click to visit home page
leading the way to the new storage frontier
SSD history
popular SSD articles
the Top SSD Companies
what's the state of DWPD?
consolidation pressures and projections in enterprise flash
"What should applications developers do about all the possible permutations (interface and memory technology) emerging in the market for persistent storage class memory?"
That question is posed by Nisha Talagala, VP Engineering - Parallel Machines who goes on to discuss the technical design challenges and suggests strategies in a recent slideshare presentation.

In order to be widely adopted, any general abstraction solution has to embrace the business ambition of delivering competitively useful performance.

Nisha tackles that concern head on noting that...

"Persistent memory can be mapped in multiple ways depending on the hardware. We need to ensure that each memory type is default mapped to the optimal model possible for its physical attach."

Nisha's paper compares and notes the performance boundary choke points of several popular interface and memory (hybrid DIMM, PCIe SSD, Infiniband clustered server RAM) and suggests that transparent tiering between PM and flash is a viable software architecture approach which can deliver near optimal performance for local and remote PM. the article
SSD ad - click for more info
"A similar analogy is using a contractor for your house... and after 10 years your house is not up to par with others on the block. Do you invest more into your contractor or you do you start with a fresh one? "
Vidya Ramachandran, CEO and Founder - SourceRoo - in his new blog - Before you renew with your legacy IT vendor think again! (November 18, 2015)
SSD ad - click for more info
Diablo's blog re cost of DRAM for big inmemory users
Editor:- November 13, 2015 - The use of the word "unfortunately" made me smile when I saw it in a new blog published yesterday by Riccardo Badalone, CEO - Diablo Technologies.

The blog is about how the cost of DRAM impacts users who want to run large datasets in memory (using thousands of servers to get the memory they want).

Among other things Riccardo writes this - "Intel and Micron, for example, cited the DRAM issue when they announced a new 3D XPoint memory substrate that they say will be significantly denser and less expensive that current DRAM. Unfortunately, their technology won't be ready for a number of years."

Editor's comment:- I would say it's unfortunate for Intel and Micron - but extremely fortunate for Diablo that it won't be ready for years.

Diablo's solution for the same DRAM cost problem - Memory1 (see my article about this) - uses flash instead of exotic new nvm.

Re - "wont be ready for a number of years" if you're wondering about how much to trust that assessment - it's for the obvious reason that even if the new 3D XPoint memory does exactly what is claimed - it will take years to collect the type of reliability data needed to convince the enterprise market to adopt it in mission critical roles.

Riccardo's blog - DRAM's Surprising Role in the High Cost of Data Centers is a good read - but doesn't contain any new ideas. It just goes over the same ground (and uses the same examples) as Diablo cited in their Memory1 product launch in August 2015.
SSD ad - click for more info
what's the role for a Radian Memory SSD?
Editor:- November 11, 2015 - My first instinctive impressions about new SSD products are mostly absolutely right - but sometimes they can be dead wrong.

That's why I test my riskiest SSD assertions in reader one on ones before simply casting them onto the web.

If you're interested you can see some of the internal processes at work in my new blog - what's the role for a Radian Memory SSD?

Radian Memory was one of several interesting SSD companies which emerged from stealth this year and their software was awarded best software of the show award at the Flash Memory Summit.

It was obvious to me from the first briefing email before FMS - that this product set - which includes 2.5" NVMe PCIe SSDs was a market milestone kind of product.

But even after all the papers and pdfs and datasheets there were still some questions which remained unclear to me concerning the limitations in how system architects could deploy it? And what were the ideal kinds of roles for this type of SSD? I got good answers from Radian's CEO - whom I had previously spoken with 12 years before. the article to learn more
SSD ad - click for more info
toughening up DWPD
Editor:- October 28, 2015 - DWPD ratings have become a useful shortcut to filter enterprise SSDs because there's an industry-wide consensus that the number should somehow map into recognizable application zones and price bands.

This shows how optimistic the SSD market mood still is today - when you factor in the jitter level uncertainty of exactly how elastic that DWPD drive number really is (in the minds of its creators) and how much it will get twisted around, modified and stretched when it meets up with the (is it really) DRAM, software and SSD array cousins with which it will cohabit life in the box.

All well and good - and my reference article on DWPD examples in the market was already becoming quite popular earlier this year (which was no surprise - as it's simply another way of talking about endurance) when I got a wake up email (in April 2015) about a new military grade industrial SSD which had a DWPD rating.

I didn't write about it at the time because even though the product had been stealthily working its way into designs it hadn't been publicly launched. Nevertheless I kept my eyes open for signs that others might also be doing similar things.

The similar things being:- the growing use of enterprise architecture in mobile datacenters and portable and remote rugged systems.

SSDs have been used in such systems for over 25 years - but often this was essentially a repackaging exercise to place a rack of industry standard stuff into a dustproof, ant-fungus treated, drop resistant box with an invertor so it could run off batteries while keeping the weight and size down so it could be lifted onto a truck or plane and survive long enough to do useful data-capture and analysis in the field.

The modern aspirations of these engineering systems are to do more of the same old things in less space but also to do entirely new things in widgets which you'll probably see in season 20 of NCIS.

That's why you're going to see more military grade, secure, rugged, industrial SSDs coming onto the market with full fledged DWPD ratings.

It's no longer just an enterprise market parameter. DWPD rated SSDs are getting tougher.

click to see more info about Microsemi's rugged SSDs


SSD news

What were the big SSD ideas of 2015?

Editor:- November 25, 2015 - has published a new home page blog - SSD year 2015 - the 3 big ideas.

IHS names 3 enterprise SSD billion dollar revenue companies

Editor:- November 20, 2015 - Earlier this year I promised you a $billion / year enterprise SSD companies list (which I haven't done yet).

If you can't wait (and like short lists) then IHS has done this already for enterprise SSD drives (which excludes rackmount flash systems).

IHS's list of enterprise SSD billionaires include 3 companies:- You can see the numbers in a new article here (on Electronics360).

Among other things it says "IHS forecasts that the SSD market to pass $13 billion in revenues this year and will surpass HDDs in revenue by 2019 with $20.8 billion versus $19.6 billion."

As you may recall I said something similar (the SSD market will be bigger in revenue than the HDD market ever was) in my 2012 article - How will the hard drive market fare... in a solid state storage world?

Netlist allies with Samsung to codevelop flash-as-RAM DIMMs

Editor:- November 19, 2015 - Netlist today revealed how it's going to enter the storage class memory SSD DIMM wars market. This by way of a 5 year joint development and license with Samsung which also brings to the table $23 million of funding. The companies expect to sample products in 2016.

Editor's comments:- 2015 was a signficant kick-start year for the server memory market. Retiring and retiering enterprise DRAM was one of the three big SSD ideas of the year. See also:- what's RAM really?

Themis ships rugged mobile datacenter platform

Editor:- November 17, 2015 - Themis Computer today announced immediate availability of a rugged Infiniband connected rackmount SSD system - called Hyper-Unity which integrates scalable SDS architecture software from Atlantis Computing with 4 ruggedized, 8 hot pluggable SSD drive, RES-XR5-1U rack mounted servers (with 1.5TB to 16TB raw capacity per node) to run virtualized applications for rugged mobile datacenter applications.

"With the Hyper-Unity solution, Themis and Atlantis Computing are changing the way that the DoD buys and consumes storage" said Bill Kehret, president and CEO of Themis Computer. "The DoD requires enhanced reliability, ultra-fast, cost-effective storage from a trusted source – on hardware built to survive the rigors of demanding environments..."

hybrid arrays and HA - an INFINIDAT customer perspective

Editor:- November 17, 2015 - How resilient are hybrid storage arrays?

Here's a neat quote from INFINIDAT from one of their customers who said - "We conducted numerous failure tests, ranging from taking out a node to pulling multiple disks, and the InfiniBox didn't blink an eye."

Micron prefers Persistent Memory to hybrid DIMMs

Editor:- November 11, 2015 - On the subject of SSD names which sell products more effectively - Micron this week seemed keen to emphasize the newer term "persistent memory" instead of the more common (but slightly ambiguous) "NVDIMM" in the text of its press release about a new 8GB DDR4 model in this category (more precisely called flash backed DIMMs and also other things).

"Persistent Memory" is a better SEO honey trap and brand differentiation warmer to anticipated future stories from Micron about its (look Ma - no flash!) 3D XPoint (or whatever other name it may have when it eventually appears in the catalog).

Western Digital partners with UNIS to mine datacenter opportunities in China

Editor:- November 9, 2015 -Western Digital today announced an agreement with UNIS to form a joint venture to market and sell WD's data center storage systems in China and to develop data center storage solutions for the Chinese market in the future.

Editor's comments:- in recent years we've seen China becoming the dominant market for adopting innovation in many types of large scale data systems. And because of that many SSD companies have strategically seeded more of their forward looking SSD architectural thought assets in that direction (if they didn't originally come from there in the first place).

With this agreement WD is following a well established trend - as the speed of its market reactions have been slugged in the past due to regulatory issues arising from the legacy of its dominance in the hard drive market.

dual port GbE and USB in the same M.2 SSD from InnoDisk

Editor:- November 3, 2015 - InnoDisk today announced a product first for the M.2 SSD market in the shape of a dual port isolated GbE compatible model - EGUL-G201 - which also has a USB 3 interface, and fits in a 22x60mm footprint. InnoDisk says the ethernet modules have strong electrical isolation, ESD and surge protection.

the Top 40 SSD articles in October

Editor:- November 2, 2015 - For the past 12 months there has been a low priority reminder nagging away at my internal to-do list. Note to self - must update the list of most popular SSD articles on There was always something with a higher priority. Anyway I've done it now.

3D X-Point could shrink DRAM market by 1/3 in 5 years- says Coughlin Associates

Editor:- October 23 , 2015 - Coughlin Associates has recently published a new report on Emerging Non-Volatile Memory and Spin Logic (163 pages, $4,000).

The memories addressed in this report overview (pdf) include PRAM, RRAM, MRAM, STT MRAM as well as the recently announced 3D X-Point Technology.

3D X-Point Technology will have a big impact on DRAM growth (with DRAM sales down $6.7 billion to $15.6 billion due to XPoint by 2020) with XPoint revenues of $663 million to $1.5 billion by 2020.

MRAM and STT MRAM revenue is estimated at $1.4 billion to $3.2 billion by 2020. Manufacturing equipment revenue for MRAM and STT MRAM production is estimated to be between $159 million and $294 million by 2020.

See also:- market research directory, nvm news

SanDisk hops into WDC's flash shopping basket

Editor:- October 22, 2015 - Following weeks of speculation and leaks came the confirmation yesterday that Western Digital has indeed agreed to acquire SanDisk in a deal valued at $19 billion.

If all goes as planned the transaction is expected to close in the 3rd calendar quarter of 2016.

Editor's comments:- From an SSD server storage competitive landscape perspective I think this is more significant than the EMC - Dell deal. Because it will impact the design, availability, competitive market health and future direction of many classic SSD product types in a far reaching way which could only be matched if Dell were to acquire Intel.

Time will play a big factor too.

Looking back at past acquisitions by WDC you shouldn't expect anything to come out the other end of the digester before the end of 2017.

And in that time - 2 years hence - many things in the SSD market will be different.

Some of SanDisk's best known enterprise SSD product lines (PCIe, SAS and SATA cloud) are already looking as if they were designed for a different movie generation.

(SanDisk's got a perfect Bogart lookalike for a remake of Casablanca, but webscale casting is hooked on an idea more like Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones.)

In PCIe server sockets SanDisk has lagged behind the curve in NVMe, while in 2.5" storage arrays - new adaptive intelligence flow symmetry - which is emerging in many different forms - means that in the extreme case of cloud deployments - a single SSD with customized firmware - can replace 2 old style SATA SSDs.

On the other hand - SanDisk has more than amply demonstrated its willingness and capability to integrate flash memory in the enterprise outside traditional SSD comfort zones:- in server based DIMMs and analytics scale big data memory.

Those market experiments haven't generated much revenue yet but are the early steps on a learning curve which all memory makers will have to explore. The combination of that software capability and access to consumer scale, low cost flash will probably be more use to WDC than any single product line.

What happens in the meantime?

As we've seen before in such long drawn out acquisitions - it's inevitable that some SanDisk product developments will slow down and wither on the vine.

On the other hand - there will also be pressure to accelerate new product introductions too. You could say - it will be business as usual - but without so many distractions coming from the investor angle.

Looking ahead to a post WDC SanDisk...

WDC has a track record of swiftly EOLing perfectly adequate SSD products which came bundled in the shopping basket but didn't have high volumes and market scale.

This is a story which you'll be reading about for a long time to come.

Permabit shrinks data in new flash boxes from BiTMICRO

Rackmount SSDs click for news and directory
rackmount SSDs
Editor:- October 20, 2015 - Permabit today announced that its inline dedupe and compression software is used in BiTMICRO's new rackmount SSD white boxes - which include a 1U iSCSI appliance (20x 2.5" TB SSD shown at FMS) and a 3U fast SSD server (8x PCIe SSDs) which is due to be shipped this quarter.

What happened before? - See the SSD news archive
SSD news page image - click to  enlarge
seeking the inner SSD.

LSI SandForce SSD processors - click for more info
the awards winning silicon
accelerating world's leading SSDs
from Seagate

related guides

PBGA SSDs for rugged apps - click for more info
secure PBGA SLC SSDs
for extreme reliability in sensitive applications
from Microsemi

related guides

AccelStor NeoSapphire  all-flash array
1U enterprise flash arrays
InfiniBand or 10GbE iSCSI
NeoSapphire series - from AccelStor

related guides

 dual ported  2.5 inch NVMe PCIe SSD from OCZ
2.5" NVMe PCIe SSDs
dual ported for HA configurations
the Z-Drive 6000 series - from OCZ
related guides

Virtium  SSDs - click for more info
industrial SATA SSDs
efficiently matched to embedded needs
2.5" / 1.8" / Slim SATA / mSATA / CFast / M.2
StorFly – from Virtium

related guides

M.2 SSDs
industrial SSDs
BOMs and "standard" industrial SSDs
key SSD idea #11 in 2014 - re industrial markets

industrial mSATA SSD
industrial grade mSATA SSDs
>2 million write cycles per logical block.
from Cactus Technologies

related guides

Targa Series 4 - 2.5 inch SCSI flash disk
2.5" removable military SSDs
for airborne apps - GbE / SATA / USB
from Targa Systems

related guides

military SSD from Waitan
military SSD drives with secure erase
encryption and self-destruct
from Waitan

related guides

SSD jargon

SSD ad - click for more info

storage search banner