|"Polycom was struggling to find a Compact
Flash supplier offering a reliable solution with long life BOM control.... We
have delivered over 200,000 cards to them without a reported failure." -
Cactus Technologies -
more about industrial grade flash from
|by Zsolt Kerekes,
editor - StorageSearch.com|
you think experience matters when it comes to knowing what kind of stress
factors can be encountered by an industrial flash SSD then it may reassure
you to learn that the founders of Cactus Technologies (while working at other
companies and before founding Cactus in 2005) were involved in some of the
pioneering developments in this market including:-
- working on the design of the world's first PATA SSD, and
while memory technologies, interfaces and form factors have changed a lot since
those earlier days (and are changing still ) some things in the embedded
market have stayed the same such as:- the need for SSDs to work in demanding
real world conditions which don't always conform neatly to the boundaries set
- designing the controller for the world's first CompactFlash card
This is one of the reasons that Cactus offers extended
temperature operating versions of some of its products - which go beyond the
so called standard "industrial temperature range".
embedded flash now being used in so many different industries and spaces - it
can be very confusing when looking at the web site of an SSD supplier like
Cactus Technologies for the first
time and being confronted by lists of products grouped by interface and form
Where do you begin?
One of the things I liked - and
something which I accidentally discovered when I was clicking around the
Cactus site seriously in early 2014 - is that the company lists the 2 most
popular products in each of the main markets in which its products have been
used. That gives a solid starting point from which you can learn more about
Value for money?
Even after firming up the
technical specifications - there are still many factors which can be involved
in the decision making process of deciding - how much an SSD should cost? And
whether the cost of a particular product fits in with the viability of the
budget for the project you're looking at.
propositions involve different tradeoffs in different markets. And they are
rarely as simple as being about the cost and speed of storage. If they were
that simple - the SSD market as we know it - wouldn't exist.
typical datacenter array storage applications (in which if a single SSD
fails - its role can almost immediately be replaced by another clone which is
already sitting in the same array) the nature of deployments which characterize
most embedded industrial market applications - is that a great deal does
indeed depend on the ongoing health of every individual SSD.
when the reliability of your system or maybe even your entire project
mission - is so dependent on the health of every single SSD - then the choice
of that SSD family really matters...
because years after the initial
SSD was purchased and started earning its keep - an early end to that
operational life due to a weakness which could have been easily predicted
- isn't mitigated by the knowledge that this was the cheapest product which
money could buy - based on a like for like comparison of specifications which
only included the headline form factor, capacity, interface, speed and power
consumption features and didn't take into account all the other important
architectural design and validation factors which make an SSD what it is.
system designer has their own way of assessing this. And every vendor has their
own story to tell (even if that part of the story - from low cost vendors is
really a deafening silence - or ignorance - about what was missing in the
budget to deliver that product at that price).
On that theme I hope
you might be interested in this blog - by Cactus -
State Storage Total Cost of Ownership versus a Really Low Price Today
is published by