|SAS SSD news|
|SSD ideas - old and new|
January 9, 2014 - SAS SSDs are a well established old idea - and so didn't rate
any special mentions in my recent article -
changed in SSD year 2014?
StorageIOblog looks at Seagate's 12Gbs SAS SSD
November 4, 2014 - StorageIOblog
today published a
review of Seagate's 1200 12Gbs SAS SSD which includes TPC-B (write
intensive) benchmarks for a single drive with simulated workloads without using
part of this article - enumerates the performance benefits of using the same
1200 SSD as a read cache
for an array of SAS hard drives.
SSD caching appliances,
Samsung ships 10nm SAS SSDs
Editor:- August 8, 2014
- Samsung today
announced it is producing
SAS SSDs with
10nm nand flash. The
SM1623 has R/W
IOPS upto 120K/26K respectively. But
DWPD isn't that great -
Samsung says it's about 1 (which is retrictive).
comments:- When it comes to COTS storage arrays (just a bunch of SSDs with
some RAID) SAS is the
new SATA. While SATAe and MVMe
(2.5" PCIe SSDs
and M.2 PCIe SSDs) will be
the new SAS.
This is a significant milestone in the
10 year history
of enterprise flash - and portends lower
pricing for entry
level SSD storage arrays.
But it's not at simple as 10nm based arrays
always being cheaper for all apps.
The ability to do more writes and
work faster (with more expensive memory and
software) creates its
So it's more likely that in the next few years
we'll see 10nm being used as one of several memory geometries in different roles
- even inside the same boxes. Just as we're seeing multiple generations of flash
in enterprise and embedded markets today.
SanDisk enables smoother datacenter architectures with 4TB SAS
Editor:- April 30, 2014 - SanDisk today
announced it is sampling 2 major additions to its
4TB model (2.5") - called the Optimus MAX - rated at 1-3
DWPD - which is the
industry's first 4TB 2.5" SAS SSD.
2007 was the
first year in which you could buy a
SATA SSD with exactly
the same storage capacity as the highest capacity
hard drive. That
capacity milestone was at the 1TB level.
range of 12Gbps SAS SSDs - called the Lightning Gen. II. Available with a spread
of R/W optimized characteristics the high end model (Lightning Ultra Gen. II)
has R/W speeds upto 1GB/sand / 600MB/s respectively, upto 800GB capacity and is
rated at 25DWPD for 5 years.
But it was only for
exceptional embedded projects in which you would choose to make such a
substitution 7 years ago - not only because of the
price of flash SSDs
- but more significantly because - if you were going to spend that much money on
flash - there was a much better
argument to be had for most enterprise applications - by buying a faster
SSD with a PCIe
In recent years - we've seen the capacity of
2.5" SSDs creeping
upto and reaching 2TB - but there hasn't been much of a general market
appetite for this type of product before now.
So the majority of
enterprises still use hard drive arrays for low cost capacity - even when these
have flash acceleration taking place in the apps servers or it
SAN facing caches.
imminent availability of 4TB 19nm nand flash SSDs as affordable
components in enterprise
arrays will enable data architects to design much simpler and cleaner
systems - with less dependence on so many intermediate
compaction of runaway distributed caches will result in more consistent
performance and the simplification of data integrity and hot recovery schemes
when (inevitably) hardware modules fail.
As to the 12Gbps Lightnings?
- That's a catch up exercise.
SAS SSDs were main reason for SanDisk's enterprise SSD revenue
Editor:- April 16, 2014 -
$1.5 billion revenue for the quarter ended March 30.
In a related
Mehrotra, president and CEO stated "...Combined client and
enterprise SSD sales accounted for ($423 million) 28% of our first quarter
revenue, with enterprise SSD revenue more than doubling on a
year-over-year basis. Our expanded SAS SSD portfolio has enabled us to further
strengthen our market position, and it has been the primary contributor to our
enterprise SSD revenue growth."
what's a good DWPD for a SAS SSD?
Editor:- April 7,
2014 - SAS SSDs - get honorable mentions in a new article here on StorageSearch.com -
what's the state of DWPD?
- which gives a snapshot of the
figures being quoted in industry leading enterprise SSDs. ...read the article
|SAS SSDs - the stellar
performers in the 2013 enterprise market|
Editor:- March 20, 2014 -
I asked Gregory Wong,
Insights if he could enumerate for StorageSearch.com readers what he
meant by his tantalizing comment that - "within the enterprise segment,
SAS SSDs stood out as the stellar performer" - which is something he said
in a recent email promoting another new SSD market report.
empathetic to the business pressures of those in the
storage market research
business - and keenly aware of the thin line which divides - on the one
hand - saying too little - so that potential buyers find it hard to assess if a
new report will be money well spent - and, on the other hand - saying too
much - and worst of all - revealing the exact things which report buyers
would happily pay to know.
That's because in 1992 when I started
outputs of my own enterprise market research - I did it the hard way - as
carefully formatted market reports which cost money. Luckily there was a much
easier business for me - as I learned in 1996 when I went over to the dark side
of a web advertising
driven business model - in which content and ideas were tossed into the
eco-sphere of http and it was much easier as I could save time by linking to
raw content - instead of having to make it look pretty.
So what I
actually said to Greg - re his SAS SSD "stellar performer"
comparison was this...
"Without giving too much away... would
you be prepared to illustrate that statement with a comparison or number?"
Greg gets a lot of email - and so do I - and sometimes they just disappear deep
down the screen. But between the two of us this one has resurfaced.
I can convey to you Gregory Wong's assessment that in 2013 - the SSD market
grew 38% on unit basis and 28% on revenue basis. The corresponding growth rates
for SAS SSDs were 134% and 69% respectively."
is just one tiny snippet of data from one of his
many detailed reports
about the SSD market. So - if you need to more details about the plot - and
have the money to buy the book - that's a useful data cavern to rummage around
changed in SSD year 2013?,
SSD market analysts
OCZ relaunches as a Toshiba Group company
January 21, 2014 - Toshiba
some details of how OCZ
Storage Solutions (which was based on the recently acquired assets of
OCZ Technology Group) will operate within the Toshiba Group of Companies.
The new OCZ Storage Solutions, under the continuing direction of CEO Ralph Schmitt
- will leverage Toshiba's cutting-edge NAND and combine it with the company's
proprietary controllers, firmware and software to provide both client and
enterprise customers with innovative and cost-effective SSD solutions.
OCZ Storage Solutions will continue to maintain its established
worldwide sales channels. Its headquarters will remain in San Jose, California,
with strategic design centers located in Irvine (California), Tel Aviv (Israel),
and Abingdon (UK).
"The acquisition of OCZ further expands our
solid-state storage capabilities and represents Toshiba's commitment to this
high-growth area," said Seiichi Mori, VP of Toshiba's
Semiconductor and Storage Company. "Our goal is to offer a leading edge
portfolio of solid state solutions to address the storage challenges faced by
both client and enterprise customers, and the acquisition of OCZ is an ideal
addition to our team in realizing this strategy."
provides Toshiba with OCZ's enterprise and client SSD businesses and enables the
established OCZ brand to continue in full force with a current product portfolio
that includes SATA and PCIe consumer drives for high-performance and mainstream
applications, and SATA,
PCIe enterprise drives
supported by virtualization,
cache and acceleration
Editor's comments:- The new OCZ - starts out in a
strong competitive position - as it not only inherits a well established
enterprise SSD business (which I discussed in an
article in November
2013) - but it sheds many of the disadvantages which limited the revenue
scalability of the old OCZ entity in the year leading up to its bankruptcy.
advantages which the new OCZ will benefit from include:-
- less constrained future access to
flash memory for its SSDs
The old OCZ suffered from allocation and cost issues related to its
perceived riskiness as a flash customer.
- strengthening of the
brand was already very strong in the SSD market. But for some customers in
enterprise and embedded markets - there would always be an element of doubt
about the long term roadmaps due to instabilities in the SSD market. Now as
part of the long established Toshiba group of companies - many users will be
happy to temporarily set such concerns aside - and focus more on the individual
merits of particular products and their technical suitability .
- access to more flash
and SSD IP.
acquisition in the
SSD market is different - early indications are that OCZ could become a
launch pad for integrating and expanding some of Toshiba's legacy SSD assets
into bigger markets - especially in the enterprise segments.
Toshiba ships 30 DWPD SAS SSDs
Editor:- October 28,
2013 - Toshiba
immediate availability of a new
SAS SSD product line -
(pdf) (upto 800GB) - which is rated at 30 DWPD (diskful write per day for 5
Editor's comments:- in the associated press release -
Toshiba's product marketing manager for this business unit - Don Jeanette
says "Toshiba's unique integrated SSD design and manufacturing capability
ensures that key components of the SSD, including NAND flash, are designed by
But I'm wondering if these products - which use 24nm
get a little help from the flash management IP developed by
way that DensBits
delivers its memory
modem technology (a variant of
DSP technology) to licensees like
Toshiba is to provide an
algorithm suite to SSD oems which they integrate in their own
architecture. I've asked the question and will let you know if I get
confirmation either way.
30 DWPD is an impressive
If you need higher - 50 DWPD is available from the
Ultra+ product line - designed ny
SMART - which is
now available from SanDisk
- although this Optimus model is currently 6Gbps rather than 12.
Samsung's SAS SSD VMware certified
2, 2013 - Samsung
(pdf) - dual port SAS
SSD - has been certified for use with VMware Virtual SAN.
SAS SSDs are expected to enjoy significant growth and represents
the largest enterprise SSD revenue opportunity in 2015-2017 - says HGST
August 20, 2013 - The headline above was one of the messages in a
presented by Ulrich Hansen
Sr. Director, SSD Product Marketing, HGST - at the Flash Memory Summit- in which
he also gave aggregated forecasts for various types of enterprise SSD - from
which the image below is extracted.
Click on the image below to see
the full text and the other half of the image which shows revenue forecasts too.
also:- SSD market
Survivor's Guide to Enterprise SSDs
SanDisk acquires SMART Storage Systems
2, 2013 - SanDisk
a definitive agreement to acquire SMART Storage Systems
for approximately $307 million. SMART's revenue in the quarter ended May 31,
2013 - was $25 million.
The transaction is expected to close in August
at which time pproximately 250 employees of SMART will join SanDisk.
"This acquisition enables SanDisk to address a $1.6 billion
market opportunity in enterprise SATA products, and complements our strong
enterprise SAS product portfolio. With this combination, SanDisk will have
products qualified with 6 of the top 7 storage OEMs worldwide" said Sumit Sadana, executive
VP & chief strategy officer of SanDisk.
Stec to be acquired by WD
Editor:- June 24, 2013 -
it has agreed to buy Stec
for approximately $340 million. Stec will be acquired by WD's subsidiary HGST.
OCZ's SAS SSDs in InfiniBand benchmark configuration
June 12, 2013 -
details of a benchmark demonstration it did this week showing its
on Windows Server 2012 in a system which uses OCZ's
Talos 2R SSDs (2.5"
SAS SSDs) working with
Path I/O acceleration software and RAID controllers - getting over 10GB/s
throughput to a remote file system while consuming under 5% of CPU overhead.
SMART samples 2TB $3,999 SAS SSD
Editor:- April 30,
2013 - SMART
Storage Systems today
it is sampling a new 2.5" SAS SSD with 2TB capacity (oem price under
MLC - the 100K/45K R/W IOPS -
Eco - is rated at 10 drive writes per day
Kaminario drops PCIe and turns to SAS to get costs down in new
Editor:- April 18, 2013 - "You don't have to be
an investment bank like JP Morgan to afford our style of fast, scalable high
availability SSD systems any more" - was the key message I got talking to
VP Business Development at Kaminario earlier
this week when discussing with me aspects of the company's newest series of
FC SAN compatible SSD
arrays - the
K2 v4 (6TB usable per U at a cost of $10K to $15K per TB) which was
Phil was referring to the expectation that their products -
which in the first generation were entirely
RAM based SSDs - and
then moved onto RAM / flash hybrids and then mostly pure flash (the flash
components being implemented in the previous generation of K2's by
Fusion-io's PCIe SSDs
- a relationship direction which I suggested in a much earlier briefing
conversation with Kaminario's CEO few years ago BTW ) - had acquired a
reputation of being out of reach pricewise - and not just in a class of their
own for resilience and
of the ways that Kaminario has pulled off the affordability trick is to drop
PCIe SSDs as the internal flash components and use instead
said before that in the enterprise arrays space - "SAS is the new SATA"
- because there are so many companies which have moved into this segment
that there's stiff competition. Unlike the PCIe SSD market -which is mostly sold
on high performance - the SAS market includes a number of vendors who have been
R/W ECC to enable them to use cheap flash to build reliable
Because Kaminario still has a lot of
RAM cache in
its server based architecture - it doesn't need the raw
and performance of
FIO's ioMemory to deliver multi-gigabyte throughput at the rack level. And
another factor is that Fusion-io itself is on course to become a significant
supplier of rackmount SSDs (although not aimed at the same kind of customers.)
Kaminario didn't want to say which SAS product they're using. They
might say later. But it doesn't really matter.
The K2 v4 also
demonstrates that the key IP component in Kaminario's box is SSD software.
When I suggested that future boxes could equally well discard SAS SSDs if
2.5" PCIe SSDs
offered a better set of characteristics - Phil agreed that the company wasn't
tied to any particular internal SSD drive form factor or interface.
has paid Taneja Group
to do some new testing on the performance aspects of simulated hard faults.
These will be very useful for customers - and take the uncertainty out of the
picture - giving hard numbers for various scenarios.
For example - when
running at just under 200K
5GB/s throughput - an entire node (controller) was removed to simulate a fault.
I/O resumed after 23 seconds and performance dropped by less than 15% for 2
minutes before recovering fully.
Micron enters SAS SSD market
Editor:- February 26,
2013 - Micron
today became the 19th company to enter the
SAS SSD market.
production of its new
SSD - a 2.5" SSD
with R/W speeds upto 410MB/s and 345MB/s respectively and 50K/30K
for the 400GB model which uses 25nm MLC.
10 drive fills per day for 5 years.
Editor's comments:- Micron
is currently the only company manufacturing both
enterprise SSDs in the 2.5" form factor.
STEC launches 2TB SAS SSD
Editor:- January 28, 2013 -
One of the oddest linking ideas I've ever seen in an SSD news story appeared
today in a
release from STEC
which suggests that anyone should care that the company is the first in the
market to launch both a 2TB PCIe SSD ($9,425) and a 2TB SAS SSD ($7,995).
marketing communication undervalues the true achievement of a 2TB
SAS drive (assuming it
fits in a standard height - unlike a previous model).
lost in this mixed up marketing communication is the idea that STEC is offering
"Unlimited Writes" on some variations of these products. (Which
goal is possible using a variety of different techniques - at the extremes
being slower performance, using more expensive flash or RAM caching - I haven't
asked which of these applies.)
Toshiba samples encrypted SAS SSD
Editor:- January 6,
2013 - Toshiba
it's sampling a new range of 2.5" SAS MLC SSDs - with self
features and on board
The PX02SMQ/U has upto 1.6TB capacity.
OCZ's CEO says "we've got the train back on the track"
November 30, 2012 - OCZ's
yesterday in an analyst discussion reported by Reuters that the company
isn't looking to be acquired and he doesn't think it will have any difficulties
getting more cash at a reasonable cost.
Samsung enters dual port SAS SSD market
October 31, 2012 - Samsung
today announced its belated entry into the serious end of the
SAS SSD market with
the launch of its 1st dual port SAS SSD - the
(2Xnm flash) has upto 800GB capacity and upto 101,000 / 23,000
(when using both ports. It also includes
loss data protection.
Samsung also launched today new models
SATA SSDs - the
SM843 - with endurance
rated at 1064TBW (terabytes written) - which doesn't sound that great to me -
but is (according to their own press release) 17x better than what
they had before.
"Samsung will aggressively produce its new
line-up of SSDs beginning this month to accelerate SSDs' move into not only the
server but also the storage marketplace, as we continue to affirm our leadership
in the SSD market." said Myungho Kim VP of SSD marketing at
Smart's MLC SAS SSD beats SLC rivals - says StorageReview.com
Editor:- October 10, 2012 - The performance of some leading
SAS SSDs were compared
in a recent
published yesterday in StorageReview.com which compared the latest
technology based MLC drives from Smart Storage
with older SLC SAS SSDs from SanDisk, HGST and Toshiba.
review said Smart's Optimus was the performance leader in nearly all tests,
although there was one serious blip and performance outage which looks to me
like it may require a firmware fix.
A serious flaw in this review
was, however, the absence of any modern MLC products from
that the performance comparisons of these 6Gbps drives does convincingly
demonstrate that overall enterprise SSD design is more important than raw
memory type (one of the tenets in the
SSD survivor's guide).
How important is this review? Anyone who's
already shipping boxes populated with merchant market SAS SSDs will already
be aware of the potential suppliers - but it might give them another reason to
look at Smart to prune their costs. But when it comes to performance? - I'm not
so sure it's useful - as 12Gbps SAS SSDs have already having been demonstrated
by several vendors in prototype form earlier this year and that's the
direction oems will be looking at for ultimate SAS performance in the
future... Apart from those who are thinking about switching to
2.5" PCIe SSDs.
A month later - StorageReview.com did publish a
of STEC's MLC SAS SSD - the s840. In this comparison Smart beats STEC on
peak performance - but STEC's performance is more consistent. However, STEC's
SSD doesn't fit into the same low profile space.
BiTMICRO's new TALINO based SAS SSDs in Beta
September 12, 2012 - I noticed today that some new pages have appeared on BiTMICRO's website
which unveil and outline
a range -
called maxIO - of enterprise SSDs (SATA,
PCIe) which use the
company's new TALINO SSD controller and hint at "100K to 400K IOPS (4KB)
performance" - depending on which model you look at. The company is
offering beta test samples
to suitable people who sign an NDA.
SMART proliferates adaptive DSP IP in SAS SSDs
July 5, 2012 - SMART
Storage Systems recently
it's sampling yet another new variant of
SAS SSD which uses
flash DSP technology - the
Ultra+ is a 2.5"
SSD with 100K/60K R/W
IOPS - which
50 full random drive writes per day for a period of 5 years using commercial MLC
NAND flash technology. ...read
more in SSD news
2.5" PCIe SSDs guide
Editor:- May 21, 2012 - StorageSearch.com today published
a new article introducing the market for
2.5" PCIe SSDs
Although some aspects of this new market are predictable - if
you're already familiar with
PCIe SSDs and
SAS SSDs - the new SSD
delivery package also opens up new possibilities which can sit above and below
pre-existing 2.5"SSDs in price as well as performance. And the new 2.5"
PCIe SSDs will also introduce and showcase new types of functionality which
haven't been been feasible before at the SSD drive level.
HGST claims first demonstration of 2x faster SAS SSD
May 1, 2012 - HGST
successful demonstrations of the industry's first 12Gb/s
have successfully achieved interoperability between our 12Gb/s SAS drive and
12Gb/s SAS HBAs and expanders from both
Brendan Collins, VP of product marketing, HGST.
comments:- no great surprises here if you read the SSD performance roadmap
published here 4 years ago. The new challenge for SAS SSDs in this speed class
- will be cannibalization from hot-swap 2.5"
PCIe SSDs like those
EMC arrays will have WD SAS SSDs inside
March 5, 2012 - Hitachi
that its 2.5"
product - the
SSD400S - is now shipping in EMC's
comments:- after more than a year of waiting -
WD obtained all
required regulatory approvals for its acquisition of HGST which closed this
SMART-inside SAS SSDs - offer credible competitive alternative
Editor:- February 22, 2012 - SMART Storage Systems
Ultra (a 1.2TB 2.5" 100K/60K IOPS, 500MB/s R/W
SAS SSD) which uses
the company's new, in-house developed, high reliability enterprise SSD
controller IP - which includes DSP and adaptive programming techniques to
deliver industry leading SSD data integrity and upto 25x / day full disk
writes for 5 years endurance - while using low cost consumer grade MLC.
STEC prospecting for more enterprise SSD business
January 17, 2012 - STEC
announced that industry veteran Vaughn Miller has joined the company's
Systems and Software Group as VP of Business Development.
is responsible for developing business opportunities with OEMs and ISVs that
focus on enterprise
During the past 16 years, Mr. Miller held various key
management positions in business development for
Networks (acquired by F5 Networks, Inc.),
Auspex Systems. Prior to
his roles in business development, Mr. Miller served as an engineer for
Graphics (a Halliburton company) and
terabyte dual port 6Gbps 2.5" SAS SSDs|
|Editor:- November 29, 2011 -
OCZ has started
dual port 6Gbps
SAS SSDs in a smaller
form factor - the
2 SAS SSD provides upto 70,000 4K
(75R/25W) and upto 1TB capacity in
only available from the company in the larger
3.5" size). |
cater for different applications and markets OCZ is offering
MLC, eMLC, and
SLC NAND flash versions. The new SSDs include protection against
loss and have the option to enable
Integrity Field) in addition to the native
SandForce SSD data
integrity to ensure end to end data integrity.
Editor's comments:- which of these 2 new SAS SSDs will be
better for you? - The ZeusIOPS XE (from STEC) or the Talos 2 (from OCZ).
thing's for sure - you can't just decide from looking at the press releases.
a very important factor too - particularly if your app involves heavy duty
caching - you may decide that to get the same
end up comparing an MLC SSD managed by CellCare (the STEC offer) to an eMLC
(or even SLC) SSD managed by DuraClass (the OCZ offer).
Or based on
your past experience with these suppliers you may apply your own
adjustment factor to their price projections and reliability projections.
Or based on who you are - you may not score highly enough to
get your hands on early evaluation samples at all.
And that's before
you even start looking at what
SanDisk might do with
their Lightning or what
WD might do with
the Ultrastar when they get it from Hitachi GST.
One consolation may
be that there are less controllers
to choose from in the SAS market than when you look at
STEC samples Extreme Endurance SAS MLC SSDs for caching
November 29, 2011 - STEC
has started sampling a new
MLC SSD - based on its proprietary
- the new ZeusIOPS
XE (Extreme Endurance) is a 6Gbps SAS SSD family, available in
3.5" sizes (300GB
or 600GB) and supports at least 30 full capacity writes per day, every day,
for 5 years.
Latency is upto 50 microseconds. Sustained R/W throughput
is upto 500MB/s and 275MB/s respectively and random IOPS is upto 38,000 8K
(70R/30W). STEC says the new SSDs (based on 32nm MLC) are suited for
write-intensive applications with the high endurance necessary to support
auto-tiering, metadata management and logging, and analytics.
SSD protection technology wins best of show award for SMART
August 15, 2011 - SMART
that its Guardian
technology - which provides enterprise grade data integrity in MLC SSDs -
has been chosen by the Flash Memory
Summit as a Best of Show award winner for 2011 in the category of Most
Innovative Flash Memory Enterprise Business Application.
comments:- SMART recently
a new range of 2.5" SAS
SSDs which provide upto 1.6TB usable capacity, 100K/50K random IOPS and
500/500MB/s sustained transfer rates - which incoporate the above technologies.
SanDisk samples new SAS SSDs
Editor:- June 20,
2011 - SanDisk
has expanded its
SSDs) which now offer upto 800GB MLC capacity are being delivered for OEM
qualification, and will be available via authorized channel partners in Q3,
The new Lightning SSDs (recently acquired from
Write Through Logging (WTL) technology which delivers high performance at low
queue depths to avoid volatility that would otherwise require battery back-up or
supercapacitors for protection. WTL operation is completely transparent to the
host and maintains a predictable performance profile across different workloads.
This write cache-less design
data loss on power interruptions, delivering consistent performance across a
wide range of workloads.
Power, Speed and
Strength Metaphors in SSD brands,
Pliant Technology -
OCZ samples new SAS SSD
Editor:- May 15, 2011 -
OCZ is sampling a
SAS SSD in its
The new product has upto 960GB MLC capacity and upto 60K
Seagate's new 2.5" SAS SSDs
Editor:- March 15,
2011 - Seagate
announced details of new
SAS SSDs -
marketed under its Pulsar
brand - which
will ship in the 2nd quarter.
Available capacities are
(MLC). R/W speeds are upto 360MB/s and 300MB/s respectively. Sustainable
random R/W IOPS
are 48K and 22K respectively.
quoted as 35 / 10 full drive writes per day SLC / MLC. Unrecoverable read
integrity) for the SLC model are 1 in 1016 . Seagate also
quotes a permissive rate of ambient temperature change for its MLC SSD - which
is something else we may be hearing more about in future.
comments:- one of the problems Seagate has in being a latecomer to the SSD
market is that it hasn't yet racked up enough "million customer operating
years" to support reliability messages tagged to the new SSD launch. So
instead it's using cross over references from its HDD business - as in this
statement - "Over 200 man-years of development went into the
2nd-generation Pulsar SSD products, with enterprise reliability verified by a
team with over 1,500 collective years of experience in the storage industry."
history in recent years teaches us that experience in other markets
(even within the semiconductor industry) doesn't always guarantee that new
SSD designs will be as reliable,
trouble free or as
fast as their
creators anticipate. That's because many new design features in flash SSD
architectures get their first reality checks in the market. I expect that if
all goes well - next year Seagate's new SSD announcements will start referring
back to their SSD market track record. And if all doesn't go well - we're hear
about it on these news pages.
IBM uses SAS SSDs from SMART in supercomputer
November 22, 2010 - SMART
XceedIOPS SAS 2.5" solid state drive (SSD) will be used in new models
of IBM POWER7
supercomputers instead of hard drives.
John Scaramuzzo, General
Manager for SMART's Storage Business Unit said - "The selection criteria
for SSDs has moved beyond HDD replacement, as innovative designers such as those
at IBM use the qualities of enterprise-grade SSDs to significantly enhance their
products' performance, data integrity, and reliability."
Hitachi samples STEC / Pliant class enterprise SSDs
November 16, 2010 - Hitachi
FC SSDs and
SAS SSDs with upto
400GB SLC capacity and 535MB/s read and 500MB/s write throughput (6Gb/s SAS)
46,000 / 13,000 R/W
SandForce shows SSD controller for 6Gbps SAS
October 7, 2010 - SandForce
availability of its next generation
family SSD processors - for oems designing
SAS 3 class (6Gbps)
The SF-2000 supports 500MB/s sequential R/W,
60,000 sustained random IOPS, wire speed encryption, end to end
data integrity checks
and industrial temperature operation in a
Also new in this controller generation is support
for sector sizes additional to 512-bytes e.g., 520, 524, 528, 4K, etc., with
Data Integrity Field (DIF) for true enterprise-class SAS drive behavior and
Editor's comments:- one simple way of looking at
the SF-2000 would be as an incremental x2 version of what SandForce has
done before - which also demonstrates that the glass ceiling for their
architecture is much higher than some people might have thought.
briefing yesterday I learned a lot more about the new chip and got answers from
SandForce to a bunch of technology and marketing questions. I'll post these in
more detail in a special article on the
SSD controllers page
STEC samples 3.5" RAM SSD
Editor:- September 20,
2010 - STEC
it is sampling a new 3.5"
dual port SAS
compatible RAM SSD - the
ZeusRAM SSD - with
8GB capacity and under 23 microseconds average latency and internal flash
RAM SSDs don't have the
again Sam... as time goes by" syndrome inherent in
flash SSDs -
because they have genuinely low repeat write latency and can be 10x to 20x
faster. In some applications that's a difference
worth paying for.
1st 3.5" RAM SSD featured on these pages - was the
June 2002) which was a parallel
SCSI SSD from Imperial
Technology. A year later in 2003 -
Curtis marketed a 3.5"
fibre-channel RAM SSD - the
HyperXCLR - which
for many years held the speed records in that form factor. The Curtis unit is
still available as too is a similar product from
Pliant does U turn in $A$ SSDs
8, 2010 - Pliant
is sampling MLC
versions of its 2.5" SAS SSD family with upto 400GB capacity and >10K
comments:- new dynasty SSD
maker Fusion-io has
successfully demonstrated that there is a healthy market appetite for MLC SSDs
in some "enterprise
apps". How many is "some"? Enough to make a
VC wake up in your
2.5" SSD makers
are taking the opposite route to Pliant in that the majority started with
consumer grade (MLC) SSD products with
SATA interfaces and
are busily reworking their products to add
SAS (spelt $A$) so
they can charge higher prices.
Pliant - on the other hand - made a
conservative choice by launching only SLC SSDs when it started sampling its 1st
SSDs 12 months ago. Will Pliant add
SATA SSDs to its line
up too? - Unlikely it could survive in that fiercely competitive market. But
if the company is still around in another 12 months - I wouldn't be surprised
to see them extend their range with a
PCIe SSD. Because you
have to give enterprise customers what they want. Even if the market appears
what it wants. If the money is there you have to pay attention.
SMART samples 400GB 2.5" SAS eMLC SSD
August 17, 2010 - SMART
entered the crowding SAS
SSD market with the announcement that it is sampling the
SAS SSD - a 2.5" 400GB eMLC SSD with 26,000 / 20,000 R/W
250/230 MB/s sustained throughput.
The new XceedIOPS SAS SSD offers
high reliability and data integrity due to extensive error-correction and
detection capabilities, multi-level data-path and code protection, data-fail
recovery, and data-integrity monitoring. Designed to minimize power surges in
SSD arrays the the XceedIOPS SAS SSD supports staggered power-on.
Infortrend joins the STEC inside club
22, 2010 - Infortrend
it will use STEC's
ZeusIOPS (SAS SSDs) in
its ESVA F60 product line (FC
and Super Talent... brings SAS SSD headcount to 14
June 21, 2010 - Super Talent
Technology entered the
SAS SSD market by
imminent shipments of its ShuttleCraft brand - which includes SLC and MLC
models with capacities upto 240GB .
|SAS SSD manufacturers
Seagate, SMART , Solid Access,
SAS SSD - market timeline from the birth of the SAS interface
itself in 2001 to the present day
|The SAS SSD market today is a significant
niche market within the
market - with over 20 SSD companies making their own SAS SSDs. Some of these
oems only sell their SAS SSDs for use within their own rackmount storage
The SAS SSD market was slow to get started compared to other
segments in the enterprise SSD market and
it was overshadowed by 3 related competitors within the SSD market
itself - which took away business.
- fibre-channel SSDs
- which started long before SAS SSDs - (the first rackmount FC SAN SSDs
shipped in the late 1990s - and
3.5" FC SSDs were
shipping more than 5 years before the first SAS SSDs).
- SATA SSDs -
which started just immediately before SAS SSDs and dampened the early years
of demand for SAS SSDs
mentioned above the SAS SSD market was the slowest part of the SSD market to
take off - in the post "SSD awareness" era. For many years there were
only 1 or 2 vendors in the market - and
STEC in particular
benefited from its surprising position as being almost a monopoly supplier of
SAS SSD drive that worked and passed the oem tick tests. But those days are long
gone - and the market dynamics are more complex today with more choices in
suppliers and performance.
- PCIe SSDs which
started later than the SAS SSD market but creamed off most of the market for
what would have been high end SAS SSDs - if PCIe SSDs hadn't existed.
if that wasn't enough - a new threat for SAS SSD slots inside server racks has
been emerging in
the past year with removable
2.5" PCIe SSDs.
As the editor of StorageSearch.com I was
actively reporting on - and our readers were actively influencing - the growth
of both SSDs and the SAS market.
Here's the timeline from the birth of
SAS to the preliminary phases of the SAS SSD market.
the birth of Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) storageNovember 2001 -
leading vendors announced they would collaborate to set up a working group
to develop and co-ordinate a new interface standard which would be called "Serial
StorageSearch.com became the 1st
publisher to set up a dedicated directory to report on news and developments
users say they need SAS SSDsJanuary 2005 - the
SSD buyers survey
showed SAS SSDs as the 8th most desirable SSD interface to meet buyers' future
needs. (No SAS SSDs were available in the market at that time.)
1st SAS RAM SSD ships to customersApril 2005 -
Technologies made the first SSD with a SAS interface. It was a rackmount
1st flash SAS SSDAugust 2007 -
STEC announced it was
3.5" SAS SSD.
2008 - Hitachi and
Intel announced they were
jointly designing a new range of high IOPS flash SSDs with
SAS interfaces -
expected to ship in Q1 2010.
SAS SSD market starts to bubble
2009 - As the number of oems talking about SAS SSDs headed towards double
digits - StorageSearch.com launched a dedicated directory page for
2009 - StorageSearch.com disclosed that searches for SAS SSDs had overtaken
FC compatible SSDs.
February 2010 -
cited in the article -
Evolving Enterprise SSD - suggest that the SAS SSD market size may reach
approximately 2 million units in 2013.
June 2010 - SAS
SSD oems list on StorageSearch.com reaches 14 companies with announcement by
August 2010 -
SAS SSD - a 2.5" 400GB eMLC SSD with 26,000 / 20,000 R/W
250/230 MB/s sustained throughput.
October 2010 - SandForce
availability of its
family SSD processors - for oems designing
SAS 3 class (6Gbps)
March 2011 -
details of new 2.5"
SAS SSDs -
marketed under its Pulsar
brand due to
ship in the 2nd quarter.
May 2011 -
for approximately $327 million.
1st 12Gb/s SAS SSD demoMay 2012 - HGST
successful demonstrations of the industry's first 12Gb/s
|If you'd like to see more articles like this -
|how fast can your
SSD run backwards?|
|SSDs are complex devices and there's a
lot of mysterious behavior which isn't fully revealed by benchmarks, datasheets
and whitepapers. |
Underlying all the important aspects of SSD behavior
which arise from the intrinsic technologies and architecture inside the SSD.
| Today - if you're in a
big company in a traditional market - and hoping to do something equally big in
the SSD market - then $1 billion may not be enough - but $5 billion may be too
|VCs & SSDs|
| How will 2.5" PCIe
SSDs impact the business of SAS SSD makers?|
|2.5" PCIe SSDs|
| Although 3.5 inch form
factor SSDs are a niche market today- historically this form factor revealed a
lot about the different types of application for high performance storage drives
in legacy servers. |
In the 3.5" package we used to find hard
disks, hybrid drives, flash based SSDs and even RAM SSDs competing for slots,
often with exactly the same interfaces.
|the 3.5" SSD guide|
| $/TBW sounds initially
like a plausible SSD cost evaluation metric - but it breaks down at the
boundary analysis where it hits RAM SSDs - at which point it can give you the
There are many other misleading metrics like this in the SSD cost
evaluation literature. And you'd be surprised how many of them originate from
leading SSD companies.
|Clarifying SSD Pricing -
where does all the money go?|
| Going back to where I
started with FITs at the SSD component level versus fault tolerance at the SSD
system level. I realized this was due to the different perspective of looking at
an SSD as an electronic component compared to an SSD as a data systems device.|
reliability and abstraction levels in SSDs|