| leading the way to the
new storage frontier||...|
what's the state of DWPD?
hold up times in 2.5" military SSDs
What were the big
SSD ideas to learn and forget in 2015?
for fading out DRAM in the virtual memory mix
on inside AES encrypted SSDs?|
May 24, 2016 -
SSDs with AES Disk Encryption - by C.C. Wu, VP - Innodisk - is a
recent article published on Electronic
Among other things in this article Wu cautions
readers about the limitations of encrypted SSDs...
"As strong as
the 256-bit AES encryption is on encrypted SSDs, it only protects data at rest,
i.e., when the system is turned off. To protect data in flight,
data-loss-prevention (DLP) techniques, use of secure communication protocols,
and other measures must be taken." ...read
Mays of yore in
|13 years ago -
Technology launched WhatsHot SSD - a hotspot analysis and tuning
tool for fast rackmount SSD accelerators.|
9 years ago - May 2007 -
its HLNAND flash technology which could sustain 800MB/s.
years ago - May
2010 - SandForce
announced the first branding program for SSD controllers.
years ago - May
2013 - Micron
began sampling a new hot swappable 2.5" PCIe SSD with 1.4TB MLC
capacity and 750K R IOPS.
|"If you've recently
been on the acquired side of an acquisition send me your best advice. I'd love
some words of wisdom for myself and to be able to share with my team."|
Director, HR Systems at SanDisk
blog (May 10, 2016) about waiting to be acquired by Western Digital -
today's prototype kits tell us about IoT's future? |
|Editor:- May 9, 2016 - Companies in the
market have been saying in recent years that IoT is a market which could
provide a business boost for size and power constrained storage technologies.
But when new systems go to market their design origins can be almost
An interesting preview of raw technology
ingredients in the future mix is -
DIY Development Boards for IoT Prototyping written by Janakiram MSV, Founder
Janakiram & Associates - published
in the New Stack.
includes prices and capabilities for a range of prototyping boards.
was also interesting for me to see the breadth of
Janakiram's other blogs about
changes in computing based around the convergence of cloud, big data
architecture and IoT. ...read
limericks in for the Flash Memory Summit|
|Editor:- May 5, 2016 - It's not often I mention
competitions in these pages but here's a rare exception.|
a Flash Memory Limerick competition. The winner will be announced at the Flash Memory Summit. Rules
can be seen
Editor's comments:- when I saw the
post about this by Aisling
Foley at Aisling Foley Marketing
- I couldn't stop myself thinking...
- now I know more about NVMdurance's technology and the
5 stage life
cycle budget (pdf) it uses to dress the flash in a fashion which is age
appropriate - how can I get that in?
The sages of flash now agree
That if you fall out of a tree
To increase your chances
Grab hold at five branches
And swing around judiciously
Editor again - I still can't decide
whether "grab hold of" is better than "grab hold at".
sounds more natural while the other sounds forced but more accurately
paints the picture. But I'm not going to agonize over it any longer. And just
to be clear. I myself don't enter competitions. So your field is clear (of
series about super fast computing|
|Editor:- April 28, 2016 - The interaction of
design flows between memory, SSDcentric architecture,
storage and their impacts on what data based applications can accomplish and
realistically strive towards (in the directions of cost, performance and newly
viable ways of repurposing data) have been one of the perennial themes in
in the modern era.|
My attention was drawn to a new series -
Missing in Supercomputing? - in the pages of the Next Platform which will look at
technical challenges related to the timeline of exaflop-capable systems.
Hemsoth says the new series will cover the 4 challenges in technical
deep dives with key stakeholders.
I look forward to reading it. ...read
One of the documents linked in that article -PathForward
Meeting update (pdf) by the Exascale
Initiative comments on the memory and storage challenge in these words...
"Memory and storage architectures must enable applications to access/store
information at high capacities and with low latencies to support anticipated
the Fastest SSDs
doesn't just provide capacity..." |
in his recent linkedin blog -
Storage First, Not Servers April 15, 2016.|
Editor's comments:- I
told Jason I agree with him about the relative importance and nature of storage
not being commonly enough appreciated.
Like mass and energy in physics
- server CPUs and SSD storage head counts are interchangeable in black box
observations of apps and data.
This is a market paradigm with market
disrupting effects which I called attention to in
2003 and is what I
nowadays refer to as the "SSD-CPU equivalence" driver of SSD market
More recently (in
list of user
value propositions for adopting SSDcentric infrasture grew to 6 core ideas
with the addition of replacing swathes of enterprise DRAM with cheaper, higher
density flash and other (long
time emerging) alt nvms.
wars phenomenon in some aspects looks like a new DRAM-flash equivalence
proposition for latency filtered tiers within complex DRAM installations.
While this "market surge" aspect is new - its technology
is rooted in classical
ideas about virtualizing RAM with mixed memory and storage types with
the new market twist simply being the credibility of semiconductor memory
roadmaps having sufficiently distinct cost/density characteristics combined
with the confidence of existing massive SSD installed infrastructures to make
it worthwhile supporting multiple memory chip types with investments in
|Pure's CEO says his legacy systems
competitors are 2-3 years behind in flash/cloud centric software|
May 26, 2016 - Pure
Storage reported that revenue for its recent quarter was approx $140
million, up 89% from the year ago period.
which recaps business highlights CEO - Scott Dietzen - comments
on the nature of the competition he sees from legacy storage companies.
says - "In our view, refurbished mechanical disk-era designs from the last
century cannot fulfill the needs of the modern data center: solid-state flash
memory and cloud demand a holistic rethink. Yet the majority of FlashArrays
and all of FlashBlades competition comes from pre-cloud disk-centric
retrofits..." ...read the
memory intensive data architecture emerges in a new family of
latency roled boxes - unstealthed by Symbolic IO
Editor:- May 25,
2016 - 1 petabyte usable storage in 2U along with a
flash backed RAM
rich server family which uses patented CPU level aware cache-centric data
reduction to deliver high compute performance are among the new offerings
today by Symbolic IO which has
emerged from stealth mode.
Founder & CEO, Symbolic IO - Brian Ignomirello, said - "This
industry hasn't really innovated in more than 20 years, even the latest
offerings based on flash have limitations that cannot be overcome. Our goal at
Symbolic IO was to completely redefine and rethink the way computing
architectures work. We've completely changed how binary is handled and
reinvented the way it's processed, which goes way beyond the industry's current
excitement for hyper-conversion."
Giving a clue to performance
Ignomirello said - "One of our early tests, allows us to run a full
cable class content delivery network over 80+ nodes, while streaming 80+
full-featured movies simultaneously on one channel and requires less than 8% of
the CPU capacity and we had plenty of headroom to run more. IRIS (Intensified
RAM Intelligent Server) is 10,000 times faster than today's flash."
comments:- I haven't spoken with Symbolic IO but my first impression is
that the company is in line with at least 3 strategic trends that you've been
reading about on StorageSearch.com in recent years:-
company profile summarizes their capability like this...
IO is the first computational defined storage solution solely focused on
advanced computational algorithmic compute engine, which materializes and
dematerializes data effectively becoming the fastest, most dense,
portable and secure, media and hardware agnostic storage solution."
more about the company's background see this article -
IO Rewrites Rules For Storage on Information
From the marketing point of view it's interesting to see that
in its launch press release Symbolic IO positions itself in the
context in this way "IRIS... is 10 times faster than 3D XPoint."
IO says the new systems will be start to become generally available in late Q4
segmentation viewpoint the IRIS systems will be proprietary. There is space
for such approaches in the future market consolidation roadmap because not
everyone needs the fastest performance. But many
webscale SSD companies
are already using data reduction techniques for their own utilizations and
The new thing - if there is a new thing - is
that Symbolic IO will make available boxes which incorporate modern data
architectures from a single source.
Although like all new systems
companies they'll have to wade their way through the apps accreditation and
compatibility lists before their revenues create any ripples - an adoption
dampening factor I wrote about in my 2013 article
also:- towards SSD
Toshiba launches fast M.2 SSD for notebooks
May 19, 2016 - May 24, 2016 -
launched its fastest yet SSD for the
market in the US. The OCZ RD400
is an M.2 form factor NVMe
PCIe SSD with 0.3 DWPD
endurance and sequential R/W of 2,200 / 620MB/s (for the entry level 128GB
adds 16G FC to 1U AFA range
Editor:- May 19, 2016 - AccelStor today
announced its has
added dual port 16Gbps FC connectivity to its
rackmount SSD product line which was previously available with
InfiniBand or 10GbE
enterprise PCIe SSD shipments grew 16% Q-Q
May 18, 2016 - TrendFocus
publication of its
2016 nand/SSD quarterly market report.
TrendFocus says the
enterprise SSD market saw growth in all segments -
|For enterprise SATA SSDs, unit growth compared to
the previous quarter was 5%, while SAS and PCIe saw higher growth at
6.7% and 16.3%, respectively. |
In Q1 2016 SSD shipments reported by TrendFocus were 30 million units.
Compare this to Q1 2014 for which period TrendFocus reported
million units. This shows SSD shipments over all markets have doubled in 2
storage market research
IBM says 90nm PCM can work with 3 bits per cell
May 17, 2016 - IBM
that its researchers have demonstrated reliable operation of 3 bits per cell PCM
in a low capacity test rig using 90nm CMOS technology.
comments:- in the flash
memory market each doubling capacity transition in a single cell
(first from SLC to MLC, then from MLC to TLC) enabled new market adoption due to
the lower cost of packing in more data in similar physical size cells.
that TPCM is possible will be encouraging to researchers but with the miniscule
amounts of capacity which are currently viable such future applications will
be limited to architectural niches in rare space constrained chips (such as
state machine registers for fast reboot in embedded processors) rather than
general purpose memory or storage.
Perspective:- 5 years ago in
June 2011 - NVSL demonstrated the world's first
PCIe SSD using PCM as the memory type in the array.
AMD enters M.2 SSD market
Editor:- May 16, 2016 -
AMD is now
offering a range of branded M.2
SSDs for the consumer
market. A blog on CIO.com discusses the
DIMM wars at battery scale - FLC from Marvell
May 12, 2016 - When thinking about
SSD / SCM DIMM
wars - most of the buzz in the past year has been focused on the impacts of
replacing DRAM with
flash at the
server and cloud
levels. But the same concepts can be applied (albeit with different
efficiency gains) at
the implementation level of battery powered embedded devices and wearables.
a recent blog -
Marvell FLC Redefines Main Memory - by Hunglin Hsu, VP
provides authoritative examples of the replacement ratios possible in a phone
strategic lesson to guide future designers is that even while getting a 50%
power consumption reduction (due to flash as RAM) it is also feasible to
increase application performance at the same time because the software can work
with a larger memory capacity (due to the lower
cost of flash
Among other things Hunglin says - "With FLC, better
performance can be achieved by reporting to the operating system a larger than
physically implemented main memory. The operating system is thus less likely to
kill background apps, which is why the fast app switching is possible. The FLC
hardware does all the heavy lifting in the background and frees up the tasks of
the operating system." ...read
E8 Storage gets funding for NVMe rackmounts
May 10, 2016 - E8 Storage today
a $12 million Series B financing round led by Accel, with participation from
existing investors Magma Venture Partners and Vertex Ventures. The investment
will help the company to launch its software-defined NVMe rackmount flash
investments in SSDs,
SanDisk will be a WDC company Thursday
10, 2016 - SanDisk
that the Ministry of Commerce of China has approved the acquisition of
SanDisk by Western
Digital. All necessary regulatory approvals for the acquisition have
now been received and the transaction is expected to close on Thursday, May 12,
timeline of acquired
SSD companies since 2000
Infinidat has shipped over 400PB
Editor:- May 10,
today announced that in Q1 2016 shipments of its
enterprise storage array increased by 300% compared to the year ago period
and now amounts to 422 petabytes worldwide. One of Infinidat's Fortune 500
customers now has over 10PBs of InfiniBox storage spread across multiple
thinking about latency?
Editor:- May 9, 2016 - "Little's
Law is key to understanding why lower latency is good" says Woody Hutsell,
Technologist, Evangelist - IBM in
series 2, episode 4
- the SSD
Bookmarks - published recently on StorageSearch.com ...read the article
comments:- you'll need to set aside some serious reading time when you
follow up Woody's article suggestions.
Editor:- May 5, 2016 - An interesting glimpse inside the
box of EMC's DSSD
appears in a new article -
Close And Personal on Tom's IT Pro.
a comment about SSD
controllers - the author Paul
Alcorn says that the Flashtec NVMe1032 (from
Microsemi) which is
used by EMC in this array also appears in SSDs by
an SSD way of looking at hard drives
Editor:- May 4,
2016 - In a blog 4 years ago I posed the question -
How will the hard
drive market fare... in a solid state storage world? And nearly every
significant thing that's happened in the computing and storage markets
seems to confirm a pattern:- that the primary levers of progress in
architecture have shifted towards an SSD-centric way of thinking.
the modern era of
SSDs - anyone selling SSDs had to explain how to relate their
characteristics to hard
Now in an ironic twist of fate - it looks as though hard
drive vendors may find it useful to characterize some aspects of HDDs in a way
which can be easily related to value judgement numbers created for SSDs.
recent article -
did HDDs get SSD-style DWPD ratings? - in The Register brings to our
attention that hard drrives are now being specified with write limits and the
author Chris Evans
(who also blogs as Architecting IT )
conveniently provides readers with a list of HDD models along with their DWPD
equivalent ratings. ...read
what's the state of DWPD in
enterprise and military SSDs?
smoking data wipe-out video
April 29, 2016 - Usually the last thing you want to see as an SSD designer is
your hot new product going up in smoke - but autonomous self destruct of SSD
data takes many forms and this is one of them.
from Renice Technology
shows a verification test rig for this functionality. Renice says it
uses a specially designed electric circuit, which ensures that all NAND flash
chips in the SSD will be burned through.
I've asked Renice if they've analyzed the composition of the smoke - but this
kind of fast purge is
aimed at military
applications rather than civilian offices - so smoke fumes are the lesser of
two evils (compared to data capture by a foe). I've asked Renice to say how much
electrical energy is needed to complete the data burn and will post an update
here when I know. ...watch
Revisiting Virtual Memory - read the book
April 25, 2016 - One of the documents I've spent a great deal of time reading
Virtual Memory (pdf) - a PhD thesis written by Arkaprava Basu
a researcher at AMD.
search for such a document began when I was looking for examples of raw DRAM
cache performance data to cite in my blog -
loving reasons for fading out DRAM in the virtual memory slider mix. It was
about a month after publishing my blog that I came across Arkaprava's "book"
which not only satisfied my original information gaps but also serves other
educational needs too.
You can treat the first 1/3 or so as a modern
refresher for DRAM architecture which also introduces the reader to several
various philosophies related to DRAM system design (optimization for power
consumption rather than latency for example) and the work includes detailed
analysis of the relevance and efficiency of traditional cache techniques within
the context of large in-memory based applications. ...read
the book (pdf)
news bolts re consumer flash
Editor:- April 25,
2016 - Market researchers
have long been telling us that the
consumer market is
the biggest user of flash.
3 of the biggest companies in that context have featured in news stories
- A report in etnews.com
says it expects Samsung
to resume supplies of flash to Apple after a 4 year
break (a period when the companies' relationships were soured by expensive
litigation about design isues relating to the phone market.)
a new external flash memory expander for users of Apple's iphones.
comments:- I was curious about the mention of both Lightning and USB
connectors in SanDisk's iXpand Flash Drive (as from the headline I had
anticipated a wireless connect) so I looked at the photo on the
page. The appearance of its ingeneous curling mechanical design reminds
me somewhat of a child's party
horm blower. See if you agree.
If it becomes fashionable for phone
users to start adding custom tail fins and bulges to their clutchable devices
then maybe we can expect to see a new phone-compatible line of
Duck tape too.
new digest of data noise reduction techniques in nvm
April 22, 2016 - A recently published book -
Methods for Non-Volatile Memories (145 pages, $130) cowritten by Lara Dolecek
and Frederic Sala
University of California, provides an overview of recent developments in
coding for nvms, and, by presenting numerous potential research directions, may
inspire other researchers to contribute to this timely and thriving discipline.
comments:- this appears to be focused on the DSP and ECC end of the
flash care management & DSP IP revolution which during the last 4 years
or so has been changing the way that new
memory technologies with
poor intrinsic data integrity (high noisiness - when viewed from a classical
ECC data angle) can be upcycled to construct higher quality, more reliable
solid state storage by adaptive and interventionist coding strategies.
pictures at an exhibition - Longsys (at IDF)
April 21, 2016 - Longsys
today posted pictures and
some of its
shown at the recent IDF
in Shenzhen, China. Among other things these products included:-
- FORESEE S400 series SSD - a dram-less (skinny) 2D TLC
- FORESEE P800 series SSD - an NVMe 1.2 HMB SSD family which is said to have
identical pricing to SATA SSDs
Everspin promises Gb MRAM later this year
April 14, 2016 - Everspin
it's shipping 256Mb ST-MRAM samples to global customers and plans to sample
1Gb products later this year.
Everspin says its 256Mb ST-MRAM product
breaks the record for the highest density commercial MRAM currently available in
Editor's comments:- One of the key questions with
MRAM's viability has always been - how does its denisty scaling compare with
flash? - given that it started behind the curve and can't afford to lose
comparative ground - if it is to get anywhere.
6 years ago (in
Everspin was sampling a 16Mb MRAM.
Now - 6 years later - the sampling
state of the art is 256Mb. That's 16x more density in 6 years. So you
can judge this for yourself.
ships 10nm DRAM
Editor:- April 2, 2016 - Samsung
today that it has begun mass producing the industry's first 10nm class 8Gb DDR4
The new cell geometries will enable peak transfer rates
which are about 30% faster than earlier 20nm DRAM.
RunCore brand completes transitions to V&G
Editor:- April 2, 2016 - Last year the
branding picture for RunCore
was confusing because they were using different brand names for the company in
different geographical regions - with upto 3 names being used concurrently on
different web sites.
The situation has now clarified with the
that the definitive name from April 1 is V&G (which in English you can think
of as "Vision and Goal" and in Chinese is Wei Gu.
is in effect the new name for RunCore. The company's leadership is the same as
before - the CEO is Jack
Wu who founded RunCore in 2007. And the company says the SSD product
lines are 100% technically identical - apart from the change in branding.
|What happened before?
|seeking the inner SSD
|"The need for
reviving the SSD bookmarks
series concept after a 5 year gap is because while we're all busily dodging
tornadoes in Kansas to get to a consolidated market there's a lot of dust
making it harder than ever to see what's what."
editor - StorageSearch.com|
|Your mission - should you
decide to accept it - is to compile a simple list of military SSD
manufacturers. That sounds easy - I thought. How hard can that be?|
|How hard was it? See the
|Why can't SSD's most ardent
believers agree on a single shared vision for the future of solid state
|the SSD Heresies |
and the virtual memory mix slider
| Editor:- March 2, 2016 - in a
on StorageSearch.com I
cast an eye on the latency specific defects in DRAM system behavior which
are among the many technology enablers of the emerging tiered memory /
flash as RAM market. |
We've been accustomed to think of DRAM as the
simple predictable latency memory (compared to
flash). But server
motherboard memory system latency hasn't improved for over 10 years. Memory
systems got bigger and bandwidth got faster but worst case latencies can
sometimes be worse than they used to be - due to interference effects caused
by complex data queuing patterns.
If you haven't noticed these
problems - congratulations!
It means you might not notice (or care)
when the virtual memory slider moves in the cheaper direction towards
memories like flash. ...read the