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Capacitor hold up times in 2.5" military SSDs
is remanence in persistent memory a new security risk?
where are we heading with memory intensive systems?
what were the big SSD memory architecture ideas in 2016?
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I noticed that whenever I repeated the power off and power back on again cycling (into what we'd now call a "cold boot" condition) most of the contents of the RAM looked similar to what they had been before, instead of scrambled which is what I expected.
does persistent memory pose new new security risks?

the market impact of hybrid DIMM aware software
Editor:- September 27, 2016 - I've been asking people in the SSD industry to tell me what they think were the big SSD, storage and memory architecture ideas which emerged and became clearer in 2016. As you'd expect - SSD aware software comes up a lot. Here's an interesting twist as it relates to SCM.

Sang-Yun Lee, President & CEO - BeSang said this...

"Storage Class Memory... As storage class memories are emerging, the memory hierarchy will be changed. NOR-based NVDIMMs, such as 3D Super-NOR and 3D XPoint, will replace DRAM and SSD at the same time.

Also, software-based NVDIMM-P, such as HybriDIMM, will come to the storage class memory market. Storage class memories mingles fast-but-expensive volatile, and slow-but-inexpensive non-volatile memories together. As a result, it will significantly boost system performance at low cost and create huge market opportunities."

See also:- hybrid DIMMs, DRAM's virtual latency secret

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

related guides
a different approach to 3D SCM?
Editor:- September 29, 2016 - The different semiconductor technology approaches to storage class memory of 3 large hopefuls in the market (WD, Samsung and Intel / Micron) are compared and contrasted to a different tunneling approach which is claimed to provide greater endurance - in a recent blog - Quantum Mechanical Advantage: A Revolution through Evolution for Storage Class Memory by Andrew Walker, Founder and CEO of Schiltron.

Andrew says his company's approach to 3-D memory is "designed to wring every ounce of advantage out of Quantum Mechanical (QM) tunneling." the article

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Reliability is an important factor in many applications which use SSDs. But can you trust an SSD brand just because it claims to be reliable in its ads?
the cultivation of "reliability" in a 2.5" SSD brand

Who's got all the answers to help understand how all the changes in the SSD market are coming together?

The answer is - no one and everyone and you too.

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.

Are some marketing promises just too good to be true?
trust and enterprise AFA services marketing

do custom SSDs have 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.

90% of the enterprise SSD companies which you know have no good reasons to survive.
market consolidation - why? how? when?
Cactus Technologies logo


SSD news

SSDs outsell HDDs in European storage distribution channels

Editor:- October 18, 2016 - "Revenues from sales of oem SSDs through Western European distribution channels in September 2016 again exceeded revenues from oem HDDs" - is the key message from a research note posted by Mehari Goitom, Enterprise Account Manager - Context World.

Mehari says - "This confirms SSDs as the leading storage technology in the dedicated storage market for the 3rd calendar quarter as large enterprise customers use them to replace HDDs." the article

See also:- storage market research

FalconStor offers new pricing model for use with cloud

Editor:- October 17, 2016 - FalconStor Software today announced a new version of its FreeStor software - FreeStor for the hybrid cloud - which the company says has a new pricing model which removes the barrier of cloud adoption. Among other things organizations now pay only for licensing of their primary instance of data, not the total amount of storage consumed.

See also:- Exiting the Astrological Age of Enterprise SSD Pricing, SSDs in the cloud

Pure says it's ready to ship petabyte SSDs

Editor:- October 12, 2016 - Pure Storage today announced availability of its of petabyte-scale rackmount SSD - the FlashArray//m - which in 7U includes 512TB of raw flash delivering 1.5PB of effective capacity (based on its customer use metrics).

Re resilience Pure says this product family has 99.9999% availability across the installed base, which equates to only 31.5 seconds of downtime on average per year.

Editor's comments:- In my 2013 article - impacts of the enterprise SSD software event horizon - I discussed the improving efficiencies we could still expect to see in pure SSD arrays as more layers of ancient HDD architecture were removed from archeologically stratified software stacks.

Pure disclosed in a 2015 white paper - Building HA enterprise flash storage from commodity components (pdf) - that in real-world applications its customer base averaged 5.4x more effective storage than the physical storage in the system excluding gains from thin provisioning. And that provides some context for their effective to raw flash capacity ratio of 3 in the press release - which seems reasonable after you take into account that some raw capacity is "lost" due to reliability strategies.

You can also see the signficance of 30 seconds in the above pdf too.

You can get a comparitive idea of the elasticity of SSD vendor promises about effective capacity by clicking on the link which mines archived news.

See also:- petabyte SSDs

Micron wraps up funding to own all Inotera

RAM image - click for RAM directory, articles and news
RAM - really?
Editor:- October 12, 2016 - Micron's long delayed plan (announced in December 2015) to complete its ownership of Inotera now has an end date in sight - December 6th, 2016.

Inotera announced yesterday Micron Semiconductor Taiwan Co. Ltd. and Inotera signed a syndicated loan agreement of NT$80BN with a group of banks which will enable MST to acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of the Inotera for cash.

hard disk drives news and articles
rust buckets?

recently shipped HDD capacity averages 1.7TB

Editor:- October 11, 2016 - the average capacity of hard drives shipped by Seagate in the quarter ended September 30, 2016 was 1.7TB according to a preliminary financial report from the company today.

NVMe flash as RAM - new software from OmniTier

image shows software factory - click to see storage software directory
SSD software
Editor:- October 5, 2016 - OmniTier today announced the availability of its software MemStac which for cloud workloads can shrink DRAM requirements by about 8x using standard NVMe SSDs as caches for DRAM.

MemStac supports up to 4TB cache capacity per server node at a fraction of the cost of pure DRAM-only solutions.

OmniTier says that SSD performance in a standard Intel dual-socket server is upto 3.7M operations per second (100% Get operations) and 3.2M operations per second (80% Get operations / 20% Set operations) for 100 byte records.

These levels of performance are achieved with less than 1mS average latency. In addition, MemStac seamlessly delivers 10GbE network-limited throughput with typical workloads exceeding 250 bytes in average size, similar to the DRAM-only open-source solutions.

storage security articles and news
SSD security
Maxim samples deep cover security chip

Editor:- October 5, 2016 - A nonvolatile, decrement-only counter with authenticated read and tiny amount - 8Kbits - of EEPROM for user data, keys, and certificates are part of an interesting DeepCover Secure Authenticator chip which is now sampling and was announced today by Maxim .

Kaminario offers free iPads to boost K2 tryouts

high availabaility SSD arrays
Editor:- October 4, 2016 - I saw a promotional email offer from Kaminario today which I think may backfire as it seems to be in direct conflict with the ethical principles of buyers in many large organizations.

The promotional email says "Test and evaluate a Kaminario K2 all flash array with up to 50TB capacity for as little as $1.25 per GB and iPAD management console for 45 days. Try it today and the iPad is yours to keep."

There's also a supporting sign up web page for the offer.

Editor's comments:- I think the offer will turn off buyers in big companies - because the inducement of a free iPad to take part in the evaluation sounds like a personal gift rather than having any benefit for the evaluating organization. Seems to me that the marketers in Kaminario have been reading too many consumer marketing comics.

See also:- Marketing Views

Rambus and Xilinx partner on FPGA in DRAM array technology

storage glue chips
storage glue chips
Editor:- October 4, 2016 - Rambus recently announced a license agreement with Xilinx that covers Rambus' patented memory controller, SerDes and security technologies.

Rambus is also exploring the use of Xilinx FPGAs in its Smart Data Acceleration research program. The SDA - powered by an FPGA paired with 24 DIMMS - offers high DRAM memory densities and has potential uses as a CPU offload agent (in-situ memory computing).

Maxta offers free 24TB version of its SDS software

image shows software factory - click to see storage software directory
SSD software
Editor:- September 29, 2016 - Maxta today announced the general availability of a free download of its MxSP SDS software for qualified organizations in the U.S., Canada and select European countries.

Approved registrants will receive a perpetual, transferable license to a fully-featured version of the software free of charge, enabling them to configure and deploy a three-node HCI cluster with a maximum storage capacity of 24TB.

Xitore's NVDIMM-X - comparison white paper

Editor:- September 27, 2016 - If you're interested in a single document which summarizes most of the DIMM wars products in the market today - take a look at this - Introducing NVDIMM-X (pdf) - an architectural white paper by Xitore which is creating this "-X" technology.

This paper was brought to my attention today by Xitore's CEO - Mike Amidi, CEO - who said in his email - "This can be a good article to explain the main difference between all non-traditional DRAM based solution sitting on DRAM memory bus. Either persistence, non-persistence, or SSD-on-A-DIMM." the article (pdf)

Editor's comments:- This confirms that Xitore has ambitions in the memory channel SSD market .

My initial impression of how their "-X" product looks - is that it's something similar to what you'd get if you combined the separate DIMMs in Diablo Memory1 solution (the mandatory motherboard DRAM and the Diablo flash DIMM and multilayered controller software) and repackaged all the pieces into a single DIMM with some external components to provide power hold up for the DRAM.

Xitore does say - "If a future version of NVDIMM-X were to also use a non-volatile memory technology for the cache, then no temporary backup power will be needed."

As a business proposition - placing everything into a single component has advantages - because it provides a lower cost threshold of application viability.

On the other hand - like every other product in the memory market it still has to pass the sanity test of - is there a distinct application for which this would be the lowest cost solution? And how well does it scale up?

In retrospect the first generation memory channel SSDs from Diablo weren't compelling solutions and (aside from legal problems) had a weak internal bridge between the flash and the memory bus.

Nobody owns that market space today and if it looked like an interesting idea 2-3 years ago - the market is more receptive to looking at such products now.

The risks are lower because we can all see a competitive ecosystem developing in which this type of architecture will prevail in the market regardless of the fortunes of any single vendor

IDT discloses design win in Diablo's Memory1

Editor:- September 27, 2016 - IDT today announced that Diablo Technologies has selected IDT's DDR4 LRDIMM chipset as the preferred interface solution for its Memory1 128GB system memory module.

"(Our) chipset is an essential enabler of cutting-edge NVDIMM applications, such as Memory1," said Sean Fan, VP and GM of IDT's Computing and Communications Division. "Such solutions have the potential to change the entire landscape of in-memory computing, and it's an exciting place for us to demonstrate our industry leadership."

See also:- memory glue chips

Foremay ships aerospace capable 8TB 2.5" U.2 NVMe SSD

Editor:- September 26, 2016 - Foremay today announced volume production of 8TB models in its rugged secure 2.5" U.2 NVMe SSD product range - which with PCIe x4 lanes has R/W speeds up to 1.2GB/s with latency as little as 25 microseconds. Optional features of the SC199 hi rel model include:-
  • Military secure erase and fast erase features.
  • Rugged designs with anti-shock and anti-vibration, meeting MIL-STD-810G/F standards.
  • Anti-radiation and anti-emission, both electrical and magnetic, for aerospace applications subject to the customer's specifications.
See also:- military SSDs

eMemory Receives TSMC IP Partner Award

Editor:- September 23, 2016 - eMemory today disclosed that over 260 of its silicon IPs have been deployed on TSMC's Open Innovation Platform.

Microsemi's rad tolerant FPGAs orbit Jupiter

Editor:- September 20, 2016 - Microsemi today announced that its radiation-tolerant FPGAs are in use on NASA's Juno Spacecraft within the space vehicle's command and control systems, and in various instruments which have now been deployed and are returning scientific data. Juno recently entered Jupiter's orbit after a 5 year journey.

See also:- Juno mission (pdf), data chips in space
What happened before?
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SSD news page image - click to  enlarge
seeking the inner SSD
10 years ago in SSD market history
October 2006 - STEC acquired Gnutek whose controller technology was the foundation of STEC's most successful enterprise focused SSD product line - the ZeusIOPS.

Seagate Nytro PCIe SSD
PCIe SSDs for a wide range of deployments
Nytro flash accelerator cards
from Seagate

do you understand all the
words in SSD headlines?
SSD jargon explained
SSD jargon

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

related guides

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

related guides
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?

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

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
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?
selected 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
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
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
August 2016 Nimbus re-emerged from stealth with a 1PB / U high availability flash storage array (4PB raw in 4U).
September 2016 Everspin files for IPO to expand MRAM

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