| leading the way to the
new storage frontier||..|
| top SSD companies
trust SSD market data?
changed in SSD year 2013?
meet Ken and the SSD
top 100 SSD
articles on StorageSearch.com
SSD endurance myths
and legends - now in 3D
|re DWPD and enterprise SSD
|Editor:- April 7, 2014 - DWPD (Diskful Writes Per
Day) for 5 years - has become an established part of
SSD jargon in the
writings of enterprise SSD makers in recent years.|
But I couldn't
recall having seen an
figure expressed in this way before from Fusion-io.
last month - written by Chris McCall, Senior Director, ioControl
Marketing, Fusion-io - gives the answer for the
Is that good or bad?
In the number score wars -
there are competing MLC SSD drives which are better.
The real answer to -
what's good enough? - when it comes to DWPD - depends on the application.
back to Fusion-io's blog - which has the unoriginal title -
it Comes to Enterprise Reliability, Not All Flash is Created Equal...
do I say it's unoriginal?
Because since 2002 - when I prefaced a
on StorageSearch.com with the introduction - "All solid state disks are
not created equal" - that same phrase - or something similar - has
popped up as the title in many different vendor articles and white papers
Anyway Chris McCall... in his blog is
analyzing endurance in the specific use case of
(which are intrinsically performance constrained by market considerations).
After revealing the ioDrive2's DWPD - Chris goes on to say that the
flash in the ioDrive2 will last much longer than the
hard drives in the same
box - with wear-out risk (in the application scenario he paints in his blog)
being after 23 years of use.
Chris's blog will reassure
newcomers to the entry level enterprise SSD market - that they don't need to
worry about the kind of systems wear-out and frequency of refresh
(replacement) cycles which has been a factor in some parts of the SSD market
in the past - due to a mismatch between the raw SSDs and the system use cases.
If it was me though - I'd change the title of the blog.
before you get too hung up on a particular value of DWPD...
experienced reader told me recently - he was interested in knowing DWPD at
different operating temperatures - a number which almost no vendor he talked to
- was able to give him with any degree of confidence.
|Users will continue
choosing SSD systems which are technically very different on the inside - even
when their apps requirements (for performance and capacity and compatibility)
look superficially the same from the outside.
That's because other factors outweigh these top level headline tech
|new SSD thinking
inside the box (May 2014)|
|the new enterprise
aristocrats of SSD|
|Editor:- March 14, 2014 - 7 years is the
standard expected service life for a good
industrial SSD -
but in the enterprise SSD market 4 years may be long enough to earn a company
its place for elevation into the elite ranks of the aristocracy - for
class-act companies which have been seen regularly in all the right places -
such as the Top SSD
I didn't realize I was already unconsciously
thinking this way - but the thought sprang into my frontal lobes in response
to a short email from Bill
Bodei - who is Senior Director of North American Channels at Kaminario.
said - Big fan of your writings.... (on StorageSearch.com)
I said -
Kaminario sure gave me some interesting things to write about for a while. Now
everyones a born again SSD server genius just because they can write the cloud
version of hello SSD world. But the more you engage with customers the more
you learn. So there are still some advantages for the enterprise SSD
aristocrats like Kaminario - of having been engaged in the market for more
than a few quarters.
Bill replied - Yes it sure has become a crowded market quickly. We're
busy here, heads down, working towards a milestone that promises to give you
more to write about, while doing our part to disrupt and leapfrog this nascent
market of ours as we evolve into adolescence. :)
|In line with the trend of
DRAM shrinking into nanometerland where nand flash has already gone before -
Samsung recently announced volume production of 20nm 4Gb DDR3|
|Editor:- March 11, 2014 - 40 years ago in the
days of MOS LSI - whenever semiconductor companies like
Intel wanted to
characterize a new semiconductor production process and establish the "safe"
design rules for manufacturability at ever smaller chip geometries (by doing a
"shrink") the circuit and product of choice for the fab architects
was memory - even if the eventual product for the wafer fab was going to be a
That's no longer true.
And so - more recently
- in the past few years - if you've been looking at all those "nm"
(nanometer) numbers in the news stories about IT related chips you can
hardly fail to have noticed that it's been the flash memory devices which have
been at the leading edge of the shrinking nanometer numbers.
when looking at production devices - flash has been about 2 years in advance of
DRAM and server CPUs.
You've often heard on these pages that it's only
the safe design rules used in preceding generations that interesting new
SSDs come to market.
And a big part of the to-do list for any
SSD controllers is to
cope with a predictable scale and style of expected memory defects and
virtualize them away - creating a usable base level storage device.
in line with this trend (of DRAM going into tiny spaces where nand flash has
already been) Samsung
it's using 20nm technology in the production of new 4Gb DDR3
way this pattern has been going in recent years is that the first volume uses
of new silicon geometries go into
consumer markets -
where if there's a data upset - you can see something wrong happening (blue
screen or freeze and some lost data) - but never mind - turn the power off and
try to resume where you left off before.
- Samsung was doing volume production of 10nm flash (used in consumer
eMMC SSDs for mobile
phones) in November
After several quarters of
doing this - the chip bakeries have finely tuned their recipes and are ready to
guarantee a less crumbly dough mixture for use in the enterprise.
if these concepts are new to you - it's not worthwhile memorizing them. Because
3D nand flash changes the
priority of future enhancements towards a preference for building upwards
in more layers instead of merely thinning sideways.
thank you for all the good work on storagesearch.com. I have been following it
for about the past year.
|Bob Pearson, Principal
Engineer - Cray|
(email to the
editor - March 25, 2014)
|PCIe SSDs for use in
enterprise server acceleration have been shipping in the market since 2007.
It's one of the most popular SSD subjects pursued by our readers (and has been
With over 100 million enterprise PCIe ports already shipped - the
converging PCIe SSD / server market is well positioned to expand into new
|the PCIe SSD directory on
for a company called Skybox Imaging,
Inc. where I'm currently working on upgrading our storage system.
found your web site invaluable in doing market research and wanted to thank you.
- I love the mice!
Flight Software Engineer|
(email to the editor - February 28, 2014)
|Enterprise endurance - and
the SSD event horizon|
|Editor:- February 3, 2014 - I had not long
before ftped up the first draft of my new
Top SSD Companies
article last Friday afternoon - when I got an email from a reader - who
is an insider in an enterprise SSD company (and prefers to remain anonymous
here) who commented on an article I'd written a few months before - the SSD event horizon.|
said - "I had not seen that article before.... really liked it and
forwarded it to other people here. One other cause to consider for the event
horizon is this.... A real problem is that when it comes time for (system)
refresh, the customer looks at the wear life of the flash and observes
that it has plenty of available life and decides to keep it instead of
Editor's comments:- In case you haven't seen it yet either -
the SSD event
horizon article is hard to summarize - but - among the things discussed
are the predictable revenue crashes which can hit enterprise SSD vendors
from time to time - triggered when they ratchet up technical improvements in
their products which increases SSD utilization for a homogeneous user base - at
a faster rate than the sales ramp was growing before such changes.
in SSD systems endurance
wasn't one of the examples mentioned in my original article - but when viewed
from this angle - it is.
The event horizon impact on revenue is
something I had also been discussing with another company last Thursday - this
time from the perspective of
|can I still buy WhipTail
arrays? - blog by StorageMojo|
Editor:- April 17, 2014 - In case you
hadn't noticed - Cisco
hasn't exactly been providing a rolling news narrative on what it's been doing
with the products and technologies it acquired from rackmount SSD maker - WhipTail.
IBM was similarly quiet for
a year after it acquired Texas
Memory Systems - although
as IBM later
revealed (earlier this year) - they had been busy selling a lot of those
systems - and adding some improvements to make it blend in better with the
In the past 10 years
acquiring an SSD
company has changed from being a rarified novelty. And in that time we've
seen that what companies do after they've acquired an SSD company varies a lot.
The other end of the spectrum (compared to Cisco and IBM) when it
came to post acquisition news noise - was
SandForce, and maybe
also SanDisk with
to WhipTail, however... this week Robin Harris
(StorageMojo) muses on what's
happening now in the sales arena with WhipTail's arrays in his blog -
gets the Cisco Whiptail lash
BiTMICRO has new VP of Engineering
Editor:- April 16,
2014 - It had been 9 months since I last saw a news announcement from BiTMICRO. But I
heard today that the company recently
Pudipeddi has joined the company as VP of Engineering and Lead
Among other things - Pudipeddi's past design roles in
notable SSD companies
include 2 years at Violin
look who's thinking like an enterprise systems SSD company now?
April 15, 2014 - I've been having new product or new business briefing
conversations for over 20 years. But 3 weeks ago a new record for brevity (when
it comes to sticking to the time allocated to discussing the planned topic)
was established in a conversation I had with SanDisk. Because our
time ran out - and we never even got as far as page one of the briefing
document at all. ...see
what we did talk about
OCZ betas the next incremental release of its SQL accelerator
Editor:- April 10, 2014 - OCZ today announced it's
inviting enterprise SSD users to participate in
1.5 Beta Program for the next release of its
SQL Accelerator software.
OCZ says - ZD-XL 1.5 enables DBAs to
unleash the full power of SQL Server 2014 features, such as flash Buffer Pool
Extension (BPE) support, that enables database pages to be accessed faster by
loading them directly from flash.
Crocus is pleased by initial patent ruling re - magnetic
semiconductor memory block efficiency
Editor:- April 10, 2014 -
that the US Patent and Trademark Office has determined that there is a "reasonable
likelihood" that it will cancel all or part of patent 6,980,469
which had been earlier awarded to Spin Transfer Technologies (STT)
- due to prior art considerations.
Apacer samples water resistant industrial mSATA 3 SSDs
April 10, 2014 - With the launch of 2 new devices which are now sampling -
Apacer has added
SATA 3 performance
power frugality to its range of
which are aimed at the
market - and can be custom coated to meet
IP57 water-proofing and
Apacer's new SSDs - the mSATA A1 and SFD 18S6 -
form factors respectively) use 1x nm toggle DDR 2.0 NAND flash and are
available in either SLC or MLC versions The MLC models have 475/430MB/sec R/W
and upto 65K IOPS and capacity upto 256GB.
Micron's HMC controller team win design award
April 7, 2014 - Micron
that one of its design teams has been named "design team of the year"
by EE Times and EDN for the
design work - done in collaboration with Altera
pioneer) - which led to the industry's first working
Hybrid Memory Cube
"Micron and Altera have been collaborating on
HMC technologies since 2009 and are very proud of the interoperability work that
has led to the industry's first demonstration of a fully functional HMC
controller," said Tom Eby, VP of
Micron's compute and networking business unit.
SSD glue chips,
OCZ has new distribution partner
Editor:- April 7,
2014 - OCZ today
that its entire range of SSDs (enterprise and consumer) will be available in the
US distributed by Private Label PC -
which already supplies over one million units of storage products per quarter
to its customer base.
Editor's comments:- Private Label PC
offers 11 SSD brands and an additional 4 flash memory brands in its
product line card.
what's the market for Plextor's PCIe SSD?
April 7, 2014 - I asked Plextor's virtual
marketing representative in the US - Andrew Erickson at
Alaniz Marketing to tell me more
about Plextor's thinking about routes to market for their entry level (Gen2)
PCIe SSD market
offering - the
said - "The M6e is marketed directly to consumers as an end-user upgrade
and mostly via newegg and major e-tailers."
Andrew went on to say - "Plextor is definitely moving into the
enterprise space and we're expecting to see a couple of read intensive and
multi-use ssd products later this year. It sounds like some of the enterprise
firmware advances may already be evident in the M6e - though it's not being
marketed in that way. I have seen some Plextor drives sold in high end gaming
rigs, but I'm not aware of current plans to sell OEM at this time."
Skyera is hiring sales and marketing people
April 3, 2014 - Skyera
it plans to double its sales and marketing employee count in the near future.
Editor's comments:- Out of curiosity I wondered what kind of
ad I'd see if I went onto linkedin and searched for "Skyera SSD". But
instead of seeing any job ads from enterprise SSD companies - I just saw an ad
for - custom logo branded USB memory sticks.
are you ready to adapt to new ways of thinking about DRAM?
April 2, 2014 -
enterprise RAM doesn't
have to be boringly predictable.
If adding intelligence to flash makes better SSDs - then how about
revisiting all the assumptions in DRAM too?
These ideas are brought
together in the new home page blog on
StorageSearch.com ...read the article
Fusion-io demonstrates life and capacity amplification effects
of combining 2 software ingredients
Editor:- April 2, 2014 - In a
demonstration this week Fusion-io showed the
combined advantages of using NVM compression in conjunction with its Atomic
Writes APIs in SkySQL environments. The results indicate that:-
- 2x as much data can be stored on the same flash media - while
giving similar performance and latency to the uncompressed case with legacy
comments:- compression has been used as a secret invisible
helper inside enterprise flash SSD systems (and as a way to speed up
performance and housekeeping functions such as garbage collection) starting in
2007 with MFT
flash management software from
- using compression and the new APIs - reduces write traffic and improves
endurance limited operating life by a factor of 4x
2009 onwards -
invisible compression speedup and
boosting became widely adopted in the industry - as they were both intrinsic
parts of every SSD
controller shipped by SandForce.
WhipTail was the first
enterprise SSD array vendor I knew of to offer inline time compression as
an explicit feature which users could turn on or off - to increase usable
virtual capacit. That was in
- and James
Candelaria (who at that time was WhipTail's CTO) mentioned this as an
attribute in his
for StorageSearch.com readers in September 2010.
However, in a later
conversation (January 2012) with Cameron Pforr
(who at that time was WhipTail's President and CFO) - Cameron told me they
were no longer emphasizing compression because it led to latencies which were
too long to be competitive - and instead they were focusing on performance.
Since those days many leading SSD array makers have used compression
to offer tactical advantages in their products - particularly in cost sensitive
markets like iSCSI. And
compression and more efficient software are just some of many ingredients I
identified in last year's article
thinking inside the SSD box.
To sum up - Fusion-io's
demonstration this week simply confirms what anyone who knows their product line
well would have already expected.
compression - editor mentions on StorageSearch.com
Cactus looks at the thorny issue of embedded flash TCO
April 2, 2014 - Cactus
Technologies today published a blog -
State Storage Total Cost of Ownership versus a Really Low Price Today -
aimed at designers in industrial markets - which discusses 4 sources of cost
they should consider when selecting an SSD.
When looking at eol
considerations - the author Steve Larrivee
- warns that although designers may be counting on being able to delay
requalifications by mining obsolete SSDs as unsold inventory from channels and
brokers "for a considerably higher price... this introduces the
possibility of counterfeit parts as well."...read
Editor's comments:- Although these raw
headline factors are the same for designers in all industries - the weightings
are often different in embedded markets due to the smaller sizes of equipment
production runs - which means that design-centric related requalification costs
are more significant as a factor in each system shipped than is the case in
higher volume markets.
why aren't your readers looking for our SSDs?
April 1, 2014 - I got an email this morning from a marketer at an SSD company
which I won't name here to avoid embarrassment..
He said he'd seen the
Top SSD Companies series
- and wondered what his company might have to do - in order to appear in it.
recognized the company name.
By my pro-active research they've had a
minimalistic listing here on StorageSearch.com since they entered the SSD
market in 2010.
But to steer the conversation to a measured start - I looked at my incoming
emails - and discovered that his company had never before today
contacted me about their SSDs, and had never been mentioned in an email from an
SSD reader. (Which adds up to a lot of SSD emails.)
So I guess my
answer is this.
If an SSD company has never bothered to reach out in
the past to millions of my SSD readers - then don't expect those same readers
to make looking for your SSD products their top priority.
perfectly serious - and not an April fool story.
I've been geting
emails like this from SSD marketers every month for the past 7 years - since
2007 - which
is when the Top SSD Companies list began.
See also:- Recommended
web marketing sites on MarketingViews
DCIG ranks top rackmount SSD vendors
31, 2014 - If you're interested in
then DCIG has published the
2014-15 Flash Memory Storage Array Buyer's Guide (free sign-up page) -
which provides detailed comments on the strengths and weaknesses of rackmount
SSD systems from 20 different vendors - which are currently available in the
market today (includes list prices).
DCIG have created their own
multi-dimensional scoring system in which they look at component features such
as density (TB/U), software compatibility (for example ease of integration with
VMware), and management functions (dedupe, tiering, snapshots etc). DCIG has
ranked these systems overall - and compared many of them to others in the same
price band. Another useful feature of the report is a background story about the
design heritage or market history of each product.
comments:- I've read the report and think it's a good read with respect to
the raw data and detailed observations about many of the systems listed.
to the product rankings?
I think whether you agree or not -
depends on whether you would assign the same weights to each constituent in the
confidential matrix of factors which DCIG have devised.
users it will reflect your own priorities - for others - the scoring outcome
would be entirely different.
Among the SSD vendors listed in the
report - the happiest will be
Nimbus (who have been
about being #1) - and happy too should be
HP (which is #2).
vendors - whose products are best in class in a particular dimension - don't
score highly in the main list because they lose out on the "sum of all
things which DCIG think you might need" - which is an
judgement - rather than being a universal "goodness" attribute.
only company which is conspicuously absent from DCIG's list (at any rank)
Fusion-io. Does DCIG
know something we don't? That's very odd.
Skyera's history of flash memory and storage video
March 27, 2014 - I was a few weeks late in discovering this talking heads SSD
But I don't think 2 weeks matters too much when the
subject is the
history of flash memory
and storage (video) - and the main speaker is Frankie
Roohparvar, COO - Skyera - who's been
in the non volatile memory business for 30 years and has over 480 patents.
(Launching the video and facilitating the content is David Davis EnterpriseStorageGuide.com.)
a really non technical way (which even a
VC or lawyer can
understand) Frankie covers the ground from the earliest nvm (cavemen making
marks), lists the iconic use cases for flash based products like ipods and
cameras - which kept this market alive and innovating - and brings things
right up to date with the business thinking inside Skyera's
petabyte scale SSDs.
|If your education didn't
include semiconductor physics - and you're still struggling with imagining how
MLC differs from SLC and
eMLC, and how
controllers and all those electrons (locked in leaky cells) inter-relate
to each other - Frankie's verbal explanation will make it all fit into place.
On the business case for Skyera's approach - Frankie reaffirmed
something which I think the company has always been clear about - "When
90% of the system cost is flash you really need to understand the
internal workings of flash (to drive the cost down to a new lowest level)."
...listen to the video
Our new 2.5" NVMe PCIe SSD is 3x faster than 12Gbps SAS
SSDs - says Samsung
Editor:- March 25, 2014 - Although Samsung's own
meat navigation inspired
SSD selection page doesn't list this product yet (at the time of writing
this) Samsung is engaged in the
2.5" PCIe SSD
market - and is shipping a 1.6TB NVMe PCIe SSD rated at
7 DWPD for 5
years to Dell for use
in its PowerEdge
|Editor's comments:- if
someone at Samsung can tell me a better way to navigate their SSD web site I'll
insert a product data link - otherwise (in the best traditions of
consumer SSD vendors)
you'll just have to make do with a picture - and guess what happens inside.|
Silicon Motion's FerriSSDs
Editor:- March 23, 2014 -
FerriSSD (pdf) from
- is a PATA
SSD on a chip (BGA)
which I learned about from Jonathan Bruce
- who suggested it for my article -
Speed and Strength Metaphors in SSD brands - because - he said - the "Ferri"
prefix means "strong or durable".
31, 2014 - in the same product family - Silicon Motion is now sampling a
high performance 6Gb/s SATA FerriSSD - the SM659 (8GB to 64GB capacity, with
80,000 random IOPs, and 30K Program/Erase (P/E) cycles) - which fits into a
90-ball BGA package measuring just 16x20x2mm.
SSDs need Data need SSDs
Editor:- March 21, 2014 -
Recently I went to an informal pub reunion with some schoolfriends that I
haven't seen for 40 years.
One of them who manages databases at a
telco said - I've read some of your SSD stuff Zsolt, but for people like me the
real problem is not just making things go faster - it's keeping the data alive
and usable. What can SSDs do to help enable better information architecture?
I've been thinking about that for nearly 30 years... so we had an
It's fair to say that without data you
wouldn't need SSDs.
But it's also the case that - with enough SSDs in
the right places - you can invent new data which didn't exist before.
- on that theme - and to even up the article mix a bit - take a look at -
You Making the Most of Your Dark Data? - a new article by Timo Elliott
also:- SSD software,
The big market impact
of SSD dark matter
SAS SSDs - the stellar performers in the 2013 enterprise market
March 20, 2014 - I asked Gregory
Wong, President, Forward Insights
if he could enumerate for StorageSearch.com
readers what he meant by his tantalizing comment that - "within the
enterprise segment, SAS SSDs stood out as the stellar performer" - which is
something he said in a recent email promoting another new SSD market report.
empathetic to the business pressures of those in the
storage market research
business - and keenly aware of the thin line which divides - on the one
hand - saying too little - so that potential buyers find it hard to assess if a
new report will be money well spent - and, on the other hand - saying too
much - and worst of all - revealing the exact things which report buyers
would happily pay to know.
That's because in 1992 when I started
outputs of my own enterprise market research - I did it the hard way - as
carefully formatted market reports which cost money. Luckily there was a much
easier business for me - as I learned in 1996 when I went over to the dark side
of a web advertising
driven business model - in which content and ideas were tossed into the
eco-sphere of http and it was much easier as I could save time by linking to
raw content - instead of having to make it look pretty.
So what I
actually said to Greg - re his SAS SSD "stellar performer"
comparison was this...
"Without giving too much away... would
you be prepared to illustrate that statement with a comparison or number?"
Greg gets a lot of email - and so do I - and sometimes they just disappear deep
down the screen. But between the two of us this one has resurfaced.
I can convey to you Gregory Wong's assessment that in 2013 - the SSD market
grew 38% on unit basis and 28% on revenue basis. The corresponding growth rates
for SAS SSDs were 134% and 69% respectively."
is just one tiny snippet of data from one of his
many detailed reports
about the SSD market. So - if you need to more details about the plot - and
have the money to buy the book - that's a useful data cavern to rummage around
changed in SSD year 2013?,
SSD market analysts
the evolution of enterprise flash
19, 2014 - If you follow SanDisk
on twitter -
@SanDiskDataCtr - you may have
noticed they recently
a link to one of my classic articles -
the evolution of
enterprise flash - a 10 year history
One thing which hasn't
changed since the early days of enterprise flash - is the concept of a "naughty"
type of flash memory - which sensible, cautious types point at saying -
that is never going to be reliable enough.
Micron samples Marvell based M.2
Editor:- March 18,
2014 - Micron
it's sampling a 512GB M.2 SATA
SATA SSD - the
(with DEVSLP and 550/500MB/s R/W speeds) - aimed at
consumer markets -
which is based on Marvell's
Tegile has shipped 1,000 hybrid SSD arrays
March 18, 2014 - Tegile
Systems today announced
it has shipped 1,000 of its
arrays (hybrid SSD
ASAP racks) since making the solution generally available 2 years ago.
how safe are your assumptions about SLC?
March 18, 2014 -
is regarded as the "gold standard" in
nand flash memory today
when it comes to
Or maybe it would be more accurate to say - "SLC is the depleted
uranium standard" when it comes to choosing ingredients for hardening the
SSD data integrity
So you can imagine my surprise- when in a recent
conversation about the reliability aspects of SSDs - I was told about some
unique and proprietary "brutal and awkward test patterns" - which
had uncovered design flaws in a new type of SLC memory while it was being
characterized for use in SSDs.
This indicated that SSDs designed
using that memory in some applications could be killed in as little as 3 to 9
months of use.
This design vulnerability never showed up at all
in the "standard"
SSD controller test
patterns which are used throughout the industry. And their application wasn't
for an SSD accelerator - but for a regular speed SSD.
customer point of view - if you want an embedded SSD which you can rely on -
it's nice to know that some people still design SSDs the old fashioned way - and
test every assumption along the way.
That was just one of many new
things I learned talking to Dave Merry
Conklin co-founders of a new SSD company called FMJ Storage - which has -
for the past several years been operating profitably while under the general
market radar. You can see more about what we talked about in -
Who's who in SSD? - FMJ
my idea of brain refreshing bliss - the 2 hour one on ones
I've been having recently with the architects of SSD's future
March 13, 2014 - Many of what used to be "1 hour conversations" with
founders and the leading lights and influencers in ground breaking SSD
companies - have for me - in the last week or so - often expanded into 2
hour sessions - as we all lose track of time exploring the important ideas
which are really shaping this market - and none of us can think of a better
place we'd rather be. (Even if it does mean - for some of my
conversationalists - a rush for the plane or a dash down the garage / campus
corridors to the next board meeting.)
I can't write about most of
these conversations yet. And there are some I will never write about. But
they do inform my thinking and my selection of topics for future SSD
It's inevitable that the more time I spend talking - the
less time I spend writing. But I'm selective in who I talk to - as some of
your marcomms people, diary keepers and
already know. And I type fast.
Luckily some of my articles already
discuss strategic ideas which won't hit the consciousness of the populist
enterprise SSD web sites - for years. So what do a a few days or so of lost
trivial content coverage really matter?
PCIe Switching - new article in EnterpriseTech.com
March 13, 2014 - A new article in EnterpriseTech.com
Switching Takes on Ethernet, InfiniBand - reviews the antecedents and
current state of the PCIe fabric market. This should be of interest to anyone
thinking about the emerging architectural influences which may impact their
plans within the PCIe SSD
One of the many vendors discussed in the article - PLX - says it's "not
targeting warehouse-scale datacenters... but is rather thinking on a smaller
scale, from hundreds to thousands of nodes." ...read
Pure Storage's rackmount SSD shipment mille-stone
March 11, 2014 - Pure
it has shipped over 1,000 of its Pure FlashArrays (fast enough rackmount
Editor's comments:- in case you didn't get that "mille-stone"
thing. "Mille" is an olde English prefix (from latin) meaning "thousand".
array history context:- Pure Storage's shipments milestone is less
signficant than IBM's 1,500
FlashSystem 840s (fast
rackmount SSDs), but more significant than
Tegile's 1,000 Zebi
storage arrays (hybrids)
- which we have also heard about in this quarter.
Coho Data now shipping 2U MicroArray hybrids
March 6, 2014 - Coho
general availability of its first product - a 2U
SSD ASAP called the
(an SSDserver 4/E) - which
integrates PCIe SSDs,
hard drives and a
server into a web scale expandable unit (using an internal 52 port 10GbE fabric
switch) to implement what the company refers to as a "MicroArray"
designed with the philosophy of
Tiering Upside Down (pdf)" to deliver a base building block unit of
Editor's comments:- you may judge for
yourself the lofty scale of Coho's
ambitions by this market
soothsayer quote which they integrated in the launch press release - "By
2017, Web-scale IT will be an architectural approach found operating in 50%
of Global 2,000 enterprises."
SSD empowered cloud
VMware enters the SSD market
Editor:- March 6, 2014
- With the launch of its
Virtual SAN - VMware has at last
joined the crowding SSD
software ecosystem as a lead SSD player rather than (as before) in a
subordinate role (as the
dancing partner - a bit like dancing with your uncle or aunt at the wedding
disco) which was the case before in
of acceleration compatibility stories narrated by other SSD companies.
version 1.0 is an SSD
ASAP (hybrid virtualizing appliance) - which supports 3-8 server nodes. The
company says that "support for more than 8 will come later." ...read the
Editor's comments:- first impressions? It's
late and doesn't look great (in features). But it will probably be deemed
adequate for many users starting down this road.
Before dismissing it
entirely (as some commentators and competitors have already done) let's
remember that when LSI
entered the SSD market in
January 2010 -
it was the "163rd company to enter the SSD market". And look
where they are now.
late to market doesn't count as a mortal sin in the SSD marketing lexicon
right now because
mover advantage (pdf) assumptions aren't valid in this phase of the
more comments re VSAN
customers who had the opportunity to participate in the VSAN beta told us that
in most cases, (our) Maxta MxSP performs better" - said competitor Yoram Novick,
founder Maxta in his blog
Storage the Devil is in the Details
proud of how the team has outperformed expectations. Today we're announcing GA
support for 32 nodes. That means that Virtual SAN can now scale from a
modest 3 node remote office, to a multi-petabyte, mega-IOPS monster just
by adding more server resources... and ...VSAN isn't bolted on, it's built in."
- says Ben Fathi,
VMware - in his blog -
SAN: Powerfully Simple and Simply Powerful
Fusion-io accelerates Yelp
Editor:- March 5, 2014 -
an applications story about the use of its SSDs to accelerate the MySQL
database infrastructure of Yelp while also
extending the viable longevity of its existing datacenter boxes.
new CMO at Violin
Editor:- March 4, 2014 - Violin today
it had recruited a new CMO - Eric Herzog.
Editor's comments:- it's often the case that when business
doesn't go the way that investors would like - they blame/change the marketing.
had identifed weaknesses in Violin's marketing on this site even when they were
on the upward ride. Doesn't mean to say I would know how to fix them in today's
much more complicated enterprise market.
There are no easy SSD
business options. But getting a new marketing brain - when you have SSD
business headaches is a no-brainer.
OCZ launches Z-Drive 4500 - 19nm enterprise PCIe SSD
March 4, 2014 - OCZ
is still using LSI's
SandForce SSD controllers
SF-2582 enterprise SATA (pdf)) in its newest PCIe SSD - the
Z-Drive 4500 Series
today - which has upto 3.2TB of usable
19nm flash, R/W bandwidth
of 2.9GB/s and 2.2 GB/s respectively, and 252K / 76 K R/W
in a FHHL form factor and is integrated with Windows WXL and OCZ's VXL
Being physically smaller than OCZ's legacy Z-Drive R4 - the new 4500
will be compatible with more server platforms.
The embedded controllers
operate thermal-throttling - which means that if the drive gets hot - the
performance is reduced to avoid runaway overheating.
The Z-Drive 4500
comes with integrated Windows Accelerator (WXL) Software - and is also fully
compatible with OCZ's legacy VXL virtualization and caching software.
previous generations of PCIe SSDs from OCZ - the Z-Drive 4500 is bootable.
positions the Z-Drive 4500 as its best yet enterprise PCIe SSD family
which "advances the Z-Drive Series feature-set by supporting higher
performance and a more robust architecture."
4500 briefing notes (pdf)
Editor's comments:- OCZ's
VXL bundles have been very successful in small to medium scale enterprise
The evolution of this product line - supporting as it
does another new generation of (lower cost) memory - will further extend its
what's in a number?
Editor:- March 4, 2014 -
is a latency based configuration metric - proposed as a new standard by StorageSearch.com - which can
tersely classify any enterprise server - as seen from an SSD software
perspective - by a single lean number rating from 0 to 7. ...read the article
LSI blog discusses hyperscale and customer driven change in the
Editor:- March 4, 2014 - "It's no longer enough to
ticktock product roadmap" - says Rob Ober,
Processor and System Architect LSI - in his new blog
the datacenter ecosystem -in which he goes on to say "Development
cycles for datacenter solutions used to be 3 to 5 years. But these cycles are
And when talking about rack scale
architectures - Rob says "Traditionally new architectures were driven by
OEMs, but that is not so true anymore."
I could have picked out several other things I like (and agree with) - your
favorite snippets may be different to mine. I'm looking foward to the next 2
articles in this series.
inside the SSD box,
the big market impact
of SSD dark matter,
enterprise data touches SSDs ,
how did the SSD
software market get into this mess?
Micron taps enterprise market to head storage business
March 3, 2014 - Micron
Thomas has been named as VP of Micron's storage business unit.
news - February 2014
SSD news - January 2014
SSD milestones -
month by month in 2013
history - all
|"It's not newsworthy"|
|Why being the 49th SSD company to do the same
thing doesn't rate a mention on StorageSearch.com's news page - even if it
was widely reported on other sites.
Why won't I publish your
|"...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."|
|...Editor (in many conversations) about the
interplay of enterprise software with SSDs in database apps. |
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