| leading the way to the
new storage frontier||...|
|the SSD Heresies
Top SSD Companies - 2007 to
fast can your SSD run backwards?
are we ready for
infinitely faster RAM?
40 years of thinking
about nvm endurance
not to compile a list of military SSD companies
Septembers of yore in storage market history|
|September 1998 - StorageSearch.com was
still in stealth mode and I was getting ready for the launch in October. What
was going through my mind at the time? I couldn't remember exactly so I looked
in my emails at that time.
what I found.|
September 1999 -Western Digital
the recall of 400,000 recently shipped desktop hard drives due to a
manufacturing defect found in chips supplied to WDC in the month before the
announcement which their QA assessment indicated could result in the hard
drives to fail to power-up after 6 to 12 months of full-time use.
September 2000 - M-Systems
that VMIC had selected the DiskOnChip flash disk as the local storage device in
its new line of Linux-based single board computers (SBCs).
September 2001 - We'll never forget the shock to the world
of the terrorist attacks on 9/11. But in the week before that there was
the usual trickle of regular storage news from which I've picked this.
by Adtron was a 6U VMEbus form factor SCSI-2 (that's
storage blade which could be offered with either 5.4 GBytes of flash SSD storage
or 120GBytes of hard drive storage.
You'll note here that the HDD
version has capacity which is 22x bigger than the SSD.
those days (2001) Adtron was making some of the highest density SSDs in the
world so you can take that comparison as a limiting ratio for the 2
technologies in a COTS context.
In 2018 (which is when I'm writing
this) those comparative ratios
are well on their way to switching to the other way round.
highest density flash storage can provide 7x as much uncompressed data capacity
as the highest density HDD in the same physical space. And once you take
compression into account (along with usable performance) the SSD to HDD
maximum usable data storage densities have changed places.
September 2002 - InfiniCon Systems
the general availability of the first commercially available I/O system that
employed the new InfiniBand networking standard... marking the advent of new
data center deployment architectures.
In that press release InfiniCon
said - "Leading analyst firms have projected that approximately 50 percent
of servers shipped by 2005 will employ InfiniBand as a high-speed networking
Editor's comments:- As we know now that
didn't happen. But it did seem plausible at the time because earlier (in June
2001) a news story from InfiniSwitch said "Research from (a well
known company) estimates that more than 75 percent of all servers shipped
in 2004 will be shipped with InfiniBand connectivity."
partly for those reasons that in a news comment (July 25, 2007) I first used
the term "Storage SoothSayers" to describe this type of vendor
leverage of market data in the early stages of technology markets. And I later
added "SoothSayer" as a semi permanent heads up alert in the
market research companies
list on StorageSearch.com in
SSD market predictions and interpretations in those days
were even more prone to include high degrees of uncertainty due to the
disruptive nature of the SSD market - and even when I was writing such
That's why in 2013 I penned the cautionary
blog - Can
you trust SSD market data?
Going back to InfiniBand.
was a combination of competing alternative technologies (the increasing
number of processor cores, and faster ethernet) which meant that InfiniBand
never got near its original dreamed for market share.
highlights on StorageSearch.com - 2000 to 2018.
equivalent of early InfiniBand is Gen-Z.
But you can never be too confident where markets will go. NVMe fabric is
getting better too.
|new thinking in SSD
controller techniques reveals "layer aware" properties exploitable in
3D nand flash|
| Editor:- August 28, 2018 - A new twist using
RAID ideas in
SSD controllers has
surfaced recently in a research paper -
3D NAND Flash Memory Lifetime by Tolerating Early Retention Loss and Process
Variation (pdf) by Yixin Luo and Saugata Ghose (Carnegie Mellon
University), Yu Cai (SK Hynix), Erich F. Haratsch (Seagate Technology) and
Onur Mutlu (ETH Zürich) - which was presented at the SIGMETRICS
conference in June 2018.
The authors say that in tall 3D nand (30 layers and upwards) the raw
error rate in blocks in the middle layers are significantly worse (6x) compared
to the top layer. Therefore to enable more
faster SSDs using 3D nand for enterprise applications they propose a new type
of RAID which pairs together the best predicted half of a RAID word with the
worst predicted half from another chip in the same SSD.
This new RAID
concept starts to be feasible in a very small population of chips - unlike
traditional 2D nand schemes which need more chips to be installed in the SSD.
new RAID is called Layer-Interleaved RAID (LI-RAID) - which the authors
say "improves reliability by changing how pages are grouped under the RAID
error recovery technique. LI-RAID uses information about layer-to-layer process
variation to reduce the likelihood that the RAID recovery of a group could fail
significantly earlier during the flash lifetime than the recovery of other
read the article (pdf)
Editor's comments:- the new RAID is
just one of many gems in this research paper. Others being the discovery that
remanence in 3D nand includes a significant short term charge loss (in the first
few minutes after writes), and also that an endurance based characterization of
a small part of each chip can be used to predict an optimized layer dependent
threshold read voltage for all the layers in the chip. I've discussed the
significance of adding the concept of "layers" to "number of raw
chips" to the thinking in SSD controller design in my recent
Storage for Media and Entertainment|
Editor:- August 27, 2018 - Coughlin Associates
today announced the availability of its new (14th annual)
Storage for Media and Entertainment Report - 2018 - (254 pages, $7,500).|
(author and President Coughlin Associates) says...
benefited from input from many experts in the industry including end users and
storage suppliers, which along with economic analysis and industry publications
and announcements, was used to create the data including in the report. We have
made modifications to earlier reports to better model current market conditions.
As a result of changes in the economics of storage devices higher performance
solid-state storage will play a bigger role in the future. The cloud and
hybrid storage including the cloud will be a bigger part of the media and
entertainment storage market going forward."
Among other things the press release about the new report includes these
- By our estimates, professional media and entertainment storage capacity
represents about 4.5% of total shipped storage capacity in 2017
- In 2017 we estimate that 71% of the total storage media capacity shipped
for all the digital entertainment content segments was in HDDs, with digital
tape at 22.7%, 4.3% optical discs and flash at 2.0%. Flash memory dominates
cameras and is finding wider use in post production and content distribution
also:- other storage
market research companies,
a timeline of SSDs in tv and
- Overall cloud storage capacity for media and entertainment is expected to
grow about 13.3X between 2017 and 2023 (5.1 EB to 68.2 EB)
|If you could go back in
time and take with you a factory full of modern memory chips and SSDs
(along with backwards compatible adapters) what real impact would that have?
|are we ready for
infinitely faster RAM?
storage news - this news page from 2000 to 2018
data integrity in DRAM|
new paper lists and describes known techniques
September 19, 2018 -
Survey of Techniques for Improving Error-Resilience of DRAM is a new
research paper by Sparsh Mittal
- Assistant Professor at IIT Hyderabad and Maruthi S Inukonda
published in the
of Systems Architecture.
The authors say - "Aggressive
process scaling and increasing demands of performance/cost efficiency have
exacerbated the incidences and impact of errors in DRAM systems. Due to this,
improvements in DRAM reliability has received significant attention in recent
years from both academia and industry. In this paper, we present a survey of
techniques for improving reliability of DRAM-based main memory. We classify the
works based on key parameters to emphasize their similarities and differences.
This paper is expected to be useful for computer architects, chip-designers and
researchers in the area of memory/system-reliability. ...read
Editor's comments:- Among other things this
paper has a detailed analysis of multi-dimensional ECC schemes, multi pin
correction codes (discussion of fault coverage and overheads), the efficacy
of retirement schemes for pins and chips,
RAID and various schemes
for stacked DRAM arrays.
DRAM news in an SSD context,
in the news archive,
looking back at many years of gigs with the data recovery market
September 14, 2018 - Recovering data from damaged storage media (magnetic,
optical or semiconductor memory) in the absence of a usable backup is one of
those subjects which intersects with many technology disciplines.
- reliability - oems can learn about their design weaknesses by engaging
with real world failed drives
- government agencies - need to recover unique data from deliberately
or accidentally destroyed storage
- consumers - may have precious photos or documents on a drive which was
never backep up
- enterprise users - may discover that a single mode failure such as
sysadmin error, new software install or site-wide calamity has trashed their
data and backups too
year at about this time when the hurricanes hit the US the data recovery pages
get a spike of readers - even though they are rarely updated. It's one of those
things which triggers mixed emotions. I'm sorry that anyone needs to look this
type of stuff up. But I'm glad if anyone finds that the articles empower them
in their onward recovery journey.
- financial companies - may need to trace deliberately altered server records
In my new home page blog on StorageSearch.com -
some thoughts about data recovery
- I look back at what I learned about this market - where a simple transaction
with a credit card can propel you straight into high tech spook technology. ...read the article
Burlywood announces Series A funding
September 12, 2018 - Burlywood
- which is developing software-defined flash controller architecture for
hyperscale data centers - today
it has completed its Series A funding with proceeds totaling $10.6 million.
See also:- a
history of VCs in SSDs,
SSDs in the cloud
SNIA enters the computational storage market
September 12, 2018 - In its
matters newsletter this month SNIA said it is forming a
new work group looking at
SNIA says - "SSDs and other storage
devices now have compute capabilities. How do such devices inform the host and
other clients, in a standard way, of their capabilities? How does the host
program these devices in a vendor neutral way? Those are some of the questions
the new Computational Storage TWG will tackle."
comments:- as a departure from its usual way of doing things SNIA says that
during the initial phase of this work companies "do not need to be
a SNIA Member to participate."
Computational storage aka in-situ
SSD processing also associated with
processing in memory etc
was one of the
ideas which changed in 2014 - as noted in my annual summary on
StorageSearch.com at that time.
Thinking about this new standards
discussion and engagement by SNIA I think it's likely that the most powerful
elements of computational storage will be very application specific and led by
cloud customer and proprietary AI industry platform requirements.
means that long before any so called "standards" emerge it may
already be clear who the leading proprietary companies in the market already
are. (As was the case during the early years of
PCIe SSDs) .
in the long term it will be useful to define general software frameworks
- standards - for interrogating and initializing the customizable features of
computational storage products so that a software ecosystem can grow around
doing useful things with a variety of competing intelligent memory systems
having different price points and acceleration capabilities and just enough "compatibility"
to reduce the risks on the road to inevitable mainstream adoption.
also:- storage industry trade
StorageSearch.com - update on the sale
September 3, 2018 - Re the planned
StorageSearch.com (expected to occur at the end of 2018) an
update document has been produced to help buyers with whom I've been having
discussions to self select from a range of options related to the web
properties and assimilation plans and handover services.
A public announcement offering StorageSearch.com for sale was made in June 2018.
not too late to indicate your interest in this.
However - I've still
got a few important articles I'd like to write before I'm finished and start my
retirement on December 25, 2018.
Everspin zaps supercaps in IBM's FlashSystem
August 9, 2018 -
which reported $10.8 million revenue in the quarter ended June 30, 2018 - has
revealed some interesting
developments of its MRAM technology .
- Everspin's MRAM is the new nvm which
IBM hinted it was using in
its recent blogs about the new FlashSystem 9100
Marvell samples first NVMe-oF SSD Converter Controller
August 7, 2018 - Marvell
it is sampling a new controller to simplify the design of Ethernet connected
The 88SN2400 - which is aimed at a EBOF (Ethernet
Bunch of Flash) applications - utilizes a simple, low-power and compute-less
Ethernet fabric instead of a
fabric controlled and managed by an enterprise-class server SoC with integrated
As an indicator of performance Marvell says that a
typical 2U24 shelf with populated with 88SN2400 attached SSDs can support up
to 18M IOPS. Utilizing a Marvell Ethernet switch that supports 2Tb/s and the
Marvell 88SN2400, data center operators will be able to benefit from a 150GB/s
pipe of pooled storage, and better power consumption per IO compared to general
purpose architectures. The SSD converter controller is optimized for a small
footprint and can be attached to existing backplanes providing ease of service
and eliminating single point of failure. The technology can also be designed
into future Marvell SSD and emerging SCM controllers.
the storage interface glue chips
and IP page
NGD Systems demos ASIC version of In-Situ Processing SSD
Editor:- August 2, 2018 -
NGD Systems today
demonstrations of a new ASIC implementation of controller which is compatible
with its Catalina-2 In-Situ Processing SSD architecture. The NGD Systems
Newport platform has 16 flash channels, NVMe 1.3 PCIe Gen 3.0 x4 storage
compatibility and will be offered in SSDs in a variety of form factors
"Computational storage represents a paradigm shift in analytics
for petabyte-scale data sets," said Nader Salessi,
CEO, NGD Systems. "Our next-generation Newport platform enables
computational storage to 'cross the chasm' from a niche use case to broad market
adoption. In doing so, the Newport platform further enables near-data processing
for real-time analytics on large-scale data sets with improved power and
density, both in watts per terabyte and terabytes per cubic inch.