| leading the way to the
new storage frontier||...|
Top SSD Companies - Q4 2014
the Top SSD Companies - 30
past quarterly editions
to EMC" - the unreal positioning of AFA startups
flash wars in the
enterprise the epic saga of nice vs naughty flash
| hold up
capacitors in 2.5" MIL SSDs|
do you really need them?
Editor:- March 31, 2015 - I've been looking at
different aspects of power hold up schemes in mission critical non volatile
memory systems for over 30 years. |
But every time I revisit this vast
topic and compare fresh examples from the market - I learn something a
little bit new.
My new blog -
to three seconds - demonstrates the extreme range of hold up times
now in the market inside leading edge 2.5" military flash SSDs.
the industrial SSD guide|
|Editor:- March 19, 2015 - I've recently
refreshed the design of the industrial SSD guide
of this redesign was bringing to the fore - a simple list of significant
companies in the market which - in a way - goes back to the kind of site
design here in the 1990s and early 2000s.
However, being conscious of
the perils that can lead to - with some pages like
RAID at one time in the
past having been lumbered by a list running into hundreds of companies - I'm
going to keep the new industrial list manageable and relatively short
(under 100 companies).
If your company is missing from this list and
you think it should be added - contact
industrial / embedded SSD market is a segment which saw a decline in the number
of vendors for a few years at a time when managers of those companies thought
they could see bigger opportunities in other markets like consumer and
enterprise. But recently I've been seeing a resurgence in industrial SSD
company numbers for these reasons:-
- the market opportunity for industrial SSDs has grown significantly - due
to SSDs being everywhere.
And even in places you wouldn't have
That's because new system products and applications have
been enabled by SSDs and big data and IoT which never previously would have
been viable using HDDs.
has attracted new industrial SSD startups - who are totally focused on the
embedded market - and have chosen this in preference to all the other segments
of SSD which might have calls on their technical and business development
- many companies which had exited the industrial market earlier - discovered
they lacked the marketing skills needed to establish themselves in other
markets. So they've come back to the industrial fold.
redesign of the industrial SSD page will have 2 phases:-
- the infinite product scope of applications which can use embedded SSD
(inside and outside traditional data processing) has created many
opportunities for vendors to differentiate themselves by deep technology
adaptations and customizations.
This means vendors can be the
1 or 2 things - without needing to compete with all things - due to the
number of permutations of applications, form factors and interfaces.
- now underway - getting the shape right:- capturing the top 50 to 100
or so relevant companies which should be in this list, and providing an
overview of related articles and sub-guides.
Any questions? -
- the next phase - will populate the vendor list with deep links to a
product example from each company.
|re your autobiography...|
recommend a ghost writer.
PR Agencies - which
aren't scared of mice
SSD conversations like this|
|Editor:- March 12, 2015 - I talk to founders of
SSD companies nearly every day. |
Yesterday - something I said - in
one of the longest conversations I ever remember having had about enterprise
SSDs - and I've had a few - inspired the person I was talking to - to change
his plans from something quite different - and develop a new SSD systems
I learned that change of plan from his follow up
And if it does happen - then when his new company is ready -
I'll let you know.
It's not unusual.
Some of the world's best
known SSD companies were talking to me - long before anyone else knew about them
- or cared about what they were thinking. Nice to know it's still happening.
other nice thing is when people in SSD companies (or their customers) that
I've never spoken to before - start their conversation with - I've been reading
your articles for years - and that's what got me into SSDs.
everyone who has said that - or thinks something similar.
So - if
you're wondering - what comes next?
I haven't run out of ideas yet.
The next big article will be a shocker.
The seeds were
planted in 2 separate, classification type, articles I wrote years ago.
just the impact of them coming together in the market - at the right time -
which will shatter many business plans - and cause people to ask themselves -
why did we ever think like that before?
If it's any consolation... I
5 years ago in SSD market history|
|In April 2010 -
unveiled a paper called - Paramagnetic Effects on Trapped Charge Diffusion with
Applications for x4 NAND Flash Data Integrity - which it said would be
discussed at the forthcoming NV
Memories Worskhop (UC San Diego).|
The company said its findings
could have future applications in the enterprise storage market by solving the
problems in x4 (four bits per cell) nand flash MLC SSDs within a new class of
closely coupled hybrid
storage drives - combining magnetic and solid state storage - in ultra high
capacity storage systems (petabyte - class and
above) aimed at webscale and
Once upon a time it was useful for so called "startup"
enterprise SSD companies to make detailed EMC bashing product comparisons with
pre-existing EMC systems. What do we learn when such comparisons are made
editor - StorageSearch.com
in his blog - some random SSD
thoughts about EMC (January 28, 2015)|
dominant storage architecture thing has totally flipped. It was already slowly
turning 180 degrees a couple years ago, but it is beginning to be much more
obvious now. SAN is on the decline..."
|Chin-Fah Heoh, StorageGaga - in his reminiscent blog -
reverse wars DAS vs NAS vs SAN (March 13, 2014)|
those who tweet loudest|
February 18, 2015 - Re the visibility seeking marketing activities of
enterprise storage companies - I found much to agree with in a recent blog -
Storage Array Industry Social Landscape - by Don Jennings,
Senior VP - Lois Paul & Partners
(a storage industry proven
other things Don says "not many of the storage companies in our analysis
have clear content strategies to provide information and value to their
followers. This is especially true on YouTube, where these companies are rarely
posting anything other than product-usage videos. We also dont see any of them
engaging with industry media and influencers..."
output from Don's article is that he ranks 5 companies in the
hybrid storage array
market - based on the noise level and following they have achieved on
The companies (in alphabetic order) are:-
Setting aside for the moment any reservations you might have about the validity
of using social media as a significant enough comparative measure for
enterprise companies - Don comes up with some interesting statistics for each
company about the level of its followers, tweets etc.
And by that
measure Nimble comes out top of his list. ...read
Editor's comments:- As with any measurement
- you have to ask questions like
- why has this method been chosen? Is it simply convenience?
In this case - the agenda is
clear enough - Don's company LPP is in the media business - and some companies
are clearly more noisy (and better understood) than others in "editorial
- And how valid does such a ranking carry over into other interpretations?
etc - such as future business outcomes.
If your company isn't doing well enough in the
social media blare - then maybe you should change your agency.
devil's advocate counter argument to that might be to say that a single well
designed ad can take a company positioning message to more targeted people than
all the people who see a vendor's tweets and blogs in a year. And every day I
see companies in this industry who lack the confidence to invest in themselves
in an advertising context - preferring instead to cast their fortunes on the
winds of the media lottery newswires.
And another counter argument is
that not all important relationships and engagements are as visible as you
might think on social media. Why should they be - if there are pre-existing or
better ways in which the parties in the same mutual interest segment can
For example - I've been talking to Don Jennings regularly
about his storage industry customers since June 2003 - but (at the time of
writing this) we aren't 1st level contacts on linkedin.
And a lot of
the people I talk to about weighty matters in the SSD market would be horrified
by the idea of others knowing what they're thinking about. I'm not saying
that one private communication is worth ten tweets - but if it's about about a
new business plan - or the order from your biggest customer - it can be worth
On the other hand. Social media may be the only independent
(non financial and non technical) way you can rank some of the companies
you're interested in. As only 1 of the 5 companies above - for example - has got
high enough in the search noise level to appear in the
Top SSD Companies.
|Intel and Micron promise 32
layer 3D nand SSDs by 2016|
March 26, 2015 - Micron
it is sampling a new 32 layer 3D nand flash memory using floating gate
cells - which has been designed in collaboration with Intel - and which
provides 32GB MLC (2 bits per cell) in a single chip.
density TLC (3 bits per cell) version with 48GB capacity will sample in the
next few months.
Both devices are expected to be available in SSDs
within the next year.
|Toshiba samples 48-layer 3D
March 26, 2015 - Toshiba
it is sampling the world's first 48-layer 3D stacked 2 bit nand
flash memory in 16GB
chips aimed at the high capacity SSD market.
Mass production is
anticipated to be in the first half of 2016.
Diablo's roadmap back on track following jury verdict
March 25, 2015 - Diablo
it has won a "decisive victory" in its critical court battle with
jury unanimously concluded that there was no breach of contract and that there
was no misuse of trade secrets. Further, the jury confirmed Diablo's sole
ownership and inventorship of the "917 patent."
are extremely pleased with the jury's verdict today," said Riccardo
Badalone, CEO and Co-Founder of Diablo Technologies. "We look
forward to getting back to serving our customers and delivering on our exciting
Memory Channel Storage roadmap."
Editor's comments:- Diablo replaced
Fusion-io as the #1
most searched SSD company by the readers StorageSearch.com in
Q4 2014 - because
you all know a disruptive SSD technology platform when you see it.
long running legal tangles got to the point where Diablo was prevented by an
injunction from making more products - pending a trial outcome. This verdict
means the enterprise application acceleration industry can resume its onwards
progress by being able to count on the availability of a significantly
flash latency asset
and software platform for deployments inside the server box.
SSD Guru and Vector 180 from OCZ (and some random thoughts
about product naming conventions)
Editor:- March 25, 2015 - We live
in a world where it's pointless buying a phone unless you are prepared to
develop and hone your SysAdmin skills - so I shouldn't be surprised by the
growing number of software utilities aimed at the consumer SSD market.
aptly named such product -
SSD Guru (not be confused with
SSD market gurus)
- appeared in an email today from OCZ - which plays a
role for the company's "next generation"
Vector 180 SSD (a
performance optimized SATA
SSD) aimed at "gamers, enthusiasts and workstation users."
comments:- re that "next generation" tag line - as I'm not
familiar with the numbering system OCZ uses for its SSDs - I'm not sure whether
this is OCZ's 180th consumer SSD (that seems a bit low by my count) or
whether this is OCZ's 18th consumer SSD generation (that seems too high).
If I get a helpful note of what the "180" means - I'll add
a note here later.
the problem with numbers
read about so many products and suppliers - I do sometimes miss obvious
For example - it took me about 11 years to recognize that the
numbers in TMS's
rackmount SSD systems (the
had been incrementing by 100 every year or so - each time they included a
new generation of controllers or memory. Which did make sense when it was
explained to me.
And it looks like
maintaining that tradition. What comes next? (after 900?) - numbers are the
easiest part of the SSD guessing game. It's
what could be
inside the next box we're
not so hot at
schemes do run into problems after enough time has elapsed as we've seen
many times in computer history.
CPUs give us some clues - as they
were the primary apps acceleration technology before SSDs.
went (with some detours) to 286, 386, and 486 and then morphed into
- which (unlike numbers) could be a registered trademark.
numbers and then added words.
SSD product names have many
But - going back to numbers.
The problem with
numbers is when they get too long (due to the longevity of the product family)
you have to recycle them - which makes it confusing for old people who saw them
the first time around.
And (I know it may be unfair to say this about
product marketers) but sometimes you get the vague feeling - particularly in
more slowly evolving markets like autos - that the names and the numbers and
the colors have changed. But inside everything that matters still remains
exactly the same as it was before.
PS - in another announcement
today - OCZ said it now has a higher capacity version of its fast enough
enterprise 2.5" SATA SSD family. The new
3700 SSD - has 2TB capacity, R/W speeds upto 540MB/s and 470MB/s
(128KB blocks) and 91K / 13K random
(4KB blocks) .
Samsung's new 128GB BGA TLC SSD
Editor:- March 19,
2015 - Samsung
today expanded its
product line with a new 128GB BGA TLC SSD aimed at mid-market
smartphones and mass market tablets.
new 3 bit device has 260MB/s sequential read performance (similar to MLC
IOPS (5,000 / 6,000) are sufficient to support
high definition video.
Microsemi has a new BGA SSD
and is acquiring Vitesse for
Editor:- March 17, 2015 - Microsemi today
its 2nd generation highly secure, rugged 64GB BGA SLC SSD - the
- TRRUST-Purge clears encryption key in less than 30ms
- hardware-based self destruct - renders media data forensically
unrecoverable in less than 10 seconds
- anti malicious attack technology
- no super caps or batteries
computing applications have increased the need for compact small form factor,
highly secure and trusted data-at-rest protection," said B J Heggli, GM
for Microsemi's memory and storage business. "We introduced this latest
64GB SSD in our BGA package to expressly meet the data security and extreme
reliability requirements of a growing number of embedded applications. And
because Microsemi owns the processor technology, customers are also assured of
critical long-term availability."
- write protect option for read-only applications
PS - also this week - Microsemi
it has agreed to acquire Vitesse Semiconductor
for approximately $389 million.
Vitesse designs a diverse portfolio
of high-performance semiconductors, application software, and integrated turnkey
systems solutions for carrier, enterprise and
Things (IoT) networks worldwide.
Memblaze enters 2.5" PCIe SSD market
March 16, 2015 - Memblaze
it is showing a 2.5"
NVMe PCIe SSD variant of its PBlaze series at
CeBIT in Germany.
Memblaze was the
27th most highly searched SSD company by readers of StorageSearch.com in
another design win for Seagate's Nytro in China cloud market
March 12, 2015 - QingCloud mentioned
high capacity and low cost among the reasons for selecting Seagate's
(pdf) (PCIe SSD)
as components to build the low latency SSD infrastructure of its cloud
services for the China market - in a
Editor's comments:- who are the new cloud
companies in China?
China's Cloud Innovators - a blog by Charlie Dai, Principal
Analyst - Forrester
the big market impact
of SSD dark matter
SanDisk shows the softer under belly of flash
March 12, 2015 - SanDisk
already attracts more interest in its software from StorageSearch.com readers than any
ISV in the SSD software space - something I recently disclosed in the
Q4 2014 edition of
the Top SSD Companies.
Why so much interest?
It's because they've got a
lot of enterprise software.
(Partly due to having
acquired a lot
of software rich companies.)
In a recent press release about
SanDisk's latest contribution to open source - to benefit
Ceph storage - I saw an
interesting list of other areas they have done work on too.
- The Android OS stack for mobile devices
- The Linux kernel for memory management and file system to enable better
performance with flash
- The Android Real Path Storage library, an Apache licensed project
maintained by SanDisk, that enables application developers to use external
memory like SD cards in their Androids
- SCST, a GPL-licensed SCSI target software stack that is maintained by
It sure takes a lot of software to make
flash memory work with
the non flash world. It's much more than the low level
care stuff you'd
expect in flash
- and Enterprise applications like Cassandra, MySQL, Hadoop and others to
optimize them for use with SanDisk flash technology.
Part of this complexity stems from the
inherent in flash
R/W IOPS - and the problems of masking this fact - using disguises and
ruses - from legacy software which was originally created for symmetrical
DRAM. But another complex
motivator in the software plot is to do with data granularity and
Before you get too
about good old DRAM, however, its reputation has been
It seems that when you scrutinize any
chips which have very small
internal geometries - then you see that bad things happen. It's just that we've
learned to expect it with flash (due to all those battles between
nice and naughty
enterprise flash) and we always expected better behavior from DRAM. So
when such problems hit good old reliable DRAM (as they
about once every 10 years) everyone is surprised.
samples 3TB 2.5" PCIe SSD
Editor:- March 11, 2015 - HGST is sampling a new
range of SSDs for the 2.5"
PCIe SSD market.
NVMe Ultrastar SN100 (pdf) has upto 3.2TB capacity.
comments:- No DWPD
data was available when I looked. Which makes the recent related
somewhat useless to any product specifier. It must be aimed at investors.
Lattice closes acquisition of Silicon Image
March 10 , 2015 - Lattice
the close of its acquisition of Silicon Image for
approximately $606 million.
3D InCites blog re Samsung's 3D TLC
Editor:- March 4,
2015 - What happens when you combine
bits per cell in the same flash?
recent blog -
V-NAND Flash at the 2015 ISSCC - published on 3D InCites summarizes the key
parameters of Samsung's
approach to combining 3D and TLC and offers some critical analysis.
on the directions for future advances - the blog's author Andrew Walker
says "I also heard that they may be looking at 4 bits/cell."
V-NAND page, Unveiling
XLC Flash SSD Technology (March 2008 )
8TB 2.5" PCIe SSDs sampling soon from Novachips
March 4, 2015 - Are you interested in a world's first
8TB (15mm height) PCIe Gen2 x4 SSD (pdf) with a single controller developed
was an email I got recently from Sean Oh who is
the sales representative for these products in Europe.
What would you
say? I did the same. After reading up the info he attached (there's a
too) I asked some questions about availability. Here's what Sean said.
- The working engineering samples have been available since last year.
- The 1st customer sample comes out in the next 30 days.
Editor's comments:- part of this story has its roots in a news
story from May 2007
- when a company called MOSAID was talking about a new, light capacitive load,
ring based, flash memory topology called HLNAND. To make it work they needed a
controller. Novachips collaborated on the design and recently acquired the
assets and patents.
- We plan to start a mass production in 2nd half of this year.
SanDisk enters the rackmount SSD market
March 4, 2015 - As I've been saying for the past several years now - the rack
is a strategic
component form factor for enterprise flash.
it has joined the enterprise
rackmount SSD market
- with a new product - 3U 512TB array of 8TB
SAS SSDs - with
iSCSI (and upto 8 way
SAS connections for
local servers) called the
system (pdf) which leverages the market proven SanDisk
Accelerator software stack which came with the acquisition of
Pricing is under $2K
/ TB before
Editor's comments:- SanDisk's pricing and
storage density for the InfiniFlash is similar to
FS (pdf) - launched in
October 2014 -
although the 2 products have very different internal architectures. The
InfiniFlash is an array of standard SAS SSDs while the skyHawk FS is a
proprietary design with internal
architecture - which can use any type of cheap, high density flash.
availability of cheap, raw, white box rackmount SSDs like this from
HGST and other vendors
may put some pressure on traditional storage vendors to justify why they
charge so much for - what in most cases - are in reality vanilla flash
arrays with some added software features. But it's that software and related
services which have locked newer vendors out of these older markets.
said that - there are many types of users in the rackmount market who don't
want the kind of software offered by companies like
HP and for whom - even the
priced management functions integrated in boxes from newer companies like
Tegile represent an
expensive solution bundled with a data management approach which is different
to what they need.
I first wrote about the conundrum of different
rackmount SSDs - with different characteristics - co-existing at the same time
and satisfying different user risk and value judgement profiles in a
In the 6 years since then - as the market has grown larger - it has
been possible to delineate more functional differences in SSD box types than
existed at that time - while at the same time - the variety of possible
attached permutations - with respect to application compatibility, inherent
technology risk factors, and buyer behavior - has grown too.
result has been inefficient markets - and an inadequate range of products -
often inappropriately marketed. Problems which I identified (with help from
leading users and marketers) in my recent article -
hidden segments in the enterprise for rackmount SSDs
Micron breaks ground on $4B expansion to Singapore nand fab
March 3, 2015 - Micron
a ground breaking ceremony at the site of its Singapore NAND flash memory
fabrication facility - which is planned to get $4 billion worth of expansion
investment - and is expected to be operational in 2017.
new edition of the Top SSD Companies
2, 2015 - Although it's nearly 8 years since StorageSearch.com began publishing
its landmark series the Top SSD Companies
and we now have more types of
market data about SSD
related trends than ever before - the need for a proven, focused,
crowd-intelligence based list based on search hasn't gone away.
could indeed argue that the need is even greater now.
We still live
in chaotic times for SSD where the disruptive influences now include more
technology types and the outcomes of the market blender includes the complex
interplay and co-existence of multiple SSD software generations.
recently published a new
edition of the list - based on market metrics in Q4 2014.
31st quarterly edition of this article I also give you my background thinking
for why this classic series will soon be joined by a new companion set of Top
SSD Company lists - which have been 12 years in the waiting. ...read the article
Avago acquires Emulex for $600 million
February 25, 2015 - In 2014 - Avago
Technologies - which until then had not seemed much involved in
enterprise storage - suddenly got religion.
As a heavyweight interface chip and IP maker in other markets Avago
must have asked themselves - what are the key interfaces we need to be the #1
enterprise storage connect company? - especially
enterprise storage becomes solid state.
that's the way to interpret the acquisitions (last year) of
PLX followed now (as
today) by the acquisition of
Emulex - for
approximately $606 million.
Netlist raises $10 million through share offering
February 24, 2015 - Netlist
it has closed its previously-announced underwritten public offering of 8,846,154
common shares at a price to the public of $1.30 per share. Netlist estimates
net proceeds from the offering to be approximately $10.4 million, after
deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering
expenses. Netlist intends to use the proceeds from the offering for general
Diablo updates status of UlltraDIMM legal sanctions
February 24, 2015 - If - like me - you've been following with interest the
development of true SSD acceleration technologies packaged in RAM DIMMs (aka
SSDs and similar names) then you may have been wondering - what's the
current state of the play in the
SanDisk patent and
implied rights to IP legal wrangle?
The last furious clash of
legally related press releases - from both sides - in mid January - ended with a
lot of smoke in the air - and dire expectations regarding body count. In
particular the impression was that - until the next court session on these
matters - further shipments of SanDisk's ULLtraDIMM SSDs would be suspended.
is an update sent to me yesterday from a spokesperson communicating the Diablo
side of things. So "we" and "our" in the text below means
from the perspective of "Diablo".
Injunction - Diablo says
- SanDisk has been granted a stay on their preliminary injunction, meaning
that they can ship their inventory to Lenovo, Supermicro, and Huawei.
- The preliminary injunction on Diablo is still in effect while we await the
standard appeal process.
At the center of the dispute is the idea that our technologies
compete. Our technologies do not compete. There is a long list of reasons why
they don't. Here are some of them:
- It continues to be our belief that the standard appeal process will find in
- The Netlist NVvault is memory. The OS and applications see it and treat it
as DRAM, which is why no OS drivers are necessary. Ours is storage. Ours is
seen by the OS, hypervisors and applications as a block storage device and this
is why MCS does require OS drivers.
- They are used differently. For example, you typically would not put a
whole database on a DRAM NV-DIMM but you would on an MCS-based device.
- A DRAM DIMM can be used in place of DRAM, an MCS-based device cannot. An
MCS-based device, because it is storage, requires separate DRAM in the system
for execution. DRAM based devices are required to make the server run and are
complimentary to MCS-based devices.
- A DRAM NV-DIMM cannot be removed from the system and replaced with an
MCS-based device and be expected to perform the same function.
- The NVvault product is an 8GB device because it is a memory device. Since
ours does not use DRAM and instead interfaces directly to flash, it is capable
of being hundreds of gigabytes in capacity.
- JEDEC has defined a DRAM-based
NV-DIMM (NVDIMM-N) as a completely different category from an MCS-based device
(NVDIMM-F) because they operate differently and service different applications
in very different ways. There are several other companies building NVDIMM-N
devices including Netlist,
Diablo is the only company we know of that is building an NVDIMM-F device.
Editor's comments:- I think it's important for the SSD
industry to know whether it can count on seeing a competitive market for memory
channel SSDs being developed. For that to happen it is essential for Diablo to
establish in the courts or by agreement as soon as possible that the roadmap
for its kind of technology has a future.
- Simply because they both fit into the same slot and use a similar interface
does not mean that they compete. Most PCIe cards serve completely different
functions and do not compete, even though they use the same physical interface
(examples are graphics, audio, networking, and storage cards).
If this doesn't happen quickly
- and if the whole issue is left unresolved for another year - then the window
of opportunity for this class of enterprise SSD may close. Because - as far as
I know - Netlist doesn't have a Diablo like product in a similar state of market
So if Netlist were to succeed in preventing Diablo's
product roadmap - there isn't a similar product which architects could fall back
to. And even if Netlist chose to pursue that kind of product opportunity - which
it can't do on its own the SSD market isn't going to wait idly by for another
2 years waiting for that to happen.
Other ways of adding applications
intelligence into PCIe
SSDs - and other alternatives to RAM cached to flash are already in
development. And the software market has to judge - which new markets are most
likely to return value on their developer investment.
to remind you - the bullet points above - came from Diablo and whether you agree
or disagree with them or not (or quibble - as for example in - there is an
industry of RAM resident databases - albeit they aren't the "typical"
HDD architected databases which are now running in flash SSDs) the reason so
many lawyers are involved now is more to do with the fact that 2 companies
(Netlist and Diablo) have a different recollection of what they once agreed in
a past collaborative project and they disagree on what rights that past
agreement confers on what they're doing now.
If I get more updates
I'll let you know.
The key things for now are:-
- if you've got a design which uses 1st generation UlltraDIMM style memory
channel SSDs - then you can still get products to fill those slots.
- But - if you've been planning around the preannounced 2nd generation
products - your projects are probably on hold.
"the most reliable 2.5 inch MLC SATA III SSD"
paves way to new budget military SSD - from Cactus
February 23, 2015 - Cactus
the release of a new military 2.5" SATA SSD - the
PRO series - a
adapted variation of the company's proven
commercial grade family which Cactus describes as "the most reliable
MLC based 2.5" SATA III SSD on the market."
Chang, VP of Engineering said - "It meets the price budget for
applications where intense writing or extreme temperatures are not prevalent."
- hardware AES256 Encryption
- Jumper Triggered Write Protect
- NSA 9-12 or Quick Erase (can eliminate 512GB of data in <15 seconds)
- 64GB to 640GB MLC capacities
- Altitude spec of 100,000 feet
- 3,000G Shock; 20G Vibration
- Powerful Industrial ECC and Defect Management
Waitan launches secure self destructible SSDs for drone and other
hostile military zone applications
February 19, 2015 - It's rare for me to hear about a new company in the
military SSD market (I
thought I knew them all already) - but an exception to that is Waitan which this week
launched a 2.5" SATA SSD with 4TB capacity with special security options
to protect and purge
data if the SSD gets into the wrong hands - the
believe the remote controlled secure erase and self-destruction functions are
highly valuable for UAV, drone, and other remote controlled and unmanned systems
where data on the systems' storage drives is confidential, which needs to be
destroyed from afar during accidents or emergency scenarios" said James
Zheng, Waitan's CTO.
Editor's comments:- Remotely triggered
data destruction isn't a new idea in secure SSDs - but it hasn't really taken
hold in the past due to the disruptive effect of false positives - such as when
a security perimeter has been incorrectly set up or when a pacifier signal is
lost for a short time for innocent reasons.
For those reasons
Waitan's StellaHunter is triggered by 2 or more preset conditions. Users can
also choose whether the SSD should be reusable after the secure erase or whether
the SSD should have a destructive erase.
FalconStor shows why it has taken so many years to launch an
SSDcentric next software thing
February 19, 2015 - You might think there are enough SDS companies already -
but SSDcentric data architectures are pulling system solutions in
directions - so until the dust settles and the landscape looks clearer -
there are plenty of gaps for new companies to enter the market.
most significant this week was FalconStor - who
a new SSDcentric storage pool redeployment and management platform called
FreeStor - which the
company says works across legacy, modern and virtual environments.
says - "The heart of FreeStor is the Intelligent Abstraction layer. It's a
virtual Rosetta Stone that allows data - in all its forms - to migrate to,
from and across all platforms, be it physical or virtual."
They've posted a good
video which describes it all.
FalconStor's natural partners are
enterprise SSD systems vendors and integrators who have good products but who
don't have a complete (user environmentally rounded) software stack.
comments:- For 4 years FalconStor gave me the impression of a storage
software company which didn't know what it wa going to do with the SSD market -
despite having a base of thousands of customers in the enterprise storage
FalconStor's delay can now be explained. They were
studying what needed to be done - and it took a lot of work.
want to understand who else is offering a product concept which is similar in
vision to FalconStor's FreeStor - I'd say
Although due to a difference in ultimate scaling aspirations and markets - I
would say that FalconStor's product is lower end and currently more accessible.
Part of the reason being that FalconStor already has a customer base for pre SSD
era software - which they are hoping to convert incrementally.
$34 million funded SDS company Springpath emerges from stealth
February 18, 2015 - Springpath
emerged from stealth with these related
server based data platform
priced from $4,000 per server per year.
A distribution agreement with
Tech Data who will offer Springpath's
software preloaded onto servers.
funding from investors
Sequoia Capital, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), and Redpoint Ventures
Seagate and Micron collaborate on enterprise
February 12, 2015 - Micron
a strategic multi year agreement which among other things will secure for
Seagate a supply of nand flash for the
SAS SSD market while
also providing for Micron a framework of SSD controller IP and designs with
which it can populate gaps in its own enterprise SSD range.
comments:- Although modern
controller IP can work with any type of
flash - there are
applications in cloud
and storage arrays in which simpler controller designs - which integrate user
based code (to leverage awareness of the state of the whole array) can
systems. Such SSDs can be made even more reliable - when they can leverage
knowledge about a particular trusted source of flash.
For example in
April 2012 -
SMART Storage (now
part of SanDisk)
revealed it had figured out a way to get 5x more endurance from consumer
grade flash when using old-style non-adaptive
The technique preconditioned R/W timing parameters in the flash memory
using intelligence gained from experience with the company's (different)
Seagate's toughest competitors in the SAS SSD
market have been SanDisk, Toshiba,
HGST and even
Samsung - so from that
perspective - there are reasons for preferring to source flash from and trust
Micron hasn't dipped into the enterprise
SSD acquisition pool
to the same depth as some other
big hostages of
the SSD market. I think this was partly because Micron didn't want to be
seen as competing with its "natural" historic systems customers. But
that had left Micron with an enterprise SSD product line lacking any central
theme or controller roadmap.
In that respect - Micron's new
collaboration with Seagate - will ensure a prescence for Micron's flash in large
scale arrays and systems in very cost competitive and difficult to customize
environments - in which Micron's own SSD IP would never have been regarded as a
how reliable are consumer SSDs? - new data from OCZ
February 12, 2015 - OCZ
recently published data about the reliability
of its past generations of consumer SSDs.
OCZ says that the SSDs
it has shipping since it has been a
Toshiba group company (and
using Toshiba's flash) are about 40x more reliable than OCZ's popular
consumer SSDs were about 4 years before. And part of the story is also changes
Editor's comments:- in this paper OCZ's measure
of reliability is - returns during warranty and confirmed defects - which are
now at 0.6% and 0.3% respectively.
angle of viewing consumer SSD reliability can be seen from
data recovery data.
that of the 100,000 notebooks used under its control - it encountered the need
for 1 SSD recovery per day.
The 2 data sets - from OCZ and Intel are
incomplete - and not directly comparable due to differences in sampling
periods, warranties and model mixes. But if you assume a 1 year sampling
period - for the data recovery based data - then you end up with a failure
figure which is similar to the newest SSD data from OCZ.
Hyperstone brings enterprise-class write attenuation to industrial
USB SSD controllers
February 11, 2015 - When I see an assertion about 100x better flash
endurance - I smile and think back to an article
my SSD care scheme is the
best - in May 2012 - which discusses this marketing idea and some of the
unerlying technologies. So why mention it again today?
release today from Hyperstone (about
their new flash management technology for
contains this exact phrase.
by a factor of more than 100 in fragmented usage pattern and for small file
random writes. Thereby, the reduction in effectively used write-erase-cycles
results in higher performance, longer life and shorter random access response
times. As a result, in many applications hyMap together with Hyperstone
controllers and MLC flash enables higher reliability and data retention than
other controllers using SLC. hyMap does
any external DRAM or SRAM."
In the same announcement - Dr. Jan Peter
Berns, Managing Director of Hyperstone - acknowledges that while these
issues have already been discussed intensively for several years in the
enterprise market. Hyperstone's new hyMap controller technology brings this
kind of improvement into smaller, low power SSDs such as SD/MMC and USB which
don't have the same kind of budgets for DRAM and CPU power as enterprise SSDs.
Northwest Logic provides FPGA support for Everspin's MRAM
February 9, 2015 - Northwest Logic
controller support for Everspin's
ST-MRAM - with interoperability proven on a Xilinx Virtex-7 FPGA platform.
MRAM's core IP also supports traditional volatile DDR3 SDRAM - so the
new support for MRAM will simplifiy the design of
protected low latency
Benchmarking and Performance Resources
February 6, 2015 - When it comes to SSDs - an SSD which is
faster in a way
that you can economically use - such as by converting faster
competitive dollars (trading banks) or by satisfying more virtual users with
less servers (nearly everyone who owns a lot of heavily used servers) is
worth looking at.
not the only thing (and often is not even the most important thing) which makes
up the cost of buying
an SSD - or the
to buy it - performance has been one of those parameters which - because it
has helped to sell products - even when the
numbers were unreliable
or abused - has attracted a great deal of creative literary output in the
SSD industry. Most of it fiction. Some of it fact.
I've written a lot
of articles and emails on this theme myself. So many indeed - that I sometimes
find myself in danger of writing something new - and then getting a sense of
deja vu. IOPS?
- I've got a feeling I wrote something like this before? A quick search confirms
- yup I did. - Was it yeally that long ago? Let's just update the links so it
makes sense if someone else finds it later.
It seems I am not alone
in that respect. And a recent post on linkedin suggests a much better way of
The idea came from Greg Schulz, Founder of
StorageIO - who has recently
curated a whole bunch of articles which he's written, edited or likes into a
single resource page - which he calls - Server
and Storage I/O Benchmarking and Performance Resources
have the time - Greg has many articles on this topic which will inform and
Mobiveil supports Spansion's HyperBus NOR flash
February 3, 2015 - Mobiveil
it will provide authorized controller support for Spansion's
flash chips are low capacity, low pin count, faster (5x) NOR flash (BGAs)
suited for some applications in the automotive electronics market.
HyperBus flash interface
IP (pdf) delivers upto 333MB/s using this 12-pin interface.
MSS wraps 2.5" SSDs snugly for surveillance drone flights
February 3, 2015 - Mountain Secure Systems
it has recently shipped an order of hot swappable 2.5" SATA SSD modules
to a leading defense contractor, which will be integrated into a pod system for
Reaper Drone - for use by the U.S. military to monitor U.S. borders and
gather video surveillance intelligence.
The removable 2.5" SATA memory devices mate with a customized
docking bay and are environmentally sealed for protection against rapid
decompression, EMI, humidity, dust, salt fog, immersion and condensation.
swappable device (pdf) includes mini mil-circular connectors (rated for
100,000 insertion cycles), +28VDC power, EMI filters, and captive thumb screws
"Mountain Secure Systems is proud to be a part of this important
program," said Ken Dickson,
GM of Mountain Secure Systems. "Our ruggedized data storage solutions have
been extremely dependable for both commercial and military customers."
What happened before? - See the
SSD news archive -