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Looking at the Fibre-Channel Solid State Drives Market

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor

Over 100 companies now market FC SAN SSDs.

The first 5 companies to market fibre-channel SSDs in the late 1990s and early 2000s were:- Solid Data Systems, Imperial Technology, Platypus Technology, Texas Memory Systems (all rackmounts) and Curtis (which also made the first 3.5" FC SSD).

These were mostly rackmount systems - and in those early days they were all RAM SSDs.

The advantages of accelerating legacy storage with small amounts of fast SSD capacity had been known to systems architects since the 1970s - but it was the standardization and market size offered by SAN in the early 2000s when it was becoming clear that server processor clocks and hard drive rotation speeds were flatlined - which made the FC interface a pivotal one for enterprise SSD makers.

The technical challenges of tuning SANs with SSDs were already well undestood and documented requirement by 2002. They only disadvantage was they needed rare performance tuning engineers to analyze hot spots to make the integrated SSD systems work affordably.

At that time in the enterprise DAS SSD market - there was only one game in town - parallel SCSI - but that was soon eclipsed by SATA (HDDs) - and then by SATA SSDs. SAS never recovered the dominant psoition which SCSI had held. And the SAS SSD market was very slow in taking off.

The first terabyte class FC SSD systems started shipping in February 2003.

The earliest flash SSDs compatible with FC were from BiTMICRO and Gnutek (acquired by STEC).

Other notable FC SAN SSD companies in the period from 2005 to 2009 included:- Other leading FC SAN rackmount SSD companies which entered the Top SSD Companies lists during the period from 2007 to 2013 included:- See also:- thinking inside the box (new rackmount SSD trends)
the evolution of enterprise flash
Editor:- March 19, 2014 - If you follow SanDisk on twitter - @SanDiskDataCtr - you may have noticed they recently tweeted a link to one of my classic articles - the evolution of enterprise flash - a 10 year history

One thing which hasn't changed since the early days of enterprise flash - is the concept of a "naughty" type of memory - which sensible, cautious types point at saying - that is never going to be reliable enough.
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the RamSan-720 - from Texas Memory Systems
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high availabaility SSD arrays Due to the growing number of oems in the high availability / fault tolerant rackmount SSD market earlier this year published a directory dedicated to HA / FT enterprise SSD arrays.
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