SSD Software news|
|Stec's profiler removes
guesswork in sizing SSD caches|
Editor:- May 21, 2013 - Stec today
that it's offering a free profiling tool -
Profiler - which can enable users to determine how much benefit they would
get from using its
(SSD caching software) - before they even install any SSDs.
company says that the "non-disruptive installation" can save hours of
administrative trial and error by recommending the optimal block size, and the
capacity and type of SSDs to be used for maximum performance gain.
Whatever you can dream - you can build in software - says
Editor:- May 9, 2013 - Fusion-io will pick
up the pace of innovation and do more of the "I" in "IT" -
and align more of its technology developments towards marketable customer needs
- according to the company's CTO,
Pankaj Mehra -
who also said today in the same
webcast - "Whatever
you can dream - you can build in software."
His development aim
is to enable FIO's customers to pick up weak customer demands in real-time and
be able do something useful about these leading indicators in seconds rather
than after 85 hours of offline analytics processing (which loses the original
OCZ gets award for Windows compatible SQL flash cache
May 8, 2013 - OCZ
that its ZD-XL SQL Accelerator earned the
Best of Interop
award in the data center and storage category.
at CeBIT last February) is a bundled package for Windows servers which
includes an SQL optimized flash caching software appliance which leverages
the low latency of an associated
OCZ PCIe SSD card.
judging committee, comprised of 16 IT editors and analysts who reviewed
nearly 150 entries. See also:-
Do you have impure thoughts about deduping SSDs?
March 28, 2013 - What comes to your mind when you think about
theoretical ratio? - x2, x5, x10...
Or maybe you groan? - It's too
messy to manage and even if capacity gets better, something else gets worse
- so let's just forget the idea...
A new blog -
the SSD Dedupe Ticker - by Pure Storage
looks at the state of customer reaility in this aspect of SSD array
technology and comments on the variations you can get according to the type of
app and the way of doing the dedupe.
Among other things the article
also looks at the biggie question - of performance impact - answering the
author's rhetorical question - "why hasn't deduplication taken the primary
storage world by storm like it has the
backup world?" ...read
Nimbus brings flash SMART plus stats to SSD rackmounts
March 25, 2013 - Nimbus
Data Systems today
new software APIs which support its proprietary
HALO OS based family
of rackmount SSDs
- and report on hundreds of real-time and historical metrics such as:-
flash endurance, capacity utilization, latency, power consumption, deduplication
rates, and overall system health. Another new feature is that sys admins can
monitor their Nimbus
SSD arrays via new apps on Android / Apple phones and tablets.
CEO and founder of Nimbus Data said the new software framework would enable
cloud architects and enterprise customers to gain greater insight into their
flash storage by viewing internal aspects of their flash storage which
mattered to them - rather than simply relying on benchmark indicators which
have been cherry picked by vendors or reviewers
Fusion-io acquires SCSI target IP team
March 18, 2013 - Fusion-io
today that it has acquired another
company - ID7 - which had been
collaborating on the development of FIO's
ID7 was the primary developer of the
SCST (SCSI target subsystem for
Linux) that enables replication, thin provisioning, deduplication, high
availability, and automatic backup on any Linux server or appliance.
had an opportunity to work with Fusion-io on the development of the ION Data
Accelerator..." said Mark Klarzynski,
Founder and CTO of ID7 (who
today about the acquisition).. "We're excited to join the Fusion-io team...
to work together on open, software defined solutions to today's most
challenging data demands."
OCZ releases VXL 1.3
Editor:- March 5, 2013 - OCZ today
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.
Another new feature - related to enterprise
caching - is a
'business-rule' pre-warming cache engine that adapts the flash cache to the
activity cycles in the data center to determine peak I/O performance needs at
another $24 million funding for ZFS SSD ASAP ISV Nexenta
February 27, 2013 - Nexenta
it has secured $24 million in Series D financing.
SSD ASAP software -
- currently supports SSDs from the following companies:-
STEC - according to
hardware support list (pdf).
Virident betas remote PCIe SSD sharing
February 21, 2013 - Virident
beta availability of a new software suite - called FlashMAX Connect - which
enables low latency shared server-side storage and
when used with the
company's range of PCIe SSDs.
New functionality includes:-
- fast / low-latency synchronous mirroring that replicates writes from one
server to another, providing storage node or server failover without affecting
application and data availability.
- shared storage management in remote PCIe SSDs. This allows customers to
share the storage residing on remote servers and thereby scale PCIe flash
capacity independent of compute. For example - a single PCIe flash card can
service multiple servers.
Editor's comments:- it's long been known
within the SSD industry that these features have been in the pipeline - because
they're based on support at the PCIe switch chip level.
- Easily managed controllability of cache policies within installed PCIe
SSDs:- write-back, write-through and write-around cache so that users can
choose cache modes which provide better fit to their performance and
overview of this architecture enabling chip level support and how it offers
flexibility in servers and SSDs - take a look at this video -
enterprise SSD designs by
Software - a new reason to reconsider Intel's server SSDs
February 13, 2013 - Intel
that in the next 30 days it will ship a Linux version of the SSD caching
software - based on IP from its acquisition of
NEVEX last August. The
products have been rebranded as
CAS (Cache Acceleration Software).
Editor's comments:- I
would categorize Intel's current generation of enterprise SSD solutions
(which includes the same old indifferent SSDs working with the new CAS software)
as being in the medium to fast-enough performance range.
customers might be end users who have never used SSD acceleration before - or
users with apps which don't need the higher speeds offered by competing SSD
bundled drive / module packages from
OCZ - and customers who
don't want to do their caching via dedicated rackmount based products from
the dozens of other vendors listed in the
SSD ASAPs directory.
market segment addressed by these new Intel products is the early
majority of enterprise SSD adopters - who will be reassured by the
perceived safety of buying into the dangerous world of solid state storage
acceleration from a value based brand.
I spoke about the new CAS
software to Intel product manager Andrew Flint
who cofounded NEVEX and I
learned some useful things about the product.
The first question I
asked was - how many PCIe SSDs can the CAS product support in a single server?
And were there any graphs showing how performance drops off or is maintained
when you do that.
The answer was - this info isn't publicly available
right now. Although it may be in the future.
That's when I concluded
that Intel CAS (married to current generation Intel SSDs) isn't a fast
product - and is not in the kind of performance league where a user would
seriously worry about this type of
Intel's ideal end-user customers right now for CAS are
people who have been using no SSD acceleration at all coupled with hard drive
arrays. That performance
silo could change - with faster Intel SSDs in the future - and isn't due
to limiting characteristics in the software.
I asked - Does it support
3rd party SSDs?
I was told - the standard release only supports Intel
SSDs. But there's nothing in principle to prevent it being used with other SSDs
using the open source release of the software.
The product is a read
cache. I was told that it makes very good use of whatever RAM is in the server
to optimize both read and write performance. However, my view is that as Intel
SSDs aren't fast - this is somewhat academic.
I asked about the time
constants which are analyzed by the caching software - and learned that -
depending on the app - the data usage period which is analyzed goes up to days.
(Generally in this type of product longer is better - and when you go up from
milli-seconds and seconds to minutes, hours and days - you have the potential to
get better caching results.)
I learned that Intel CAS isn't written
around the data structure or interface - and is hardware agnostic. Users can
tell the software which apps they want to cache - via a control panel. This is
very useful in environments where a single server is running a mix of apps -
some of which are critical (in performance needs) while others are not.
asked - does the CAS have to have advance knowledge of the app? - Is it
optimized for a preset list of apps?
I was told - No. It will work
just as well for - what I called - dark matter software- which might be a
proprietary app which no one else knew about.
I asked if Intel collects
stats from the general population of installed servers which use the software? -
in order to improve tuning algorithms...
I was told - No. The
optimizations (data eviction probability rates) are done based on what is
learned on the customer's own server and private data - and the factory shipped
software. There isn't a wider intelligence learning or gathering or snooping
I learned that a special feature of this Intel CAS release
is the ability to share cache resources with a remote SSD. The data stays hot
and doesn't have to be recreated when different virtual machines are accessing
this type of resource.
Overall I came away with a good impression of
the CAS software and how well the NEVEX technology idea has been assimilated
into Intel's SSD business.
It will undoubtedly help Intel sell more
SSDs to people who have never used enterprise SSDs before - and maybe also to
people with low end apps who have used SSD acceleration before but whose
first choice of SSDs wouldn't otherwise have been Intel.
aligning database block sizes with SSDs
February 5, 2013 - I was only saying to someone yesterday that I've had
emails from readers who are designing
software for SSDs who
- having researched the subject of
flash etc - then spent
too much time over-worrying about internal SSD hardware details that they
really shouldn't be worrying about - because by the time they learn about it -
that type of hardware issue is ancient history.
By a curious
coincidence today I came across a recent blog by Chas. Dye at Pure Storage
DON'T Fiddle with Your Database Block Size! - which also warns about this
Chas says - "At Pure Storage, we believe that a factor
that should never influence the block size decision is your storage subsystem."
comments:- I'd certainly agree that trying to slavishly make your data
structures look like something you've read about which might be inside an
SSD controller is
probably a waste of time - because unless you know the SSD designer you don't
really know what's going on - and the abstraction you read about in some web
site is only a small part of the picture. If an
SSD is so sensitive to
the data you hit it with - it's not the SSD you should have bought in the
Proximal Data - case study
Editor:- January 28, 2013
- Proximal Data
details of a
case study (pdf) re the use of its
SSD ASAP software (AutoCache ) to
trim 30 hours off the monthly SAS analytics report for a financial customer
which used to take 36.5 hours.
SSD software companies
start talking about real customers - the
press releases follow not long behind based on
recent SSD history.
Violin acquires GridIron
Editor:- January 21, 2013 - Violin today
it has acquired GridIron
Editor's comments:- in
October 2012 I
listed GridIron as 1 of the 3 main contenders to
Fusion-io in the
enterprise SSD software
stakes -with the qualifying comment...
"GridIron - probably has
the most sophisticated SSD
ASAP software in the industry. But it's a shame it has been tied (until
recently) to their hardware - an SSD HDD hybrid box."
announcement - which adds to the growing list of
acquisitions in the modern era of the SSD market - will enable Violin to
strengthen its already established authority in the enterprise SSD rack market.
Virident's PCIe SSDs VMware Ready
14, 2013 - Virident
that its FlashMAX II
family (PCIe SSDs)
has achieved VMware Ready status.
Samsung acquires an SSD software company
December 15, 2012 - Samsung
acquired an SSD
software company - NVELO
which operates in the SSD
ASAPs (caching) market.
IOPS / $ as a goodness metric for enterprise SSDs is bad
December 5, 2012 - The
cost of SSDs is one
of the arguments most often cited by antis to explain why (in their view)
the transition to a pure SSD storage market can't happen.
the designers of the first ships made from iron (which unlike wood doesn't
float) and the first airplanes (which were heavier than air) must've got used to
hearing similar objections. ...more in SSD news
Enmotus demos its SSD ASAP technology
November 27, 2012 - Enmotus
is demonstrating its auto-tiering software - which it calls
MicroTiering technology (pdf) - for the first time in public this week at
the Server Design Summit.
in memory database is even better with FIO's flash SSDs
November 19, 2012 - McObject
announced that it has run
benchmarks of its (intrinsically
designed for) in-memory database systems software - with transaction logging
enabled - on a number of different devices - and in particular Fusion-io's ioDrive
Editor's comments:- In a paper published 3 years ago
- In-Memory Database Systems:
Myths & Facts - McObject said that fast flash SSDs used as the
storage hot spot for traditional database software could never get performance
as good as their own in-memory solution running in DRAM with legacy hard drive
array bulk storage - and various remarks in that paper sent out a strong
anti-SSD message which the company is in effect correcting today.
McObject is now saying - is that by using a fast low latency SSD for the "performance
draining" transaction log - you can get even greater speedups. There
are other benefits too - which arise from the efficiency of their small
footprint database - which means that a software product - which was originally
designed for the DRAM-HDD world - is a good fit in the flash SSD world too - if
you have the right scale of data and the right SSD.
McObject's Marketing Director Ted
Kenney emailed me to clarify a couple of points about their product
and my interpretation of their business thinking. Here's some of what he said.
would point out one thing about your blog post, just to clarify from McObject's
point of view.
You mention the Myths & Facts white paper, specifically where we
argue (Myth 3, I believe) that an IMDS will always be faster than an on-disk
DBMS that uses an SSD to store records.
Keep in mind that that
paper's comparison does not touch on transaction logging. At least, transaction
logging is not mentioned; the assumption (our assumption, in writing it) is that
the comparison is between a "pure" IMDS (all data kept in main memory
and nothing stored to persistent media), and an on-disk DBMS that stores records
on a SSD. Our conclusion was that while the DBMS storing to SSD is likely faster
than a DBMS storing to HDD, it still can't touch the performance of a pure IMDS.
In contrast, our recent comparison (the subject of the press
release I sent you) is focused differently: it presumes that the user wants data
durability and recoverability. That rules out use of the pure IMDS (because RAM
storage is volatile), so we instead look at solutions that deliver
recoverability/durability, specifically an on-disk DBMS storing records to
persistent media vs. an IMDS with transaction logging (let's call that IMDS+TL).
Then for the IMDS+TL we measure performance using different storage devices:
HDD, SSD and ioDrive.
The result: an IMDS+TL storing its log on HDD beats the performance
of a DBMS storing records to HDD (by about 3x). If you then "upgrade"
the device on which the IMDS+TL stores its transaction log, the performance
difference (compared to DBMS+HDD) is even greater (as much as 15x when
using the ioDrive). But the recent round of testing did not look at
the "pure" IMDS performance. If it had, the pure IMDS would have beat
the IMDS+TL using any of the devices to store its transaction log.
We hadn't considered that our message in the earlier white paper was "anti-SSD"
or that we were now correcting that message. Instead, we'd say that the earlier
paper looked at a scenario in whichperformance is the highest goal (the
only goal mentioned, anyway) whereas the new tests focused on performance, with
durability/recoverability as an additional requirement.
comment - "It seems that a software product which was originally
designed for the DRAM-HDD world is a good fit in the flash SSD world, too
if you have the right scale of data and the right SSD." - Actually
eXtremeDB was designed for the DRAM world initially (in-memory only). When we
later added support for persistent storage (first with transaction logging,
later with optional persistent storage for selected record types) we were (and
still are) agnostic: eXtremeDB does not recognize or care about the type of
persistent media used.
Again thanks for taking the time to
look at our news and at our various statements vis-à-vis flash, storage
and performance. It sounds like you understand our technology and the issues
involved. I just wanted to point out that the white paper's discussion, and this
recent press release, take slight different perspectives on what the
developer/end-user is trying to accomplish.
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..."
Skyera says a little more about its SSD software
October 16, 2012 - Skyera
a few more features of the software which supports its
rackmount SSDs - along with an overview
and some pretty pictures. Among other things - which were new to me -
administrators can allocate LUNs according to 3 different classes of SLA for
capacity and performance.
"A true solid-stage storage solution
must be more than simply sticking flash media and controllers in a box"
said Skyera's founder and CEO Rado Danilak.
comments:- as I said in the
SSD survivor's guide - "Software used to be SSD's enemy. Now it can be
SSD's best friend."
SSD design efficiency
in the SSD software golf challenge who's got a similar handicap
Editor:- October 2, 2012 - last week I was asked
by a reader (who didn't want to be named here) if I could suggest any
companies which have SSD software as powerful and far reaching as that of Fusion-io.
thought it would be much too simplistic to answer with a list of names taken
out of context - so instead I said there are several different levels at
which you can view and analyze this:-
- communicating intelligence between the API and raw flash level
- working between different storage systems and software components (caching,
tiering, virtualization, data protection etc)
After using a lot more words in my email than I've
used here - the end result was a reply to my reader with a list of companies
which you wouldn't be too surprised to see if you looked at the list of top
enterprise SSD companies and correlated that with who's acquired or developed
their own software. The list ran something like this:-
- working in different markets -
consumer? - you ask - I thought we were talking about Fusion-io?
mentioned a few years ago Fusion-io's software is applicable to
It's simply a commercial decision not to pursue that avenue in the current
unprofitable state of the consumer market. But in the long term it's one of the
reasons that the company is rated as being so valuable - because its technology
can span solid state storage from the level of Ultrabooks (with PCIe inside)
(acquired by SanDisk) -
have the makings of a serious industry platform.
- GridIron -
probably has the most sophisticated
SSD ASAP software in
the industry. (In my email I said - shame it's tied to their hardware -
an SSD HDD hybrid box. But this week - that has changed. See the notes below
for more about this.)
between the hardware layers to optimize the system within enterprise racks and
arrays - the ability to hop in with intelligence gained from another level to
tweak performance and reliability - is a genuine efficiency asset.
- SANRAD (acquired by
OCZ) is also a contender.
- Virident -
have several layers of intelligence in their PCIe SSD software. They don't like
to talk too much about the details. But it's one of the things which makes
their offering stronger than many others.
- Nimbus - started
out using a standard SSD controller in their 2.5" SAS arrays - but have
added some firmware level access points which they leverage from higher levels
And in the consumer software space I suggested:-
- Skyera - is
probably the hottest example of this. They dive in at many levels to increase
efficiency of the way they use flash.
The only real surprise in the list above to
regular readers - might be GridIron - which because they haven't been a true
pure SSD company (their main product is hybrid SSD and HDD boxes) don't get so
many mentions on these SSD pages.
- EasyCo - the very
first enterprise SSD software company which was bumped aside by the
technology wave - has found a new market opening selling their
and performance enhancing software to makers of cheap flash storage for phones
and consumer devices. It's no longer world beating IP - but it has its uses.
(And maybe attractive for future patent trolls.)
Anyway - I was reminded about the
above email exchange when I saw GridIron's
release in my email this morning regarding their
GT-1500 Data Accelerator Appliance - a 2U 12TB SSD ASAP - which can
accelerate upto 120TB of back end storage.
In one way this can be
regarded as an extrapolation of
- which was launched 3 years ago. But the difference is in the detail and
sophistication of the hotspot algorithms - which GridIron describe as "multi-zone
behavior profiling (pdf)"
GridIron have a new (to me)
marketing tagline - "Tier 0 Performance at Tier 2 Pricing" -
I don't like SSD
tiers myself - I prefer the idea of
application silos. But GridIron's summary of what they do is better than
Going back to the original question at the start of today's
Do I know any vendors whose SSD software can match or
Overall - the answer is - No. But in many important
areas the answer is - Yes.
In my ramblings today (remember this
started out as a much longer rambling email) you can see that the
SSD software market is
alive, healthy and just as competitive as the flash hardware business.
Apologies to all the other companies I could have named but left out. You'll get
your turn later.
AMD will rebrand Dataram's RAMDisk software
September 6, 2012 - Dataram
it will develop a version of its RAMDisk software which will be rebranded
by AMD in Q4 under the name of Radeon
RAMDisk and will target Windows market gaming enthusiasts seeking (upto 5x)
faster performance when used with enough memory.
STEC mini-survey suggests that 60% of serious VM users already
Editor:- August 28, 2012 - A
of visitors attending the first day of VMworld - and conducted on behalf of
suggested that over 60% of attendees already had SSDs in their
datacenters but also that less than 50% of their business-critical applications
are currently supported by SSDs.
FlashMAX is FlashSoft compatible
Editor:- August 27,
2012 - Virident's
PCIe SSDs are supported
- it was
The companies say this collaboration includes sales, joint
testing and validation programs, and support and services assistance.
comments:- the thinking behind SanDisk's strategic decision to support
competing SSD hardware with its software was one of the things which I learned
in a recent interview with the company (see SSD news August 15 below for more
Proximal Data acclaimed at Flash Memory Summit
August 24, 2012 - at the recent
Flash Memory Summit -
was acclaimed joint
of Show award winner in the category of most innovative flash memory
technology for its
VMware accelerating (SSD
ASAP software). Proximal Data also
that it supports LSI's
Nytro WarpDrive (PCIe
is SanDisk really nurturing true enterprise SSD DNA?
August 15, 2012 - Do you remember FlashSoft?
Many of you still do. It was one of the
SSD software companies
before it got acquired 6 months ago by SanDisk.
of the tips in the
Guide to Enterprise SSDs - is that when it comes to SSDs - rules are
made to be broken.
And earlier this week I learned this can
apply to my own gut feel rules of thumb too. The unwritten rule being that
semiconductor companies generally make a mess of enterprise software and are not
so hot at understanding the enterprise SSD market either.
I had expected that FlashSoft would disappear into SanDisk - and would get
smothered by a marketing organization which had many times before demonstrated
its lack of awareness of the fundamentals of good enterprise SSD marketing. And
that was the tone of my parting message to the founders along with a few words
of congratulations as they disappeared into the new SNDK afterlife. I never
expected to hear from them again.
So the first thing I asked Rich Petersen -
(former VP of Marketing at FlashSoft and now Director, Marketing Management at
SanDisk) a few days ago was - how are they doing as part of a chip company?
What are they doing with the FlashSoft brand? How do they plan to develop the
enterprise SSD business? etc.
One of the things that Rich had wanted
to talk about was the release of new support in their caching software for
We spent a lot of time talking about that too - and had a big discussion about
the role of SSD software - not only as a business tool - but in effect as a new
way of virtualizing and looking at enterprise SSDs and how they can fit into
architecture models. (My view is that a powerful SSD suite - if it becomes
widely used - can be as significant to the SSD market - as a new interface
or form factor.)
We covered enough ground to write several long
articles. I'm not going to do that today - because I'm supposed to be on
vacation and sitting out in the garden by my pool.
So you should
regard this as the really really short version - and a placeholder for much
more detail which I will return to later.
FlashSoft - or the
enterprise SSD software part of SanDisk (or whatever else you may want to call
it) is today operating in a business mode which is like what you would expect
from a best of breed enterprise SSD systems company. They talk to end users like
they've always done. They learn to change important aspects of how the products
work and are sold because of feedback from end users - and not because they've
read that something is a good idea in a
There are some surprising consequences of this at the
technical and business level.
Chief among those surprises for me is
that FlashSoft says it will still support other brands of SSDs. Rich
explained this was just a pragmatic business decision. Big users told them they
like FlashSoft - but they already use or might want to use non-SanDisk SSDs.
These users are only going to standardize on one SSD software platform. They
don't want to learn 2 different ways of doing the same thing.
other hand an advantage of having access to an enterprise SSD maker is that if a
big user needs some expensive hardware on which to evaluate the benefits of
their software - then it's easier on the marketing budget to get some SanDisk
SSDs to do this.
FlashSoft's visibility into what enterprise end users
really do - and the suprising preferences they have - which are driven by
customer business optimizations rather than simplistic technical extrapolations
- also means that - like rackmount SSD companies - FlashSoft learns valuable
market lessons which can be reapplied to optimize designs in future SanDisk
Violin plugs some software gaps with Symantec
August 13, 2012 - Violin
rackmount SSDs can now support snapshots, cloning, dedupe, replication and
thin provisioning - based on software IP from Symantec.
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.
Going back to SSD software...
Microsystems created and leveraged the phrase -
Network is the Computer.
I have long thought an apt
reinterpretation of that in this decade is "the SSD is the computer"
- or maybe the "SSD software is the computer" - because the ultimate
characteristics of fast computers are determined more by the SSD architecture
which is installed - than by the same old CPU chips.
Software, rehab, enterprise SSDs and bug spray
July 30, 2012 - "Software used to be SSD's enemy. Now it can be SSD's best
friend." - is one of several key ideas discussed in my new home page
blog today -
the Survivor Guide to Enterprise SSDs.
AutoCache for PCIe SSDs
Editor:- July 23, 2012 -
immediate availability of its first product - a
SSD ASAP - designed
to work with PCIe SSDs - in particular - products from
for cache sizes less than 500GB) reduces bottlenecks in virtualized servers to
increase VM density, efficiency and performance. The company says it can
increase VM density upto 3x with absolutely no impact on IT operations.
Editor's comments:- here are some questions I asked about the
new product - and the answers I got from Rich Pappas,
Proximal's VP of sales and business development.
Editor:- How long
does it take for the algorithms to reach peak efficiency?
Pappas:- It varies by workload, but typically it takes about 15
minutes for the cache to warm to reach peak efficiency.
the caching only on reads, or is it effective on writes too?
AutoCache will only cache reads, but by virtue of relieving the backend
datastore from read traffic, we have actually seen overall write performance
improvements as well. This effect is also dependent on the workload.
Amazon offers explicit SSD performance in the cloud
July 19, 2012 - There are many ways SSDs can be used inside
classic cloud storage
services infrastructure:- to keep things running smoothly (even out
IOPS), reduce running
Web Services recently launched a new high(er) IOPS instance type for
developers who explicitly want to access SSD like performance.
3 to 5 years time all enterprise storage infastucture will be solid state -
but due to economic necessities it will still be segmented into different types
by speed and function - as I described in my
SSD silos article -
even when it's all solid state.
I predict that when that happens -
AWS's marketers may choose to describe its lowest speed storage as "HDD
like" - even when it's SSD - in order to convey to customers what it's
about. It takes a long time for people to let go of old ideas. Remember
Virtual Tape Libraries?
Software is key to SSD innovation - says blog from Virident
June 29, 2012 - Dedupe and fibre-channel are some of the innovations discussed
blog by Jeff Sosa,
Director of Product Management,
who poses the question - is flash storage an incremental or a radical
Sosa's article goes on to say - "The 'radical'
innovation in the host-attached flash storage marketplace today comes from
products that not only access flash through a PCIe connection, but also bypass
storage protocols to drive new levels of performance and enable new
functionality not previously imagined." ...read
Skyera claims 100x gain in system level SSD endurance
June 19, 2012 - In a new
positioning video launched today -
Danilak claims that his company's vertically integrated technology -
which includes both new SSD
controller and supporting SSD software - achieves effectively a 100x
gain in endurance
using new consumer grade flash. The result will be
SSD bulk storage
systems which cost less than
hard drive arrays. ...see the video
Nutanix announces a new NFS for PCIe SSD accelerated CPUs
June 12, 2012 - Nutanix
announced the general availability of NDFS (Nutanix Distributed File
System), a bold new distributed filesystem that has been optimized to leverage
localized low latency PCIe
SSDs such as those from Fusion-io.
shifting the NFS datapath away from the network directly onto the VMware vSphere
host, NDFS bypasses network communications that have historically been fraught
with multiple high-latency hops between top-of-rack and end-of-row switches.
Nutanix accelerates both read and writes for any workload.
availability are achieved by data mirroring across high-speed 10GbE
Editor's comments:- Nutanix is in the
SSD ASAP market -
equivalency architecture integrated in the OS. The company says their
architecture "collapses compute and storage into a single tier." You
can get the general idea from their
STEC releases SSD cache software for any make of SSD
June 6, 2012 - STEC
the general availability of the company's
EnhanceIO SSD Cache
Software for Linux and Windows environments with pricing starting from $295
and $495 (per server) for a 1 year subscription.
STEC says its SSD
cache software can used with any vendor's
In addition, a Linux version of EnhanceIO SSD Cache Software, based on
caching module, will be made available under a general public license
"As one of the original architects of Flashcache, I'm extremely
pleased to see this technology being enhanced and supported by STEC in their
EnhanceIO software," said Mohan Srinivasan, software engineer at
Facebook. "Flashcache has proven to be an invaluable tool for accelerating
application performance at Facebook."
Users can choose from a selection of caching schemes and block sizes
to suit their preference and SSD's capabilities. STEC stores the metadata for
the cache in system DRAM rather than in the SSD. The DRAM required for the
cache is 0.1% of the cache size so a terabyte of SSD cache requires about
1GB of DRAM support. Product support tools include a profiler which can collect
user data and suggest the best policy option parameters for the cache setup.
comments:- irrespective of the technical strengths and weaknesses (and
pricing model) of the this new product compared to other competing
SSD ASAP / caching
offerings - one question which immediately springs to mind is this.
serious is STEC about making this software work as a standalone product? And if
it becomes successful will the company be tempted to bundle it free with its
NEVEX offers free trial of $5K value Linux caching software
May 29, 2012 - NEVEX
says it's offering the 1st 30 people who trial its
SSD ASAP / caching
software for Linux - the option to keep the production version free.
spoke a few minutes ago to Nigel Miller,
VP Business Development, NEVEX - to test if his phone number is correct -
because that's the response mechanism.
I asked how much can some one
save by taking up the offer?
He said the regular price will be $5,000
per cached terabyte.
I also said it was unusual in the web industry to
have nothing on their web site about this - and he said they wanted a quick and
easy way to talk to people. He also said that if you are one of the early
responders you will get good access to their technical support people. As time
is of the essence here's the number if you're interested:- +1 647-393-2200
welcome to the new alchemy - converting SSD software to gold
Editor:- May 29, 2012 - a new blog today on StorageSearch.com
where are we
now with SSD software?
over 30 years
the SSD market operated in a software near vacuum. Why did it take so long
for the systems software industry to do anything useful with SSDs?
why are seemingly insignificant little SSD software companies today being
gobbled up at prices which seem to have no connection to what they could ever
earn from license sales? ...click to read the
60 seconds to make your SSDs accelerate even faster
May 8, 2012 - VeloBit
1.1 of its SSD caching software for Linux called HyperCache. (VMware and
Windows versions are in Beta.
Editor's comments:- I spoke to
VeloBit's CEO, Duncan
McCallum about the company and the new product.
Like many other
SSD ASAP software packages HyperCache ducks the problem of how to manage
environments by effectively only caching host reads and bypassing the caching
SSD when doing host writes.
Duncan said the software is efficient in
its use of host resources. It takes up less than 3% of host server CPU cycles
and about 2% of RAM (compared to the capacity of the attached SSD cache).
is VeloBit's caching software different?
In use - the company says its
content locality caching
uses the signatures of the data patterns which already are used
frequently and have lots of references in order to predict and prioritize the
caching of similar looking data. In that respect - the cache manager is
learning something which is unique to that apps environment rather than simply
caching blocks based on where they are address-wise relative to the current hot
In its business model - Duncan said he wanted to make VeloBit's
software easy to adopt and install via web marketing. A design goal was to make
HyperCache capable of being installed in under 10 minutes. He said the new
launch version typically installs in under 60 seconds!
tested their software with SSDs in various form factors from leading companies
commented that when it came to
PCIe SSDs - they found
their software produced the best results with Virident - which he said
produced the fastest SSD caching results of any SSD they had yet tested.
aspects of VeloBit's offering (to me) look similar to many other previous SSD
software products:- internal compression, write attenuation, real-time dedupe
and pricing on a per CPU basis.
With so many companies vying for the
same customer share of mind the thing which stands out for me is the 60 seconds
install time. Even allowing for a degree of future software bloat - the slowest
part about acquiring new SSD ASAP software could soon become typing in your
credit card details.
Permabit launches SSD dedupe software
25, 2012 - -Permabit
a low latency
engine (pdf) which has been
for flash SSDs and which is scalable to millions of
The product is aimed at SSD appliance makers.
RamSan + SANsymphony = SSD ASAP
Editor:- April 18,
2012 - Texas Memory
SSD ASAP marketing bundle with DataCore Software.
are looking for solutions that make SSD benefits available across the entire IT
infrastructure..." said Dan Scheel, President of
Texas Memory Systems. "Rather than go with a rip-and-replace upgrade to
get these benefits, the TMS/DataCore bundle will provide better utilisation of
existing storage infrastructure while dramatically improving it."
SCSI for PCIe SSDs
Editor:- April 3, 2012 - The SCSI Trade Association
that it has accepted SCSI Express as a formal project and has taken
ownership of refining, defining and marketing this data storage industry
SCSI Express is an industry initiative designed to adapt storage to
PCIe. It uses the SCSI over
PCIe (SOP) and PCIe architecture queuing interface (PQI) model being defined
within the T10 Technical Committee.
Editor's comments:- the
PCIe SSD market is
already an estalished and permanent
part of the enterprise SSD future landscape. What SCSI Express will do is
provide an easy way to leverage software stacks which have been already
developed for SAS SSDs and iSCSI SSDs but taking advantage of the lower
latencies and faster throughput of PCIe. It's all about
best way to think about "SCSI Express" is "SCSI for PCIe SSDs".
It's the first SCSI standard to be driven by the agenda of
SSDs rather than
also:- What is
SCSI?, storage ORGS
NVSL paper discusses kernel adaptations to unfetter fast SSDs
March 8, 2012 - a recent white paper -
Safe, User Space Access to Fast SSDs (pdf) - published by academics at
Volatile Systems Lab) at UCSD - discusses techniques for reducing kernel
associated overheads in the filesystem by an order of magnitude without removing
security and file permissions.
The authors say - "Our intent is
that this new architecture be the default mechanism for file access rather than
a specialized interface for highperformance applications. To make it feasible
for all applications running on a system to use the interface, Moneta-D supports
a large number of virtual channels. This decision has forced us to minimize the
cost of virtualization."
SanDisk acquires FlashSoft
Editor:- February 15,
2012 - SanDisk
it has acquired FlashSoft
- one of the leading independent software vendors in the
SSD ASAPs market.
SanDisk intends to sell FlashSoft's products as standalone software, as well as
offer these software products in combination with SanDisk's growing portfolio of
SAS, PCIe and SATA enterprise solutions.
NEVEX CacheWorks supports RamSan flash
February 8, 2012 - NEVEX
that its CacheWorks
for Windows Server has been tested and optimized for performance with the
new generation of flash SSDs from Texas Memory Systems
- in particular the RamSan-70
(a PCIe SSD) and the
RamSan-810 (a 1U
wrote about the sometimes
stretch of "RamSan" - as even back then 70% of the SSDs that TMS
sold were flash
rather RAM - and PCIe was a sizable chunk of the product line mix too.
This software support from NEVEX fills a key functional gap (SSD ASAP) in the TMS
route to market.
It's important for NEVEX too.
been selling enterprise
SSDs longer than any other company. But unlike some competing PCIe
SSD companies (Fusion-io,
Micron) which have all
acquired their own SSD software IP in the past year (thereby obsoleting
most 3rd party caching/tiering development investments) - Texas Memory
Systems is still focused
on hardware design. Nevertheless - while I'm confident that acquiring an
ISV isn't on TMS's wish list - the company itself recently announced it
would look positively on a suitable potential acquirer. So nothing is as
certain as it seems.
Micron acquires Virtensys
Editor:- January 20, 2012
- Micron today
it has acquired the assets of UK based Virtensys which marketed
rackmount SSDs stuffed
with Micron's PCIe SSDs and supported by a patented multi-server sharing
Editor's comments:- if buying an
SSD software company
was a good idea for leading
PCIe SSD makers
OCZ - then Micron has to
follow suit or get out of the game.
Chipmakers generally dislike
buying "systems" software companies - because they don't understand
systems and risk alienating their oem customers. But Micron's reputation won't
be dented if they can't leverage the Virtensys software. Everyone knows how hard
it is to get real value out of a software acquisition. And in the next few weeks
more people will take another look at Micron's
Micron's SSD pages.
So it's paid for itself already.
OCZ acquires SANRAD
Editor:- January 10, 2012 -
has acquired SANRAD
for $15 million.
"SANRAD's software is a wonderful complement to
OCZ's Flash technology," said Oded
Ilan, CEO of SANRAD Inc. "We are excited with the opportunity
created by this unique combination between storage virtualization, caching and
PCIe Flash storage."
Editor's comments:- this makes the
4th SSD IP or company acquisition that OCZ has done that I've written about on
these pages. 3 out of the 4 have aimed squarely at the enterprise SSD market.
SSD software will be
a powerful sales and business growth accelerator for
PCIe SSD companies in
2012 - as it will open
up new market opportunities much faster than previously possible with human
engineering assets. Put simply - it's let the software solve the problem of
integrating the SSD. It's more than simply
auto-tiering - but
that's an important enabling tool as well.
SANRAD was also the 1st
company to ship front loadable PCIe SSD modules BTW.
the New Business Case for SSD ASAPs
December 6, 2011 - StorageSearch.com
today published a new article -
the New Business
Case for SSD ASAPs .
What's an SSD ASAP? - When I use this term it
It's going to be a huge market. SSD
ASAPs are 1 of the 6 main SSD product types that will be around in the pure
solid state storage datacenter of the future in the
- auto-tiering SSD appliances
- SSD cache - the automatic kind
- SSD acceleration As Soon As Possible
- Auto-tuning SSD Accelerated Pools of storage
- combinations of the above
The word "new" in the title is deliberate. It
replaces an article I wrote about SSD ASAPs when the market started in 2009.
Since then - my thinking - and that of key players in the market has
developed. This should no longer just be regarded as a tactical market to bring
the advantages of SSD acceleration to legacy hard drive arrays. ASAPs are an
essential interface between different levels of SSD storage. ...read the article
analyzer suite could speed up auto-tiering SSD evaluations
November 28, 2011 - hyperI/O
availability of its Disk I/O Ranger software analysis tool for Windows
The company says this will help users diagnose and
understand disk storage access performance problems and to to verify that QoS
levels are being met at the application/file/device level. It could also
simplify the evaluation of
appliances by collecting real-time metrics.
NEVEX launches SSD ASAP software for Windows Server
October 11, 2011 - NEVEX
its first product - an auto-tiering
/ SSD ASAP software cache for Windows Server, VMware, Hyper-V priced at
$2,495 per physical server (before an introductory discount of $1,000 - which
CacheWorks' selective cache optimization technology
empowers administrators by providing flexible control to accelerate specific
data by application, file type, and location to deliver typical speedups of 3x
- according to customer quotes in their
press release (pdf).
2 Software Companies entered the top 20 SSD list in Q3
October 3, 2011 - As Q3 fades back into
- I'm busy analyzing stats and writing my comments for the new (18th quarterly)
edition of the top 20
SSD companies - which will be published here next week. This analyzes the
search stats of over 350,000 online readers in the past quarter who
have seen SSD content from StorageSearch.com
and the article includes my views of where these companies are heading in the
market (whether that's up, down or nowhere).
This is the 1st time
have entered the top SSD companies list. One them -
IO Turbine - would
have crept in towards the bottom end of this list - if it hadn't already
been acquired by Fusion-io.
The other one - which no one has acquired yet - did even better. Stay tuned..
SANRAD enters the SSD ASAP market
20, 2011 - SANRAD
has entered the
auto-tiering SSD / SSD
ASAPs market with the launch of its new VXL software which supports its
family of FC and GbE
unified storage network
"Many organizations are adding flash resources to
their virtual server environments but aren't able to use them efficiently,"
says Dr Allon Cohen,
SANRAD's VP Marketing. "By combining our software with their
infrastructure, they instantly have faster access, more secure data, and
Editor's comments:- the thinking behind
SANRAD's acceleration architecture is described in this white paper -
to put your flash SSD accelerators - for best enterprise results (pdf)
Fusion-io can do secure erase in less than 60 seconds
September 15, 2011 - Fusion-io
that its new SureErase data
sanitization tool has been confirmed as meeting Department of Defense
sanitization standards by the Defense Information Systems Agency.
enables users to securely remove/erase all data on any ioMemory-based
technology, following DoD/NIST standards, regardless of capacity, in less than 1
Editor's comments:- although that sounds like a long
time - relative to fast
purge SSDs (and it is too long for some applications) nevertheless when you
take into account that many of Fusion-io's PCIe SSDs have multi-terabyte
capacities - it's impressive. See also:-
SDS shrinks SSD IOPS in VMware
Editor:- September 15,
2011 - the use of
with VMware has popped up in these news pages in recent years more times
than I care to count. But I got a new angle on this a few days ago in a
discussion with Linda LaPorta,
President of Superior
Data Solutions .
Now you may ask - who is SDS? (the spelling is
important here) and what do they know about SSDs? (It had been several
years since I last heard from them too.) But you've all heard about
STEC's ZeusIOPS - right?
- Well SDS was
selling this particular enterprise flash SSD design in 2006 - before STEC
acquired it from Gnutek.
An SDS platform was also one of
Sun's early SSD offerings
too. But SDS have switched focus from raw hardware to applications - and they
are the US distributor for a product called
LaPorta told me - "...Our software is changing the game in VDI. Right now
IOPs is a big barrier to the acceptance of VDI because the cost to implement
storage can be very high. (Windows 7 users are figuring 24-28 IOPs per VM
pricey if you need to provision HDAs for 10,000). We need a fast IO device to
store the virtual applications. We like a fast SSD, but it only needs to be 100
to 200GB. It is a read only drive that stores the master image of each
application. All the VM's go to a well cached
raid system. This is
where we reduce the IOPs to 2-4 /VM and we keep the capacity requirement
to 3GB/per VM (which is actually making it AFFORDABLE to consider all SSD
instead of HDDs)..."
Fusion-io acquires SSD ASAP software company
August 4, 2011 - Fusion-io
announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire IO Turbine for
approximately $95 million.
David Flynn, Chairman and CEO of
Fusion-io. "We believe integrating ioMemory and IO Turbine adds a critical
and previously missing performance component to virtualized IT environments that
will accelerate the adoption of Fusion-io technology. This acquisition also
underscores our focus on providing customers with an enterprise solution that
features software and hardware components designed to accelerate their business'
full suite of applications."
revenue of $72 million for the fiscal fourth quarter of 2011, more than 6x
as much as the year ago quarter in 2010 and up 7% from from the prior
Editor's comments:- these are the first financial
results reported by Fusion-io since it became a publicly listed company. The
results - and the company's decision to acquire an
SSD ASAP software
company together confirm and validate the company's strong showing in our
predictive top 10 SSD
companies list in recent years. The
SSD market has
become a serious business - and is no longer just about how cleverly a bunch of
electronics guys can tame a bunch of unruly memory chips and make them play
hard drive tricks.
SSD impacts on future storage software?
11, 2011 - I recently had a conversation with a very knowledgeable
strategist at a leading enterprise storage software company. I won't say who the
company is - but if I did - most of you would know the name.
interesting thing for me was that he'd recognized that if the hardware
architecture of the datacenter is going to change due to the widespread adoption
of solid state storage - that will create new markets for traditional
software companies too.
And I'm not talking here about new
software which simply helps SSDs to work or
interoperate with hard
drives - but software which does useful things with your data - and which
can take advantage of different assumptions about how quickly it can get to that
data - and how much intensive manipulation it can do with it.
try some of these intensive R/W tricks on current storage infrastructures -
even if the front end is SSD accelerated - then your systems will hang. But in 3
to 5 years time - the ability to perform random IOPS on archived data
hundreds of times faster than today - will make backup and recovery faster,
and enable new apps to analyze and monetize data assets in a way which goes way
beyond what even Google can do today.
I find it encouraging that
these conversations are now taking place.
Because the way to the
future isn't just doing the same things faster. The future of SSD enabled
markets will be doing things which could never be done before.
will you read more about those new developments? You're already in the right
FlashSoft launches software to unleash the power of enterprise
Editor:- June 28, 2011 -
today announced it has
$3 million Series A funding and has launched its first product -
software which enables enterprise flash to be used as a cost-effective,
server-tier computing resource (ASAP functionality in
software) which is available for free evaluation through a 30-day "Try
Before You Buy" program.
FlashSoft says that despite the
performance advantages of flash SSD, 2 barriers have inhibited its adoption in
- First, when used as primary data storage, flash memory cannot easily
integrate with and leverage the benefits of existing storage systems
FlashSoft's new all-software product
overcomes both of these objections with what they call a "tier minus one"
solution for flash virtualization. Enterprise IT can now provide databases,
applications and virtual machine environments with the performance benefit of
having the entire data set on flash, with only a fraction of the data actually
stored in flash. This innovation makes enterprise flash a cost-effective
performance solution that works seamlessly with existing storage infrastructure.
In fact, FlashSoft actually reduces the IO burden on storage, producing even
greater cost savings. FlashSoft's technology is designed to deliver flash-grade
performance within a standalone server, across server clusters, and throughout
the data center. Early Customer Successes
- Secondly, storing all of an application's data on server-attached flash
memory remains expensive.
One early user -
said "By using FlashSoft, we aren't buying new server hardware or
licensing additional server software. We're simply making our existing servers
and software run at their full potential." And they were equally equally
impressed by FlashSoft's reliability when they set up stress tests (read case study).
In conjunction with its funding announcement, FlashSoft announced that it is
collaborating with industry leaders including VMware, Microsoft, SanDisk
Enterprise Storage Solutions, Virident Systems, LSI, OCZ Technology, and systems
provider AMAX. These relationships will help FlashSoft integrate its software
more closely with complementary hardware and software products, and provide
customers with the best solutions for their specific requirements.
comments:- FlashSoft says its software (which runs on Windows Server - Linux
is in beta) works with any flash SSDs upto 1TB, and takes approx 5% CPU
utilization and 100MB of core RAM. I asked
How many physical SSDs
does the software support?
The number of SSDs is not limited, as long as they can be represented
as a single logical volume, eg. through a RAID.
Is the 1TB limit shown on your site the limit for the setof SSDs or just for
The 1TB limit is the current logical limit for the
SSD used for caching. The data set is typically 5x greater (or more) than the
cache. The size restriction is an artifact of early development, and in a
near-future release, there will be no restriction on the size of the SSD
In the case of
loss what are the steps taken to protect the state of the cached data
and update the external storage?
FlashSoft employs a method called multi-level metadata
management, which stores some cache metadata in RAM, but most of it on the SSD
itself (and employs a balanced tree design for optimal efficiency). There are
two benefits to this design: first, it minimizes utilization of server memory.
Only the hottest metadata runs in server memory. The rest is cached in SSD.
Also, the application regularly creates snapshots of the metadata on the SSD, so
that in the event of a server crash, the cache metadata can be re-created from
the snapshots + most recent metadata almost immediately. Typical recovery is
less than a second. (Keep in mind, our team's background is at Veritas, Oracle,
Symantec, etc. so data recovery is a top priority for the product design.)
virtual server acceleration mistakes
21. 2011 -
5 Mistakes to
Avoid when trying to solve I/O Bottlenecks in Virtualized Servers is a new
article by IO Turbine
published on StorageSearch.com.
to say most of the discussion in here revolves around the best use of SSDs.
Among other things - IO Turbine says "While many enterprise-class storage
providers offer automatic tiering with data migration to and from the SSD
storage, these solutions typically take place well after the need for the I/O
acceleration has passed." ...read the
STEC steps closer to independently marketing enterprise SSDs
April 19, 2011 -
company in India that virtually no one had heard of before.
team of skilled software engineers from KQI has significant experience in such
areas as system software development and virtualization," said Manouch
Moshayedi, Chairman and CEO of STEC. "As the overall trend of hardware and
software convergence in the storage industry continues, it is important for us
to expand our product portfolio by creating increasingly intelligent storage
solutions that accelerate the adoption of solid-state drives in enterprise
servers. Establishing a presence in India provides us with strategic access to a
global software hub with a pool of top engineering talent to cost-effectively
meet our R&D expansion plans."
Editor's comments:- in
recent days the nature of search activity for STEC followed a pattern that I now
associate with companies which are the subjects or objects of
The other company which has been spiking in search news (but not so highly) is
Violin Memory - which
a cool vendor by Gartner.
acquisition looks to me like a much needed first step to a declaration of
independently marketing its own enterprise SSDs and thereby closing an
important gap in its routes to market.
Fusion-io launches partner program
18, 2010 - Fusion-io
today launched a new iniative - the
Technology Alliance Program which help to accelerate the development and
market dissemination of products which leverage the company's ioMemory
"Enterprises around the world are seeking simplified
and consolidated solutions that reduce infrastructure and overhead," said
VP of Alliances for Fusion-io. "One-stop solutions, like those provided
through Fusion-io's new Technology Alliance Program, reduce strains on
resources, remove risks inherent with managing several partners and reduce
expenditures. Working together, we believe we can offer greater value to our
customers who are looking to solve the ever increasing data-intensive nature of
the contemporary enterprise."
Editor's comments:- when
deployed correctly acceleration SSDs can be a business transforming resource.
In the past SSD vendors have cherry picked applications and markets to
get the industry to where it is today. No single company has the expertise to
recognize the opportunities which exist below the shiny surface of the usual
suspects - or the resources to bring hidden market gems to life. So you can
expect to see a lot more collaborations in the SSD market in the future.
NVELO launches notebook SSD ASAP
Editor:- August 17,
2010 - NVELO
Dataplex - a software product
aimed at PC oems - which provides
functionality inside a
Since Dataplex works with off-the-shelf storage devices, PC OEMs and
consumers have complete freedom to choose any SSD and any HDD, from any vendor.
"Consumers love the idea of SSD performance, but there is still a
huge (price) gap
between HDDs at $0.20/GB and SSDs at $2.00/GB; as an HDD replacement, the
economics simply don't work for all but a very small percentage of the market,"
said David Lin, VP of product management at NVELO. "With Dataplex, we are
making SSD performance economically feasible for a much larger market by using
the strengths of SSD and HDD technology together. And we're not talking about
simply installing the OS and whatever applications can fit onto a small SSD.
Dataplex learns user behavior, and intelligently caches all important data and
applications in an SSD device while maintaining the full capacity of the HDD for
Dataplex will begin shipping from select Tier 1 PC OEMs
in 2011. NVELO is currently in discussions with leading
SSD vendors to enable
aftermarket sales and bundling options for Dataplex, and has begun development
of an enterprise version of Dataplex for server systems.
comments:- if successful - NVELO's product will render obsolete most
aimed at the notebook market. In the server ASAP market - it's a direct
competitor to the unloved
SSD Cache Performance Kit created by
Microsoft, taken to
Adaptec - and now owned
Adaptec's SSD seed corn came from Microsoft
March 25, 2010 - in yet another simulated benchmark
today related to Adaptec's
SSD ASAP caching
technology - which they leverage in their
MaxIQ SSD product - I
learned that the underlying technology was originally developed by
(surprise! surprise!) - Microsoft.
our datacenter team came up with some innovative ideas around using solid state
devices as read caching devices, we determined it made good sense to license
these advances to Adaptec because Microsoft itself doesn't sell these types of
products," said David Kaefer, GM of Intellectual Property Licensing at
Microsoft. "By collaborating through licensing, Adaptec customers benefit
from a product that delivers impressive performance and cost savings over
alternatives in the market."
Editor's comments:- the
whole hard disk array acceleration market will cease to exist in a handful of
years for reasons explained
the Microsofties realized it would be better to let someone else run with it -
rather than make users suffer the traditional 5 years waiting for it to
work properly - by which time it would be obsolete anyway.
hyperI/O captures TRIM metrics
Editor:- March 1,
2010 - hyperI/O
that its hIOmon software supports the collection of Microsoft "TRIM"
related SSD metrics -
which can be captured during normal, everyday application use and without
any OS, file system, file, or application changes required.
Symantec Adds SSDs to Storage Migration Classes
December 7, 2009 - Symantec
announced an upgrade to its Storage Foundation management software which
enables it to
discover SSDs from leading vendors and optimize data placement on SSD
Editor's comments:- this is a tool within the context of a
complex and expensive
migration service - rather than an auto-tuning SSD acceleration tool.
You'll still need the SSD Hot Spot Engineer to tell you where to migrate those
files to. As we head into 2010 - Year of the SSD Market Bubble - you're going
to see the word "SSD"
appearing in a lot of press releases from
software vendors as a
way of making their products sound sexier.
| Spellerbyte's software factory|
SSD Data Recovery
enterprise SSD silos
SSD enhanced backup
fast purge / erase SSDs
way to the Petabyte SSD
auto tiering / caching SSD
are we now with SSD software?
how fast can your SSD
futures and market analyst reports
capacity - the iceberg syndrome
SSDs - the Survive and Thrive Guide
|In October 2002 - StorageSearch.com's
editor talked about the role of software versus human-ware in enterprise hot
"Until the storage management software
you run in your orgazination is intelligent enough to learn by itself what kinds
of applications you're running, and optimize the characteristics of your
different types of storage devices, your ability to make the best use out of new
storage technologies such as SSDs will be limited by your own technical skills
and the amount of work and effort you are prepared to put into solving your own
performance and resource utilization problems."
|Ancient storage software
management inhibits roadmap to $5 billion enterprise SSD market -
StorageSearch.com's news page blog (October 2002)|
|In November 2002
- Bill Gates, talking about Tablet PC's said:- "There are also a
lot of peripherals that need to improve here. ...Eventually even the so-called
disks will come along and not only will we have the mechanical disks going
down to 1.8 inch but some
kind of SSD... will be part of different Tablet PCs."|
|"In May 2003 -Imperial
Technology launched the world's first SSD tuning software tool called -
WhatsHot SSD - which analyzed real-time file usage on the SAN to identify
hot-files to place in SSD."|
|"In May 2004 - the
SPARC Product Directory published an article -
Why Sun Should
Acquire an SSD Company - which argued that integrating SSDs into Sun's
Solaris OS and servers would result in the fastest database servers and more
than make up for speed deficiencies in its SPARC processors."|
|In November 2006
- Microsoft announced business availability of its new Vista operating
system - loudly heralded as being the first PC market OS to include SSD-aware
support and native SSD cache management.
Vista (whether for SSDs or HDDs) proved to be so good that for
years after its launch millions of professional pc users upgraded back to XP.
|"In August 2007 -
EasyCo launched its "Managed Flash Technology" software to
enable enterprise grade RAID-5 arrays built from consumer grade flash
SSDs. MFT boosted SSD writes while also improving endurance..."|
SSD history - 2007
|"In September 2009
- Dataram launched the XcelaSAN - a fast 2U rackmount
SSD ASAP (auto
accelerating appliance) which automatically identified hotspots to relocate
critical data. The company said the XcelaSAN would automatically learn and self
optimize during the 1st few hours of operation..."|
SSD history - 2009
|In November 2009 -
Google opened its doors to developers who wanted to work with
Chrome OS - a new operating
system for tablets.|
In the opening video of the
OS blog we learned that the architects of the new OS were "obsessed
with speed". And the new netbook OS was designed from the ground up to
support only flash
SSDs as the default mass storage.
Google said - there is no room
in this OS for outmoded 50 year old
hard disk technology.
|"What does NVMe have
to do with FlashSoft software? - One thing is changing now. Instead of
just saying SATA, SAS, or PCIe, well be adding NVMe to the interfaces for which
we validate our software."|
at IDF - Rich Petersen's blog - (September 12, 2012)|
|how fast can your
SSD run backwards?|
|SSDs are complex devices and there's a
lot of mysterious behavior which isn't fully revealed by benchmarks, datasheets
and whitepapers. |
Underlying all the important aspects of SSD behavior
which arise from the intrinsic technologies and architecture inside the SSD.
|this way to the Petabyte
|In 2016 there will be
just 7 types of SSD in
One of them doesn't exist yet - the bulk storage
It will replace the last remaining strongholds of
hard drives in the
datacenter due to its unique combination of characteristics, low running costs
and operational advantages.
||The new model of the
datacenter - how we get from here to there - and the technical problems which
will need to be solved - are just some of the ideas explored in this
|SSD Data Recovery
|It's hard enough understanding the design
of any single SSD. And there are so
many different designs
in the market. |
Have you ever wondered what it looks like at the
other end of the SSD supply chain - when a user has a damaged SSD which
contains priceless data with no usable backup?
Software - by Zsolt Kerekes,
|The most common type of "storage
software" is that which does
backup or replication.
But there are a lot more different types of storage software than that.|
for making the hardware work with the OS are a good example. But since they
nearly always come from the same
IHV - there's no point
in listing such products here.
analyzing storage can
range from simple storage bus analyzers which help developers debug driver code,
and freeware which looks at bottlenecks in your database upto SAN wide
heavyweight packages which help you understand and manage an enterprise storage
network. And while on the subject of SANS - a few brave companies like
Wasabi have developed
what are in effect NAS
As WAN storage networks have become more common the
concept of accelerating or deduping the communications payload has also received
a lot of developer attention. A leading pioneer in the IP acceleration software
market is NetEx, whereas
the list of storage
ISVs mentioned on these pages already runs into double digits.
Security is a big subject
- which has had its own pages for many years. And the
market which started out as a software solutions market has expanded into
hardware - because it takes too long to erase hundreds or thousands of
discarded hard drives (or tapes) using software on a single PC.
companies offer software downloads to help you with simper recovery tasks. But
when your hard drives have been charred to smoky plastic or immersed in the
sludge waters of a flood - a UPS or Fedex upload is a more realistic solution.
all of that sounds too complicated then there are plenty of independent
companies to help you do it yourself or (if you've got enough money)
companies who will take the problem of managing it all off your hands.
like to talk about "lifecycles" - because it makes it sound like
they've actually thought about what will happen to their teenage hacker
developed code, or your data, for more than 5 minutes.
is another word which has been fashionable in recent years. Although every piece
of software that's not part of a hardware driver or OS kernel already includes
many levels of assumed virtualization.
One part of the lifecycle
which ISVs don't talk about so much - is that part when they are no longer in
business having gone bust
or been acquired. But it doesn't seem to stop new startup ISVs going to
the local storage VC in
the wall machines to request funding.
There are thousands of
storage software related stories in our