from the series -
in the SSD Market
Choosing words which make your SSD product
name sound good
is an important challenge for SSD marketers.
I used the word "inanimate"
as the first word in the title of this article to differentiate it from
animal brands in
the SSD market - which is discussed in another article. Unfortunately
whether you love or hate animal brands - it seems like all the best ones have
already been taken.
Using inanimate words which suggest Power, Speed
and Strength for your SSD - enables you to draw on a much wider set of cultural
references than just limiting yourself to animals. But you have to be sure that
your customers understand them too. SSD power words may not work so well for
markets in which English is not the native business language. And you have to
avoid SSD jargon words
- because they get out of date quickly and are difficult to incorporate in
power, speed and strength metaphors and wording in SSD brands|
- DDRdrive - from
DDRdrive - is the name
for a family of PCIe RAM SSDs. "DDR" was earlier used in the
industry for Double Data Rate RAM
- and the memory industry progressed onto numbers - like DDR3 and DDR4 for
succeeding faster generations. Therefore in a way DDRdrive suggests a faster
drive and also tells you that it probably uses RAM. But -
elsewhere - these SSD naming signals can sometimes be misleading.
- DuraClass - from
SandForce - is the
name given to the technological thinking in the company's
SSD controllers - which
enable consumer grade MLC flash to be used reliably in high performance SSDs. "Dura
Class" suggests durability (related to
and a class of products which is different to all the others out there. Can you
think of any others? There are many - but as discussed in -
Imprinting the brain
of the SSD - most people would have difficulty naming them.
- DuraDrive - from
Technology - is a range of industrial SSDs which doesn't use DuraClass
technology - although confusingly - another product range from Super Talent
- GigaExpress - from
Fuji Xerox - was the
name of a 1U rackmount PCIe SSD. "Giga Express" conveys the message "Very
Fast" - and its 650MB/s was fast in 2006 when it was launched.
- HyperDrive - from
Attorn - is
the name for a PATA/
SATA RAM SSD. In English usage - Hyper - suggests an extreme state. In the
computer market it was used in the early 1990s - as part of "HyperSPARC"
- to name a 32 bit processor designed by
In my view 2 things which were never quite right in the market orientation of
the HyperDrive were (1) - the original form factor was 5.25" - at a time
when all other SSD and hard disk makers had stopped making this size and - (2)
- the initial product had a PATA interface. Although it was faster than other
PATA SSDs at the time
- this narrowed down the market to poor consumers rather than rich enterprise
users - who could afford an SSD - if it had an appropiately fast interface such
as parallel SCSI or fibre-channel.
- Jet.io - from
- is the name for its 3.5" RAM SSDs. Although jets are fast - the problem
in metaphor naming land is that other related words may be faster. So is a "Jet"
type of SSD faster or slower than a "Rocket" type of SSD for example?
is the name of an SSD company founded in China. "King" implies the
head or leader (except in a republic) and "Fast" is an obvious name to
use in a brand. But when you start mixing personality brands with speed brands
you run the risk of mental comparisons. So is a king more or less powerful than
a god - (Zeus) for example? When you mix metaphors you don't always result
in a combination which is stronger than the constituent parts. And this does
come back to language and cultural expectations in the target market.
- Lightning - from
Pliant Technology -
is the name for its family of
SAS SSDs. In common
English parlance - "flash" and "lightning" often appear
in the same phrase - therefore lightning doesn't sound strange when used for a
flash SSD. "Quick as a flash of lightning" also sounds natural /
unstrained. On the negative side - lightning strikes can kill people and
electronic systems too. All words come with complex baggage and potentially
different readings to the one which brand marketers had in mind.
- strikes again - being the name of
EMC's stealth mode (Jan
2012) PCIe SSD.
- MACH - from STEC
- is based on the idea of high speed.
Mach 1 - is the speed of
sound. Mach 2 is twice as fast. STEC has used this naming concept for many
generations of SSD products for example MACH4, MACH8 and MACH16. The company
has also combined this with the suffix IOPS - in some products - for example
- is the name of a flash SSD company founded in 1990. Magic is a metaphor which
may work well in other markets or at other times - but doesn't sound too good to
me. I know we talk about software wizards and the black art of SSD performance
tuning - but in the industrial SSD market where this company operates its
customers probably prefer good old reliable technology engineering to mysterious
sounding magic. Now it may be that its long established customers have got used
to the name and they know what they can expect to get from this company. But in
my view MagicRAM is a negative and weak name for an SSD company looking to
attract new customers - and they probably have to work hard to overcome the
inherent disadvantage of their brand.
- Nimble - is the first part of the name for
Nimble Storage - a
company which entered the SSD market in
Q3 2010 -
with an iSCSI
compatible SSD accelerated backup compression and
- Nitro!FC - from
Curtis - combined the
explosive power of nitroglycerin - with the more prosaic FC abbreviation for
fibre-channel. It was the
original name for a
SSD - but the name was later changed to HyperXCLR . The
word Hyper had
also been used in the early 1990s in a related market as a brand of
microprocessor - HyperSPARC.
- PowerArmor - from
WD Solid State
Storage - is the name given to the
which the company wraps around its SiliconDrive SLC SSD during power up, power
down and line distrubances. WD says "75% of drive field failures are the
result of power-related corruption. This means that brownouts, blackouts and
even lightning strikes all contribute to the number #1 cause of RMAs among
embedded systems storage."
- QikDRIVE - from
Platypus Technology -
used the phonetic qik to suggest a drive that was quick / fast.
- Quicksilver - is a brand of hybrid storage system from
- RevoDrive - from OCZ
- is a family of PCIe SSD accelerators. Revving up your car engine in the hope
that it will accelerate faster from a standing start is the image which comes to
mind when I see this name. And it's a playful allusion to the fact that being an
SSD - it doesn't have any
or revolving parts - unlike the hard disk arrays it's designed to replace.
Brands which, like this one, successfully suggest more than one idea from a
single set of words create mental images which are easier for potential
customers to remember. That can be more important than making a strong
- Rocket Drive - from
Cenatek - used the
concept of a rocket being fast in this PCI bus RAM SSD.
- tachIOn - from
Virident Systems -
is a family of PCIe SSDs.
Although conceptually in the same speed category as the WarpDrive (below) -
because a tachIOn is a faster than light particle - I have doubts about how many
people actually understand the allusion or can be bothered to look it up.
- Talino - from BiTMICRO
- means "talented" in Filipino. Talino is the name given to the
controllers which were introduced in 2011.
- TiGiJet - from TiGi
- used the idea of jet speed in its
SCSI RAM SSD
- ToughFlash - from
GalaxyStor - was
the name for a range of industrial 2.5" flash SSDs.
- Torqx - from
Patriot Memory - is
the name of a 2.5" flash SSD family. Torque is a measure of rotational
- Trrust-Stor - from
Microsemi - is the
name for a 2.5" military SSD family. Here the idea is that you can "trust
this storage" drive with your data because it's protected from
environmental stresses and hostile intent by an array of data integrity,
reliability and security features.
- Ultra Drive - from
Technology - is a family of 2.5" SSDs. Your own imagination has to
supply the parameters for which the "Ultra" drive is superior. "Ultra"
has been used successfully as a brand booster in the past. In
Microsystems launched its UltraSPARC processor. The suggestion at the time
was that the Ultra variety was better than all the other existing SPARC CPUs
with prefixes like hyper, super, turbo, etc. Over 15 years of marketing
UltraSPARC processors has lent a certain amount of gravitas to the Ultra prefix
in the server world. But does any of that rub off into the storage world? It's
nearly a decade since
synonymous with "fastest DAS speed" in the storage market. So my view
is that the concatenation - Ultra Drive - has low impact as an SSD brand.
- Velocity - from
ATP Electronics - is a
family of industrial SSDs.
Later - in 2013 - Velocity was the name
given to a family of PCIe
SSDs designed by Violin.
- WarpDrive - from
LSI - is a
PCIe SSD. As millions
of Star Trek fans can tell you - warp drive (invented by - I can see his
name but the name escapes me...) is the fast way to go when chasing (or
evading) Klingons on the
starboard bow. And warp is far superior in open space to the impulse
drive. For the minority of people on this planet who don't get the Star Trek
reference and yet who might still be in the market such an SSD - an
alternative and equally valid reading of Warp Drive is that of a storage drive
which can stretch to adapt to the load challenges it might encounter when used
as a cache or SSD ASAP.
- XcelaSAN - from
Dataram - sounds like
it's something to do with "acceler"ating a SAN - which is what the
product does. The more obvious coupling of these words - SANaccelerator
- was already used 7 years earlier by
- ZeusIOPS - from STEC
- combines 2 ideas - Zeus (father of the gods in ancient Greek mythology) with
IOPS - which
is a measure of application speed.
|Marketing is a high leverage
enterprise SSD users thinking? |
especially if it's wrong
|Editor:- August 22, 2013 - In a confusing market
like enterprise SSDs
where the accepted wisdom of what makes good technology
- and the interpretation of market trends
on who's looking at the same data - what can vendors do to try and make
sure they're aiming in the right direction and doing things which will sell?|
closer to their customers is one way - and most leading vendors do that already.
But it's not infallible.
How about customers they're not reaching
yet? What are they thinking? - Especially if it's wrong or based on
perceptions which are out of date. Vendors need to understand how users tick
so they can adapt their own product plans and the way they talk about
About a year ago I was contacted by Frank Berry,
CEO of IT Brand
Pulse who told me about the new way they were doing market research
into the SSD market:- surveying enterprise users and asking them what they
think about brands, technology decisions and other key issues.
sounded like a good idea - but in recent years I've heard from a great many
companies which said they wanted to do more reports in the SSD market - and
although I've been happy to mention some of them on this and
similar news pages
I've reserved my short list of
special SSD market
research companies for those who - in my opinion - have invested the
resources to create valuable SSD insights over a period of many years. I
thought it might be years before I added IT Brand Pulse to that list (if ever).
Turns out I was wrong.
And while I was aware that Frank
Berry and his team have been doing more work in the enterprise SSD area in the
past year - it was only when I got a summary of their recent presentation at
the Flash Memory Summit -
Adoption Trends (pdf) in my email this morning - that I realized the scale
of what they have already achieved.
There's some really useful
information here about SSD user decision points and current usage preferences
as well as brand data and market perceptions. (You have to skip through the
early parts of the document to get to the interesting bits.)
the feedback from these survey participants...
- SSDs will be approximately 3x the current percentage of their
organizations combined SSD and HDD disk capacity within 2 years
- Virtualized servers are the biggest driver for SSD adoption (above database
free version of the paper includes unscaled graphs - and charts without
numbers. But it makes a good read as it is. For those who need the raw data
and numbers - the cost is $1,500. ...read
the article (pdf)
- Nearly as many organizations have already deployed SSDs in some of their
servers as those who have not deployed any type of SSDs at all. (A list of
participating surveyed organizations is included in the paper.)
Editor's comments:- IT Brand Pulse
has demonstrated its commitment and ability to enhance our understanding of the
enterprise SSD market. So I've fast tracked them by several years into my
articles worth seeing|
Top 100 SSD
articles on StorageSearch.com is based on popularity - and spans the full
spectrum of SSD reader interests and experience.|
But if I had to
suggest just 3 articles which you should have a look at - depending on who you
are - it would be these.
for experienced enterprise SSD readers
- adaptive flash care management IP
(including DSP) for SSDs - what is it? and who does it?
future - all flash SSDs will have to use these new technologies which can
magnify reliability and performance while reducing cost. As we go through the
transition years - all the safe assumptions which you thought you knew about
flash SSDs and suppliers will change.
if you're new to the SSD market
- where are we
now with SSD software? - and how did we ever get into this mess?
In the next few years the software for SSDs will have as much of an effect as
hardware architectuyre did in earlier years. But don't expect this to be an
ordered top-down process.
- the SSD Buyers Guide - will take you to groups of
articles and directories which are organized by technology and market theme.
Any other questions?
- the Top 20 SSD
Companies - whatever your interest in SSDs - these are the companies which
are attracting the most interest amongst your peers.
my company profile -
It's over 20 years since I collected the first carload of enterprise
directories from the printers and launched my publishing business. When I
switched from paper to the web in 1996 - it became much easier to update the
contents. But there never seems to be enough time to publish everything about
the SSD market that I'd like to.
my linkedin page
- One of these days I'll figure out what this is all about. I still prefer
traditional email from readers for my incoming communications.
|what was the shtik in
going from STEC to sTec? (sic)|
|Editor:- April 24, 2013 - Stec has gone through
what they believe is a
The SSD company formerly known as STEC would prefer now to
be called sTec (sic).
a dramatized account of this difficult identity transition in a spoof
article called - rebranding
STEC to sTec.