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Editor:- September 26, 2016 - Foremay today announced volume production of 8TB models in its rugged secure 2.5" U.2 NVMe SSD product range - which with PCIe x4 lanes has R/W speeds up to 1.2GB/s with latency as little as 25 microseconds.


Editor:- January 26, 2016 - When it comes to SSD security - how fast is fast erase? A press release today from Foremay suggests a fast and scalable sanitization route may come from what they call "crypto erase" - which renders all data scrambled, scattered and useless. Takes only a second to complete the crypto erase of a Foremay SED SSD with capacity of up to 20TB.
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military SSDs

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a mouse eyed view of the military SSD product lines from Foremay

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor - StorageSearch.com - March 18, 2016

When I was looking at the overview page of Foremay's military SSDs again recently - my first thought was - I've seen that model numbering somewhere before. And sure enough when I checked the storage news archive here on the mouse site I confirmed that "SC199" designation for its flagship rugged products is the same as it was in an SSD news story in 2009. (And the SC199 model number actually shows up in an earlier datasheet I've got from 2008.)

What does it signify?

In one sense this kind of stability is reassuring as I often struggle trying to keep up with the changing product naming conventions of leading SSD companies in the enterprise market (even when those companies have been long term customers at the time).

One company I knew well in the enterprise systems market (Texas Memory Systems) had - what seemed to them to be - a rational model numbering scheme in which the numbers incremented by the number "100" every year or so. I just assumed it was something to do with age (bigger being newer) but I learned after about 8 years covering that their model numbers were connected to the generations of controllers used inside their RamSan boxes.

Another enterprise company I know well (OCZ) has always deployed an imaginative but bewildering variety of names for its SSD products and if there is a long term product naming scheme behind all this I still haven't grasped what it is.

For customers in the military and embedded industrial markets whose system designs - which are using SSDs - might evolve and adapt but which are still recognizably constant over a long period (7, 10 or more years) I can see many advantages in having some constancy in SSD product designations.

There's enough work to be done to cope with real technology and market changes (BOM control etc). And it's bad enough that the names and ownership of storage companies change so much.

It's nice to know that the product line which you liked on a Friday is still called the same thing the following Monday (or maybe a Monday several years later) to minimze the translation errors in everday communication the next time you look for something similar on the web or in an email.

Another thing I've noticed stay constant in my editorial encounters with Foremay in the past 7 years or so (a period when I've been trying to capture the essence of changes in the hundreds of SSD companies that I talk to) has been Foremay's fixed focus on the internal data security aspects of their SSDs.

That's not to say that their technology has remained unchanged. (That wouldn't be a viable business model for any SSD company.) But if you simply glance at some of the papers which Foremay has presented at past conferences you'll see what I mean.

Here are 2 examples:- Secure Erase Options for SSDs - 2010 (pdf) and Secure Erase for Embedded SSDs - 2014 (pdf) - which are both based on presentation which Foremay made at past Flash Memory Summits.

Obviously, however, there have been many changes in Foremay's SSD product lines since they entered the SSD market.

Not all of these were self evident to me until recently - despite my many visits to the company's web site and many Q&A emails in the past years.

SSD ad - click for more infoI was struck by how many gaps there were in my knowledge about their product variations when I saw a copy of their banner ad recently - which I've pasted here on the right of this - because it's the best way for you to see what I saw.

In one way I wasn't surprised to see that there were so many other permutations of their rugged military product line which I didn't know about.

As you can readily appreciate - people like me are more interested in writing about new products. So when a company like Foremay decides to support an older form factor (such as PATA SSD) or a niche form factor like VPX (which I have written about - but not often) then they aren't going to alert me about every such change - because I'm not the kind of person this product is aimed at.

And other reasons there are inevitable gaps in my knowledge about all SSD company product lines are that I don't have the time or inclination to follow up everything.

And furthermore - when it comes to customized products and variations (one of the big SSD forces expected in the market) there are often good reasons that SSD companies like to keep those variations secret and known only to them and their own customers. (Some of whom I have spoken to confidentially in the past when we were talking in depth about industry wide SSD technology matters.)

Anyway - for those many sound reasons I've given you above - I'm not going to give you a great long list here of all the permutations of military SSD which you're likely to be able to get from Foremay and I know you won't find everything which might be of interest to you on their web site.

But I do earnestly hope I've managed to help you decide that (depending on your own filtering options and needs) whether it may be worth spending some more of your time looking at what they do. Not just despite the fact that parts of their web site - http://www.foremay.net - appear to look the same year after year - but maybe also for that very reason too.

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