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the Top SSD Companies - Q3 2016

38th quarterly edition

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor - StorageSearch.com - November 24, 2016
Data architectures and technologies born from the lessons of the SSD market now influence every vital aspect of computer memory, storage, processing and software.

As a result we have been seeing big changes and discontinuities occurring in the business behaviors of many companies as vendors race to identify and reposition themselves to align their offerings to secure strategic positions for the anticipated enterprise consolidation which is expected to occur when new generations of software, systems and architecture converge in multi-tiered, memory-intensive infrastructures in which fossilized RW assumptions about rotating storage (being an important limiting characteristic against which data transfers are timed) will have been almost entirely expunged from the software stack.

Now in its 10th year of publishing the Top SSD Companies Series continues to be useful market guide which captures the crowd sourced intelligence and search activities of those at the forefront of serious interest in the memory systems markets - the readers of StorageSearch.com.

the Top 25 SSD Companies - Q3 2016

based on reader search (over 170,000 unique readers in this period)

1 - Pure Storage - same as before

Pure Storage's search volume was 60% higher than the #2 ranked company in this list and 100% higher than the #10 ranked company. This kind of distinctive gap for the #1 company is similar to the kind of pattern observed throughout 10 years series but the size of these gaps at the top end of the list is closing due to a greater number of vendors participating in the SSD market and possibly due to the granularity effects of greater segmentation.

rackmount SSDs, petabyte SSDs


2 - Seagate - up 1 place

In August 2016 - Seagate began demonstrating prototypes of a 60TB 3.5" SAS SSD which the company said will be available next year.

SSD controllers, SAS SSDs, PCIe SSDs


3 - Violin Memory - up 1 place

90% of enterprise SSD companies have no good reasons to survive


4 - NxGn - up 13 places

This is the first time that an SSD company which focuses on "in-situ processing" (which was one of the big new SSD ideas to hit the news in 2014) has reached the exalted top 5 region of this list.

This is as significant in its own way as when in earlier periods we saw PCIe SSD companies do well in this list (such as when Fusion-io entered the top 10 in 2008) and similarly when we saw NVDIMM SSD companies get high entries in the list (Diablo in 2014).

This suggests to me that in the next one or two years we'll see a handful of in-situ SSD processing companies in the top 10 region of the list.

M.2 SSDs


5 - Intel - up 3 places

big SSD ideas of 2016, the future of memory intensive systems


6 - SanDisk - down 4 places

SSD company acquisitions


7 - Micron - down 2 places

hybrid DIMMs, memory boom-bust cycles, big SSD ideas of 2016


8 - Diablo Technologies - down 3 places

SSD and SCM DIMM wars


9 - Samsung - up 2 places

consumer SSDs, M.2 SSDs, flash memory


10 - Foremay - down 3 places

SSD security, military SSDs


11 - HGST - down 2 places

SAS SSDs, PCIe SSDs


12 - Virtium - same as before

industrial SSDs, M.2 SSDs


13 - Kaminario - down 3 places

rackmount SSDs


14 - V&G also formerly known as RunCore - down 1 place

military SSDs, custom SSDs


15 - (tied) - Cactus Technologies - up 8 places

industrial SSDs, military SSDs


15 - (tied) - Mangstor - up 12 places

PCIe SSDs, fastest SSDs


17 - Netlist - up 13 places

hybrid DIMMs


18 - InnoDisk - same as before

industrial SSDs


19 - Marvell - same as before

SSD controllers, SSD glue chips


20 - (tied) - Nimbus Data Systems - up 2 places

petabyte SSDs


20 - (tied) - OCZ - down 4 places

consumer SSDs


22 - BiTMICRO - down 1 place

rackmount SSDs, PCIe SSDs


23 - Primary Data - up 5 places

SSD software


24 - Memblaze - up 2 places

PCIe SSDs


25 - EMC - down 10 places

the Fastest SSDs
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Who were the SSD companies just outside this list?

The next 10 or so companies (listed in ranking order) were:-
related reading

"If you're trying to understand the SSD and memory systems markets and looking for a single big idea which gives you a confident feel for what's going on - then you'll be disappointed if you stare too hard and look in the expected places. Unlike past years you won't find the answer in any single interface, memory technology or startup company." - No more deference - (December 1, 2016)

who d'you call for the SSD crystal ball?

the Top SSD Companies - Q2 2016

what were the big SSD memory architecture ideas in 2016?

Decloaking hidden and missing segments in the analysis of market opportunities for enterprise rackmount flash
.
Creating the climate for DIMM wars

The DRAM market's new clothes had long been invisible.

But the SSD market was too preoccupied with lower hanging fruit in storage.

Now the secret is out and the effect of DIMM wars will brutal and swift and erode decades of collective wisdom about the shape of next generation memory.
latency loving reasons for fading out DRAM in the virtual memory slider mix
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It looks like you're seriously interested in SSDs so if you've got the time - you might also want to take a look at the home page of StorageSearch.com which - unlike most home pages - also includes some real content.
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MarketingViews.com FAQs for connected IT marketers
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the top 10 SSD oems

the Top SSD Companies
series overview - 2007 to 2016

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SSD news
SSD history
VCs in SSDs
market research
consolidation in enterprise flash arrays market
the Top SSD Companies - series overview
about the publisher - 24 years guiding the enterprise
Branding Strategies in the SSD Market (case studies)
the enterprise SSD story why's the plot so complicated?
SSD market self awareness is the only thing which matters

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SSD ad - click for more info

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flash characterization, NVMe over Fabrics, Storage Class Memory...
what were the big SSD memory ideas in 2016?


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Toshiba sampled 64 layer 3D TLC.

Diablo announced volume availability of its Memory1 128GB DDR4 NVDIMM.

NVMdurance released a paper describing its offline machine learning flash characterization tools.
SSD news - July 2016


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Seagate previews 60TB 3.5" SAS SSD

FlexiRemap software wins award at Flash Memory Summit

Radian announced imminent sampling of PCIe based competitor to NVDIMMs.
SSD news - August 2016


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Everspin filed IPO for MRAM.

Violin issued going concern warning.

Foremay announced volume shipments of aerospace capable 8TB 2.5" U.2 NVMe SSD.
SSD news - September 2016


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When all storage is made from memories the dividing line between storage and memory is much more fluid than it has been before. And the new philosopher's stone by which alchemy memory chip arrays are repurposed along this spectrum from one to the other - raising and lowering the data entropy - is software rather than controller chips.
where are we heading with memory intensive systems?


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SSD ad - click for more info


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when's the right time to stop tracking acquired SSD brands as distinctly ranked entities?
After publishing past editions of this series I have often been asked by readers - how do you decide when an SSD company which has been acquired by another SSD company should have its search results combined with the acquirer?

This is judged on a case by case basis.

With some companies we see that searches on the web for the original brand can still dominate for years. And if there are distinct differences in the brands which are associated with product technologies in these searches then it's more useful to report them separately.

For example - just as SanDisk continues to be significantly stronger as an SSD search brand than HGST or WDC (which are now part of the same group of businesses) so too - for now - we see that searches for OCZ and Toshiba SSDs still maintain different patterns.

So although Toshiba's announced intention was to strip away and stick to itself any hint of enterprise SSDs away from OCZ the reconsumerization of the OCZ SSD brandhasn't been in effect for very long.

Another question about search rankings for acquired companies is what happens if you combine search results for companies which share common ownership?

The answer is that usefulness of such aggregated views depends on the brands, product technologies and time in the market adoption time-line. And I've seen from analyzing such patterns the results of simply adding unrelated searches don't always correlate with future business success.

The long term leveraged business impact of most acquisitions remains uncertain and in many cases the advantages they bring are short term and tactical rather then long term and sustainable.

That shouldn't be considered surprising given that the SSD and memory systems markets themselves still exhibit many characteristics of discontinuous technologies and revolutionary change.


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In the context of strategic changes in the merchant SSD controller market - all companies face the challenge that there is only so far that they can go in getting mileage out of innovative features in standard SSDs.
a winter's tale of SSD market influences


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