click to visit StorageSearch.com home page
leading the way to the new storage frontier
..
.....
SSD endurance
the Top SSD Companies
updating 10 key SSD ideas in 2014
meet Ken and the SSD event horizon
how fast can your SSD run backwards?
decloaking hidden segments in the enterprise
Exiting the Astrological Age of Enterprise SSD Pricing
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SSD ad - click for more info
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advertising on StorageSearch.com
Editor:- September 22, 2014 - This is a time of year when many marketers are reviewing their business plans and wondering about ways to increase their visibility to the people that matter in the SSD market.

You may not have known this but StorageSearch.com was the first publication in the world to focus on the SSD market and we've been selling ads which have helped to shape and change the SSD market for 15 years.

If you're not scared of mice, and if you're involved in sales, marketing or business development in an SSD company - it's easy to advertise on this site.

To learn more - contact me by email Zsolt@StorageSearch.com or take a look at these information pages.
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from the SSD news archive
July
2014
SanDisk launches ZetaScale (enterprise flash memory tier software)

NxGn Data exits stealth with promise of in-situ SSD processing
June
2014
SanDisk to buy Fusion-io

IBM is #1 in rackmount SSD revenue
May
2014
Seagate agrees to acquire LSI's flash business for $450 million

Kaminario guarantees amplified usable capacity
April
2014
SanDisk samples 4TB 2.5" SAS SSDs

Violin enters the SSD integrated server market
March
2014
Samsung says its 2.5" NVMe PCIe SSD are 3x faster than 12Gbps SAS SSDs
February
2014
A3CUBE unveils PCIe memory fabric for 10,000 node-class architectures

Marvell samples 5K IOPS smartphone SSD (eMMC 5.0)
January
2014
IBM revamps TMS rackmount SSDs and launches memory channel SSD servers (with SanDisk / Diablo inside)

Half Micron's nand flash now used in SSDs

InnoDisk's (MO-276) nanoSSD in full scale production

Netlist says ULLtraDIMM SSDs infringe its patents

2013 SSD market timeline
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revisiting an old new hard drive idea
Editor:- August 20, 2014 - From time to time I get an email from a new (to me) company which really grabs my attention. Here's one such which arrived this morning.

"We now have the WORM hard disk you refer to in your article in StorageSearch.com (Introducing WORM Hard Disk Drives - February 28, 2005).

"It was developed for the Department of Justice, and is now in use, by GreenTec-USA, Inc. in conjunction with Seagate. Can we send you some information? Would love to hear from you!" - Bob Waligunda, VP of Sales at GreenTec-USA.

Editor's comments:- I haven't spoken to Bob yet - because of the time difference. But here's some info I got from GreenTec's web site:-
  • GreenTec WORM whitepaper (pdf) - "Organizations today have demanding needs to ensure that their sensitive data is protected. Considerable damage could be done if critical or sensitive files are deleted or altered either accidentally or intentionally"
The interesting thing for me is it shows that innovation in the hard drive market hasn't stopped completely. And GreenTec's 3TB (for now) WORM drives are also available as arrays in micro cloud blocks.

I had almost forgotten about my 9 year old WORM HDD (market needs this) article. I'll update it later with this note.

Linking this back to SSDs - there have been several companies in recent quarters who have announced physical write-disable switches into embedded SSDs - including:- See also:- SSD security, military SSDs
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This is now essential knowledge - says IT Brand Pulse
Editor:- August 9, 2014 - If it wasn't for people being seriously interested in mission critical SSD related technologies, product architectures and being willing to invest their time in (sometimes) bewildering content about difficult concepts as their best defensive plan to avoid making big mistakes - I wouldn't have any readers.

But although I have often commented on these pages how surprised I have been by the high level of knowledge and dedication evinced by those readers who contact me from outside the SSD industry - I hadn't given much thought to what that meant in terms of an industry trend.

My view (as a publisher) has been - my site is for really serious readers - and I don't aim to please everyone by dumbing down the content.

Quite the opposite in fact - as a few years ago I decided to pro-actively disengage from user facing content about the consumer SSD market. Other publications do that better.

Despite prioritizing reader quality over raw SSD reader numbers - my numbers have been doing OK - with some all time record numbers as recently as in the past 7 days.

I was content knowing that enough of you were interested in deep enterprise SSD related issues to stick with plan A - and I hadn't given much thought to how that compared with the wider market - beyond knowing that my readers are the most influential in the enterprise SSD markets.

Enter IT Brand Pulse - who measure many aspects of enterprise user thinking about SSDs (including perceptions and misperceptions about brand leadership).

I say "misperceptions" advisedly because sometimes in the past - SSD vendors have been perceived to be leaders in product categories in which they have no discernibly worthwhile product offerings. But a good score in brand projection (carried over from other markets) provides an opportunity for product marketers to convert such illusions to realities - because it shows that users would be willing to buy such products from such companies - if they actually existed.

I digress. The main point I wanted to make is this.

I was surprised to see that on page 55 of - Enterprise SSDs Who's Adopting Them and Why? - (a pdf based on their presentation earlier this week at FMS) - on which page IT Brand Pulse had taken a measure of user willingness to invest time into looking at the details of flash memory characteristics - and their conclusion is...

"This is now essential knowledge. - Only a little more than 25% of enterprise users will not deep dive into the technology."

I don't know about you - but I find that reassuring.

I've focused on just one page in what is - with pictures - an 80+ page document.

IT Brand Pulse's paper provides an entertaining and informative tour of the recent 2-3 years in the enterprise SSD market. And if you want the numeric data to scale the graphs shown in their paper - it only costs $495 - contact cheryl.parker@itbrandpulse.com to order. ...read the article (pdf)

See also:- storage market research, SSD endurance, Enterprise SSDs - the Survive and Thrive Guide, SSD history
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"I can tell you now - that any prescriptive guide which says - this is exactly what you need to do to buy the best notebook or server or military SSD is doomed to failure at the start - because users don't know they are asking the wrong questions."
the problem with SSD education (and comprehension) - July 2010
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the Top SSD Companies in Q2 2014
Editor:- August 1, 2014 - StorageSearch.com recently published the new 29th quarterly edition of the Top SSD Companies - based on metrics in Q2 2014. There are 2 first time appearances in this new edition. And some new updates. ...read the article
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whatever gave you that silly idea?
Can you trust SSD market data?
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popular SSD articles and recommended SSD blogs
SSD articles & blogs


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Many factors at play in enterprise SSD market behavior still don't appear as explicit assumptions in SSD product marketing plans.

A contributory cause for gaps in segmental understanding has been the continuing pace of disruptive innovation in enterprise SSD-land - which has meant there hasn't been a stable market template for vendors to follow.
Decloaking hidden segments in the enterprise for rackmount SSDs


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cloud storage news, vendors, articles  and directory - click here
cloud storage


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I think that 2014 will be seen as the start of a new phase of creativity in the enterprise SSD market on the subject of pricing and affordability. As evidence for that - I'm going to mention 3 companies at the end of this article - whose recent activities - while different in detail - were swirling around in my head this week.
Exiting the Astrological Age of Enterprise SSD Pricing


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click to read the article - Big versus Small SSD  architectures
Size matters in SSD architecture


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"SSD efficiency is a very powerful differentiator in technology and I think it will also be very important in influencing business success too."
Efficiency - making the same SSD - with less flash


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SSD silos article
datacenter SSD silos


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"That step in improved utilization means that when users make the switch to the newer software - not only do they need less servers - but they don't need as many SSDs either."
meet Ken - and the enterprise SSD software event horizon


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click to see directory of SAS SSD companies
SAS SSDs


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what's the state of DWPD?
Diskful Writes Per Day in leading enterprise SSDs


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click here to see our directory of SSD market analysts
SSD market analysts


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PCIe SSDs for use in enterprise server acceleration have been shipping in the market since 2007. It's one of the most popular SSD subjects pursued by our readers (and has been since 2009).

With over 100 million enterprise PCIe ports already shipped - the converging PCIe SSD / server market is well positioned to expand into new applications.
the PCIe SSD directory on StorageSearch.com


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"The winners in SSD software could be as important for infrastructure as Microsoft was for PCs, or Oracle was for databases, or Google was for search."
get ready for a new world in which
all enterprise data touches SSDs


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"Don't place too much credence in what SSD companies tell you about the present or the future of the SSD market."
Survivor's Guide to Enterprise SSDs
image shows megabyte waving the winners trophy - there are over 200 SSD oems - which ones matter? - click to read article
top SSD companies ..
pcie  SSDs - click to read article
PCIe SSDs ..
memory channel storage
memory channel SSDs
..

SSD news (August to September 2014)

A3CUBE - first US customer shipments soon

Editor:- September 18, 2014 - earlier this week A3CUBE effectively announced imminent US customer shipments of its PCIe connected shared reflective memory fabric - with the unveiling of the system software which works with its previously announced RONNIEE Express platform.

The Fortissimo Foundation software (overview pdf) is the new management and OS software which enables application agnostic hardware based memory synchronization of DRAM memory blocks across multiple servers (scalable to thousands) which are connected via a PCIe fabric with worst case access times under 1 micro-second (which includes operating system and software overhead). This enables access to all the resources in the cluster as if they were local.
concept diagram - click for more info

Editor's comments:- Before talking to Emilio Billi, Founder - A3CUBE last week about the new Fortissimo - 3 ideas popped into my head.
  • modeling the application performance

    I realized that in the absence of any other data (at this stage of the product's life cycle)- a good predictive analog for the usability of this remote shared memory system would be Diablo's memory channel SSD architecture.

    The key difference being that the 1st generation MCS has typical latencies around 3 to 5 microseconds (compared to 800nS RONNIEE Express), and MCS is operating with flash - whereas RE operates with DRAM. But as a first order approximation -my thinking was that any app which works well with MCS in a local server - will work just as well - or better - in a remote server connected by RE.
  • the importance of strategic software standard support

    My guess is that for many smaller developers of large memory architecture systems - SanDisk's ZetaScale (and related) APIs will come to be regarded as a "safe" hardware independent SSD software platform for flash. So - if it was easy to integrate A3CUBE's Fortissimo / RE within such APIs - that would provide a gateway to a much bigger market.
  • beyond legacy storage and SSD fabrics

    Obviously to get business now - A3CUBE has to demonstrate that their products can be useful and competitive when used with existing storage and SSD installations and architectures.

    But as more of the installed base moves towards new dynasty (always intended to include SSDs at the outset), and in the next 5 to 10 years as we see the current new generations of "software as something useful in an SSD server" - give way to new SSD software ecosystems - developed by stealth mode companies like Primary Data - whose products don't even exist yet (except as tantalizing investment objects and patent applications) - I could see that the A3CUBE style of connection - would still fit in well - because the ability to replicate and synchronize remote memory in multiple servers at latencies which are closer to hardware than software - isn't going to go oyt of fashion.
So I mentioned all those things to Emilio when we spoke. And this is what I learned.
  • Emilio said Diablo was one of the first external companies to recognize the work that A3CUBE was doing. And he said that Diablo's APIs should work easily with A3CUBE's platform (just as many other memory intensive apps).

    And - as I speculated before our conversation - the ability to seamlessly converge remote low latency RAM with remote flash across an almost unlimited set of servers - is a mind boggling ecosystem enabler. Because we should now view SSD memory products which do useful things locally in a single server - as simply a subset of a continuum which can span racks and cabinets - and change not only cost dynamics - but the very determination of what type of apps are possible.
  • Emilio said a significant bottleneck in all previous fabric systems was the mechanism of metadata synchronization.

    That's traditionally done in software - and no matter how many hundreds or thousands of servers you have in your installation - the scalability of those systems ultimately comes back to the software mechanism of how fast 2 servers can replicate or share a set of data.

    In A3CUBE's RE platform - the ability to broadcast an identical content of shared memory across hundreds or thousands of connected nodes is done in silicon.
  • re reliability? - I put it to Emilio that everything was being staked on the reliability of the RE platform - and I asked more about that.

    Emilio said that the Fortissimo / RE system can be configured to drop back to an ethernet fabric if the core RE fails - but if budget allows - then it can fall back to another RE. In neither event do you lose data or access to data. A3CUBE has been collecting reliability data from their early access systems - and will publish more about that later.
  • re when can customers order these systems?

    Emilio said that the first production system is already scheduled for delivery to a US customer next month.

    So to my way of looking at it - the general availability issue just seems to be related to how many of the software features are nice to have versus essential. That will depend on what the applications are.
  • re my other points - Emilio said that legacy big memory software platforms are already supported by Fortissimo (see their site for more details) and we found a lot to agree about re the other things I mentioned above.



Seagate announces strategic technology agreements with Baidu

Editor:- September 17, 2014 - Seagate today announced it has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Baidu, China's largest web services firm.

Under the agreement, Baidu will give priority to Seagate products when considering components for all Baidu servers and storage facilities. In return Seagate will give priority to Baidu when providing enterprise storage products and relevant support, as well as maintain a dedicated engineering team for Baidu.

Editor's comments:- This is a very significant business announcement for Seagate. But it shouldn't come as any surprise - as the destinies of the companies were already set on a natural convergence of interests course which only needed the missing part of the IP jigsaw (SSDs) to complete the required harmony.

Here below is a verbatim quote from my coverage of Seagate's acquisition of LSI's SSD business in May 2014.

"I think that even if Seagate disregarded any new markets - and focused only on the high volume potential of existing cloud infrastructure customers and big web entities (like Google and Baidu) - who need value based enterprise SSDs - but who are perfectly capable of designing their own software and APIs and firmware tweaks - then Seagate could leverage the LSI SandForce SSD roadmaps for the next several years as a business tool to establish it as one of (several) leaders in the utility SSD segment of the cloud."

See also:- The big market impact of SSD dark matter, Decloaking hidden segments in the enterprise for rackmount SSDs


Silicon Motion has fastest UHS-II SD card controller

Editor:- September 17, 2014 - Silicon Motion today introduced the SM2704 which the company says is the world's fastest single-channel UHS-II SD card controller solution (aimed at the professional photography and video recording market) with a maximum R/W read speed of up to 280MB/s and 260MB/s respectively.

"Silicon Motion is the #1 merchant supplier of UHS-I/II card controllers, which are the majority of our overall SD card controller sales" said Wallace Kou, President and CEO of Silicon Motion.

See also:- SSD controllers, consumer SSDs


Maxta appoints new VP of business development

Editor:- September 17, 2014 - Maxta today announced the appointment of Jim Fitzgerald as its VP of business development and OEM sales. Fitzgerald joins Maxta from Nexenta where he was VP of business development.


another auspicious design win for ULLtraDIMM

Editor:- September 16, 2014 - SanDisk today announced that its ULLtraDIMM (memory channel SSD) has been selected by Huawei for use in its RH8100 V3 servers.

Huawei is ranked the top server supplier for cloud and mobility in China - by Sino-Bridge Consulting.

Editor's comments:- Since the January 2014 announcement that IBM was using ULLtraDIMM SSDs in some high end servers - there haven't been many conspicuously auspicious design win announcements like today's Huawei story.

One reason is that IBM had a head start on the market - having worked with Diablo for years to refine the MCS architecture and software APIs.

Another reason is that the 1st generation ULLtraDIMMs apparently guzzled more electrical power than modern RAM DIMMs even though they were still within the permitted power envelope according to industry standards.

This means that in order to support arrays of them in a server design (and indeed you do need arrays to get meaningful performance beyond the PCIe SSD level) requires a redesign of the copper power tracking on the motherboard. You can't just plug large numbers of ULLtraDIMMs into any old server without analyzing the thermal consequences.


how to configure Micron SATA SSDs for VSAN as a lower cost and faster alternative to SAS HDDs in a Dell PowerEdge

Editor:- September 12, 2014 - Micron today published a new blog - VSAN Demo 2014: A How-To Guide - which gives a top level configuration summary of a recent benchmark demo it ran at VMWorld.

Micron's introduction says "Our primary goal was to demonstrate best-in-class VSAN performance and show how that compared to a standard VSAN configured with SAS HDDs. One of the most interesting aspects of our configuration was that our M500 client (cheap SATA) SSDs were actually less expensive than the SAS 10K HDDs (in the comparison system)." ...read the article

Editor's comments:- An interesting thing (for me) is that - for reasons explained in the article - Micron configured VSAN to see the M500 SSDs as HDDs.

See also:- SSD software, How will the hard drive market fare... in a solid state storage world?

Later:- - BTW 4 days after the above post - Micron launched the M600 SATA SSD family - a low power (150mW typ), range using 16nm flash - and available in M.2, mSATA and 2.5" form factors.


Seagate launches new improved Nytro PCIe SSDs

Editor:- September 10, 2014 - Seagate today launched 2 new PCIe SSDs - which are based on the SSD product lines and brand assets of the recently acquired SSD business of LSI.
  • the Nytro XP6302 is a HHHL, gen 3 PCIe SSD - which provides up to 1.75 TB of usable eMLC capacity with 200 microseconds average latency, and 295K/79K R/W IOPS (8KB) and rated for 0.9 DWPD (approx) write endurance for 5 years. .
  • the Nytro XP6210 is a FHHL gen 2 PCIe SSD with 1.86TB usable 19nm cMLC capacity, with 50 microseconds average latency 185K/120K R/W IOPS (8KB), and rated at 1.6 DWPD (approx) write endurance for 5 years.



Dell uses Avago's 12Gb/s SAS chips in new RAID systems

Editor:- September 10, 2014 - Avago Technologies today announced that Dell has selected Avago's 12Gb/s SAS technology (recently acquired from LSI) for use in RAID controllers in Dell's new PowerEdge Servers. See also:- SAS SSDs, RAID systems, storage glue chips


HGST announces 2nd generation clustering software for FlashMAX PCIe SSDs

Editor:- September 9, 2014 - HGST today announced a new improved version of the high availability clustering capability previously available in the PCIe SSD product line acquired last year from Virident.

HGST's Virident Space allows clustering of up to 128 servers and 16 PCIe storage devices to deliver one or more shared volumes of high performance flash storage with a total usable capacity of more than 38TB.

HGST says its Virident HA provides a "high-throughput, low-latency synchronous replication across servers for data residing on FlashMAX PCIe devices. If the primary server fails, the secondary server can automatically start a standby copy of your application using the secondary replica of the data."

For more details see - HGST Virident Software 2.0 (pdf)

Editor's comments:- This capability had already been demonstrated last year - and ESG reported on the technology in January 2014.

But at that time - the clustering product called vShare - was restricted to a small number of servers - and the data access fabric was restricted to Infiniband only.

With the rev 2.0 software - the number of connected devices has increased - and users also have the lower cost option of using Ethernet as an alternative supported fabric.


StorageSearch.com updates 10 key SSD ideas in 2014

Editor:- September 2, 2014 - StorageSearch.com today published a new home page blog - updating 10 key SSD ideas in 2014.

Yeah - I know it's not January 2015 yet - but it already feels like enough big SSD changes have happened this year already to make an end of year type of round up article not only desirable but imperative. ...read the article


Seagate completes acquisition of LSI's SSD business

Editor:- September 2, 2014 - Seagate today announced it has completed its previously announced acquisition of the assets of LSI's Accelerated Solutions Division and Flash Components Division from Avago Technologies.

"There is a growing opportunity for mobile and enterprise flash-based storage solutions, which is why we're excited about this strategic technology acquisition," said Steve Luczo, Seagate Chairman and CEO.

"Integrating LSI's Enterprise PCIe flash and SSD controller products, and its engineering capabilities into Seagate's leading storage technology portfolio and product development will expand our ability to meet a broader base of customers' needs and drive new revenue opportunities."


Samsung in volume production of 3D DDR4 RDIMMs

Editor:- August 27, 2014 - Although the main interest in DDR4 RDIMMs - from an SSD market perspective - will be in how that interface opportunity gets leveraged in future memory channel flash SSDs - let's not forget that the motherboard slots - which will enable that market - have been designed for DRAM. So the DRAMs will come first and are an important part of the countdown to the new DDR4 flash DIMM ecosystem.

In that context I'd like to mention that Samsung is today celebrating "a new milestone in the history of memory technology" with the announcement that the company is in volume production of the industry's first 64GB DDR4 RDIMMs (DRAM) that use 3D "through silicon via" (TSV) stacked die package technology and 20nm class die geometries.

Samsung says that the new 64GB TSV module performs 2x as fast as a 64GB module that uses conventional wire bonding packaging, while consuming approximately 1/2 the power.

Editor's comments:- Samsung describes this announcement as "historic" and I was content to include that positioning statement in the news above - because much of what Samsung has done in the past has indeed had historic significance. For more examples - see "Samsung historic" which gives you search results from the StorageSearch.com news archives.


consumer SSD compression software seeks partners

Editor:- August 26, 2014 - When it comes to the question of cost per SSD terabyte users in the enterprise market have many competing options for stretching their SSD budgets and balancing cost and performance. And I have known of a small number of companies doing similar things in the consumer SSD market.

Today I was contacted by Simon King - the founder of a new (to me) company - ZIPmagic Software (based in Australia) which is offering its Windows compatible whole disk compression technologies (which was originally developed for the HDD market) for licensing to SSD oems.

Here's what Simon said.

Dear Zsolt,

My company has built a product for transparent disk compression. Unlike traditional compression tools, transparent disk compression increases the total storage capacity of a disk without requiring data to be decompressed before it can be used by apps or users.

With the advent of fast but expensive SSDs, fixed storage tablets, and (private virtual) servers which are expensive to upgrade or relocate; there is a new market niche for disk compression solutions.

I have attached some product briefs on my company's disk compression solutions. Our price point is competitive with traditional compression tools such as WinZip. Our product also meets and exceeds the capabilities of traditional compression tools across the board.

SSD manufacturers can safely advertise double the disk capacity using our software-only solution, and reduce their cost per gigabyte for their expensive products – resulting in a win-win scenario for both consumers and the manufacturers themselves. Our software is very safe, secure, and scalable; based on Microsoft technologies, but extending the capabilities of those technologies with our compression and convenience enhancements.

Editor's comments:- Simon sent me pdfs related to 3 diffrerent product variations. I haven't included them here but they looked interesting. For more info about oem licensing inquiries look at this features overview or email Simon@zipmagic.co


Maxta invests in Intel

Editor:- August 19, 2014 - In May 2014 we learned that Intel had invested in Maxta. And this week we learned that Maxta has reciprocated that favor by investing in Intel.

More strategically than with mere money - Maxta's investment - announced yesterday - is in the form of a reference architecture - cored on Maxta's MxSP software (SSD ASAP software) which provides an easy to support set of solutions preconfigured for Intel servers and Intel SSDs.

Maxta says its MaxDeploy Reference Architecture offers the framework of a repeatable and standard deployment model - which provides its customers "ease of ordering and predictability" - and which mitigates the risk of hardware or software compatibility issues, while simplifying and shortening deployment time and training.

The new solution set will be demonstrated next week at VMworld, San Francisco.


Skyera's Rado Danilak to spend more time focused on technology

Editor:- August 18, 2014 - Skyera today announced that current investors from its previous $51.6 million funding round have provided additional capital to the company as it prepares to scale its sales and manufacturing cycles to meet increased demand. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Additionally Skyera has promoted Frankie Roohparvar to the position of CEO while Dr. Rado Danilak, co-founder of Skyera, becomes CTO of the company.

"The additional funding raised from our existing strategic investors reinforces the company's leadership in all-flash array technology, including our approach to key storage selection criteria of size, weight, power, performance, plug-n-play and price," said Roohparvar.

"While that approach remains unchanged, we have decided to leverage this investment to realign our executive team to better capitalize on the product vision that Rado brings to our team. His move to CTO allows him to spend time contributing his technical genius to furthering the design, development and integration of Skyera's system-wide approach to solid-state storage. We believe that these changes and the additional investment positions us for success in both the near and long terms."


Avago completes acquisition of PLX

Editor:- August 12, 2014 -Avago Technologies today announced that it has effectively completed the acquisition of PLX Technology.


Super Talent joins M.2 PCIe SSD market

Editor:- August 11, 2014 - Super Talent Technology today announced that it has added an M.2 form factor SSD to its NGFF family of SSDs.

Super Talent's PCIe DX1 has a PCIe gen 2 interface, R/W speeds upto 480/400MB/s respectively, capacity upto 256GB MLC and comes with a 128MB DDR3 DRAM cache.


Samsung ships 10nm SAS SSDs

Editor:- August 8, 2014 - Samsung today announced it is producing SAS SSDs with 10nm nand flash.

The SM1623 has R/W IOPS upto 120K/26K respectively. But DWPD isn't that great - Samsung says it's about 1 (which is restrictive).

Editor's comments:- When it comes to COTS storage arrays (just a bunch of SSDs with some RAID) SAS is the new SATA. While SATAe and NVMe (2.5" PCIe SSDs and M.2 PCIe SSDs) will be the new SAS.

This is a significant milestone in the 10 year history of enterprise flash - and portends lower pricing for entry level SSD storage arrays.

But it's not at simple as 10nm based arrays always being cheaper for all apps.

The ability to do more writes and work faster (with more expensive memory and software) creates its own competitive efficiencies.

So it's more likely that in the next few years we'll see 10nm being used as one of several memory geometries in different roles - even inside the same boxes. Just as we're seeing multiple generations of flash in enterprise and embedded markets today.


Diablo unveils DDR-4 flash DIMM SSDs

Editor:- August 7, 2014 - Diablo yesterday announced details of a new 2nd generation memory channel SSD - low latency flash SSD accelerators in DDR-4 sockets - which will sample to oems in the first half of 2015.

Along with the new hardware technology there will be an improved software platform - with features like NanoCommit - which Diable says will enable hundreds of millions of transactions per second, with nanosecond latency.

"Memory Channel Storage DDR4 solutions represent the next evolution of Server Acceleration technology," said Riccardo Badalone, CEO and Co-founder of Diablo Technologies. "In addition to supporting a faster memory interface, the Carbon2 platform delivers unprecedented levels of hardware acceleration for new software innovations like NanoCommit. Converged Memory, where the best of Flash and DRAM are combined, will rely on this type of technology to give applications the ability to transparently persist updates to main memory."

Editor's comments:- After FMS - Diablo sent me more info (pdf) about their FMS presentation (pdf) from which I have extracted these key features.
  • Diablo's converged memory architecture (flash tiered with DRAM) is planned to support 700 million random cachelines / sec.
  • Latency of each cacheline is about 48 nanoseconds.
  • Diablo's NanoCommit supports byte addressable small writes to flash with high transaction rates and the ability to mirror the DRAM contents to persistent storage.
  • The combination of technologies would enable something like a 1U server with 25TB of converged memory.
Diablo MCS - nanocommit - click for pdf


Plextor's M.2 PCIe SSD wins award at FMS

Editor:- August 7, 2014 - Plextor today announced that its M6e - an M.2 PCIe SSD - has won Best of Show for most Innovative flash memory technology at the Flash Memory Summit.

The M6e SSD combines a multi-core Marvell PCIe 9183 controller and Toshiba toggle NAND flash with firmware developed by Plextor's in-house team.

As part of the design verification - Plextor says that 400 units were subjected to 500 hours of extreme tests without error or failure.


eASIC supports Mobiveil's NVMe platform

Editor:- August 6, 2014 - eASIC today announced announced support for Mobiveil's NVMe platform (pdf) implemented in eASIC devices.

The platform includes PCI Express, NVM Express, DDR3 and NAND flash controllers, IP that is optimized to take advantage of the unique eASIC Single Mask Adaptable ASIC technology.

"eASIC is enabling the rapid deployment of SSD technology at substantially lower cost and up to 70% lower power than alternative solutions", said Jasbinder Bhoot, VP of Worldwide Marketing at eASIC. "By working with Mobiveil, customers will have access to a complete NVMe solution running in cost, power and performance optimized eASIC devices."

See also:- Shorten Time to Market for NVM Express based storage solutions (pdf by Mobiveil)


say hello to Shannon Systems

Editor:- August 6, 2014 - I hadn't heard of Shannon Systems before. But I got a nice email this morning from Xueshi Yang, CEO and co-founder who said he has been reading StorageSearch.com "for quite a number of years now" and also said that his company is showing their products at Flash Memory Summit.

Among other things - Xueshi Yang said - "Shannon System is a startup I co-founded in 2011 in China after I left Marvell.

"The company is dedicated to the enterprise flash storage market. Currently, we focus on the high performance PCIe market with our proprietary controllers and software systems. In April this year, we announced the industry first 6.4TB PCIe SSD with a single controller, which boasts 67us read access latency and 9 us write access latency (all in 4KB, random). While in June, we introduced a PCIe SSD with SFF-8639 interface, which is hot-pluggable. We currently serve over 100 customers in China, including Tier 1 internet companies, as well as other named customers such as China Mobile, China Telecomm etc."


Silicon Motion samples controller for TLC SATA SSDs

Editor:- August 5, 2014 - Silicon Motion today announced that it is sampling the SM2256, the world's first complete merchant ASIC/firmware SATA 6Gb/s SSD controller solution supporting 1x/1y/1z nm triple-level cell (TLC) NAND from all major NAND suppliers.

"We expect TLC SSDs to account for more than 40% of all client SSD shipments in 2015," said Michael Yang, Senior Principal analyst at IHS iSuppli. "The combination of cost effective TLC NAND and new controllers like Silicon Motion's SM2256 will help drive this level of adoption."


HGST rekindles concept of a PCM based PCIe SSD

Editor:- August 4, 2014 - HGST today announced it will demonstrate a PCM PCIe SSD concept at the Flash Memory Summit. HGST says the demonstration model delivers 3 million random read IOPS (512 Bytes) and a random read access latency of 1.5 microseconds.

Editor's comments:- Micron funded the world's first enterprise PCM PCIe SSD demo 3 years ago (in June 2011). The storage density of PCM resulted in an SSD which had pitifully low capacity compared to flash memory at that time - and earlier this year (in January 2014) there were reports that Micron had temporarily abandoned this idea.

Is HGST really going to wander into memory space where even the memory makers don't want to go? Or is this just a market signal that HGST isn't just looking at short term SSD product concepts?


A3CUBE will use military connectors in datacenter fabric

Editor:- August 4, 2014 - A3CUBE today announced that its emerging PCIe compatible distributed shared memory architecture - the RONNIEE Express - is supported by a military grade rugged connector technology. A3CUBE teamed with a specialist connector manufacturer AirBorn Inc on this aspect of the implemenetation.

A3CUBE says that RONNIE RIO is the first network adapter card designed with carrier-grade and military-grade reliability and is designed to bring mission-critical features to the standard data center interconnection network and data plane.

See also:- military SSDs, HA SSDs


And the best buy SSDs shall be the worst (if you change your workloads)

Editor:- August 2, 2014 - An applications optimized SSD system can be the cheapest buy - if you always use it for the original purpose - but it can be a poor choice if you throw the wrong type of applications at it. Enter - the good ole general purpose fast SSD array.

The conflicts are examined in a new blog - Real Flash Storage Systems multi-task! written by Woody Hutsell, IBM who among other things says - "It just so happens that flash appliances with built-in deduplication are the worst choices for database acceleration." ...read the article

The idea that an SSD which is best for one type of use may have the worst characteristics for another - was also examined from an architectural point of view in my classic article - how fast can your SSD run backwards?
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SSD news - July 2014

SSD news - June 2014

SSD news - May 2014

SSD news - April 2014

SSD market history - all
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Surviving SSD sudden power loss
Why should you care what happens in an SSD when the power goes down?

This important design feature - which barely rates a mention in most SSD datasheets and press releases - has a strong impact on SSD data integrity and operational reliability.

This article will help you understand why some SSDs which (work perfectly well in one type of application) might fail in others... even when the changes in the operational environment appear to be negligible.
image shows Megabyte's hot air balloon - click to read the article SSD power down architectures and acharacteristics If you thought endurance was the end of the SSD reliability story - think again. ...read the article
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