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the Top 10 SSD OEMs - 2007 Q3 - 2nd in this series

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor
.. the top 10 SSD oems ... is proud to pre-announce the probable future winners in the solid state storage market.
click here for the most recent version of this article

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Who are the top 10 most important SSD manufacturers - the companies which you absolutely have to look at if you've got got any new projects involving SSDs?

A decade ago there was an easy answer. "All of them!"

Today (November 2007) there are over 59 active listed SSD oems. Another 4 or so I know in stealth mode, another 10 I'm checking out as imminent maybes and I expect the total number of SSD oems to go north of 100 in 2008. The new storage gold rush is chasing an opportunity for storage systems companies that could eventually be worth 5 to 10 billion dollars a year. And this is a market in which the "usual suspects" EMC, IBM, HP are nowhere. So in theory anyone could end up dominating this market.

It's not that simple. Because there's already a lot of traction. Stakes have been put in the ground claiming desirable application or technology territories. A handful of SSD pioneers have already exited the market, gone bust or been acquired.

To go back to the question - which are the most important SSD oems to look at right now? There are 2 empirical ways to form such a list based on different market research approaches.

(1) - financial data - looks at revenue and shipping volumes. The problem with this approach in a market that's growing so fast - is that revenue data can be 3 to 6 months out of date when collected and may not sample any data at all from important new companies which have recently entered the market. This traditional approach will probably work fine from about the middle of 2009 onwards. And if you can afford to wait that long before choosing SSD partners / suppliers that's OK. But is it really? I think waiting that long is very risky. Many companies will be at a severe competitive disadvantage if their competitors are using SSD technology first. Faster SSD accelerated ecommerce sites, faster databases and new SSD powered business applications will mean that waiting too long to hit the SSD trail could be damaging to your competitiveness.

(2) - search volume data - is a near real-time and (nearly) reliable way to see which way things are heading in changing markets. I've got strong confidence in this approach having used it as an online publisher for over a decade to help me make predictions about emerging technologies and disruptions in the storage market. But search volume based market inferences only work if you have high volumes of search in the specific subject. That's why you're here... Because when it comes to SSDs has delivered millions of article views related to hard SSD content and our readership is growing fast. We've also been discussing the SSD market with nearly every SSD manufacturer (sometimes before they founded their companies) and with analysts and interested readers in a wide range of enterprises longer than any other publisher or analyst.

The Top 10 SSD OEMs

The listing below is based on storage search volume followed up by readers on this site. This metric samples strong follow up interest generated by browsing our SSD directories, following up news stories or articles and following links from ads. But it excludes the visibility of product ads themselves. As we track every manufacturer in the market and any manufacturer can (and does) send us their content related to SSDs - this is a measure of how our readers have reacted to that content.
the Top 10 SSD OEMs - ©
based on reader pageviews in 3rd Quarter 2007
rank manufacturer SSD technology notes....................................................
1 SanDisk Flash SSD Up 7 places since the last quarter.

In July 2007 SanDisk announced that its SATA 5000 2.5-inch SSD will be offered as an option in IBM's new BladeCenter HS21 XM.

In September 2007 SanDisk announced 3 new US distribution partners (Ingram Micro, D&H Distributing and Bell Microproducts) to make it easier for systems integrators to design in and logistically source its SSD products.
2 BiTMICRO Networks Flash SSD Up 4 places since the last quarter.

In September 2007 BiTMICRO received $9.3 million in Series F funding and promised to ship 412GB 2.5" flash SSDs in Q108.
3 Adtron Flash SSD Same rank as last quarter.

In September 2007 Adtron announced a new European distributor for its SSDs - Hammer Distribution
4 Mtron Flash SSD Same rank as last quarter.

In September 2007 Mtron launched an extended version of its SSD product range at IFA 2007 in Berlin.
5 STEC Flash SSD Down 4 places from the #1 slot since the last quarter.

In this quarter STEC's one time position as the oem with the fastest (announced) flash SSDs for the enterprise server market was severely dented by announcements of significantly faster flash SSD products from several newcomers to this market segment including EasyCo, Fusion-io and Texas Memory Systems.

STEC will have to rethink its positioning, business model and marketing plans for this market segment in which it recently claimed to be "uncontested".

These new products (from STEC's competitors) change the shape of the SSD market.

Previously there was a wide gap in performance between flash SSDs and RAM SSDs for use in enterprise server speedup applications. STEC had planted its flag at the fast end of the flash SSD trench. Now bridging that gap is a continuum of price / performance from many other vendors. These new fast flash SSD products give customers more choice and will probably reduce STEC's profit margins in 2008.

In August STEC announced it will sample 3.5" SAS SSDs in Q108.
6 Samsung Flash SSD Down 4 places since the last quarter.

In September 2007 Samsung announced that its previously announced 2.5" SATA, 64GB solid state drives were shipping in Dell and Alienware consumer notebooks.
7 Texas Memory Systems RAM SSD
Flash SSD
Up 1 place since the last quarter.

In September 2007 TMS its first flash SSD - the RamSan-500 a 4U rackmount SSD. Performance is 100,000 IOPS sustained random read, 10,000 IOPS sustained random write. Throughput to internal flash storage is 2G bytes / sec sustained.
8 Attorn RAM SSD Up 1 place since the last quarter.

In August 2007 Attorn launched its first rackmount SSD - the HyperDrive4 - which (at launch time) offered the lowest price per gigabyte for a RAM based solid state drive.
9 SiliconSystems Flash SSD Down 2 places since the last quarter.

In July 2007 SiliconSystems launched the first high reliability USB SSD in CF form factor.
10 Violin Memory RAM SSD New entry. Not previously listed in top 55 SSD oems.

In August 2007 Violin Memory exited stealth mode and launched the Violin 1010 - the world's fastest 2U SSD and the world's densest RAM array technology.

Getting straight into this top 10 quarterly list based on the strength of just 2 months' worth of pageviews indicates the strong reader interest in disruptive SSD technologies.
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SSD Pricing - where does all the money go?
SSDs are among the most expensive computer hardware products you will ever buy and comprehending the factors which determine SSD costs is often a confusing and irritating process...
Clarifying SSD Pricing - where does all the money go? - click to read the article ...which is not made any easier when market prices for apparently identical capacity SSDs can vary more than 100x to 1!

Why is that? the article to find out




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"Don't place too much credence in what SSD companies tell you about the present or the future of the SSD market."
Survivor's Guide to Enterprise SSDs
How to interpret the rankings?

The most important thing is being included in the list rather than the position within it. Having said that there's a 4x difference in pageviews between companies at the top or bottom. The top 10 companies will vary from quarter to quarter and the rankings will change too. But there's a hard core of companies which are always in the the top 10. You'll be able to see who those are in future quarterly editions of this list and you'll also be able to see if any companies have moved sharply up or down.

earlier editions:- top 10 SSD OEMs Q2 2007

Other related articles:-

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