| leading the way to the
new storage frontier||..|
the Top SSD Companies
meet Ken and the SSD
fast can your SSD run backwards?
hidden segments in the enterprise
Exiting the Astrological Age of Enterprise
|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. |
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
My view (as a
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.
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
(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.
digress. The main point I wanted to make is this.
I was surprised to
see that on page 55 of -
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
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.
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
email@example.com to order. ...read the article
storage market research,
SSDs - the Survive and Thrive Guide,
|"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|
|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.
hidden segments in the enterprise for rackmount SSDs|
|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.|
the Astrological Age of Enterprise SSD Pricing|
|early alert for Storage
|Editor:- July 16, 2014 - StorageSearch.com
this week agreed to be a media sponsor for Storage Visions 2015 - which takes
place January 4-5, 2015 in Las Vegas, NV. Here's
the preliminary agenda.
|So you'd think that when it
comes to the person in purchasing - who's looking for standard SSD products to
go into industrial or embedded systems - which aren't pushing the state of the
art when it comes to form factors (some like CF have been around forever) and
whose needs include the type of SSD interfaces which haven't been seen much in
SSD news in the last 10 years - it should be simple enough. |
|no such thing as a simple
standard legacy industrial SSD - (June 3, 2014)|
|"Design to fail -
because... No matter what kind of solutions you are going to use, their inner
resiliency, the level of redundancy you are going to introduce (multiple
servers, storage, datacenters, IT stuff), at some point something is going to
break. Its not a matter of IF, but only of WHEN.|
I dont want to have a
monolith in my datacenter, something that is supposed to never fail. Because,
when it will fail, Im sure there will be something in its design that will
prevent me from recovering its services in a desirable timeframe. Because its
designers never thought any possible problem, and the countermeasure for it."
|Do we really
need backups? - by Luca
(May 12, 2014)|
|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
With over 100 million enterprise PCIe ports already shipped - the
converging PCIe SSD / server market is well positioned to expand into new
|the PCIe SSD directory on
|revisiting an old new
storage 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.
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:-
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.
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
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:-
also:- SSD security,
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
More strategically than with mere money - Maxta's
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.
solution set will be demonstrated next week at
See also:- SSD software,
Super Talent joins M.2 PCIe SSD market
August 11, 2014 - Super Talent
that it has added an
form factor SSD to its
family of SSDs.
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.
SM1623 has R/W
IOPS upto 120K/26K respectively. But
DWPD isn't that great -
Samsung says it's about 1 (which is restrictive).
comments:- When it comes to COTS storage arrays (just a bunch of SSDs with
some RAID) SAS is the
new SATA. While SATAe and
(2.5" PCIe SSDs
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
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
7, 2014 - Diablo
yesterday announced details of a new 2nd generation
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.
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."
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
- The combination of technologies would enable something like a 1U server
with 25TB of converged memory.
Plextor's M.2 PCIe SSD wins award at FMS
August 7, 2014 - Plextor
- an M.2 PCIe SSD - has won Best of Show for most Innovative flash memory
technology at the Flash Memory
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.
part of the design verification - Plextor says that 400 units were subjected to
500 hours of extreme tests without error or failure.
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
Among other things - Xueshi Yang said - "Shannon
System is a startup I co-founded in 2011 in China after I left
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
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
Silicon Motion samples controller for TLC SATA SSDs
August 5, 2014 - Silicon
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
August 4, 2014 - HGST
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.
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)
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
A3CUBE will use military connectors in datacenter fabric
August 4, 2014 - A3CUBE today
announced that its emerging
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.
also:- military SSDs,
And the best buy SSDs shall be the worst (if you change your
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.
conflicts are examined in a new blog -
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."
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?
Diablo secures patent related to MCS technologies
July 31, 2014 - Diablo
that the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) awarded U.S. patent No.
8,713,379, entitled a "System and method of interfacing co-processors and
input/output devices via a main memory system," to the company. The '379
- A method for connecting non-volatile memory directly to the memory
controllers of a processor.
- A learning machine to handle data interleaving/de-interleaving and data
scrambling/de-scrambling algorithms for DDR3/4-based memory
- A method to remap the non-linear DIMM address space back to linear address
space used by the driver
Lite-On enters enterprise M.2 PCIe SSD market
July 30, 2014 - Lite-On
will be showing a new M.2 PCIe
SSD for the enterprise market next week at the Flash Memory Summit.
The P1P is a
PCIe SSD with capacities of 1TB and
protection circuit all in a small form factor.
The small form
factor and high capacity allow enterprise customers to pack more storage in a
smaller footprint. The P1P Series can deliver sequential R/W speeds up to
610MB/s and 520MB/s while random R/W speeds can be upto 95K/15K
drive has a MTBF
of 2 million hours and an
rating of up to 1 drive write
per day for 5 years.
NxGn Data exits stealth with promise of in-situ SSD processing
July 29, 2014 -
NxGn Data today
exited stealth mode.
NxGn will use
adaptive DSP technology to enable small form factor SSDs (such as
aimed at the enterprise market - using MLC and TLC down to 1z-nm geometries.
Fully functional FPGA-based samples will be available in early 2015,
followed by final production samples of SoC-based M.2 solutions in late 2015.
says it will be the first SSD controller company in the industry with
in-storage computation capability - what it calls "In-Situ Processing".
comments:- Earlier this year I published a couple of reports and mentions
about SSD suppliers (LSI
and Memblaze) who
have modifed their controller firmware to eliminate or bypass functions from the
lowest level SSD drive - for large customers like Baidu - who then use their
array level software to get better utilization and performance.
market InnoDisk - uses
what it calls 3rd generation architecture - to partition intelligent data
actions between the controller and software stack.
Until recently -
only Fusion-io (in
whose products the flash controller and apps server - share the same CPU cores)
has been able to maximize high end context intelligence with low level flash
block data access at a similar latency level.
But once you've solved
the problem of making SSDs reliable and fast - it's tempting to create an SSD
instruction set which which focuses on application layer needs too - and not
just those of dumb storage.
Flash: Towards Energy-Efficient, In-Situ Data Analytics on Extreme-Scale
real-world performance of flash storage systems
July 23, 2014 - Editor:- July 23, 2014 - How does flash storage perform in the
real world? - Demartek
aims to provide some answers by reporting on the performance tests
which it has carried out on SSD and hybrid systems from many of the leading
enterprise SSD companies in a session next month at the Flash Memory Summit (August
Demartek says attendees will come away with reasonable estimates
of what they can expect in practice and the results also reveal additional
advantages of flash-based storage, with what Dennis Martin, President
- Demartek calls "happy side effects". ...more info
also:- SSD testing &
analyzer news, how
fast can your SSD run backwards?
STT-MRAM? - update report
Editor:- July 18, 2014 -
IEEE Spectrum today
published an interesting state of the art article about spin-transfer-torque
Memory Shows its Might.
Among other things the article's author -
Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Spectrum Magazine - says "STT-MRAM may be claiming
some of the enthusiasm once reserved for other alternative memories, such as
ferroelectric RAM, phase-change memory, and resistive RAM. But its success will
come down to manufacturing technology and how well it can compete on cost."
flash and other nvm,
storage interface chips
new article on enterprise SSD pricing
18, 2014 - in a new article on the home page of StorageSearch.com -
Exiting the Astrological Age of
Enterprise SSD Pricing - I explain why 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 and I name 3 companies leading this
It shouldn't come as any surprise that the dominant form
factor leading this new market trend is
because as I told you in this article last year -
directions in rackmount SSDs - that's the most productive form factor for
doing something efficiently
different with technology.
And the simplest way for vendors to signal
to the world that they are masters and commanders of the solid state storage
high seas - rather than merely floating barges of nand flash which can be
swept along in any direction by the latest technology gust - is to hoist new
colors of SSD pricing. ...read the
SSD brand leaders - from IT Brand Pulse
July 17, 2014 - Based on votes by end users in its survey sample groups -
IT Brand Pulse
the "2014 SSD Brand Leaders".
The IT Brand Pulse "Innovation
Leaders" included these companies and categories:-
Editor's comments:- with so many companies now doing market
research which intersects with the SSD market - you've now got more sanity
checks than ever to determine whether your assessment of any particular SSD
company is broadly in line with that of other people.
awareness, financial reports and online search data - intrinsically provide
different numerically weighted views of the same market. And which methodology
you prefer depends on whether your priority is in understanding the past,
present or future - and what it is you're trying to decide.
longitudinal market studies you can refine your understanding of shifting
patterns of market change and real leadership by comparing these different
types of data and correlating the movements in different time periods. So a
shift in search volume in one period may correlate to a change in revenue some
time later. Or a change in revenue or profitability might be seen to be tied to
a change in brand strength later.
The interesting thing about the SSD
market is that because the technology hasn't been standing still - it can be
shocking to compare the same list and see how it changes over a period of 3 to
5 years and to see which old names have disappeared and which new ones have
replaced them. I'm often reminded of this when I trawl back through my own
and news archives. I'm sure it's the same for many of you too.
the things we all hope to get out of these lists - is to avoid making too many
bad bets on companies and technologies which will prove to be a waste of our
SSD market analysts,
trust SSD market data?
Tegile appoints former Violin VP as new CMO
July 15, 2014 - Tegile
Venkat - who was formerly VP products and marketing at Violin - has joined
Tegile as its Chief Marketing Officer.
enterprise SSD box riddle game
OCZ announces availability of ZD-XL SQL Accelerator 1.5
July 15, 2014 - OCZ
this week announced availability of
1.5 of its ZD-XL SQL Accelerator (PCIe SSD and caching software bundle) the
beta version of which was announced in
- flash Buffer Pool Extension (BPE) support
- better granularity of database files that need to be accelerated - than
Small system performance? - Internal testing performed by OCZ
delivered over one million TPMs for a sample of 50 virtual users when ZD-XL SQL
Accelerator 1.5 was located in the same server as the SQL application.
- remote flash services - enables remote network connected blade servers
to access cached PCIe flash storage using OCZ's proprietary Direct Pass Caching
larger enterprises/data centers that use ZD-XL SQL Accelerator 1.5 in a
traditional HA SAN storage environment, the embedded software can cache large
database files from the SAN onto server-side flash either locally or remotely -
with 5x speedups (compared to native HDD SAN performance) being
Editor's comments:- This product is aimed at
the same applications as Violin's
Flash Array (WFA)
The main differences are:-
- OCZ has been selling into the entry level enterprise SQL
acceleration market as a business focus for much longer than Violin (years
rather than months).
In contrast - Violin's history has been mostly as
a very high performance SSD supplier - and until recently Violin only
encountered small SSD applications as departmental use cases within big SSD
- With Violin's WFA you get an integrated system - but have to buy the
servers from Violin.
SQL Accelerator 1.5 case studies and white papers
- With OCZ's ZD-XL SQL Accelerator - you have the freedom to use any servers
you like - as long as they have enough spare slots to install the PCIe SSD
cards. But you have to know a bit more about what you're doing - and the
performance is unique to your system.
an update on Atlantis (Software-Defined Storage)
July 14, 2014 - Atlantis
on the state of the company he founded in 2006 and which has already sold over
580,000 licenses - CTO, Chetan Venkatesh
said - "Atlantis was started with a vision of a future where intelligent
and agile Software solved the most important, complex and challenging problems
of storage hardware. In our view, storage is not a hardware problem, but that
hardware is the problem and to solve that you need intelligent software that
disrupts the current paradigm of expensive and proprietary SAN & NAS."
- On a year-over-year basis Atlantis grew 1H bookings 80%
Avere gets another $20 million funding
10, 2014 - Avere Systems
raised an additional $20 million in
bringing the total amount invested in the company to $72 million. The Series D
funding round was led by Western Digital Capital, with participation from
previous investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Menlo Ventures, Norwest Venture
Partners and Tenaya Capital. The funding will be used to accelerate sales,
marketing and continued development of the company's hybrid cloud storage
"The reality for 99% of enterprises is they
will operate increasingly in a hybrid IT storage environment for many years to
come. This means that no single storage technology will win, and both
on-premises and cloud storage will be required to achieve cost and performance
goals" said Ron Bianchini,
president and CEO of Avere Systems.
Editor's comments:- I
agree with Ron about that 99% figure.
In my 2012 article -
an introduction to
enterprise SSD silos - when I was writing about a future in which SSDs are
everywhere - I said - "No single SSD type can match all the needs of all
user enterprises economically. And there will always be a need to have
intermediate management between SSD systems which have dissimilar speed / cost
characteristics." - "SSD systems" in this context - includes
I'd like to take Ron's statement - about what constitutes a "hybrid"
- a bit further...
I would add the words "software
architectures" somewhere in that strong assertion about hybrids. (Although
I can see why that would be too messy to include in a press release.)
I think that enterprises today - whether they consciously realize it or
not - are in reality choosing between at least 4 different generations of
SSD-aware software architectures within and around their enterprise SSD
hardware mix - every time they buy a new storage product or server - in
addition to the straightforward and highly visible determinations they make
about the 3 fundamentally different types of
hybrid caching and
tiering SSD appliances (different from a network architecture point of
view) which we've seen operating in classic
software frameworks since 2009.
Those "software hybrids"
- which represent different generations of thinking and different pragmatic
business approaches - are at the root of the software based multipliers in
SSD market segments (which are making everyone's life more complicated).
the long term the impact of multi-generationally-rooted and SSD-centric
software hybridization in the enterprise will be as significant as the
differences between a
2.5" SSD and a 2.5"
have written about these software generations before in various articles - so I
won't repeat them here - I might write a simple bullet point unified history
of this subject if enough readers ask me to clarify this.
a reader asks - about continuity of PLX's PCI Express box
Editor:- July 10, 2014 - Yesterday a reader asked if I
thought that the PCIe fabric system - which I had written about last month in
the article -
conversation with PLX - would still be available as a product after the
acquisition of PLX
by Avago Technologies closed?
pointed out that Avago avoids competing with its own systems customers (which is
why they divested the SSD business from LSI) and also Avago isn't a systems
Here's what I said...
The points you make are valid
and I had wondered the same thing myself.
But I think the PCIe fabric box (ExpressFabric solution)
will continue in some form or other because it started out as a system
design kit for demonstrating what could be done with the next generation of PCIe
chips and software stacks. So it's an essential sales tool for the chip
Before the announcement from Avago the PLX guys had already
said that any of their customers would be welcome to use as much or as little as
they wanted from the SDK box as PLX wasn't originally advancing this as a
But I could see from my own judgement (and PLX
confirmed this) that for some customers having availability of such a
box as a product would be a convenient tool.
Incidentally - that's
how Intel got into the systems business - with their
SBC product range in the 1970s - which was a response to customers asking
if they could buy the boards which were in the early microprocessor development
Returning to Avago and the PCIe fabric SDK
I agree -
it's possible that Avago may decide not to get into the volume supply
business of these boxes but in that case I think the boxes (and design
IP for these boxes) would continue to be available in some form from a
designated source otherwise lack of this integration concept tool would
slow down market adoption of the new PCIe fabric chips.
It's in the
interests of Avago and its oem customers to ensure that the ExpressFabric SDK
remains available as a software reference architecture which is at the center
of this new ecosystem.
Later:- I asked for an official response about
this (just in case I had missed anything) but - as I expected - the answer
was - it will come in a future press release.
SanDisk extends the reach of its SSD software platform
July 8, 2014 - 2 weeks ago
a new enterprise software product -
ZetaScale - designed
to support large inmemory intensice applications.
I delayed writing
about it at the time - until I learned more. But now I think it could be one of
the most significant SSD software products launched in 2014 - because of the
freedom it will give big memory customers (in the next 2-3 years) about how
they navigate their tactical choices of populating their apps servers with
low latency flash SSD hardware.
what is ZetaScale?
says - "ZetaScale software's highly parallelized code supports high
throughput for flash I/O, even for small objects, and optimizes the use of CPU
cores, DRAM, and flash to maximize application throughput. Applications that
have been flash-optimized through the use of ZetaScale can achieve performance
levels close to in-memory DRAM performance."
ZetaScale is SSD
agnostic. "ZetaScale is compatible with any brand of PCIe, SAS, SATA, DIMM
or NVMe connected flash storage device, providing customers the ability to
choose, avoiding hardware vendor lock-in."
I was curious to see
how this new product - which is a toolkit for deploying flash with tiering to
DRAM as a new memory type - fitted in with other products - from SanDisk and
from other vendors which also operate in this "flash as a big
memoryalternative to DRAM" application space .
So I asked
SanDisk some questions - and got some interesting answers.
- Where does the ZetaScale product come from?
ZetaScale builds upon our
acquisition technology for additional use cases and flash deployment models.
ZetaScale allows any developer to better tune their applications for
flash-based environments, no matter which vendors hardware or interface is being
leveraged. Thus, ZetaScale represents a major step forward in our vision of the
flash-transformed data centerempowering software developers to scale and
enhance their applications to meet today's big data and real-time analytics
demands, while lowering TCO.
- How much commonality is there between ZetaScale and FlashSoft product
ZetaScale and FlashSoft software are complementary and
FlashSoft provides direct-attached flash-based
caching for NAS and SAN devices, with the goal of improving performance for
unmodified applications running on a server.
software provides a flash and multi-core optimization library that applications
can integrate to allow them to achieve 3x times the performance
improvement from flash alone.
Both ZetaScale and FlashSoft software
provide their benefits in bare metal and virtualized environments
- Does ZetaScale support ULLtraDIMM?
Yes. The software is compatible with any brand of PCIe, SAS,
SATA, DIMM or NVMe connected flash device, enabling users to avoid vendor
lock-in. However, the software does not get embedded into any SSD.
Editor's comments:- overall I'd have to rate SanDisk's -
ZetaScale as one of the most significant SSD software products launched in 2014.
- How would ZetaScale fit into a future SanDisk product line which also
SanDisk cannot comment on open M&A activity. As usual, all
planning surrounding the product portfolio and roadmap will begin following the
close of the acquisition.
From a technical point of view - it's a toolkit which will enable
architects of SSD apps servers with very large in memory databases to
decouple themselves fromdeep dives into specific low latency SSD products.
Instead of gambling on whether they should exploit particular features which
come with particular low latency SSDs - they can instead use ZetaScale as the
lowest level of flash which their apps talk to. And that will change markets.
although SanDisk didn't want to comment on how this would be positioned against
Fusion-io's VSL - it's
undeniable that in some applications it does compete today.
wouldn't be surprised to see - a year after the acquisition (if it goes ahead)
ZetaScale could be useful as a way of introducing new customers to the
ioMemory hardware environment - without those customers having to make a hard
commitment to the rest of Fusion-io's software.
And - looking at the
SSD market - it also means that SanDisk software might be a safer standard
for future customers of any DDR4 or HMC SSDs which might emerge from competitor
Micron which - unlike
SanDisk - hasn't demonstrated yet any strong ambitions in the
SSD software platform
EMC acquires cloud piped via iSCSI company TwinStrata
July 8, 2014 - not that it really matters - EMC
has acquired TwinStrata
|SSD news - June
news - May 2014
SSD news - April 2014
history - all
Michelangelo was looking for David.
was looking for the inner SSD.
SSD news icon on StorageSearch.com since
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
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