| leading the way to the
new storage frontier|
|SSD buyers guide
the Top SSD Companies
trust SSD market data?
how fast can your SSD
SSDs silos for the pure SSD datacenter
Adaptive R/W and
DSP ECC in flash SSD IP
Efficiency - making the
same SSD - with less chips
how will Memory
Channel SSDs impact PCIe SSDs?
About the publisher
- 21 years guiding the enterprise
new math in rackmount SSDs
|Editor:- May 23, 2013 - In my next home page
blog on StorageSearch.com
(which is running late - but is nearly finished and will now be published
on Friday morning) I'll be looking at several technology and business trends
related to the
rackmount SSD market
which have become significant enough in recent quarters to note as new
strategic transition in both the pace and scale of adoption for
rackmount SSDs in the enterprise.|
The sum impact of cleverly designed
SSD arrays can result in systems which are many times more competitive than
you might imagine from any tear-down analysis of the parts.
discover who's doing interesting things in the
market and how they all add up - (and then subtract user costs away). It's
the new math for rackmount SSDs.
|7 years ago - in -
|Samsung Ships Revolutionary SSD Based
Editor:- May 23, 2006 - Samsung today
the world's first high volume consumer PCs embedded with a 32GB flash-based
solid state disk.
The Samsung Q1 ($2,430 - 900MHz processor, 7"
screen) and the Q30 ($3,700 - 1.2GHz processor, 12" screen) will be
available in the Korean market in a few weeks.
These mobile computing
devices are the ideal solution for professionals and executives who are
constantly on the move. The SSD reads 300% faster (53MB/s) and writes 150%
quicker (28MB/s) than normal
hard drives. As a
result, multiple application programs can operate simultaneously and large
volumes of data can be edited and reproduced more efficiently. The Microsoft
Windows XP operating system will boot up 25-50% faster on the SSD than on other
The Q1-SSD will show video or still photos as well as play
audio without having to be booted up first. DMB TV receivers are embedded in
both PCs, which will bring extra enjoyment to users during this summer's World
"PC models based on
solid state disks have
numerous advantages over traditional hard disk-based models. These include
faster booting, greater durability, quieter operation, and increased battery
life. These new models are only the beginning. Samsung will continue to lead
the market, introducing new portable PC models that bring these benefits to both
consumers and enterprise users." said Kim Hounsoo,
Executive VP of the Computing Division of Samsung Electronics.
Editor's contemporary comments (2006):- this market changing
use for SSDs was described in our
penetration model published last year - which described all the main
applications and trigger points for the SSD market along with their user value
|great lessons we can
learn from SSD leaders|
what was the shtik in going from STEC
to sTec? (sic)
|Editor:- April 24, 2013 - You
can learn a lot about SSD design by talking to people who have designed
world leading SSDs. |
Even when they don't want to tell you the exact
details of how they've solved a particular kind of problem - the numbers they
drop along the way (we got 85% efficiency at this, or we got a write speed
which is 2x faster than what you'd usually expect from this type of memory)
can illustrate the probable paths their inventive minds went.
reverse analysis (or educated guesswork) is helped along by knowing that
there was a solution and because there are only so many ways you can shuffle
the architecture, software and silicon deck.
But is it the same with
SSD business development and marketing?
If company A chooses this route
to market - while company B - which has a very similar product - is reporting
much better success by their unconventional way of reaching customers - what can
that tell you about how to mange your own SSD business?
I thought it
would be interesting to see if we could reverse analyze the processes which one
of the world's leading SSD companies must have gone through recently to arrive
at a solution which surprised me - and which some of you have been asking about
in your emails.
The SSD company formerly known as STEC would prefer now
to be called sTec (sic).
What was the shtik?
I may have got
some of the intermediate details wrong - and I don't know for sure - how long
the whole thing took from the start to finish.
But I think it's
possible to reproduce some of the steps this company took by knowing what
their starting point was - and seeing where they got to in the end. I think the
solution itself also reveals a lot about this company's priorities.
now while we drop in to eavesdrop on the raw genius of the creative
STEC nope. that's the one we've grown tired of
STECPersonally I like it a lot. But I don't think that's the
direction we're supposed to be going in.
STECI really like that too but I don't think it's allowed
either. Have you read the email?
the one which says why we're doing
it was sent last week.
you found it? good.
I haven't read it either.let's start again at the top
STECyeah - the good oldie. It's a classic.
STEcthat's much better already
STecare we going in the right direction?
Stecno - that's way too boring and predictable
stecno - that's too modern
steCthat's a definite improvement already
stECis that getting better or worse?
sTEClooks too similar to where we started
STECI told you to be careful. Let's just go back to one at a time.
STEcI meant in the other direction
sTECare we putting colors into this? No.
And we had that one before. Let's go back to that one we had before.
steCthat's it. Are we done? No - I meant - let's start left shifting
stCethat's not what I meant. Can you roll it back?
steCI still like this one the best. Now shift the upper case one to
stEcthat looks horrible. Maybe we're going the wrong way about it.
Let's pause here and come back after lunch.
sTecthat looks weird. How about if we change all the cases?
StEC Saint ECC? I don't think so
arwxthat's not even the right letters. Yes we do have to use the same
TECSand in the original order. Let's start again.
STEChow many permutations can there be?
!!!!maybe we already solved it and didn't realize. Should we get a
focus group in?
*F*!why don't we print them all out, cut them into pieces, put them in
a jar and then pick one (without looking)
what do you mean you weren't
saving them after they rolled off the top of the screen?
have we got left?
no don't press any more buttons
are you sure
that's the one?
can we print that?
are we ready then?
hand doesn't fit in the jar
is there anyone in the office with small
what do you mean you don't feel comfortable asking your
co-workers if their hands are smaller than yours? OK I get it. No - we don't
want to get HR involved. Can we find a bigger jar?
we be videoing this moment for posterity?
I declare the winner to
arwxdon't press upload to youtube just yet
here's the next
sTecno one will believe us when we tell them how hard it was
|Editor:- I hope you find the dramatized account
above useful and self explanatory. |
As I said to one reader this
morning - the transition from STEC to sTec (is that the right one) is a
symptom of what happens when a company (which previously behaved as though it
rated the importance of investing in marketing as close to zero) buys into
mistaken concepts of what marketing is really about.
Nomenclature, and the Naming of Names
|10 years ago in
|Imperial Announces WhatsHot? SSD Tool|
SEGUNDO, Calif. - May 14, 2003 - Imperial Technology
today announced WhatsHot, a new software product that tracks file usage by
individual file name and outputs information that can be used to optimize data
placement in storage infrastructures.
"Given industry estimates that 50% of all data inquiries are directed at
less than 10% of total data, it's amazing that contemporary Unix and Microsoft
operating systems don't track file usage. It certainly makes business sense to
know which files are essentially Hot Files and to optimize the storage
infrastructure to maximize access to those critical files," said Robert
David, CEO and President, Imperial Technology. "WhatsHot does exactly
that. WhatsHot effectively illuminates the file interaction between server and
storage, and enables administrators to take proactive actions that result in
infrastructure productivity gains."
WhatsHot is comprised of a simple and non-invasive software agent that
resides on the server to collect real-time file access statistics. Once a brief
snapshot is complete, WhatsHot provides a concise report that illuminates key
file usage parameters including total file usage, time per access, percent file
contribution of total workload, and average access size per file. It's a tool
for empowered administrators to precisely determine file placement on maximum
performance storage (Hot Files), moderate performance cost effective storage
(Warm files), or high capacity storage (Cold files) devices. WhatsHot is a
powerful administrative tool that uses actual real-time empirical data to
monitor and measure file usage metrics and joins Imperial's recently announced
Serv2Stor software as a foundation for Imperial's growing productivity enhancing
suite of software deliverables. WhatsHot for Sun Solaris is available
immediately with additional operating environments scheduled for later this
Editor's comments:- in my editoral column
October 2002 I
said lack of suitable software tools was a factor slowing down the widespread
adoption of SSD technology. "Part of the problem is that it takes
knowledge about where the bottlenecks are in your system and that can change
with every new release of your application software. Although it's economic to
buy the hardware side of the solid state disk accelerator solution, the soft
side still relies heavily on human experts to make the speedup work. Without
expert tuning you won't get the full benefit of the expensive hardware, and in a
worst case scenario might not get any benefit at all." - Today's
announcement by Imperial offers the promise of a software flashlight which will
embolden users and show them where to unlock the potential of SSD acceleration
SSD performance testing,
auto-caching SSD news
|EMC's flash educational
|Editor:- April 15, 2013 - I've been saying for
years that any simple analysis - like my
enterprise silos model
- makes it clear why no single flash product (or supplier) can economically
satisfy all requirements.|
first idea is graphically encapsulated in a video
by EMC which they call "FLASH in a flash" which - because I'm
not a fan of SSD videos
- I only saw for the first time today.
This video also introduces a
smart and almost apologetic way of positioning
hard drive based
storage - as being for applications which can "tolerate multi
That's clever - because they know most
of you already have these HDD systems, and EMC is best known for these slower
rotating storage systems. That's how they get you to lower your guard by
introducing the familiar.
The 2nd half of the video - which is not so
good as a general flash video - suggests that EMC is the best supplier to look
at because it's got 25 years experience in storage.
In my view that
argument doesn't logically follow.
Experience in something that's
different is irrelevant. It's like suggesting that breeding horses would
have made Ford
better at designing engines.
Nice try by EMC marketing at subtle SSD
sales sophistry by linking irrelevant concepts though.
|Do you have
about deduping SSDs?
|Editor:- April 11, 2013 - What
comes to your mind when you think about
theoretical ratio? - x2, x5, x10...
Or maybe you groan? - It's too
messy to manage and even if capacity gets better, something else gets worse
- so let's just forget the idea...
A recent blog -
the SSD Dedupe Ticker (March 28, 2013) - by Pure Storage -
looks at the state of customer reaility in this aspect of
technology and comments on the variations you can get according to the type of
app and the way of doing the dedupe.
Among other things the article
also looks at the biggie question - of performance impact - answering the
author's rhetorical question - "why hasnt deduplication taken the primary
storage world by storm like it has the
backup world?" ...read
impact from RAID rebuilds becomes compounded with long rebuild times incurred by
mutli-terabyte drives. Since traditional RAID rebuilds entirely into a new spare
drive, there is a massive bottleneck of the write speed of that single drive
combined with the read bottleneck of the few other drives in the RAID set."|
CEO - SolidFire
- in his recent
blog - Say
farewell to RAID storage (March 14, 2013).|
RAID & SSD
|"If something can
be easily predicted from what a company did before - or is similar to what 45
other SSD companies are doing with the same SandForce controller then for our
readers - who are looking for thought leadership in the SSD market - it's
not SSD news."|
|Editor explaining to an SSD marketer why
their recent press
release never appeared on this page. |
SSD news - 15th year on this web
|BiTMICRO launches low power rugged SSD|
May 23, 2013 - BiTMICRO
a new low power consumption (2W active)
temperature operation, rugged,
SATA SSD which
supports many different types of
I-series has 4,900 / 2,500
R/W IOPS, a
and capacity from 8GB upto 512GB (MLC).
Skyera unifies 19/20 nm MLC flash arrays with 100x life
May 21, 2013 - Skyera
it has added unified storage operation (concurrent NAS and SAN) to its
pre-existing SSD box.
comments:- this was already anticipated and factored in by potential
systems competitors that I've spoken to in the past several quarters.
interesting for me - is the "100x MLC life amplification" figure
recent blog by Skyera's CEO.
When you're asking what's possible
from combining controller
with software efficiencies
(don't do things which are unnecessary to access the true app data - as opposed
to emulating every just-in-case-we-need-it lookahead or spurious hard drive
traffic request) the 100x figure is a useful competitive metric. It's all about
being at the leading edge of the system
SSD price curve.
See also:- MLC
Seniors live longer in my SSD care home
Stec's profiler removes guesswork in sizing SSD caches for
hybrid storage pools
Editor:- May 21, 2013 -
that it's offering a free profiling tool -
Profiler - which can enable users to determine how much benefit they would
get from using its
(SSD caching software) - before they even install any SSDs.
company says that the "non-disruptive installation" can save hours of
administrative trial and error by recommending the optimal block size, and the
capacity and type of SSDs to be used for maximum performance gain. See
SSDs, SSD performance
SSDs end bottlenecks? - and cure all my server speed worries?
Samsung in volume production of 11 DWPD SATA SSD - SM843T
Editor:- May 21, 2013 - There are so many
SATA SSDs - it's hard
to tell them apart - and harder to quickly sort out what they're good for.
In the case of SATA SSDs for the
particular - the clue words have changed a lot in the past 9 years.
- In the beginning - the clue was the
memory. If it was SLC -
that nearly always meant enterprise. because SLC was the
good kind of flash -
and consumers couldn't afford
But from about
2009 onwards -
as flash controller
designers got smarter - "enterprise" stopped meaning "SLC".
Now most enterprise SSDs use the same naughty kind of flash
as consumers. All modern civilian SATA SSDs are MLC - whether they're for
enterprise or consumer markets. (It's a mixed picture in the
market and different again in
- Then it was endurance.
But endurance of the memory isn't the same as endurance of the SSD. So
SSD vendors started to talk about
diskful writes per day
(or unlimited writes and other things) - as a way to signal what kind of slot
you could put their new SATA SSD in.
- Then it was data
I remember seeing web pages from some SSD makers which
explained that the way they differentiated between enterprise and
consumer SSDs was
that the consumer models had one level of recoverable error rates - while
their enterprise models were much better. That wasn't really enough of a
- I nearly forgot to say that at one time the differentiator in enterprise
SATA SSDs was speed - measured in throughput and
speed stopped being a useful clue - because fast consumer SATA SSDs can be
faster than slow enterprise SSDs. (Unlike a
where all your
SSD benefits are assumed to come from a single lonely SSD, the situation in
the enterprise array is that the population of SSDs in a
RAID type array all pull
together. And in fast-enough SSD racks - the economics of the box stems from
not offering overly extravagant performance.)
- the SATA SSD news today is that Samsung has announced
volume shipments of a new model for the enterprise - the SM843T.
- Another trend - which we've been seeing for a few years now - is for SATA
SSD vendors to talk about the fact that their enterprise SATA SSDs have
circuits which cope with sudden power failure.
The assumption here
being that if your SSD is in a notebook your don't need this protection. Why's
that? - because you've got a rechargeable battery - so you're going to get a
warning before the power rail drops.
Another assumption is that
consumers don't really care so much about their data. (Not enough to pay more
for the difference - or do backups.)
the other hand if you use a Wintel notebook in earnest - you'll be familiar
with the technique of pulling out the battery to reset it when the OS has
gone awol. This procedure is more survivable for
hard drives than
SSDs - due to cleverly designed springs and other things - which have evolved
over the decades. Pulling the battery out in a thrashing SSD notebook can be the
start of learning about an expensive type of service called
can tell it's for the enterprise - because the company says - "it protects
the most recent data being processed from a sudden power interruption, for
enhanced system reliability..." and "the 960GB model is rated at
20,000 sequential TBW (Terabytes Written)" - which approximates to 11 DWPD.
before you go - what about the changing relevance of SATA SSD itself for the
It's a bit
more complicated than
that - but that'll do for now.
- SATA SSDs were the successors to
SCSI HDDs (the old
we're #2 in PCIe SSDs and growing fast - says LSI
May 15, 2013 - LSI
it shipped over 40,000 PCIe
SSDs in the past 12 months - and has been ranked the #2 merchant supplier
of enterprise PCIe SSDs in the US, and the fastest growing in this category
according to a recent report by Forward Insights.
Virident acquires flash VP from EMC
Editor:- May 15,
2013 - Virident
has recently recruited Ken
Grohe as VP worldwide customer operations. Grohe came from EMC where he was VP and GM
of their Flash Business Unit.
...Later:- in a
release (May 21, 2013) Virident confirmed the above news and coupled it to
the appointment of Keith
Carpenter (formerly co-founder of
Cache IQ) as Virident's new
VP of sales, Americas.
Skyera increments SSD brainiacs headcount
May 14, 2013 - Skyera
its new chief architect is Andy Tomlin -
who was formerly VP of SSD Development at WD and before that
was VP of firmware and software at SandForce.
3 SSD winners from Network Products Guide
May 14, 2013 - 3 SSD companies were recently named by Network Products Guide in
Hot Companies and Best Awards
new report by Forward Insights ranks SSD vendors by revenue
May 13, 2013 - Forward
Insights has published a new report
SSD Supplier Status
2012 ($4,250) which among other things ranks vendors by revenue in these
market research news
co-founding pilots leave enterprise SSD cockpit - does that mean
new flight plans for Fusion-io?
Editor:- May 9, 2013 - Fusion-io yesterday
that its co-founders - David Flynn
(who had been CEO and President) and Rick White (who had
been CMO) have resigned and will pursue future entrepreneurial investing
They will remain members of FIO's board and will
serve in advisory roles for the next 12 months.
Fusion-io's new CEO and
Robison said ""On behalf of the Board and entire Fusion-io
team, I want to thank David and Rick for their significant contributions to the
creation, development and growth of the company. David and Rick's vision as
co-founders has redefined memory technology and had a profound impact on our
industry. Under their leadership, Fusion-io has developed into one of the
world's leading technology companies, helping businesses increase datacenter
efficiency. They played an important role in taking the company public and
developing a strong framework from which Fusion-io can grow to the next level."
comments:- If it's any consolation to you - the news came as a a complete
surprise to me too. Markets don't like surprises - and FIO's founders are very
highly regarded - so the company's shares took a hit.
There are many
articles on the web which speculate about the real reasons for FIO's founders
to end their hands-on roles.
The answer may not be so very
If you look at what's been happening to the company
recently from a financial viewpoint - FIO isn't profitable and its revenue
growth has stopped. Investors have been nervous about this. And it's
natural to ask should FIO be putting more of its management talent onto the
problem of consolidating and expanding business opportunities in the next few
quarters - rather than continuing visionary plans which may take the company to
loftier market peaks in the next 2-3 years?
That needs a
different management skill set than getting to where the company has reached
Another question which you may ask is - is someone going to buy
Fusion-io?. And if so - who would it be?
A couple of years ago when
I first commented on this question I came to the conclusion that the kind of
possible acquirers which would benefit most from such an acquisition - if they
could afford it - would be either a flash memory company which doesn't already
have an enterprise SSD product line or a software company which wants to get
into the SSD platform business.
If you try to look at "possible"
fits from this perspective - that gives you a very short list - none of which
look like "comfortable" fits, however.
- Samsung - in the
But semiconductor and enterprise system cultures are
so different - that chipmakers already have enough problems with marketing
simple "systems" such as drives. The software rich products from the
FIO design stable look like beings from a different planet to a wafer fab
OK - so I don't think
there are any hot candidates out there who would want to buy FIO and who would
know what to do with it. I just wanted to clear that one out of the way to show
how absurd and unlikely it is.
- Microsoft - in
the software category.
(I didn't put
Oracle on this shortlist
because Oracle has already had its fingers burned with one bright hot storage
systems acquisition - and despite a natural fit from one angle - database
acceleration - the prospect of Oracle owning FIO would scare FIO's biggest
Going back to Microsoft - this is a company which has
serious problems of its own - such as making a PC OS that consumers want to
buy. And Microsoft is still failing to understand what makes a desirable phone.
So I think we can rule that out too.
So where are we now with the prospects
for Fusion-io? (The company, its products and its customers and competitors - I
mean - not the share price.)
If you're competing in the enterprise SSD
market there are 3 main product groups in which you would place Fusion-io in any
short list of future top rank competitors. These are:-
first 2 are self explanatory. The 3rd one may need a little more explanation -
and is the subject of a major new article I was working on before the management
changes story broke.
In several recent conversations about the
rackmount SSD market - I have noted that FIO's recent acquisition of NexGen -
when added to its pre-existing IP legacy in SAN rackmount technology - make it
a serious contender in any forward looking shortlist of top 5 most competitive
rackmount SSD vendors. That's a new way of looking at the company for most
people - and the results may not be clear for a few quarters - but the
company has been traveling down this incubator road for some while.
from these various perspectives the competitive outlook for Fusion-io on
Thursday doesn't look materially different to what it was on Monday.
passengers choosing to fly to currently known SSD destinations with
Fusion-io don't need to change their plans.
intrepid explorers hoping to fly FIO to more exotic places may have to
wait a bit longer to see departure times being announced for SSD destinations
which don't yet have runways.
It's natural to feel sadness and regret
that the founders of Fusion-io - who created so much excitement in our
industry have gone to new roles - and from my own point of view I will really
miss the visionary chats we used to have about the long term future of solid
Rick White and David Flynn - built a strong company
which is one of the best known and admired in the SSD industry. Anyone who
assumes that it will be easier to compete with FIO today than it was yesterday
risks a severe battering.
PS - you can read more about FIO's
legacy and many contributions to
in their profile page
here on the mouse site.
I think the most important and long
lasting thing they changed is the fundamental way that computers are sold.
SSDs are now regarded as a "must-have available option" in any new
design of mainstream enterprise server. That change has benefitted the whole SSD
industry and everyone who uses the internet.
One thing which hasn't
changed in the short term - however - is that we'll all still be eagerly
waiting to see what Fusion-io does next.
PS - after publishing the
above I saw this
with Shane Robison on SiliconAngle.com - who said "This
is not a strategy change. It's all about how we grow the company."
a later webcast
Thursday 9am PT - Shane Robison said that big company management skills
were needed to better optimize Fusion-io's business compared with the earlier
growth days of the company. He said that once the board had made the decision
to make the changes in management in detail - which he said had been discussed
in outline as a possibility for a long time before - they decided to announce
it immediately. (As a public company they couldn't prewarn or leak any of this
Editor:- Nevertheless - looking back on these events -
the process of information dissemination from the company - can best be
described as a marketing communications fiasco.
One reader said to me
on Wednesday evening as the panic told hold - "If everything Fusion-io
says in their press release is true - why doesn't it include supporting
quotes from the ex CEO and CMO? - They could have avoided a lot of angst by
OCZ gets award for Windows compatible SQL flash cache
May 8, 2013 - OCZ
that its ZD-XL SQL Accelerator earned the
Best of Interop
award in the data center and storage category.
at CeBIT last February) is a bundled package for Windows servers which
includes an SQL optimized flash caching software appliance which leverages
the low latency of an associated
OCZ PCIe SSD card.
judging committee, comprised of 16 IT editors and analysts who reviewed
nearly 150 entries. See also:-
Seagate's latest pronouncements on SSDs
8, 2013 - "Seagate
is Serious about SSD and Flash Technology."
headline of a new
products overview page mentioned in a recent
release about 3 of the company's newest SSDs.
It's the SAS product which to my way of thinking is the
really new thing here.
Until now if you wanted a
1.8" SSD with a SAS
interface you had to go to
SMART to get
The SAS drives market - which Seagate helped to create - used to be
seen by external commentators as a strategic market for Seagate. (And no
doubt it's still regarded that way by SAS product managers within the company.)
Seagate's tardy entry into the enterprise SSD market (December 2009)
which happened only after many of its own enterprise customers had already
responded to the SSD wake up call by
making their own
arrangements - meant that Seagate's continuing existence as a long term
enterprise drive supplier in a world which was
SSDs was called into question.
Then when Seagate's first
enterprise SSD dance partners (SandForce and
LSI) eloped to
re-emerge as rival competitors about a year ago - Seagate was left in such a
sorry state that some well meaning stakeholders and seld serving investors were
trying to pair the company off in rumor blogs with
STEC (neither of which
were looking for such a hook up).
Instead - as we learned recently -
Seagate found a very suitable match in the PCIe SSD market with Virident.
And it's safe to assume that if they have any children as a couiple they will
look like 2.5"
As to Seagate taking the SSD market seriously - which is
where I began this - you could ask - who doesn't?
To misquote Jane
Austen - "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a storage company
in possession of a good fortune must be in want of an SSD product line."
the other hand - I would take Seagate's sentiments about SSDs more seriously if
they had been expressed on http://www.seagate.com instead of on the less
imposing address where it currently resides -
new WD hybrid has SanDisk SSD inside
Editor:- May 7,
2013 - a new 2.5"
from WD -
called WD Black
SSHD (500GB HDD
capacity, 5mm high SATA)
- has a tiny SSD from
- it was
Editor's comments:- SanDisk' contribution to this is
a tiny SSD which they call
iSSD which has
9K/1K R/W IOPS performance and measures 16mm x 20mm x 1.2mm for capacities
upto 16GB. The height budget moves up to 1.85mm for 128GB of flash.
Diablo's new VP Marketing came from OCZ
7, 2013 - Kevin Wagner
who until a few months ago had been VP Enterprise Product Management
at OCZ has moved to
- to become Diablo's VP of Marketing it was
Micron turns up the heat for adoption of 2.5" PCIe SSDs
May 3, 2013 - Micron
it's sampling a new model in the
hot swappable 2.5"
PCIe SSDs market - the
has upto 1.4TB MLC capacity and can deliver 750K R IOPS. Micron specifies
endurance as "50PB of drive life".
Micron is also offering half height, half length PCIe SSDs in the new range -
but to my mind it's the 2.5" drives which are the significant part of this
I wrote about the impact these new drives could have
on traditional PCIe SSDs and
SAS SSDs in an
article 12 months ago.
summarize the main points in that... the new form factor for PCIe will displace
high end SAS SSDs and likely make the 12Gbps SAS drives the last generation of
SAS as "performance drives".
SAS SSDs will in turn replace
SATA SSDs as the
removable drive of choice in traditional legacy fast-enough enterprise
The new 2.5" PCIe SSDs will open up new markets in cost
sensitive incrementally upgradeable fast SSD racks.
At the high end of
the server side accelerated market, however, and particularly in
dark matter data
centers where the rack is seen the replacement unit - I'm sure that good old
PCIe SSD cards and modules will continue to hold their ground - because they
have lower packaging costs and can be designed to be more efficient than smaller
earlier this week - traditional PCIe SSDs will also facing pressure from
memory channel storage SSDs. But MCS won't impact 2.5" PCIe SSDs.
you start selling shares in any particular company - I'm talking here about
market juggling and realignments which will take 2-3 years to have a material
affect on existing market sizes and revenue. These changes won't happen
overnight. And these game changers in the
enterprise SSDs market
aren't taking part in the context of a zero sum game. The enterprise SSD
universe is expanding.
And here's another thing.
Last year I
told Micron's top SSD marketers that they weren't in tune with the needs of
enterprise SSD specifiers - because they had hopelessly slow and antiquated
processes for extracting technical information of the type that serious buyers
They seem to have taken those criticisms on board - because
now you can swim around in the info they've got about their new enterprise SSDs
on their web site - without having to sign NDAs and without waiting weeks to
talk to the person who knows what's missing on the datasheet. Still some details
missing - but it's a vast improvement on what they were doing before.
of you may think it's ironic that it's not Micron who's doing the flash thing
for memory channel SSDs. But bear in mind that semiconductor companies have to
feed the fab. And their priorities are to engage in established markets where
there is already known demand for millions of chips. Big memory companies don't
usually get involved in blue sky system innovation - except in
ORG type wolf packs.
Micron's got its own thing going with hypercube memory. And - as I've
said before - if that flies - it's another gating point for flash (if flash is
still around when that happens).
the challenges facing ULL SSDs
Editor:- May 1, 2013
- On Monday - StorageSearch.com
published a new article - Memory
Channel Storage SSDs - will the new ultra low latency SSD concept fly? -
should you book a seat yet?
Yesterday (Tuesday) I added a bunch
of quotes and links in a sidebar to the article which sample the various
strands of original thinking about the topic of nv as a memory tier (and not
just as fast storage).
Today (Wednesday) I made them easier to find by
placing them at the top of the page - and adding some more notes. ...read the article
I suppose this is a good time to mention that pageviews on the home page of StorageSearch.com
in April 2013 were 26% higher than a year ago.
Which goes to
show that thoughtful SSD readers aren't scared away by content which doesn't
pause every few minutes to explain the difference between an SSD and an
most readers ever really understood what was going on in the hard drives
either - they were just reassuringly familiar - having been
spinning around for a long
In reality a lot of scary stuff was going on inside hard
drives too - but the recent pace of innovation in HDD had been glacially
slow - and the resulting products were stunningly irrelevant to solving the
real urgent needs of advancing progress in the future data driven economy.
NetApp validates FlashSoft caching
Editor:- April 30,
2013 - SanDisk
that its FlashSoft (auto caching) software
has been validated for use with NetApp's
enterprise storage products.
Editor's comments:- NetApp are
pleased that their old fashioned storage arrays can be made to look more
sprightly through the correcting lens of server side SSD cache. They've got
a video and faqs page about the FlashSoft technology
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
$4,000). Using 19nm MLC - the 100K/45K R/W IOPS -
Eco - is rated at 10 drive writes per day
Diablo names SMART Storage as exclusive flash partner to pioneer
memory channel SSDs
Editor:- April 25, 2013 - You may remember
reading here before about a company called Diablo Technologies -
which while in stealth mode - hinted it was working on a new technology which
would enable SSDs to run on server motherboards with latency and throughput even
better than PCIe SSDs....
Diablo has been creating the interface side of things - but I learned
recently that implementing the flash side of this - in a manner which is both
effective and affordable - requires a world leading mastery of enterprise flash
IP - which Diablo wisely recognized it doesn't have.
has publicly announced an exclusive partnership agreement with SMART Storage Systems
which will leverage its flash IP and controller assets to co-design a new family
latency SSDs and system accelerators which connect via Diablo's memory
channel storage architecture and which will be sold exclusively by SMART but
jointly supported by both companies.
there are a lot of implications for the future direction of SSD server
acceleration if this collaboration succeeds in delivering competitively
attractive new types of SSDs. But there are also very difficult technical
problems and ecosystems development problems to solve too in order to make it
I discussed these topics in a conversation earlier this week
with John Scaramuzzo,
President and Esther Spanjer,
Director SSD Marketing at SMART.
Among the many questions inspired
by that conversation:-
- how is the new technology different to what has been done before? -
particularly with PCIe SSDs and with DIMM class flash?
- if successful - what impact would memory channel SSDs have on the PCIe SSD
market? - and application server architecture?
- how will the new types of SSDs stretch the demands of flash endurance and
- how will competitors respond to this new technology? And how much of what
they say should you take take on board or disregard?
- who are going to be the among the first wave of customers to adopt these
I'll be writing about these
matters and more in
a new home page
blog on StorageSearch.com which will be published Monday 4pm ET. See you
- when will the first products be ready?
Fusion-io enters the iSCSI array market
April 24, 2013 - Fusion-io
made 2 significant announcements today.
The 1st of these was
financial results for the quarter ended March 31 - revenue of $88 million
(down 27% from the preceding quarter and down 7% from the year
The 2nd of these was the real news -
FIO has acquired another company -
NexGen Storage (for $119
are SSD ASAPs
(hybrid caching systems with integrated real-time
dedupe and QoS
controls for VDI apps) which use Fusion's PCIe SSDs in standard servers with
conventional hard drives to deliver
iSCSI hybrid storage for
SME and departmental needs in a 3U rack which delivers upto 150K IOPS and
16TB to 192TB raw capacity.
that on a per-U basis their systems deliver 10x more IOPS than HDD arrays,
3x more IOPS / U than conventional hybrid arrays and 3x more GB / U for VDI apps
than pure SSD arrays.
These kinds of comparisons always depend on
which competitor you're comparing with and when the comparison was done.
However - the company has enough customer case studies and independent
analysis papers on its site to show that real customers liked the products.
up the 2 stories today?
FIO had already indicated that its revenue
from its known biggest customers would decline for a few quarters - so the
financial results are not a great surprise. But the NexGen announcement has
opened the door to an entirely new type of customer for Fusion-io at the other
end of the SSD adoption scale - compared to the well known big customers which
have until now dominated FIO's business.
Will it work?
used to being the leader in the
PCIe SSD market which
it largely helped to create as a significant new part of the server ecosystem.
But it will require a different type of marketing and business development
approach to convert the potential of NexGen's technology into an equivalent
leading role in the more conservative and crowded iSCSI market.
the other hand if you add NexGen's hybrid iSCSI IP to the marketing magic of
Fusion-io - it's safe to predict that the iSCSI market will soon be getting a
wake up call the likes of which it has never seen before.
...Next on the SSD world domination agenda - create better value
in the cost sensitive iSCSI market
Editor:- April 23, 2013 - The iSCSI market hasn't been a
fertile business development ground for SSD sales - a factor which I ascribe
to the mood prevailing at its birth. At the start of 2001 - when the idea of
iSCSI first attracted interest on the web - the
storage market was still in
a recession which would continue for another 2 years. Users could buy new
or little used servers and storage recycled from the spending spree of failed
dotcom companies for next to nothing. There was already a proven fast way of
doing fast network storage - fibre-channel
which had been around since
1994 (but it was complex to set up). Those various factors meant that iSCSI
evolved - by necessity - into a cheap, simple to set up and maintain storage
ecosystem for frugal applications which needed data.
was nothing hard wired into the technology which prevented it from being scaled
up - most of the early attempts by vendors to nudge iSCSI into the fast lane
with dedicated hardware accelerators failed. There was no real customer
appetite in the iSCSI base to encourage vendors to push for fast random IOPS
or low latency. iSCSI was the frugal way of doing complicated network
That's another reason why - prior to 2013 - none of the top
10 enterprise pure SSD array companies started in iSCSI. There wasn't enough
market demand for the kind of low latency and fast IOPS which could open enough
doors for SSDs in storage cabinets to make it worthwhile. Instead, most of the
iSCSI arrays which have been in the market until recently were originally
developed around technology optimized for FC SAN or were simply iSCSI HDD
arrays with some SSDs thrown into some of the bays. When you saw "iSCSI"
on the datasheet of a fast SSD you knew it had most likely been added
to a model which had already been optimized for another market.
could say that iSCSI has been a safe haven for enterprise
hard drives - because
whenever there has been a tension in the feature set between the cost of
incremental capacity versus the value of incremental performance - it was cost
- and getting the cost down as low as possible - which usually won.
explained in my Petabyte
SSD roadmap article a few years ago why one day - even the mantle of low
cost per raw terabyte wouldn't be enough to protect delinquently slow and
ineffcient hard drives from being evicted from enterprise network storage
racks. And this culture shock will be knocking at the door of the iSCSI market
from various different vendor directions in the coming year - with increasing
I was pondering these factors last week when I was waiting to
Rosenthal, Senior VP Marketing Astute Networks who
wanted to talk about the
of new models in their ViSX family of fast-enough iSCSI rackmount SSDs -
which have upto 45TB of raw SSD storage in a 2U rack which with
can deliver $2,000 / TB and even with dedupe switched off - comes in at about
$5,000 / TB while being able to offer more than double the IOPS of much higher
priced competing SSD systems.
The first thing I asked about was the
company's iSCSI accelerator chip - which is one of the two technology factors
which give them an edge in iSCSI. I had heard about it many years ago - but the
company doesn't say much about it now. Len told me they were now on the 3rd
generation of their iSCSI accelerator chip. The 1st generation had been
designed for a US Navy project to enable fast access to embedded storage
located around a ship while using COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) servers and
In Astute's current ViSX systems I think you can view the
iSCSI accelerator as being the technology which buys the time (in latency cost)
which can then be spent on dependable real-time dedupe.
me that although Astute have always known this gives them a theoretical
performance advantage compared to competitors who use similar types of flash -
it's only when he engaged Demartek
to do some comparative testing recently and gave them a free hand to explore
the differences - that they realized just how good their systems were. (I've
seen summaries of these benchmarks - and they do confirm the advantages of the
Astute's new systems do now seem to offer a hard to
beat SSD package for users in the mainstream iSCSI market. Len described
this as "making flash affordable for the mid market."
earlier generations of iSCSI flash were too expensive for most users. But the
current generation - not only offers attractive pricing - but comes with proven
technologies - and cost effective replication - by what the company calls
availability groups" (pdf)- which enables users to choose which
systems provide failover clustering - and whether that's local or remote. In
addition to providing data continuity when things fail - this scheme can also
provide load balancing and imporved performance in the normal (unfailed)
One of the things which came across clearly from talking to Len
is that Astute Networks is totally focused on the iSCSI SSD market. They
know the market, they know the apps - and they aim to be one of the leading
suppliers in this niche. For them iSCSI isn't something on the tick list - it's
the whole list.
For alternative and competing companies in this
market segment search for
new SSD module for mobile military systems
April 22, 2013 -Curtiss-Wright
the availability of conduction cooled secure 1TB SATA SLC SSD modules
for use in its rugged 4 port NAS module which is designed to fit on an ARINC
SSD - designed for applications such as helicopters, UAVs and mobile
radar systems - is certified to FIPS 140-2 and provides 4 modes of key
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.
Our PCIe SSD business is negligible today - but we plan to
change that - says SanDisk's CEO
Editor:- April 18, 2013 - Nearly
revenue still comes from SAS
SSDs - derived from their
March 2011 - and
the company's PCIe SSD revenue today is "negligibly small" but they
see PCIe SSDs as a
large market opportunity which they want to get into with products they will
launch in the 2nd half the year.
That was the gist of the message
Mehrotra, cofounder and CEO SanDisk - in the company's earnings
conference call yesterday.
Other things which emerged:- SSDs are 20%
of SanDisk's sales this year, and like other
flash memory makers
SanDisk is reluctant to invest in new wafer fabs while there's still
uncertainty about the exact direction and proven viability of flash technology
beyond the current 2-3 years window. ...read
transcript on SeekingAlpha.com
OCZ will exit SandForce driven consumer SSD market
April 17, 2013 - OCZ
estimated revenue for the quarter ended February 28, 2013 in the range
from $65 million to $70 million.
Editor's comments:- That's
in comparison to
revenue of $110 million in the year ago quarter - which for most companies
would indicate that business has been getting worse.
However, due to
auditing problems which placed the company outside NASDAQ compliance limits
last year and led to the departure of its founder - it may be that a better
quality of new revenue - due to getting more of the right kind of business -
may lead to a more positive place than getting more of the old wrong kind.
The company also announced today that it will move the majority of
its consumer SSDs to its own fast in-house SSD controller technology in the
next few quarters.
Effectively exiting the very competitive
controller driven consumer
SSD market should make it easier for OCZ to differentiate its products
and get better profit margins.
the Top SSD Companies in 2013 Q1
Editor:- April 17,
2013 - StorageSearch.com
today published a new edition of the Top SSD Companies.
new WebFeet report on 2012 non volatile memory market
April 16, 2013 - the
flash memory market was
worth just under $28 billion in 2012 - down 3% from the year before -
according to WebFeet
Research - who have
a new report CS700MS
($2.5K) which analyzes nvm market share.
WebFeet have got a new website design too. It's worth a look and is
significantly better than what they had before. Having said that - the design
uses reversed text (white text on a dark background) - which is OK for sites
where you aren't going to read much - but not so good on the eye for longer
IBM aims to be multi-billion dollar flash systems supplier
April 12, 2013 - 3 years ago I wrote a
blog about the
confusing nature of the "RamSan" brand of SSDs from Texas Memory Systems
given that all the recent models in the family were in fact
flash memory rather than
RAM based - and
furthermore some of the models didn't connect via an
FC SAN but used
it wasn't a surprise to see in yesterday's
by IBM (who
last year) that the RamSan designation has been dropped in favor of the more
accurate sounding "FlashSystem" in those models which migrated
intact to IBM's
enterprise flash product line.
So - for example in the category of
availability rackmount SSDs - the old RamSan-720 (SLC) and RamSan-820
(MLC) have become the new
FlashSystem 720 and 820. If you're not familiar with these fast HA SSDs -
the thinking behind their design came out in an
interview I has with
Holly Frost, CEO of TMS when they were launched in
I missed them - then it doesn't look to me as though TMS's PCIe SSD models
have been so fortunate. I couldn't see them in IBM's range of PCIe SSDs (High
IOPS Modular Adapters) which are based on products and technologies from
LSI. That no-show
may be due to the fact that - unlike TMS's rackmount systems which were
software agnostic - a lot more work is required to efficiently integrate server
based SSDs into a wide range of server products. But I anticipate that
architecture SSD controller technology will resurface in future IBM SSD
Much more significant was the news that IBM is investing
$1 billion in research and development to design, create and integrate
new flash solutions into its portfolio of servers, storage systems and
middleware. IBM also announced plans to open 12 centers of flash competency
around the globe. That demonstrates confidence in the
future scale of the
SSD market and a clear sense of
SSD's place in computer history.
let's hear it again for Samsung's 10nm TLC
April 10, 2013 - the difference between "production" and "mass
production" wouldn't normally be enough to rate a 2nd mention on this news
page - even after an interval of 5 months by which time most editors will have
forgotten the earlier news instance.
But a worthy exception to this
little editorial rule of
mine is Samsung's
10nm, x3 MLC, 128Gb nand
flash which the company
Which way round did the transition go?
That would be
a valid question if you knew nothing at all about the
dynamics of the SSD
And at some time in the distant future the flash
fab taps may indeed be turning down the flow.
But just to reassure
you - in case you have any doubt - it was the transition from "production"
to "mass production" which the company noted today. No need to
change the memory investment portfolio just yet.
Addonics launches SSD duplicators
9, 2013 - Addonics
a family of mSATA SSD duplicators for copying 5, 9 or 11 drives at a time.
Prices start at $849. They can also clone CF and CFast cards.
Crocus gets funding for x8 multibit magnetic semiconductor memory
April 8, 2013 - Crocus
announced it has
been awarded a contract from IARPA
to develop an 8-bit per cell memory based on its Magnetic Logic Unit
This will greatly reduce the energy consumed per
written-bit compared to any other memory technology, including DRAM, Flash,
SRAM and MRAM.
Lee, VP, product development at Crocus compared the 8 bits per cell
which the company thinks it can get from its MLU technology with the
state-of-the-art in nand flash - which is 3-4 bits per cell and also compared
to alternative magnetic semiconductor technologies like MRAM - which is
still only 1 bit per cell storage (SLC).
here's some context.
If it were possible to do x8 MLC flash - then
840 SSD would have 16TB capacity instead of the 512GB which it has using
x3 (TLC) - which is the state of the art bits per cell shipping in a
regular 2.5" SSD.
But don't get too excited by this comparison as
currently exists only in the realm of science fiction.
multibit capability in a magnetic semiconductor cell will undoubtedly be a
breakthrough for that type of non volatile technology. But the density of such
x8 MLU memories would still be 100x smaller than today's flash. The good
news is that unlike flash - MLU will operate at very hot ambient temperatures -
past 200 degrees C.
Intel oems LSI's RAID caching SSD technology
April 8, 2013 - Intel
- which already uses LSI's
SandForce controllers in some SSDs - will oem LSI's dual-core RAID-on-Chip
flash caching technology it was announced today.
LSI says their
caching technology can double the number of VDI sessions supported in the same
sever and flash environment.
"Intel's selection of
Nytro MegaRAID technology is another significant validation of our strategic
focus and investments in flash-based server acceleration technology," said
senior VP and GM, Accelerated Solutions, LSI.
one of HP's most famous former employees
April 7, 2013 - HP -
which began shipping Fusion-io's
PCIe SSDs in its servers
4 years ago - is
now integrating FIO's ioFX
SSDs into some of its workstations aimed at the movie and video editing
market - it was
Editor's comments:- in a
blog about this -
HP's head of (related) product management Jeff Wood used
the phrase - "one of HP's most famous former employees" - to
Wozniak - who before founding Apple - and long before becoming
Scientist at Fusion-io -
worked at HP designing calculator chips.
Those were very sophisticated calculators - I recall - because my parents had
been selling and repairing electronic calculators
in their shop since 1964 - and later
became HP's first calculator and PC dealers in the local area.
chipsets - and solving the problem of how to produce a wide range of useful
products at low cost using a common set of silicon chips -
the genesis of the microprocessor market.
Hybrid Memory Cube spec ready for chip designers
April 3, 2013 - back in
October 2011 - I
reported on this page the formation of a new industry
ORG - the Hybrid Memory Cube Consortium
- which could have an impact on future SSD packaging densities.
takes a while to get these things going - but according to
press release this week by one of the founding companies - Micron - the 100 plus
companies which are collaborating in this enterprise have agreed on an
A key feature of the new multiplane memory
architecture is that distributed memory controllers in an HMC module will
handle the data I/O packet requests for the bunch of stacked memory chips in its
own vault. This is similar to the distributed intelligent data mover concept
which is already used in all proprietary
SSD controller designs - because it's the only way you can get good
aggregated global system performance while also dealing with low level
local memory management issues at low latency.
As with earlier
generations of remote distributed memory interfaces - such as
InfiniBand - HMC is
designed to optimize the request of small packets - which in the case of HMC is
16 to 128 bytes of data.
With today's semiconductor speeds -
accessing the data in those distributed memory chips within the same HMC module
presents similar technical problems to distributed memory cards in traditional
computer designs - because traversing inches of physical space at high speed is
as difficult as moving data across tens of feet at slower speeds.
has been born as a DRAM
technology - but don't ignore it - just for that reason. (Or because the data
packet sizes are small compared to the block sizes in
nand flash.) If and when
these HMC packaging ideas result in viable products - the ideas and
methodologies will spill into SSDs too -regardless of what the underlying
memories used in SSDs may be at that time.
It's all about speed and
scalability. According to the HMC
faqs page - A single (1st generation) HMC unit can provide more than 15x
the bandwidth of a DDR3 module. See also:-
SSD interface glue chips.
"We've shipped more SSDs to the enterprise than any other
supplier" - says STEC
Editor:- April 2, 2013 - In a
release today STEC's
CMO, Ali Zadeh
makes a contentious statement which goes something like this...
the company that has shipped more SSDs to the enterprise than any other supplier,
we have the unique capability to provide critical application knowledge and
experience to solve our customers' most critical issues..."
comments:- OK you could say there's more than one issue here on which SSD
commentators might disagree - so just to clarify - what I'm referring to - it's
the first half of the sentence which I've highlightened in bold text.
first glance - this positioning for
enterprise SSD market
leadership seems hard to reconcile with the state of the enterprise SSD
market - because based on other publicly available data - there are other
companies which have shipped significantly more
petabytes of SSD
storage into the enterprise than STEC.
read the words carefully - and with respect to "units shipped" and a
very narrow interpretation of what is meant by an "enterprise SSD"
it may be possible to reconcile STEC's statement in the context of what I
assume could be - lower capacity SSDs - defined in a very particular way to
exclude other claimants to this title.
The 2nd half of STEC's
assertion - re their "unique" knowledge of the enterprise SSD market
is easier to defend.
STEC's loss of market share in enterprise SSD
revenue in recent years - speaks clearly enough for itself. It's the kind of
unique understanding of a market which competitors might be happy to do without.
- STEC now sees itself as sTEC. I thought it was a typo when I saw it in my
email this morning. But the lower case "s" has been carried forward
into a compatible new image for STEC's logo. So I guess it was done
deliberately. Should we be reading this as a clue to where the business
priorities are for this SSD company?
PS - this seems like a good point
to bring again to your attention the first bullet point in my article -
Survivor's Guide to Enterprise SSDs - "Don't believe everything SSD
companies tell you about the past, present or future of the SSD market" -
which, among other things, includes examples of very contentious
statements made in the past by various leading SSD companies.
...Later:- April 4, 2013 - a blog by
Taneja Group -
and the Enterprise - Yes, choice matters... argues that STEC's technical
SSDs remains a strong argument for looking look at the company's products
- and the article's author poses the question - "If youre looking for a
highly reputable device these days, it frankly might come down to sTec, Intel,
or one of these other vendors who has been
swallowed up by
a bigger critter. Which would you rather have?"
x4, hot flashes, paramagnetic semico and SSD
April 2, 2013 - I decided not to run any "April fools" SSD stories
yesterday - because the last time I did so -
3 years ago - in
a spoof which linked strong magnetic fields to better
- when used with adaptive read flash technology at the x4 level - both
technologies all too soon had started to blur with real emerging technologies.
And the SSD market is confusing enough without these misdirections as
demonstrated by these real examples.
- new flash chip functions - such as the superheaters described by
Macronix in December
2012 - which stretch endurance past 100 million cycles.
- all the various convoluted magnetic semiconductor strands of product
development still going on in the "alternative to flash" segment of
the nvm market.
more SSD news?
you're looking for more SSD news to get a feel for what the technical issues
are in the SSD market and who's doing what - you can find a summary of key SSD
news stories from the past 1, 2, 3 or upto 18 months - see
the SSD Buyers
Guide - which lists them in reverse order (newest first).
Strategic Transitions in SSD - gives a summary of important changes which
clarified in 2012.
history - also includes hundreds of key SSD stories in a time-line which
stretches from the begininng of SSDs to this year.
|somewhere in that rock...|
|"I waste my time so
readers don't have to waste theirs."|
to a reader what he does for a living. And why being the 49th SSD company in a
particular form factor didn't rate a mention on StorageSearch.com's news page
recently - even if it was widely reported on RSS fed pages.|
|"...My advice re
SSDs for database acceleration has always been - try before you buy.
That's because the performance model which you have in your head may not be the
same performance model which is at work inside your system."|
to a reader in mid August who asked about the interplay of enterprise
software with SSDs in database apps. |
|"...You like the
idea - SSDs could make your apps go faster. Problem is - you're not in an
industry where you can stuff raw low latency and high IOPS in one end
of your business sausage machine and expect to see increased revenue and
dollars streaming out the other end..."|
the need for auto tiering
SSDs / SSD ASAPs|
sudden power loss|
|Why should you care
what happens in an SSD when the power goes down? |
This important design
feature - which barely rates a mention in most SSD datasheets and press releases
- has a strong impact on
SSD data integrity
This article will help you understand why some
SSDs which (work perfectly well in one type of application) might fail in
others... even when the changes in the operational environment appear to be