the first few seconds of our conversation.
I'd known that before - would it have gone any differently? - Probably not.
PPS - After publishing the above blog - I did indeed get a whole
blast of pdfs emailed to me among which was
CloudSpeed (SATA SSD) product family overview (pdf) - which SanDisk had
intended to be the focus of our conversation.
|editor's comments:- September 2013 -
SanDisk (a top 10 SSD company in
Q3 2013) is a new force to be reckoned with in the
enterprise SSD market
in both legacy and
new dynasty applications.. |
You can read about the road to this
transformational positioning in the archived news stories on this page.
short version is that because SanDisk learned how enterprise users really
use SSDs - following their acquisition of
FlashSoft (in a way
which was much
reliable than analyst reports - by participating in user dialogs about a lot
of different types of SSD use cases) they were in a better informed place from
which to leverage any future hardware related enterprise SSD IP assets -
however they might arise - the usual ways being organic development,
SMART Storage Systems
gives them much more than a leading
SAS SSD product line. -
They also get efficient
and a new way of
doing fast SSD on the server motherboard which makes it the "must look
at" alternative to any fast
PCIe SSD in a "what
shall I ship in my servers?" shortlist.
Key enterprise SSD
market segments in which SanDisk now operates are:-
who in SSD? - by
editor - May 2013
SanDisk (which has been a
top 10 SSD company
in past years and was #15 in
the Top SSD Companies
in Q2 2013 at the time of writing this - and then later moved back up to
Q3 2013) - is
one of the leading company in advancing the use of
technology in SSDs (x3) continuing the thrust of technologies and market
ambitions which it inherited from it acquisition of SSD pioneer
M-Systems in 2006.
M-Systems was - at that time a credible leader in the enterprise
flash and military flash
SSD markets. For reasons best known to itself - SanDisk abandoned those
market toe-holds and instead focused on the consumer SSD market.
hindsight that was a serious business mistake because the
notebook SSD market in the first 5 years of its history (1996 to 2011)
didn't turn out to be the money spinner which companies like SanDisk and
Samsung had initially
So at the start of
SanDisk found itself in the unenviable position of having admirable flash
memory technology - but no enterprise technology worth a damn. SanDisk was at
the fuzzy end of the SSD market lollipop (consumer SSDs)
instead of the much sweeter and bigger market of
SanDisk made its first tactical move in that direction in May 2011
Pliant had developed SAS
SSDs which used its own fast SSD controllers - but Pliant had been unable
to sell many due to the competiitive phenomenom of the
market - which reshaped the competitive landscape in the
STEC- class enterprise
SSD market - and obsoleted the assumptions behind Pliant's business plans.
made its 2nd move into the enterprise SSD market in Februrary 2012 - by
acquiring an SSD software
company - FlashSoft.
Whether or not SanDisk manages to put in place in effective enterprise
marketing business still remains to be seen. Chipmakers which also make SSDs -
such as Micron and
Intel - don't really
understand the enterprise SSD market and how to cultivate new business in the
Chipmakers (as opposed to systems companies) are used
to selling components... This means talking directly to the biggest computer
companies and hope that accounts for enough of the market. Leave the rest of
the business development to distributors. That design-slot stuffing method has
worked for over 30 years with evolutionary products like microprocessors and
memories - but doesn't work so well with revolutionary products like SSDs.
As we've seen in recent years - there are many big end users in the internet
economy which buy more SSDs than the big server oems - but who aren't on the
chipmakers' lists of traditional companies to call.
SanDisk was very
late entering PCIe SSD market - which is 1 of the
7 main market silos in
enterprise SSD architecture. (SanDisk launched its first enterprise PCIe
SSDs in June 2012.) So in that respect SanDisk was even further behind than
STEC - which entered the
PCIe SSD market in late
SanDisk is 5-6 years behind the market leader
April 2013 - SanDisk's CEO confirmed that the company's PCIe SSD business had
been negligible upto that time. Instead most of SanDisk's enterprise sales were
still coming from SAS SSDs
and the product line based on its acquisition of Pliant.
hundreds of SSD competitors .It's difficult enough for any single SSD company to
be successful and a leader in any of the major SSD markets. SanDisk's ambition
to be successful in both
consumer SSDs and
is shared by competitor Micron.
toughest competitor in the SAS
SSD market is SMART
- which sells these products to many oems including IBM - and like SanDisk has
world leading adaptive
flash controller technology.
SanDisk's companies to catch up with
in the PCIe SSD market
is already a leader in the consumer SSD market. And its SSDs have also been
adopted for use in hybrid hard drives for the notebook market by WD and Fujitsu.
In February 2009
SanDisk announced that it will begin mass-production of the world's first
4-bits-per-cell (X4) flash memory. Using 43nm process technology, this
breakthrough enables 64Gb memory in a single die - the highest capacity in the
- SanDisk started
shipping its 2nd generation of
modules for the netbook market. Performance is 9,000 vRPM and capacities
range from 8 to 64GB. SanDisk says it has improved the non volatile cache to
prevent "stalling" or "shuddering" which was a problem in
1st generation netbook SSDs.
project consumer purchases of netbooks to rise from 11.5 million sold in 2008 to
50 million in 2013.
27 companies make
miniature SSDs under 1.0"
in size. pSSD is simply a brand name of this SSD family from SanDisk -
and not new SSD jargon
term you need to know about. The traditional term for this type of product
is a DOM (disk on module). A SanDisk document describing the
generation pSSD said the benefits were low cost and low weight - 1/10th
the weight of a typical 1.8"
that its 64GB
vRPM) pSSD module has been selected as a standard SSD option in
new VAIO X ultra-thin laptop.
In January 2010 -
results for the quarter ended January 3, 2010 - revenue of $1.24 billion
increased 44% on a year-over-year basis and increased 33% sequentially.
SanDisk's Chairman and CEO, Eli Harari, said the company had
achieved unit sales growth of 55% and gigabyte growth of 100% compared to the
year prior quarter.
In February 2010 -
SanDisk said it was
its G3 range of SSDs which had been preannounced in
January 2009 -
and originally expected to ship "in mid 2009."
In April 2010 -
SanDisk dropped out of
top 10 SSD oems list
- and got its lowest ever ranking.
In May 2010 -
SSD modules with upto 128GB capacity in the "mSATA mini"
form factor. SanDisk also started sampling 256GB models in its G4 notebook
In September 2010 -
that NDS (a tv set top box designer with
with over 30 million DVR units deployed) has successfully has designed SanDisk
SSDs into a new range of lower cost set-top DVRs. The new solution allows
for the deployment of energy-efficient STBs with decreased power consumption,
small form factors and virtually silent operation.
details of a new miniature
SSD which will ship in Q3 2011 - the
has upto 64GB (x3 MLC) capacity in a 12mm x 16mm x 1mm package.
for approximately $327 million.
In June 2011 -
SanDisk expanded its
SSDs) which now offer upto 800GB MLC capacity. The new models are being
delivered for OEM qualification, and will be available via authorized channel
partners in Q3, 2011.
In July 2011 -
SanDisk was one of
several compatible companies named in
FlashSoft's launch of
its auto tiering SSD
In February 2012 -
it has acquired FlashSoft
- one of the leading independent software vendors in the
SSD ASAPs market.
launched a new family of bootable enterprise
PCIe SSDs with upto
400GB (MLC) capacity ($2,350 MSRP) - the
- which leverages SSD IP from 2 previously acquired companies (Pliant for the
controller hardware and FlashSoft
for the auto caching
In May 2013 -
SanDisk announced that
BGA form factor SATA
SSD was being used in a new 2.5"
a definitive agreement to acquire SMART Storage Systems
for approximately $307 million.
In January 2014 -
the world's first standard servers based on a new architecture leveraging "eXFlash
DIMMs" - which were rebranded DDR3 compatible
SSDs from the ULLtraDIMM product line designed and made by
- SanDisk began
sampling 4TB SAS SSDs
in a 2.5" form factor. The Optimus MAX was rated at 1-3
In March 2015 -
SanDisk entered the
rackmount SSD market
with the launch of the InfiniFlash (an array of
SAS SSDs). This wasn't
simply a rebranded version of rackmount products which had been acquired from
Fusion-io but represented a new strategic direction for the company.
Western Digital agreed
SanDisk for $19
billion. SanDisk at that time had entered the standard
rackmount SSD market
and had enterprise SSD product lines in the
PCIe SSD market
(primarily from Fusion-io),
FlashSoft and other acquisitions) and SAS SSDs (from SMART Storage). SanDisk was
also a leading supplier of
consumer SSDs and
"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
more articles you might be
MLC flash in
enterprise SSD users want?
Auto-tuning SSD Accelerated
Pools of storage
RAM SSDs versus Flash
SSDs - which is Best?
7 SSD types will satisfy all
future enterprise needs
Understanding what shapes
flash SSD performance
Efficiency - making the
same SSD - with less chips
What were the big
SSD ideas to learn and forget in 2015?
after AFAs -
what's the next box?
think LATENCY - the SSD
Bookmarks from IBM
the big SSD ideas to learn and forget in 2016?
guide to semiconductor memory boom bust cycles
reasons for fading out DRAM in the vm slider mix
announces the late arrival of its 2.5" NVMe SSD|
|Editor:- February 10, 2017 - SanDisk recently
recycled the "Skyhawk" SSD brand - which had previously been
associated with a rackmount
SSD product (launched in
from Skyera -
another SSD company - like SanDisk - which was
Western Digital and by coincidence whose founder's new company emerged from
stealth this week. (See the story about Tachyum in
SSD news.) |
is aimed at the 2.5"
NVMe PCIe SSD market.
SSD brand names can
be important the significant thing about SanDisk's new Skyhawk is that it
fixes a longstanding strategic weakness in its enterprise PCIe SSD product
line which I commented on in
(when WD announced it would acquire SanDisk).
The irony is that
created the enterprise
PCIe SSD market and by whose acquisition SanDisk hoped in
June 2014 to
broaden its flash presence in the enterprise market) had been one of the
earliest companies to demonstrate a prototype 2.5" PCIe SSD (in
May 2012). But
Fusion didn't productize that concept and chose instead to move upscale in form
factor to boxes.
Decoupling from the complex legacy of the past is
why it has taken nearly 5 years for SanDisk to
its me too Skyhawk 2.5" NVMe SSD now.
|So we're looking at a list
of 10 well known suppliers of flash arrays. |
Probably you've spent
days already (or weeks) going through the features, which types of SSDs are
inside the arrays etc, etc.
Now line them all up again in your mind.
Now imagine that every single one of these products is actually the
And when I say the same - I mean the same.
consolidation in the enterprise SSD market |
|SanDisk hops into WDC's
flash shopping basket |
|Editor:- October 22, 2015 - Following weeks of
speculation and leaks came the
yesterday that Western
Digital has indeed agreed to acquire SanDisk in a deal
valued at $19 billion.|
If all goes as planned the transaction is
expected to close in the 3rd calendar quarter of 2016.
comments:- From an SSD server storage competitive landscape perspective I
think this is more significant than the
Dell deal. Because it
will impact the design, availability, competitive market health and future
direction of many classic SSD product types in a far reaching way which could
only be matched if Dell were to acquire
play a big factor too.
Looking back at past acquisitions by WDC
you shouldn't expect anything to come out the other end of the digester
before the end of 2017.
And in that time - 2 years hence - many things
in the SSD market will be different.
Some of SanDisk's best known
enterprise SSD product lines (PCIe, SAS and SATA cloud) are already looking as
if they were designed for a different movie generation.
got a perfect Bogart lookalike for a remake of Casablanca, but
webscale casting is hooked on an idea more like Tyrion Lannister
in Game of Thrones.)
In PCIe server sockets SanDisk has
the curve in NVMe, while in 2.5" storage arrays - new adaptive
intelligence flow symmetry
- which is emerging in many different forms - means that in the extreme case
of cloud deployments -
a single SSD with customized firmware - can replace 2 old style SATA SSDs.
the other hand - SanDisk has more than amply demonstrated its willingness and
capability to integrate flash memory in the enterprise outside traditional SSD
comfort zones:- in server based DIMMs and analytics scale big data memory.
Those market experiments haven't generated much revenue yet but
are the early steps on a learning curve which all memory makers will have to
explore. The combination of that software capability and access to consumer
scale, low cost flash will probably be more use to WDC than any single
What happens in the meantime?
As we've seen
before in such long drawn out acquisitions - it's inevitable that some
SanDisk product developments will slow down and wither on the vine.
the other hand - there will also be pressure to accelerate new product
introductions too. You could say - it will be business as usual - but without
so many distractions coming from the investor angle.
Looking ahead to
a post WDC SanDisk...
WDC has a track record of swiftly EOLing
perfectly adequate SSD products which came bundled in the shopping basket but
didn't have high volumes and market scale.
This is a story which
you'll be reading about for a long time to come.
|SanDisk and HP ally in
SCM DIMM wars|
|Editor:- October 9, 2015 - SanDisk and HP yesterday
a long-term partnership to collaborate on a new technology within the Storage
Class Memory category.|
The companies say it will center around HP's
Memristor and SanDisk's ReRAM memory technology and manufacturing and design
Editor's comments:- In the summer
Micron established the
precedent that it's now OK to talk about futuristic memory roadmap intentions
as long as they include a big dollop of memory types which are less well known
that flash - because most of the press and business analysts treat it with just
as much seriousness as if you were talking about something which you can ship
This is part of the pre-shooting, phoney war about how the
industry is going to phase in a new level of big memory which from the software
point of view has similar R/W characteristics to RAM - but which from the
capacity point of view - is closer to flash than it is to DRAM. And in
competitive terms will work better than existing memory types in some types of
applications and not at all well in others.
SanDisk already has a good
view of the possibilities in this market via its ZetaScale software - which
provides big data RAM virtualization using any type of flash SSD. And
conversations with customers of its memory channel storage codeveloped with
Diablo - must have reinforced SanDisk's confidence in new uses for DIMMs.
(Although SanDisk's ULLtraDIMM is a flash based SSD - which can't do byte writes
in the same way that Memory1 can.)
So... what could HP bring to
this party for SanDisk?
You need a friendly bios
and platform and routes to market when you're trying to launch a new
Memristor? - This press release had to include
some kind of technology input from HP to make them feel better. If you had said
"toner cartridges" instead it would have been just as deliverable
today - except that everyone knows the printers are now going in a different
direction. Maybe the draft press release did have toner cartridges as the
placeholder and they just slipped that memory jibber jabber in at the last
minute before pressing send.
It's the weekend. - Maybe it will look
different on Monday.
- "Low power is at the center of HP's ReRAM technology. HP's
presentation pointed out that a lot of the time and energy of computation is
used by the OS moving data between the various levels of the memory hierarchy
of existing computer architectures." - ReRAM
Forum (July 2014)
- "We're the world's largest purchaser of DRAM and the second largest
buyer of flash and (with Memristors) we're trying to disrupt and re-arrange our
supply chain" - said HP - reported in the article -
to replace flash and SSD in 2013 (October 2011) on Electronics Weekly
change in positioning of SanDisk's ioMemory PCIe SSD...|
it's still the
standard by which all others are judged
|Editor:- April 28, 2015 - Back in the summer of
2012 - at
which time the PCIe SSD
market was already well served by many strong (and soon to be acquired)
competitors (as you can see in
archived news page from September 2012) I came up with a short phrase to
summarize the positioning of Fusion-io's products (in ads here on
StorageSearch.com) which ran like this... |
"the standard for
enterprise PCIe SSDs by which all others are judged:- ioDrives from Fusion-io".
|Then a year later (in about
2013) when I was seeking for a way to refine that description - I updated
"(still) the standard for enterprise PCIe SSDs by
which all others are judged:- ioDrives from Fusion-io."
reason I mention that is to show how phrases which appear in ads can stick in
readers' minds years later and resurface in everyday conversations.
you can imagine my delight at seeing a recent
release from SanDisk
about a new generation of
Fusion ioMemory PCIe
SSDs which among other things included this statement by John Scaramuzzo,
senior VP and GM, Enterprise Storage Solutions, SanDisk.
technology fundamentally transformed expectations about data center performance
when it debuted 8 years ago and it remains the standard by which all other
PCIe products are judged.
Also in this news story we learn that
over 250,000 of these accelerators have been deployed by over 7,000 customers.
And that having been re-engineered to use SanDisk memory - the new models
cost a lot less than the previous generation ioDrive2 product, and are 2x
faster at reads.
enters the rackmount SSD market|
|Editor:- March 4, 2015 - As I've been saying
for the past several years now - the rack is a
component form factor for enterprise flash.|
And SanDisk recently
it has joined the enterprise
rackmount SSD market
- with a new product - 3U 512TB array of 8TB
SAS SSDs - with
iSCSI (and upto 8 way
SAS connections for
local servers) called the
system (pdf) which leverages the market proven SanDisk
Accelerator software stack which came with the acquisition of
Pricing is under $2K
/ TB before
Editor's comments:- SanDisk's pricing and
storage density for the InfiniFlash is similar to
FS (pdf) - launched in
October 2014 -
although the 2 products have very different internal architectures. The
InfiniFlash is an array of standard SAS SSDs while the skyHawk FS is a
proprietary design with internal
architecture - which can use any type of cheap, high density flash.
availability of cheap, raw, white box rackmount SSDs like this from
HGST and other vendors
may put some pressure on traditional storage vendors to justify why they
charge so much for - what in most cases - are in reality vanilla flash
arrays with some added software features. But it's that software and related
services which have locked newer vendors out of these older markets.
said that - there are many types of users in the rackmount market who don't
want the kind of software offered by companies like
HP and for whom - even the
priced management functions integrated in boxes from newer companies like
Tegile represent an
expensive solution bundled with a data management approach which is different
to what they need.
I first wrote about the conundrum of different
rackmount SSDs - with different characteristics - co-existing at the same time
and satisfying different user risk and value judgement profiles in a
In the 6 years since then - as the market has grown larger - it has
been possible to delineate more functional differences in SSD box types than
existed at that time - while at the same time - the variety of possible
attached permutations - with respect to application compatibility, inherent
technology risk factors, and buyer behavior - has grown too.
result has been inefficient markets - and an inadequate range of products -
often inappropriately marketed. Problems which I identified (with help from
leading users and marketers) in my recent article -
hidden segments in the enterprise for rackmount SSDs
PS - prior
to being aware of the InfiniFlash I had been discussing the role of such
hypothetical white box rackmount SSDs as a factor in future
of the market.
SanDisk's ZetaScale could be one of the most significant SSD software products
launched in 2014 - because of the freedom it will give big memory customers
about how they navigate their tactical choices of low latency flash SSD
| Zsolt Kerekes,
editor - StorageSearch.com
- SSD news (July
will SanDisk really get from Fusion-io?|
ability to get more enterprise petabytes out from the same raw flash chips in -
by shipping it through better architecture - is a more significant business
factor in the flash memory market today than the ability to do another cell
geometry shrink - or adding a few more layers of toppings on the 3D nand
...read more in SSD news
(June 17, 2014)
| SAS SSDs were main
reason for SanDisk's enterprise SSD revenue |
|Editor:- April 16, 2014 -
$1.5 billion revenue for the quarter ended March 30. |
In a related
Mehrotra, president and CEO stated "...Combined client and
enterprise SSD sales accounted for ($423 million) 28% of our first quarter
revenue, with enterprise SSD revenue more than doubling on a
year-over-year basis. Our expanded SAS SSD portfolio has enabled us to further
strengthen our market position, and it has been the primary contributor to our
enterprise SSD revenue growth."
|"One of the most
significant new form factors introduced in the enterprise SSD market in 2013
was memory channel storage."|
changed in SSD year 2013?|
|SanDisk, SMART and
|Editor:- August 22, 2013 - SanDisk today
it has completed its acquisition of SMART Storage Systems
whose president John Scaramuzzo
will now assume the new role of senior VP enterprise storage solutions at
SanDisk - reporting to Sanjay Mehrotra,
president and CEO.|
Editor's comments:- I've been reporting on SanDisk's metamorphosis on
the way to becoming a serious enterprise SSD company since long before they
Technology (an SAS SSD maker) in
Lessons were learned from that - and a transformation seemed to take place in
SanDisk's thinking triggered by their acquisition of
February 2012 -
which enabled SanDisk to get much better clarity on what was really happening
in a wide range of enterprise SSD users' sites - as a result of feedback coming
from customers using its SSD software.
The 4 key assets which SMART
brings to SanDisk in the enterprise SSD context are:-
- enterprise grade (world class)
flash SSD technology.
SMART has already demonstrated - in
launched products - that this technology is
a wide span of cost, power consumption and IOPS use cases.
And at the
fab level adaptive R/W IP increases
(usable SSDs per wafer).
- an attractive (tier 1 validated)
SAS SSD and enterprise
SATA SSD product mix
which has already displaced competitors in many leading server and storage
oem design wins.
- an embryonic new type of SSD -
storage - which aims at the market space of fast
PCIe SSDs - and which
- if successful - could change the future mix of motherboard memory used in
Unlike the other
Top 10 SSD company
acquisition which is currently in the pipeline (Stec by
WD which may need a
lot of reworking to make it fly) - the SMART product lines within SanDisk
have already been expanding their reach of new customer destinations.
- a team of technical, sales and marketing people with a long track record of
successful product innovations in the mission critical flash SSD market.
you look at what LSI
did with SandForce -
I think that provides a better idea of the future scale and speed of ramp up
which you can expect to see with the new enterprise SSD business in SanDisk.
|new WD hybrid has SanDisk
|Editor:- May 7, 2013 - a new 2.5"
from WD -
called WD Black
SSHD (500GB HDD
capacity, 5mm high SATA)
- has an iSSD
inside - it was
today. The iSSD has 9K/1K R/W IOPS performance and measures 16mm x
20mm x 1.2mm for capacities upto 16GB. Average power consumption is typically
|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
revenue still comes from SAS
SSDs - derived from their
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
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. ...read
transcript on SeekingAlpha.com