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is it realistic to talk about memory IOPS?
Editor:- August 11, 2016 - 24 million IOPS on a single device is the title of a recent blog from Storage Switzerland which is a briefing note about Crossbar which operates in the conerging segments of the alt nvm and DIMM wars markets.

Among other things author - George Crump - says "Crossbar believes that it can achieve 24 million IOPS on a single 4TB NV-DIMM without the use of a RAM buffer or a capacitor." ...read the article

Editor's comments:- when startups enter new emerging markets they are often tempted to make headline grabbing claims.

And I think the "24 million IOPS" (IOPs as in you and I think about them) has to be interpreted in that context. (How can you claim record breaking IOPS when all you've got is a memory IP - and that's just part of a yet to be integrated technology set which together make IOPs.)

This is not to decry the importance and validity of the tides of change in the SCM SSD DIMM wars market - which have consumed nearly half of my working hours in the past year.

We saw similar wild claims when the startup Fusion-io was trying to get across how PCIe SSDs would change the enterprise storage market by reference to the nearest similar technology when Fusion said in 2007 it would replace SANs. (Because SAN based SSD accelerators were at that time the SSD market's dueling weapons of choice.)

Going back to Crossbar - there is a genuine problem for the industry (which I touched on in an earlier post about Diablo's DMX software) - which is - what are the most useful metrics to judge tiered memory systems by?

As we've seen in the SSD accelerated storage pool market since 2009 - there's a wide spectrum of use cases and cost considerations which have many viable business intersections.

We need new "goodness" numbers for DIMM wars memories.

But I think using IOPS to characterize a memory product is less useful to describe why people might want to look at it than wattage, raw capacity in a DIMM, uncached raw R/W latency and price.

And - most important of all - what software does it work with? And how well does the software behave?
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Micron's QuantX Development Board - pics on Tom's Hardware
Editor:- August 12, 2016 - A year after Intel and Micron preannounced their 3DXPoint / Optane bid for the alt nvm DIMM wars market (with the absence of any worthwhile technical details) we now know that you might have to wait another year to buy any.

But the companies have released more preliminary tech data and this week have been showing prototype development boards at FMS.

You can see a useful article about this - 3D XPoint SSD Pictured - on Tom's Hardware.

Among other things this says the new memories will have an endurance rating of 25 DWPD.

Also speed will not be fast as (selectively) promised last year.

This shouldn't come as any surprise to regular readers.

In June 2016 I recommended a video 3D XPoint, reality, opportunity, competition by Yung Lee, President & CEO - BeSang - who correctly (as it turns out) reinterpreted the performance claims of 3D XPoint and looked at the limitations, manufacturing costs and best likely application roles for this new technology from a deep semiconductor perspective.

Why is Micron rebranding the memory to QuantX? - the 3rd name for the same memory (so far).

Well why did Microsoft skip ahead to Windows 10?

Branding SSD related products is not as easy as you might think.

But it could be that by the time anyone can see these new products in an online shopping basket the original name will seem old.
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military SSD from Waitan
military SSD drives with secure erase
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from Waitan
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related guides
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does persistent memory pose new new security risks?
Editor:- August 4, 2016 - 35 years ago I noticed something curious about RAM which surprised me. But it wasn't important for my work at the time.

In a new blog on StorageSearch.com - is data remanence in persistent memory a new risk factor? - I link together some ideas which pinged across my path 3 times in as many decades. But I think these have more relevance now in the new context of emerging persistent memory systems. ...read the article
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fast is good - more is better
Editor:- August 9, 2016 - In some ways Mangstor has some quaint old fashioned ideas because its products are to be found in the segment of raw enterprise performance and you'll find them listed along with some others in my indicative article - the fastest SSDs.

Speed was indeed the gateway which opened the access to the enterprise SSD market back in the days of yore - although just as with cars - having long ago proved that SSDs can run faster than hard driven horses - the enterprise market has recently grown more sophisticated in its analysis of user requirements - even to the extent that vendors are now offering pricing schemes which are abstracted far away from traditional cost for capacity ideas of rotating storage.

Which brings me back to Mangstor - a company I described last year as having "less employees than cores in its SSD controllers."

There is another old fashioned business idea which we've seen has to be satisfied for any such company to succeed for long in the market. They have to be able to answer this question - posed by their ideal hypothetical customers...

Yes we like what your product does - but do you have an easy way we can use a lot of them together - which preserves the essential character of attributes we like - without crossing over into product territories which other vendors do better?

Many products which look like stars as solo SSDs fail such scalability symmetry tests.

Mangstor's answer to such a question can be seen in an announcement today - " the availability of its TITAN NVMe over Fabric (NVMf) Target Software Storage Stack which tightly integrates NVMe SSDs with Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) NICs and efficient use of x86 server capabilities to deliver network storage performance with upto 10x higher bandwidth and 1/10th the latency compared to iSCSI and FC-based AFAs."

Mangstor also says - its NVMf arrays based on TITAN software scale to petabytes of capacity and hundreds of GB/s as arrays are added with virtually no increase in latency.

In case you didn't see this article earlier - the value of low latency in enterprise SSD contexts was elegantly summarized in the SSD Bookmarks by IBM.
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lowering cloud wattage with low DWPD SATA SSDs
Editor:- August 4, 2016 - Although it's the faster SSD products (like PCIe SSDs and memory channel SSDs) which capture the attention of readers - because they show what is possible (and after a long enough interval we see pioneering enterprise speeds becoming commonplace at lower prices as we're now seeing with M.2 SSDs) nevertheless - when it comes to where most of the SSD slots are - the workhorse of the SSD market - in arrays, webscale and cloud - is still the simple 2.5" SATA SSD.

disk writes per day in enterprise SSDs
DWPD
....
Well, maybe not that simple - because since about 2012 we started to see subtle power optimized and mostly read oriented (low DWPD) SATA SSD product lines being introduced specifically for use in dense populations in the cloud.

It's a big market for SSD vendors and SATA SSDs are a low risk choice for users because there are so many competing companies and products that ensure continuous improvements in value and quality.

A new addition to this crowded market is the - Nytro XF1230 (pdf) - a 1.9TB capacity SSD which consumes less than 5W, is rated at 0.67 DWPD - which Seagate announced will ship to channel partners next month.

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FIPS makes for health compliant SSDs
Editor:- July 28, 2016 - A new blog by Micron - discusses FIPS 140-2 validation in its range of SAS SSDs.

storage security articles and news
SSD security
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The author - Anne Haggar, Product Marketing Leader, Micron says (among other things)...

"We are finding that U.S. federal agencies arent the only organizations that are interested in the extra security these drives provide. Companies in health care and financial services who face stiff fines for non-compliance and huge risks if they have a data breach are adding FIPS 140-2 compliance to their requirements." ...read the article

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Non-Balanced Wear Leveling - a paper by Renice
Editor:- July 28, 2016 - Renice Technology recently published a paper - Non-Balanced Wear Leveling Algorithm (pdf) - which outlines the thinking behind a specific technique in its industrial SATA3 SSD controller - model RS3502-IT - to improve endurance upto 3x compared to traditional methods.

This is one of the several techniques used in this controller to overall get a 20x improvement in lifespan when using MLC. ...read the article (pdf)

Editor's comments:- Ever since the first flash devices were evaluated it has been known that some blocks are much better than others.

As an example in this paper Renice shows that in a modern 16GB MLC flash chip - even after just 10 P/E cycles the controller is able to see a 3x difference between the fastest and average program time and over 30% difference between the slowest and fastest read times.

click image to read the article - principles of bad block management in flash SSDs
bad block management
in flash SSDs
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The quality of wear resistance tells you something which can be used to grade blocks.

Renice's non-balanced wear leveling algorithm leverages these naturally occurring process variations so that "the higher wear resistance blocks are selected to be erased more times while the lower ones get protected instead."

Although there are no fundamentally new ideas presented in this paper - because the technique is just one permutation of many from the superset of all adaptive R/W techniques - this paper does provide a useful survey of classical wear leveling techniques along with their associated trade offs in performance and endurance.

I got a good sense of judgment and balance in this paper - given the unstated context.

Context is always important - and these techniques are discussed in the context of general purpose, simple low power industrial SSDs which use modest speed SSD processors and skinny RAM flash caches.

That's distinct thinking from new generation enterprise array controllers in which visibility into other SSDs in the same array, larger ratios of DRAM and knowledge about the applications software stack can also be leveraged to reduce endurance.

Here are more articles on these themes:-

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data dematerialization in the DIMM?
Editor:- July 27, 2016 - Some of the big SSD ideas in recent years have been:-
  • in-situ processing, and
  • DIMM wars.
One way to interpret the essence of Symbolic IO's architecture - which was partially unveiled in May 2016 - may be as a coming together of the 2 concepts in the same place...

What got me thinking this way was a recent blog - a look at Symbolic IO's patents - by Robin Harris on his site - StorageMojo.com .

Symbolic IOs founder Brian Ignomirello who saw and liked Robin's post - said among other things on linkedinpulse - "yes we (do) materialize and dematerialize data." ...read the article

PS - In a conversation I had about the market yesterday (which I'll write about next month) I noted how during the past year the SSD industry has been thinking much more about memory systems architecture as the next emerging core for innovation in the same kind of way that the market was buzzing about apps acceleration using SSDs on the SAN and in servers via PCIe cards 8 to 10 years ago.

It's because of all that previous market experience with PCIe SSDs in servers especially and the comparisons with other ways of getting similar results with arrays of SAS / SATA SSDs in storage - and the feel-good confidence from having made those difficult changes - that the data computing market is now receptive to being more ambitious with re-engineering memory.

The business incentive being that the gap between what is possible and what is being done every day with current products is so huge and wasteful. (Huge savings for users. Multi-billion dollar new markets for vendors.)

We've already seen a lot of different approaches coming down the pipe in the past year with technology announcements. But even though the implementation details are so different - they're tackling the same problem.

With more toys in the memory, SSD and software tool kit - there are now more permutations for delivering applications servers which exceed previous performance limits and slash away at legacy cost assumptions.

The DNA of the semicondata market continues its ruthless quest of doing more for less.

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"Previous concerns about RAM being able to store only a limited amount of data are becoming a non-issue. Recently, Amazon introduced their X1 Instance, which lets customers rent computing instances with 2 terabytes of RAM for just $13.34 per hour. At such pricing levels, the economics of renting large clusters containing virtually any amount of RAM are well within reach."
Abe Kleinfeld, President & CEO at GridGain Systems in his blog - In-Memory Computing Will Dramatically Change Our Lives (July 14, 2016)

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Compared to earlier phases in the SSD market more is changing.
the SSD Bookmarks - series overview

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John McClane will rescue his wife.
Scrooge will avoid a bad end.
And Dorothy will find her way back from Oz.
Zsolt Kerekes, editor - StorageSearch.com in his blog - trust and SSD services marketing (July 20, 2016) - re the headline story - Kaminario unveils storage industry's most comprehensive business assurance program... ...read the article
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SSD news

new industrial secure eUSB 3.0 10-pin SSDs from Virtium

usb 3 SSD for industrial secure rolesEditor:- August 22, 2016 - Virtium recently announced new models of eUSB 3.0 10-pin models in its TuffDrive SSD range which offers much faster speed than eUSB 2.0 at about half the power consumption.

Capacities range from 2GB to 256GB, while drawing less than 1W. Size is 36.9mm x 26.6 mm.

See also:- USB SSDs, M.2 SSDs


Plexistor demonstrates low latency memory fabric on commodity hardware

Editor:- August 19, 2016 - If you don't want to be tied to any particular proprietary big memory hardware - but do need memory fabric - what kind of performance can you expect using software absrtaction products?

Plexistor recently demonstrated it can handle millions of remote writes per second at latencies as low as a few microseconds in a benchmark on Mellanox infrastructure over 100GbE using Plexistor's persistent memory over fabric software.

Benchmarks performed on a Mellanox infrastructure over 100GbE using Plexistor's PMoF Brick demonstrated record performance: more than 1.6 million random 4KB IOPS at less than 6µs with throughput of 7GB/sec.


where memory goes - compression follows

Editor:- August 19, 2016 - Cache memory compression techniques and a survey of why and where they can be useful featured in a news story here in April 2015 and was part of the rethinking RAM in an SSD context industry trend which is sweeping across computer architecture.

But where can we find examples of such techniques being used?

A recent case is a new version of software from A3Cube - which relates to their RAM over FABRIC system. Among other things - Fortissimo Foundation 2.6 now includes In-Memory compressed IO caching.


we're #1 in enterprise SSDs - says Samsung

Editor:- August 11, 2016 - which SSD company is the market share leader in enterprise SSDs? (Drives not racks.)

Samsung has claimed the #1 crown in a recent story which quotes various percentages (32% to 45%) from 3 market research companies which relate to the first quarter of 2016.

Editor's comments:- In part Samsung may be reaping some benefits from the frenemy trend in the enterprise storage systems market.

This is the change in supplier relationships when SSD drive companies begin to sell complete rackmount SSD systems as part of their product portfolios. While Samsung remains a component company and not a systems company (and the risk assessment of its SSD oem customers suggests that Samsung isn't a threat to their own business) this is a good enough reason for many array vendors to prefer Samsung as a drive supplier.

Among other things in my 2015 big SSD ideas roundup article I said this...

"Vendor strategies which once appeared safe...(list) are no longer safe assumptions when your biggest supplier can become your biggest competitor. Or when your biggest customer can become your competitor."

In detail the frenemy concept is more complex - because when you look at the range of segmentation in the SSD enterprise and the differences in latency tiered products and IPs needed to become a leader in each of those segments - an experience supplier risk assessment can be finely grained - as in "this company has systems products for webscale and cloud - but my market is traditional mid range enterprise - which requires more services and software - so therefore such a supplier is not an immediate threat to my business."

Such assessments have a short life in today's market however as everything will change due to growing user sophistication and dissatisfaction - as I discussed in my article - 90% of the enterprise SSD companies which you know have no good reasons to survive.

But for now - and not withstanding the unreliability of inferring too much from SSD market data - and given the new trend for intelligent tiered memory systems to change the disposition of enterprise SSDs in server and storage systems - any company which has a leading market share position in enterprise SSDs today has to be congratulated with the warning that everything is still changing and the rate of change is speeding up.

PS - the ability of past SSD shipment data to predict long term future success is something which I called into question over 9 years ago when I started publishing the Top SSD Companies series.

You - dear readers - still have the ability to change markets, surprise us all and remind us that the SSD architecture idea stands out as 1 of the 3 main disruptive changes in the computer business in the past 40 years.


SMART samples 32GB DDR4 hybrid DIMMs

Editor:- August 9, 2016 - SMART Modular today announced imminent sampling of its 32GB DDR4 NVDIMM-N (hybrid DIMMs).

Editor's comments:- Having recently written my blog - is data remanence in persistent memory a new risk factor? - I asked SMART - "Does your IP offer the option to encrypt data backed up to the flash in the NVDIMM?"

Arthur Sainio who is Director Product Marketing at SMART told me - "Yes, it does have the capability to do encryption, but it has not been enabled. We are in discussions at the JEDEC meetings as to how this is implemented with the NVDIMM specifications."


Nimbus re-emerges from stealth with 1PB / U raw HA SSD

Editor:- August 9, 2016 - Nimbus Data Systems has emerged from its self imposed exit into marcomms stealth mode with the announcement of a new range of Ethernet/FC/Infiniband attached rackmount SSDs based on its new ExaFlash OS with GA in Q4 2016.

Entry level products start in a 2U box with 50TB raw capacity for under $50K and for larger configurations Nimbus says its ExaFlash offers an effective price point as low as $0.19 per effective gigabyte (including all software and hardware).

Higher density boxes in this product line - D-series models - will have 4.5 PB raw capacity in 4U (12 PB effective).

Re the architecture - I haven't seen details - Nimbus says there is no data network between the storage arrays themselves, guaranteeing that performance truly scales in lock-step with capacity and with consistent latency.

4 petabytes raw 12 effective in 4U

video above shows the 4PB raw ExaFlash at FMS

Editor's comments:- if there are to be sustainable roles in the future consolidated enterprise SSD systems market for AFA vendors which previously sold arrays of SAS/SATA SSDs - and who don't own their own semiconductor fabs - the only viable ways to establish such platform brand identities are with SSD software and architecture.

There's a huge gap between the technological aspiration which Nimbus talks about and the weakness of its past marketing and the kind of funding which we've seen competitors in this market burn through in the past with mixed results.

In the next few quarters I hope we'll hear more from Nimbus about its business development plans and customer adoption.

See also:- roadmap to the Petabyte SSD, the unreal positioning of many flash array "startups"


Liqid controller inside fastest 2.5" NVMe flash SSD

Editor:- August 9, 2016 - In a joint press release today Liqid and Kingston gave details of the "fastest 2.5" PCIe NVMe flash SSD ever benchmarked" - which they're showing this week at FMS.
  • upto 3.9 TB of capacity
  • Mixed R/W: ~ 5.5 GB/s (Full Duplex)
  • Seq read ~ 3.6 GB/s Seq write ~ 3.6 GB/s
  • mixed random R/W ~ 1.15 M IOPS (4 K, Full Duplex)
See also:- 2.5" PCIe SSDs, PCIe SSDs, SSD controllers


Seagate previews 60TB 3.5" SAS SSD

Editor:- August 9, 2016 - Seagate today said it 's demonstrating prototypes of a 60TB 3.5" SAS SSD which will be available next year.


new memories? new security risks?

Editor:- August 4, 2016 - Is remanence a security risk in persistent memory? That's the topic of my new blog here on StorageSearch.com

If you aren't yet ready to evaluate these new SCM style NVDIMMs you might think you can skip this article.

That's OK as long as you already were aware that that data recovery has always been feasible in old style DRAM too. ...read the article


former SanDisk CTO joins 3D fabless BeSang

Flash Memory
flash & nvm
Editor:- August 2, 2016 - today it was announced that Kevin Conley, former CTO at SanDisk has joined BeSang as a member of advisory board where he will help guide the company to find SSD applications for their 3D Super NAND nd 3D Super NOR technologies - which unlike conventional through-silicon vias 3D can "stack high-density, multi-memory layers sequentially on top of other device layers in a single chip at low cost using proven material and device technologies."


Radian will sample PCIe based competitor to NVDIMMs

Editor:- August 2, 2016 - Radian Memory today announced it will be sampling in October a new byte addessable, regular (NVRAM-flash cache ratio), 12TB PCIe SSD which has on-board host controlled tiering between its flash and NVRAM.

Editor's comments:- Radian is positioning the new product as a cost effective alternative competitor to hybrid NVDIMMs and similar emerging products in the SCM DIMM wars market.

In an interview last year with Radian's CEO Mike Jadon - what's the role for a Radian Memory SSD? - I learned more about the company's software thinking.


Diablo gets more funding for Memory1 and DMX software

Editor:- August 2, 2016 - Diablo Technologies today announced it has secured $37 million across 2 phases of an oversubscribed round of Series C financing.

New investors Genesis Capital and GII Tech Ventures joined the second phase of the round, along with follow-on investments from Battery Ventures, BDC Capital, Celtic House Venture Partners, Hasso Plattner Ventures and ICV.

Editor's comments:- that's kind of interesting - but much more interesting from my perspective was what I learned in a 1 hour conversation with the company last week about the software for their Memory1 (flash as RAM) product.

Diablo's DMX software is barely mentioned in the funding PR above. I expected to see more on their web site about this.

I also learned how Diablo handles the flash and endurance issues.

Those aspects were mysterious to me when the product was announced last year. But it's very straightforward. I'll write about them in an article later this week.

Until then - if you're wondering - the best way to think about the caching and tiering side of things is that Diablo's software leverages DRAM on the motherboard.

This DRAM (in another socket) must be present for every 1 or 2 Memory1 modules in the system. And in many respects it uses that DRAM and its own flash in a similar way to the early Fusion-io PCIe SSDs and some of the other tiering, caching products we've seen before like FlashSoft.

Diablo's DMX operates in memory layers and also the company has done machine learning of popular and proprietary apps it might work with so that it understands the nature of data demand patterns and structures.

DMX

Diablo says that - unlike NVMe and those other storage cache / tiering products - the benchmarks they've done with Memory1 have much more acceptable operation - because DMX and Memory1 don't have the same variability of latency which occurs when you go through storage stacks and storage or network interfaces.

This inconsistency of latency is one of the problems I wrote about in my classic article on SSD design symmetries. And the consistency of - for example - random IOPS - was a powerful competitive difference exploited by marketers at enterprise PCIe SSD pioneer - Virident.

There are always infrequent traffic related congestion and contention problems in any multi-tiered latency system - even in real world physical DRAM controllers.

These rare clogging events (nanoseconds, microseconds, or milliseconds) accumulate to bigger actual latency numbers in storage interchanges. So when you're emulating memory with storage - it's not the best performance which matters. It's the worst case which causes QoS problems.

Diablo says the ability of DMX to understand data at the application level and move it between DRAM and flash via the DRAM bus with native custom silicon controller support for these memory movements - gets results which are on average several times better than the best average PCIe based flash cache alternatives. As you'd expect.

But it's the superiority of the worst case latencies - which can prove to be the yea or nay breaking point in the selction between DIMM based flash and other interfaces for critical memory emulation deployments.

DMX includes a QoS latency feature so that application developers can retain control of data they like in DRAM without having to rely on caching intelligence.

More from me on this and the endurance side of things later.


relating NVMdurance's machine learning to manual tuning

Editor:- July 29, 2016 - Nearly every SSD in the market today from the smallest SSD on a chip to the bewildering array of rackmnount systems can be viewed as a choice of how to select and mix the raw ingredients of SSD IP and integrate them into products which (for better or worse) match up to and satisfy user needs. How these decisions are made depends on the DNA of the product marketers, the technology teams, familiarity and ease of access to some technologies rather than others, business pressures and timing, the willingness to take risks, and sometimes - just luck.

But all products - no matter how complex they appear - can be analyzed as a specific set of choices made from the architecture and IP selections which are possible.

In many articles in the past I've shown you how - whether you're looking at the design of SSDs or systems - there are rarely more than 2, 3 or 6 raw available decisions which determine each piece of the jigsaw. And I know from the feedback I get from SSD specifiers and architects that these simple classifications can be useful in helping to compare different products and even in choosing which competitive approaches are similar enough to make comparisons worthwhile.

But when you get down into the details of implementation at each layer in the product design - every one of these dimensional options which go into the permutations blender to shape the total product identity - can itself be complex and multilayered.

Take the example of the raw magic tuning numbers which enable the raw R/W program, erase, threshold voltages, shaping and timing parameters inside a flash memory. The question of how much and when has been at the heart of what makes some SSDs better than others ever since flash was first used in SSDs.

Some SSD designers have spent their whole careers measuring and modeling how these choices interact with the flash cell and can be tweaked to improve speed, power consumption and reliability. You can get a flavor of this in my article - adaptive R/W and DSP ECC IP.

In a conversation with NVMdurance's CEO - Pearse Coyle earlier this year (April 2016) almost the first thing I did was try to relate and place the work they were doing within the simple frameworks I'd written about before.

So I asked him how similar it was to something which I wrote a long article about in April 2012 - when SMART announced a range of SandForce driven SSDs which had 5x higher endurance - while using exactly the same industry controller - but using magic tuning numbers which they had learned from analyzing the adaptive settings from their own adaptive controller design.

Pearse said - yes - he knew that work. And what NVMdurance was doing was the same type of thing.

He said that some leading companies which had the flash talent had done similar things in their proprietary SSDs before.

Pearse told me that as the complexity of flash increased - with more layers and TLC - it was becoming harder for designers to manually (or using human expertise) guarantee they were choosing the optimum magic numbers - because there were now so many variables involved.

Pearse said that what was different about NVMdurance was that they were delivering the magic numbers based on characterising a sample of typically 100 devices and then performing machine based simulations to see which numbers would work best - while also using a multi-stage life cycle model - which was designed to use different tuning after a fractional amount of the expected endurance had been used.

As far as he knew from his conversations with memory companies - no-one else had made the same kinds of investments in this machine intensive modeling - and that was the key difference - because NVMdurance had a proven process for delivering good tuning numbers over a variety of memory generations and types.

I hoped at the time that someone would write a paper saying more about it. Tom Coughlin has done that.

Machine learning enables longer life high capacity SSDs (pdf) - published this week describes the background principles and operation of NVMdurance's pathfinder and plotter software tools and shows you how NVMdurance have tackled this complex tuning problem to deliver a software delivered IP which can give endurance results which are similar to adaptive adaptive R/W controllers but which don't need such expensive processors or such complex run-time firmware. ...read the article (pdf)


Toshiba samples 64 layer 3D TLC

Editor:- July 27, 2016 - Toshiba today said it is sampling 64 layer 3D TLC flash in a 32GB device and plans production in the first half of 2017.

Editor's comments:- You can judge the progress on this technology by the fact that in March 2015 - Toshiba was sampling 48 layer MLC.


Seagate unveils 2TB enterprise M.2

Editor:- July 26, 2016 - Seagate today unveiled a 2TB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD aimed at the enterprise market. The Nytro XM1440 M.2 - which will ship in November 2016 - will offer 30K IOPS / Watt.


Memory1... if you want it - you can have it

the phoney war phase of DIMM wars has now ended


Editor:- July 20, 2016 - Diablo Technologies today announced the production release and volume availability of its Memory1 128GB DDR4 system memory module.

Editor's comments:- Diablo's Memory1 unveiling in August 2015 was part of a wave of similar announcements last summer. I commented on its significance and listed the other contenders which emerged in an article - who's working on SSD DIMM wars technology?

The phoney war phase of SCM DIMM wars has now ended with volume shipments of Memory1 (flash as DRAM).

It's now time for competitors who aren't yet shipping products in volume to start publishing full technical specifications for their own alternative memory products (if they dare) and for investment oriented stock-price puffing announcements about DIMM wars productsto cease and be replaced by papers, presentations and ads aimed at engineers.
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What happened before?
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SSD ad - click for more info
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SSD news page image - click to  enlarge
seeking the inner SSD
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Seagate SandForce SSD processors - click for more info
the awards winning silicon
accelerating world's leading SSDs
from Seagate

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All the marketing noise coming from the DIMM wars market (flash as RAM and Optane etc) obscures some important underlying strategic and philosophical questions about the future of SSD.
where are we heading with memory intensive systems?

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AccelStor NeoSapphire  all-flash array
1U enterprise flash arrays
InfiniBand or 10GbE iSCSI or 16G FC
NeoSapphire series - from AccelStor

related guides

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

related guides
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"We run 500 power on / off cycles on our industrial SSDs as part of the production process to ensure 100% security in case of any unexpected power fail. Most SSD manufacturers dont do this at all or test much fewer cycles."
RecaData in their blog - Curious about how our industrial grade SSDs are produced and tested in the factory? (July 28, 2016)

See also:- Surviving SSD sudden power loss

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

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9 years ago - in August 2007

Violin Memory launched an assault on the high end RAM SSD acceleration market with general availability of the highest density rackmount memory system.
SSD market history




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"It's time for our industry to finally put to rest the outdated idea that flash arrays can offer either performance or reliability, but not both."
Dr. Weafon Tsao, VP - AccelStor in a press release (July 20, 2016) about the company's new NeoSapphire 3706-ES1 a 2U high-availability flash storage array - which - as well as a new NVMe array platform - will be shown at next month's Flash Memory Summit .

See also:- rackmount SSD segments vs user needs
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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
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related guides
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I think it's not too strong to say that the enterprise PCIe SSD market (as we once knew it) has exploded and fragmented into many different directions.
what's changed in enterprise PCIe SSD?
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90% of the enterprise SSD companies which you know have no good reasons to survive.
market consolidation - why? how? when?
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do custom SSDs hav to cost more?
custom SSDs Few questions in the SSD market have simple answers.

Do custom SSDs cost have to cost more?

See my new blog - some thoughts about SSD customization.
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recent headlines from

the news archive
May 2015 Researchers at Oak Ridge National Lab publish survey of data compression techniques and applications in cache and main memory
June 2015 Altera introduces adaptive flash controller IP leveraging technology from NVMdurance into its FPGA product line
July 2015 interest in Micron surges based on rumor that Tsinghua Unigroup might buy it
August 2015 DIMM wars heat up with Memory1 (flash as RAM) from Diablo and 3D XPoint (alt nvm) from Intel and Micron
September 2015 Mangstor gets series B funding for fastest NVMe flash
October 2015 OCZ offers "Host Managed SSD Technology" in 2.5" SSDs
November 2015 Netlist allies with Samsung to codevelop flash-as-RAM DIMMs
December 2015 NSF funds NxGn Data project to progress in-situ SSD processing
January 2016 Quarch says many SSDs fail their first hot plug tests.
February 2016 It's not worth paying more for SLC reliability in PCIe SSDs says Google field study
March 2016 New funding for endurance stretching NVMdurance

Cadence and Mellanox demonstrate PCIe 4.0 interoperability at 16Gbps.
April 2016 Samsung began mass producing the industry's first 10nm class 8Gb DDR4 DRAM chips.
May 2016 efficiently coded memory architecture unveiled in new systems by Symbolic IO

Encrip announces tri-state coded DRAM IP which can be used with any standard process
June 2016 Pure Storage said its AFA revenue in Q1 2016 was more than the leading HDD array brand
July 2016 Diablo announced volume availability of its Memory1 128GB DDR4 system memory module.
August 2016 SSD news
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