|2008 - SSD
history - month by month|
(founded in 1996) said it expects to sample its first commercial products in
2009. The company will compete with
flash SSDs using
its own proprietary non volatile storage technology.
After a 20 year
EMC re-entered the SSD
market with the launch of its Symmetrix DMX-4 networked storage systems
populated with SSDs from
STEC. You may not
realise that EMC was an SSD pioneer 20 years ago (in
announced it has developed a 128GB MLC flash SSD in 1.8" and 2.5"
form factors that will ship in volume in the first half of 2008.
Texas Memory Systems
announced new SSD IOPS records (audited by
SPC). Its RamSan-400 SSD
delivered 291,208 SPC-1 IOPS with a record average response time of just
BiTMICRO Networks said it
will sample its highest capacity 2.5" flash SSD -the E-Disk Altima 832GB
- in the 2nd quarter of 2008 - with volume production expected in Q3.
availability of 64GB and 128GB versions of its 2.5" PATA / SATA flash
unveiled details of their new
high speed NAND
flash technology which can sustain speeds up to 200MB/s for reads and
100MB/s for writes.
Ridata brand SSDs (made by
appeared in retail outlets - in 34 Fry's Electronics stores.
Mtron said that in April it
would be producing a 1.8" flash SSD aimed at notebooks with a maximum read
speed of 120MB/s and write speed of 100MB/s.
announced it had received $8 million in Series A
funding to drive the
development of SSD storage devices for enterprise computing markets.
the the 32GB MACH4 CompactFlash - the fastest CF form factor SSD on the market
with 90MB/s read and 55MB/s write speeds. It's got low power consumption too
- just 1W.
Imation entered the SSD
market with products oemed from
SeaChange claimed it had
eliminated the need for spinning disks in the on-air broadcast chain with the
announcement of its FML200 - rackmount flash SSD broadcast library.
Memoright launched a
faster family of 2.5" SATA flash SSD. The GT Series has upto 64GB
capacity and 120MB/s sustained read/write.
OCZ entered the SSD market
with a 2.5" flash
SSD - taking the number of SSD
oems listed on STORAGEsearch.com to 70.
STEC announced Q407 revenue
declined 28% compared to the year ago quarter.
STORAGEsearch.com published a new
1.8" storage drives
directory listing 21 oems actively marketing SSDs and HDDs in the 1.8
inch form factor.
Toshiba launched 3 MLC
flash SSD families with SATA
interfaces and form factors including module,
Trident Space & Defense
launched the BGADrive - an IDE compatible 32GB flash SSD in a 29mm x 29mm form
factor module for embedded applications.
article insinuating high customer reject rates for
Dell's SSD based notebooks
was dismissed as
unveiled its multi-level cell nand flash technology for high density flash
Microsystems launched a range of
SATA flash SSD
testers for parametric qualification and burn-in.
Fusion-io announced it
had secured $19 million funding for its ioDrive.
Texas Memory Systems
celebrated 30 years making SSDs.
Seagate filed suit against
STEC alleging patent
infringements related to hard disk interfaces.
Nimbus Data Systems
announced an SSD
accelerator option in its Breeze H-series 10GbE IP Storage.
STEC said it was in volume
shipment of its Zeus-IOPS
range of 2.5" and 3.5" flash SSDs with
4Gbps Fibre Channel
Devices secured $22 million in Series B
controller chip technology will increase
data recovery in flash
details about a new type of high density non volatile memory. "Racetrack"
memory is so named because the data "races" around the wire "tracks".
IBM suggests that in the next 10 years - the new memory could compete with
flash at a much lower
price per gigabyte. The new technology uses magnetic domain storage but without
the high current needed by earlier solid state magnetic devices.
STORAGEsearch.com published the new
quarterly ranking of -
the Top 10 SSD OEMs
...and also a timeline
Predicting Future Flash
SSD Performance ...and also a new directory of
PCIe, PCI & cPCI SSDs,
and also a new directory of
1.0" and smaller SSDs.
entered the flash SSD
market with the launch of its 32GB CitiDISK SSD aimed at the digital video
said it would ship a 64GB version of its proprietary P2 card SSD for use in its
camcorders in the fall. Panasonic has delivered more than 80,000 P2 HD/P2
units worldwide with over 840 television networks and stations having adopted
the solid-state recording format.
Adtron started sampling
true industrial grade SLC flash SSDs with 128GB capacity in a 9.5mm-high
package - the highest density SLC SSD in this form factor.
opened its first office in the People's Republic of China. And its founder and
CEO, Michael Hajeck, was selected as a regional finalist for the Ernst
& Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the 2nd consecutive year.
STEC launched a
PCIe mini card form
SSD with 32GB capacity and 55MBps / 25MBps R/W speeds.
Mtron said it will ship
faster versions of its PRO 7500 series 2.5" and 3.5" flash SSDs in
June. The SATA drives will have a read speed of 130MB/s and write speed of
Access Technologies announced that its 2U RAM SSDs are now available with
128GB and 256GB capacity. They deliver random read/write performance of 95,000
IOPS using a single Fibre Channel link and over 70,000 IOPS using SAS. The 128GB
In a new article -
Calling for an
End to Unrealistic SSD vs HDD IOPS Comparisons -
STORAGEsearch.com's editor bemoaned
the tired old thinking implicit in many new SSD articles and press releases.
Technology said its new 2.5" 120GB MLC SSDs cost about $699 - more than
6x lower in price than its 128GB SSDs were 8 months earlier - in
Is the SSD Market
Recession-Proof? - a new article published this month identifies which
types of SSD products will be the most likely winners and losers if there is a
recession and IT spending slowdown.
with STORAGEsearch.com - AMCC
3ware confirmed it is working with leading SSD oems to develop products
which will support the flash SSD RAID market.
Sans Digital launched
the CompactRAID CR2T enclosure - which adapts 2x CF cards into a 2.5" SATA
said it will sample a fast 256GB MLC flash SSD in September 2008. It will have
a sequential read speed of 200MB/s and sequential write speed of 160MB/s.
Fusion-io said it's
adapting its flash SSDs to provide acceleration in HP's BladeSystem servers.
InnoDisk announced the
world's physically smallest SATA SSD - the SATADOM - measuring 39mm by 20.5mm
by 8mm. Capacity ranges from 128MB to 8GB. The SLC flash SSD has a
sustainable read speed of 24MB/sec and write speed of 14MB/sec.
Sun Microsystems announced
it would start shipping flash SSD based products in the 2nd half of the year.
That was no surprise. 4 years ago I
predicted that Sun
would be the first server oem to announce end-to-end SSD solutions.
its entry into the SSD controller market with the introduction of the
ultra-slim Marvell 88NV8120 PCIe based NAND flash controller, the first Marvell
product in a planned range of solid state storage controllers. The Marvell
88NV8120 is compatible with both Microsoft Windows and Linux operating systems,
and offers comprehensive platform support for PC motherboards.
Mtron said it will supply
SSDs to Hynix. Mtron also
unveiled details of its new 8 channel controller technology which the company
says will enable R/W throughput upto 260/240MB/s and 8,000 random write IOPS
(using 4KB blocks) in flash SSD products shipping in Q1 2009.
Texas Memory Systems
secured a patent for its "Instant-On I/O" technology (IO²) ,
which enables instant access to data from a RAM-based SSD after a unit is
published a new article about the
Drives market and called for papers re
Failure Modes in Large Solid State Storage Arrays.
announced a new family of flash SSD controllers which enable oems to mix and
match MLC and SLC chips in the same drive. The controller can analyze the
incoming files from the host and intelligently move frequently accessed data to
SLC NAND and non-frequently accessed data to MLC NAND. With this innovative
hybrid architecture, the SSD system cost is significantly reduced to a level
comparable to a pure MLC-based SSD, while endurance is significantly enhanced
and comparable to a pure SLC-based SSD.
SanDisk proposed a new way
of specifying flash SSD endurance that it hopes will be adopted by the industry.
ACARD Technology unveiled
the 9010 RAM Disk - a 5.25" form factor, 64GB SATA compatible
said it would ship a faster family of SATA
2.5" MLC flash
SSDs this month. The Ridata Ultra-S Plus Series has a read speed upto 128MB/s,
and write speed upto 80MB/s. The 128GB model costs approx $537 in low volume.
OCZ launched a range of fast
2.5" SATA flash SSDs - called the Core series. Read performance is 120-143
MB/s, and write speeds are 80-93 MB/s. It's unclear as we go to press whether
these are sustainable or burst figures. MSRPs at time of launch are $169 for
32GB, $259 64GB and $479 for 128GB models respectively.
STORAGEsearch.com published the new
quarterly ranking of - the
Top 10 SSD OEMs and a new article warning customers about the need for
continual QA testing in the flash SSD market called -
Can you trust your
flash SSD's specs?
ULINK Technology launched a
test suite for flash SSD makers which includes SSD specific tests for SSD Wear
Leveling and SSD Garbage Collection in addition to conventional PATA / SATA
compliance, power interrupt and integrity tests.
Sun Microsystems said they
were collaborating on developing higher endurance "server grade" SLC
flash for use in SSDs.
Texas Memory Systems
announced the RamSan-440 - a fast 4U rackmount RAM SSD with 512GB capacity and
4Gbps fibre-channel interfaces. It delivers 600,000 sustained random IOPS and
over 4GB/S of sustained random read or write bandwidth, with latency of less
than 15 microseconds. The RamSan-440 uses RAID protected flash instead of hard
disks to backup and restore data in case of a power outage. Data from the RAM
SSD can be instantly accessed on power up and the full SSD is restored 20x
faster than with hard disk backed RAM SSDs.
JEDEC announced it was starting a new
subcommittee JC-64.8 to co-ordinate standards for SSDs - in particular
those related to form factors, interfaces and reliability.
Indilinx unveiled its
230MB/s flash SSD controller, and said it is working with
MOSAID Technologies on a
600MB/s SATA-3 design.
doubled the capacity of its miniature embedded USB SiliconDrives.
Violin Memory said it had
delivered 1 million IOPS on a single interface port (a world record)
using the latest version of its Violin 1010 memory appliance. Violin also said
that its new technology would deliver 100K write IOPS on a flash SSD version of
their product (which hasn't been announced yet.)
Following 4 straight
quarters of revenue declines,
STEC reported 29%
revenue growth for its most recent fiscal quarter.
Technologies announced 6 new SSDs which will sample in Q3. These include
faster 2.5" and
1.8" models. The SMART
2.5" XceedUltra2 SATA SSD delivers sustained read/write performance of
up to 135MB/s and 105MB/s, respectively, while requiring fewer than 2 watts in
active mode. The SMART 1.8" XceedLite SATA SSD operates at 72MB/s read
and 55MB/s sustained write speeds and uses under 1 watt of power in active
Analysis published a new report (price $5,000) called - "Solid State
Drives in the Enterprise"
Fusion-io added RAID
protection to the flash memory array in its Fusion-io PCIe SSD and improved R/W
Toshiba sampled a 256GB 2.5"
SATA MLC flash SSD with R/W speeds of 120 / 70 MB/s.
Soliware emerged from
Electronics published an
letter aimed at shareholders offering to buy
introduced the industry's first device to integrate a non-volatile static random
access memory and a programmable system on chip. This may be useful in future
of very fast flash SSDs
which could use nvSRAM in the controller and thereby deliver better latency for
small random reads / writes.
Technologies announced that SAMSUNG Securities Co., Ltd had ordered 28
of its 2U RAM SSD (model
USSD 200) systems to accelerate its financial market trading servers -
following a 6 months evaluation of alternative
SNIA announced the formation
of its Solid State Storage Initiative. Unlike the
SSD Alliance ,
which was launched in 2007, founding members of SNIA's SSSI include
manufacturers of both RAM
SSDs and flash
launched a range of 1.8" and 2.5" SATA flash SSDs with 80GB
capacity, 70MB/S write speed, 250MB/S read and 85-microseconds read latency
priced at around $595.
Fusion-io unveiled the
ioSAN - a 10GbE or Infiniband
attached flash SSD on PCIe form factor which will ship in 2009.
published 4 new SSD directories -
SSD market research,
Fibre-Channel SSDs and
SSD User Groups.
The first 3 are fully populated (as you'd expect). The user group directory is
currently a blank canvas. Do big SSD buyers think they need to talk to each
other in user groups? We'll see what happens.
details of the new form factor for flash SSDs which it started sampling a
few weeks ago.
The dimensions are:- 39mm (L) x 54mm (W) x 4mm (H). 2 of the new Samsung SSDs
fit into the same pcb space as a single 1.8" drive, and also in half the
height. Available in densities of 8GB, 16GB and 32GB, the 32GB device reads
data (sequentially) at 90MB/s and writes (sequentially) at 70MB/s.
pureSilicon emerged from
stealth mode and said it was sampling the Renegade SSD - a rugged MIL-STD-810F
compliant 128GB SATA flash SSD with integrated encryption.
Technologies started shipping the Xcel-10 SSD - a 2.5" SLC flash SSD
with upto 128GB capacity. Sustained read speed is 115MB/s, and write speed is
125MB/s. (It really is faster than the read speed). It delivers 5,580 IOPS at
100% read or 980 IOPS at 67% read, 33% write, for random I/O using 4K block
announced it may offload $1 billion worth of fab costs to joint partner
Toshiba - after SanDisk
reported 21% revenue decline for the most recent quarter.
launched the SDChip - a 4GB BGA module with SD interface designed to be
soldered as a component for customers in the industrial embedded marketplace.
shipping the X-25E - a
flash SSD. Read
latency is 75 microseconds and a 10 parallel channel architecture enables it to
sustain R/W throughputs of 250 / 170 MB/s. Random IOPS performance is
impressive with a 10 to 1 R/W ratio which is inline with the best
designed enterprise flash SSDs. Using 4kB blocks - random R/W IOPS are 35,000
and 3,300 respectively.
contributed its SiliconDrive II Blade specification to the
Small Form Factor Special Interest Group for
the purpose of creating an official governing standard.
Dataram re-entered the SSD
market with the acquisition of strategic assets from
Cenatek whose CEO has
joined Dataram to lead the company's return to solid state storage, an area they
pioneered almost 40 years ago.
entered the SSD market with its LeanSTOR - an AMC form factor SSD module for
the AdvancedTCA market.
IMEC said it had started new
research activities on resistive RAM (RRAM) cells - as a possible future
technology to replace flash.
A-DATA launched the XPG -
a dual interface USB and
Available with capacities from 32GB to 192GB - it has a read speed upto 170MB/s
and write speed upto 100MB/s.
Spansion filed a
multibillion dollar patent infringement suit with the ITC against
Samsung related to
flash memory IP.
announced it was shipping a fast
2.5" SATA MLC SSD
with 256GB capacity in standard 9.5mm height, with 220MB/s read, and 200MB/s
sustained write speed. No IOPS data was available at launch. But on R/W specs -
this is one of the top 3
Memory announced availability of a new 1010 Memory Appliance - a fast 4TB
SLC flash SSD in a 2U rackmount. Its patent pending non blocking architecture
delivers the best ratio of flash R/W IOPS in the industry - over 200K random
Read IOPS and 100K random Write IOPS (4K block). Interface options include:-
Fibre Channel and
Semiconductor announced a new physically smaller SSD chip for
ruggedized embedded applications. Measuring 31mm sq x 7.8mm high it has an
embedded IDE, PIO/4 interface, an MTBF of more than 2 million hours and upto
launched its 7000 family of rackmount NAS systems - which includes hybrid HDD
/ flash SSD arrays. Sun says its Solaris ZFS can optimize the SSDs
intelligently as a part of a storage pool. MSRP for a 4U system with 44TB
of 7,200 RPM hard drives, 36GB flash SSD and 64GB RAM is $117,995.
launched 2 new flash SSDs in XMC and PMC form factors with upto 32GB capacity.
Each card contains 2 independent SATA SSDs with upto 30MB/s throughput. For
maximum throughput (50MB/s) the 2 drives can be run in RAID 0 mode.
Technologies launched a new range of RAM SSDs available with
SCSI interfaces. The USSD
300 family includes the world's fastest 1U SSD with 256GB capacity, 10
microseconds latency and 100K IOPS on a single port. The 2U model supports
4GB/s sustained bandwidth and upto 6 ports.
BiTMICRO Networks said it
had started customer shipments of 128GB models from its E-Disk Altima family
of 3.5" 4Gbps Fibre Channel SLC flash SSDs.
published details of its corporate thinking re SSDs. NetApp's paper -
Flash Memory Technology
in Enterprise Storage (pdf) doesn't actually say much beyond the fact
they're qualifying some products and will launch systems offerings which
include flash SSDs sometime in 2009.
SanDisk published a new
white paper on the subject of
RPM for flash SSDs (pdf). The unoriginal concept is apparently aimed
at people who have been trapped in a stasis field for the past several years and
who are still making
vs HDD IOPS comparisons. SanDisk also promised faster SSDs in 2009. No oem
has yet promised to ship slower devices next year. Now that would be newsworthy!
1.8" PATA SSDs aimed
at the notebook upgrade market. Available with capacity upto 128GB (retail
price $389.99 ) an inbuilt slave
USB port enables users to
easily clone their internal hard
drive using Acronis
True Image (or similar) software. The SSD can then be installed in the notebook
typically giving a 4x speedup. RunCore also launched its Hyper Speed - a
SATA SSD with 256GB
with RW speeds of 230MB/s and 150MB/s respectively priced under $700.
A-DATA launched the XPG
- a 3.5" SSD enclosure for 2x 2.5" SATA SSDs. It can operate as
a single mirror protected unit, or as a single high capacity drive.
Technology said it will sample a new range of 2.5" SATA flash SSDs in
January 2009. The SLC unit has 128GB capacity and R/W speeds upto 230/170
MB/sec. The MLC unit has 256GB capacity and R/W speeds upto 200/160 MB/sec.
Toshiba said it
will sample a new family of MLC flash SSDs with 256GB capacity in 2.5" and
128GB capacity in 1.8" form factors in Q1 2009.
Intel announced they were
jointly designing a new range of high IOPS flash SSDs with
Fibre Channel and
SAS interfaces for
the server market. The new products, which will be exclusively marketed by
Hitachi GST - are expected to ship in Q1 2010.
published a significant whitepaper -
Evolution and its Effects on SSD Useable Life (pdf). Starting with a tour
of the state of the art in the flash SSD market the paper introduces several
new concepts (including write amplification and wear leveling efficiency) to
help systems designers understand why current wear usage models don't give a
guidance for the revenue outlook in Q4 2008. STEC downgraded its revenue
guidance for the 4th quarter by 20% - which is not unremarkable given
the current state of the economy. Notwithstanding that - STEC's SSD business is
expected to have revenues in 2008 which are 5x the level in 2007.
|How Big is Your SSD Budget
|Editor:- January 2, 2008 - Happy New Year
to You all. |
I've got a question for you. How big is your
solid state storage budget
I hazard to guess that most of you haven't put anything
notionally marked as "SSD spending" in 2008's budget - even if you
already have a good idea about what you're going to spend on traditional storage
products and services.
I also predict that when the crunch comes - and
you find yourself spending surprisingly large amounts of
money on SSDs for
the first time - these costs will be initially allocated to other cost centers -
such as servers or PCs - rather than storage.
It was always thus.
In 1983 for example - over 90% of corporates didn't have a budget for buying
IBM PCs. These disruptive tools intitially crept in under the IT department
radar - as users found they could do useful jobs like word processing and
business analysis quicker, cheaper and more conveniently than using the clunky
alternatives then on offer by their IT departments. Similarly
RAID systems did not
appear in most 1990 corporate IT budgets - but are now everywhere.
2007 the SSD
industry surprised many by introducing many exciting new technologies and
I predict that in 2008 - innovative users will surprise the
SSD market by discovering for themselves a new generation of killer
applications- enabled by SSDs - which would have been technically impossible -
or even nuts to try and achieve using conventional
hard disk based
technologies. Those SSD sparks will feed back to fan the flames of the market.
Examples might include what I call - enterprise spreadsheet analysis -
in which business managers are enabled to model "what if?" scenarios
on duplicate sets of their entire customer database - to find gaps in their
marketing or test ideas for new products.
Other applications enabled
by SSD accleration might include AI enabled real-time upselling offers on
ecommerce web sites. These are already feasible for innovative small to
medium size companies but are not scalable with today's magnetic disk arrays.
Large enterprises can't be nimble with their data because their servers would
grind to a halt if you tried these types of tricks.
I'm not going to
give you a long list of predicted disruptive SSD technology enabled applications
- because they would be wrong - and you're going to see them coming thick and
fast from real users on these pages soon enough.
2008 will be the year
that users - rewrite the rules on how they mix and match new storage
technologies in ways that the original manufacturers of those products - never
|this way to the Petabyte
|In 2016 there will be
just 7 types of
SSD in the datacenter.|
of them doesn't exist yet - the bulk storage SSD.
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