29th quarterly edition - based on search metrics
in Q2 2014|
editor - July 28, 2014
In the 7 plus years that it has been running - the Top SSD Companies -
researched and analysed by StorageSearch.com
- has established a unique reputation within the SSD industry for detecting
and predicting significant new business and technology transitions in the SSD
For more about the past successes of this list - and
highlights from 28 past quarterly editions - go to
the series overview page.
Here's the list of the Top SSD Companies ranked by analyzing the
search volume of hundreds of thousands of SSD readers on StorageSearch.com in the 2nd
quarter of 2014.
|Top SSD Companies - ©
based on SSD search volume in the 2nd
For more details about each company click on the compay
Same as before.
This is Fusion-io's 22nd straight quarter at
the top of this list
It was a momemtous quarter for Fusion-io as
aside from product and partner announcements (FIO shipped its long anticipated
20nm flash generation PCIe SSDs - the Atomic Series - and also announced that
Dell was rebranding FIO's
fast rackmount SSD IP set - the ION) the market learned that
SanDisk had agreed to
In this quarter a market report by
IDC identified IBM as the
#1 company (ranked by revenue in 2013) for rackmount SSDs with 25% market share.
No sooner had Avago
Technologies closed its acquisition of LSI - when it announced that
it had agreed to sell the flash
controller and SSD parts of LSI's business to
Same as before.
In this quarter it was still evident that the various
which HGST had made recently - were not integrated into a single coherent
customer facing view of enterprise SSD offerings on HGST's web site. But that
also made it easier for external analysts to see that the majority of interest
in HGST's SSD product line in this period stemmed from the interfaces and form
factors it had acquired from
STEC - which generated
more than 2x the search activity as the PCIe SSD product line it had acquired
It's unlikely that we will get such clarity in future quarters - until some
future time when HGST starts to disclose SSD revenue by form factor (which may
Same as before.
In this quarter OCZ announced that its current SSD
product lines were now all able to use flash memory chips from its relatively
new owner - Toshiba.
also demonstrated its commitment to grow business from the European market -
by launching a new German-language website.
In this quarter SanDisk conclusively demonstrated the scale
of its ambitions in enterprise flash by agreeing to acquire acquire Fusion-io for
approximately $1.1 billion.
Answering the question - What will
SanDisk really get from Fusion-io? - my short answer was - "the ability
to get more enterprise petabytes out from the same raw flash chips in - by
shipping it through better architecture - is a more significant business factor
in the flash memory market today than the ability to do another cell geometry
shrink - or adding a few more layers of toppings on the 3D nand pizza."
the much longer answer - see the
SSD news archive
for June 2014.
Also in this quarter SanDisk had announced it was
shipping the industry's first 4TB 2.5" SAS SSD.
aspect of this being - not that SSDs could deliver storage densities on a par
hard drives (because
that threshold event happend at the 1TB level in
2009 in the
context of a military market SSD). Rather for me - the 4TB SAS SSD (which was
an incremental progression from an earlier 2TB model in the same product family)
demonstrated that there was an appetite in the enterprise storage market for
very high capacity SSDs which could fit into standard arrays - as high
capacity, fast native storage devices rather than simply as components in
an acceleration or caching tier of storage.
Up 1 place from previous quarter.
In this quarter Violin launched a
new SSD rack which included a much richer set of legacy storage management
software functions than previously available in its product line. In particular
- the new 7000 system enables users to schedule and run multiple concurrent
remote data replication jobs.
Violin also explained to
StorageSearch.com that the earlier - 6000 series - would remain a strategic
product for users who preferred to use their own storage software.
Down 1 place from previous quarter.
In this quarter privately owned
Skyera announced that its skyHawk racmkount SSD was shipping in volume and that
sales revenue was about 7x larger than the year before.
could be seen as a counter to detracting comments from some quarters that while
Skyera's technology might be interesting that Skyera wasn't a major force force
in the market.
5 places from previous quarter.
This is the highest ranking yet for
A3CUBE - which shows that the SSD industry is interested in learning more about
a new network model which has at its core PCIe fabric connectivity.
Up 9 places from previous quarter.
In this quarter Seagate
provided the most convincing answer yet to a question which observers of the
SSD market had been asking for the past 5 - 6 years - namely:- where is
Seagate's technology to meet the needs of the enterprise SSD market going to
The answer being the announcement that Seagate was buying
the SSD controller and SSD business of
Down 2 places from previous quarter.
quarter Pure Storage announced it had raised another $225 million in funding
- bringing the total in all rounds to $470 million.
2 places from previous quarter.
Cisco - whose Invicta SSD product line
is based on the acquisition of WhipTail last year - didn't make any significant
SSD product announcements in this quarter.
But you can get an idea of
how Cisco is presenting this technology to its customers in
presentation which was published in April 2014.
Up 10 places since last quarter.
In 2014 - those with an interest in
industrial and embedded SSDs have been learning from various vendors in
different ways - that the industrial market is growing more complex and
In a way that's similar to what has been happening in the
enterprise SSD market too - but the marketing signals that technologies are so
different - are sometimes harder to recognize in the industrial market - when
users are faced with a sea of similar looking products from many suppliers.
this quarter Virtium announced that it was offering upto 4 years of no
requalifications to customers who designed in their SLC based StorFly SATA SSDs.
Virtium also announced that its CEO - Phu Hoang - had won
the EY Entrepreneur Of The YearT 2014 Award in the Enterprise Solutions category
in Orange County.
Down 3 places from previous quarter.
didn't make any signficant product announcements in this quarter.
Nimbus continued its long term campaign of publishing
comparisons between its products and those of selected enterprise rivals by
adding Pure Storage
to its comparison directory in April 2014.
is PLX's first appearance in these lists.
PLX is an SSD ecosystems
company rather than a pure play SSD company.
In this quarter (but
several weeks before Avago Technologies
announced it was acquiring PLX) the home page StorageSearch.com featured an
article - an SSD
conversation with PLX.
is Microsemi's first appearance in these lists.
In this quarter
Microsemi announced it had secured multiple design-wins for its new Series 200
TRRUST-Stor (rugged self encrypting, 2.5" SATA SSD with 256GB SLC capacity
and fast purge).
The company says a full hardware-based erase takes less than 8
seconds. Developed to endure harsh environments the new SSD - which has
hardware-implemented AES 256 encryption - can withstand up to 3,000G shock and
30G rms of vibration.
In this quarter - Micron announced it was shipping new
SATA SSDs for the enterprise. The M500DC SSDs - based on 20nm MLC NAND, and with
capacities upto 800GB are rated at 1 to 3 DWPD for 5 years.
During an investor focused
call in May 2014 - in reply to a question about the sourcing of raw
enterprise SSD IP - Ivan
Donaldson Director of Investor Relations at Micron said - "We
don't feel like there is a requirement to use other people's IP or to go out and
acquire things to do it. We have so far done that all in-house and it's been all
of our own IP."
Down 2 places.
In April 2014 - Diablo's
flash SSD partner - SanDisk
- revealed more details about the internal architecture of its ULLtraDIMM (memory channel SSD)
at an event called Storage Field Day. Inside each flash DIMM are 2x SATA
CloudSpeed SSDs which connect to the DDR3 interface via a Diablo designed bridge
I found the revelation of a SATA pipe as a bottleneck buried inside
these modules did much to explain the
limitations and characteristics of these 1st generation DDR-3 compatible MCS
SSDs. It also explained why you need to use multiple units to achieve
performance on a par with high end
Down 4 places.
In May 2014 Kaminario launched its 5th generation of rackmount SSD.
thought the significant thing about it was not the product itself - but the
associated price guarantee "$2/GB usable capacity" which leveraged
the efficiency factors arising from Kaminario's software into a business
Kaminario told me that the "average $2/GB usable
cost includes data reduction with Kaminario's guaranteed effective capacity
offering (meaning they will provide customers with incremental free hardware if
their original capacity needs aren't met)."
And when I probed again - does it apply to channel sales and well as
direct sales? - I got confirmation that indeed it does.
This was 1 of 3
new enterprise SSD cost models which I later grouped together in my
article - Exiting
the Astrological Age of Enterprise SSD Pricing
Same as before.
In this quarter Tegile launched 2 new systems
products:- another hybrid array and the T3800 - which is a pure flash
rackmount SSD without any hard drives.
In this quarter I reassessed my
view of Tegile and the importance of what it was doing - as I described in my
conversation with Tegile.
Down 1 place.
In May 2014
that Samsung was the #1 company in the SSD market based on SSD units shipped in
Q1 2014 - with 32% of the market.
In June 2014 - Intel announced details of new NVMe
PCIe SSDs - the
Series - which will offer upto 2TB (20nm) capacity in a 15mm high hot-swap
Down 2 places.
In this quarter EMC
acquired a stealth mode rackmount SSD company DSSD.
Down 3 places.
In this quarter RunCore didn't appear to do
anything newsworthy in the SSD market.
It's not unusual for SSD
companies to be important without the everyday thrill of news coverage. For an
explanation see the article:-
some thoughts about SSD
Foremay said it would present a paper on Secure Erase for
Embedded SSDs - at the
Memory Summit (August 6, 2014).
fast purge SSDs
what about the companies which dropped out of the list?
newcomers to the Top SSD Companies List also means that 2 companies dropped out.
publishing the list a reader - Cecilia Regolo
- asked me what happened to one of them - Maxta?
My answer to that
is Maxta (at #26), and
Greenliant (at #27)
are still hanging around in that unpublished region of the list from which
companies often make reappearances.
The disappearance of Maxta
seemed mysterious to a reader who had been at another leading enterprise SSD
company (which is still in the list). When she asked me what I thought about
that (July 31, 2014) - this is what I said.
software market as
it relates to SSDs is much more complicated than most readers
realized even a year ago. I discussed the "software multiplication
effect" of enterprise SSD segments in this recent article.
Personally I have a high regard for Maxta and Maxta's founder (Yoram Novick)
whom I have talked to several times off the record as a sanity check for blue
sky 5-7 year ahead SSD architecture and market model thinking. But there are
so many vendors which compete in Maxta's space and Maxta's space is just
one segment in the software market. So even if they do well in that area
it's just a small part of what readers need to think about right now.
list) is an aggregate reader score not mine."
And what about all those other (575+) SSD companies not named
The SSD market is now big enough to enable many SSD
ecosystem companies to have very viable businesses - even when they aren't 1
of the top 25 or so SSD companies.
If you work at a company which isn't
in the list yet - but would like to be - here's some simple advice.
from me - as usual on the SSD
news page etc.
- get better
- work harder
- remember to let people know when you have exited stealth mode
Note:- Rankings above are based on analyzing the search activity of
over 300,000 SSD readers on StorageSearch.com in the 3 months period ending
June 31, 2014.
The rankings above are based on multiple types of search and
browsing activity - and after filtering out unreliable and fake searches
coming from robots and spam intended to subvert rankings for criminal or
malicious reasons. Our rankings and tie breakers also use data from some other
SSD related internet sources from time to time.
You can read more
about the significance and track record of this methodology in predicting and
observing SSD market intentions in
earlier editions of this
archived news from this
VCs in SSDs
SSD endurance -
the forever war
Top SSD Companies - overview
ideas which changed in 2016
about the publisher - 23
years guiding the enterprise
|Many factors at play in
enterprise SSD market behavior still don't appear as explicit assumptions in SSD
product marketing plans.
On reason for these gaps in segmental understanding has been the
continuing pace of disruptive innovation in enterprise SSD-land - which has
meant there hasn't been a stable market template for vendors to follow from one
seemingly chaotic year to the next as they encroach on new markets.
Smaller nuances of user behavior (which are easier to discern as
patterns in a stable market) easily get lost under the noise created by headline
technology changes and the market's apparent willingness to slaughter and
discard once loved past industry leaders.
hidden segments in the enterprise for rackmount SSDs|
|Skyera is putting a lot of
effort into joining a market which resembles an old fashioned English
gentlemen's club. |
But we know the founding members of that club are
so old they will die soon anyway.
Is it worth it?
|SSD news - skyHawk FS -
October 29, 2014|
|Every year I learn 2 new
important new ideas about SSDs. |
But every year I also have to remember
to forget or discard 1 old idea which was vital to know before because it's no
longer useful, valid or true
lessons from 2013|
| 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|
|Retiring and retiering
enterprise DRAM... |
What are the underlying reasons that will make
it feasible for slower cheaper memory to replace most of the future DRAM
market without applications noticing?
reasons for fading out DRAM|