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abstracts for SSD articles (2004 - 2010)

SSD Market History
the SSD Buyers Guide
Top 100 SSD articles on - updated monthly
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3 Easy Ways to Enter the SSD Market

Nowadays it seems like everyone wants to get into the SSD market. This article tells you how to do it.

Top 10 SSD oems

There are hundreds of SSD oems. Which ones matter? Who's going to dominate this market in the future? There's already a lot of traction as you can see by comparing which companies have consistently remained in the top 10 list in the past 26 quarters.

the Fastest Solid State Disks

Speed isn't everything, and it comes at a price. But if you need the speediest SSD then wading through the web sites of over 150 current SSD oems to find a suitable candidate slows you down. I've done the research for you to save you time. And this page is updated daily from storage news and direct inputs from oems.

Are MLC SSDs Ever Safe in Enterprise Apps?

Looks at the risks posed by the new generation of MLC Flash SSDs.

RAM versus Flash SSDs - which is Best?

Leading experts discuss the state of the market in the war for the datacenter core

Flash vs DRAM Price Projections - for SSD Buyers

Rackmount SSDs are big ticket investments for users. And in choosing between RAM SSDs and flash SSDs knowing what's going to happen to the price gap is an important thing to know.

SSD Myths and Legends - "write endurance"

Does the fatal gene of "write endurance" built into flash solid state disks prevent their deployment in intensive server acceleration applications? It was certainly true as little as a few years ago. What's the risk with today's devices? This article looks at the current generation of products and calculates how much (or how little) you should be worried.

Can you trust your flash SSD specs?

The product which you carefully qualified may not be identical to the one that's going into your production line, because the SSD oem has "improved" it. But the improvement makes another operating parameter - which you deeply care about - unacceptably worse.

Data Recovery from Flash SSDs?

The flash SSD market is fragmented on the issue of data recovery. When millions of SSDs start to appear in notebooks - data recovery from a system which has not been backed up correctly - will become a big issue - and opportunity for some companies.

2009 - Year of SSD Market Confusion

Reviews the main achievements and failures in the SSD market in 2008 - and predicts the confusing shape of things to come in 2009.

Is the SSD Market Recession-Proof?

Identifies which types of SSD products will be the most likely winners and losers if there is a recession and IT spending slowdown in the 2nd half of 2008.

Hybrid Storage Drives

Looks at winners, losers and maybes in the 3 types of hybrid disk drives now available in the market, and includes a directory, analyst roound-up and a rare apology from the editor for not publishing it sooner.

Why are Most Analysts Wrong About Solid State Disks?

Most analysts and editors of other computer publications don't really understand the solid state disk market. They show their ignorance and naivete by prefacing every discussion of SSDs with a superficial analysis which compares the cost per byte of storage between flash and hard disk drives. That's the wrong answer to the wrong question. And it's far removed from why the SSD market is racing to become a multi billion dollar market seemingly in blithe ignorance of the cost per byte proposition.

This highly acclaimed article tells you what's important to users and the main applications in which SSDs are already being used and new applications where they will be used in the next 3 years.

Squeak! - the Solid State Disks Buyers Guide

Annual guide updated in October 2007. Tables of products are updated and revised daily between each annual revision of the narrative in the article. What's changed in the market since last year. Who makes what? - 5 main tables of SSDs grouped by form factor, interface and memory technology. Includes indicative pricing.

See also:- 2006 SSD Guide, 2005 SSD Guide, 2004 SSD Guide / 2003 SSD Guide

Squeak! - Who's Eating Whom in the Storage Market?

"Nasty little flashy diskses are quietly scrunching away there taking juicy design slots. My Precious."

Squeak! - 3.5" Terabyte Solid State Disks with Gigabyte / Sec Performance

You can't buy 3.5" terabyte SSDs with 1,024 megabytes per second sustained throughput yet. But they'll be available a lot sooner than you might think. This article discusses the genesis and future technology route of Terabyte ultra fast SSDs

Squeak! - How Solid is Hard Disk's Future?

What impact will the fast growing solid state disk market have on the overall hard disk market? - is a question I've been asked a lot recently. Most of the articles published here on are written from the SSD perspective. Is SSDs' gain really HDs' loss? - In some segments yes. But it's not a zero sum game.

article:- Understanding Flash SSD Performance (pdf)

This article compares in detail read / write performance and IOPs of commercial flash SSDs compared to hard disks. Explaining why the write cycle can become a bottleneck in FSSDs - the article outlines EasyCo's patent pending approach in managing arrays of flash which results in over 100x faster random write IOPs.

Article related vendor:- EasyCo

article:- Noise Damping Techniques for PATA SSDs in Military-Embedded Systems (pdf)

This article looks at electronic signal integrity issues in integrating high speed PATA SSDs. It helps electronic designers understand how factors such as ground bounce, loading, power supply noise and signal trace mismatches can lead to false data or even device damage. Examples given in the tutorial style commentary include scope shots and logic analyzer traces.

Article related vendor:- SiliconSystems

article:- Solid State Disk Buyer Market Survey Results

STORAGEsearch has been charting the rise of the Solid State Disk Market for a number of years. In Q4 2004 we ran the industry's first major market survey designed to learn more about buyers needs and preferences. This article provides a summary of highlights from the survey results. The survey has identified technical gaps which require new product solutions and service gaps which require changes in the marketing plans of SSD vendors who need to change the way they do business. SSD vendors must take note of the signals flagged in this survey if they wish to transform this market segment from a niche technical market into a mainstream multi billion dollar pillar of the storage market.

article:- Solid State Disks - a $10 Billion Market in 2007?

"The SSD accelerator market should be viewed as a replacement for part of the server CPU market. Not as a percentage of storage spend."

...Later:- I first published the above article in 2003. The propositions in the article appear entirely correct 3 years later (in Q4 2006). Many leading SSD oems have adopted the change paradigms I first voiced in that article - and I have discussed these issues with every leading SSD company. My timing may have been optimistic - by about one year.

article:- Increasing Flash Solid State Disk Reliability

Solid state disks, based on flash technology, have greatly improved in performance in recent years and now compete head to head with RAM based accelerator systems. Flash also has significant advatanges in servers compared to RAM SSDs due to low power consumption. But if you think that all solid state disks which use flash are equally reliable and enduring then think again. That's a bit like saying that a Mercedes 300SL sports coupe is as tough as a Tiger tank because both were made in Germany and both are built out of metal. But as Oddball (Donald Sutherland) says in the movie Kelly's Heroes "I ain't messing with no Tigers." This article by SiliconSystems, shows how their patented architecture cleverly manages the wear out mechanisms inherent in all flash media to deliver a disk lifetime that is about 4 times greater than of other enterprise flash products and upto 100 times greater than intrinsic flash memory.

article:- War of the Disks: Hard Disk Drives vs. Flash Solid State Disks - by BiTMICRO

Editor's intro:- BiTMICRO is a well recognised brand of SSDs (source SSD Survey) and they have published a lot of articles to help customers understand the benefits of their products. When I first saw the submission for this article I was pleased to see that it quoted extracts from and linked to several other articles that I myself had written or edited - so that gave me a warm glow. After years of analyzing this market SSD vendors and analysts are starting to see some clear patterns emerging. Although opinions still differ on some subjects, and vendors are prone to pitch their own solutions as best, this article is a useful synthesis of current industry thinking by one of the leading flash SSD module manufacturers.

Article related vendor:- BiTMICRO Networks

article:- Solid State Disks: Pushing the Envelope in Blade Server Design

Editor's intro:- With ten times lower power consumption than hard drives and around 100x faster IOPS performance, the author makes a case for using flash solid state disks in SBCs / Blades.

Article related vendor:- BiTMICRO Networks

case study:- SSD Speeds Up Eve Online Science Fiction Game 40x

With 17,000 concurrent users playing the online SF game Eve players were becoming frustrated as frequently accessed features were taking up to 20 seconds to load. The game uses SQL technology and runs on 150 IBM servers running Windows. The customer had no previous experience with SSDs, but found the installation simple and quick. Users are ecstatic about the results. The system which TMS supplied for this application, provided a 40x speedup, and has a list price (Q405) of $142,000.

Article related vendor:- Texas Memory Systems

article:- Out of the Alpha Frying Pan into the Sun Fire?

It ain't necessarily so.... Solid State Disks Can Prolong the Life and Accelerate the Performance of the Last HP Alpha Processors. This article also includes a priced case study in which a $3,000 (Q405 oem pricing) solid state disk significantly speeded up the response time in a VMS Cluster utilized by almost 25,000 users.

case study:- SSD Halves Response Time on 30 million Customer Telco Database (Word)

" The customer, the GuangDong Branch of China Mobile is the biggest provincial branch in the Chinese Telecom industry, with over 30 million users. Their MIS system relies on real-time, accurate data for efficient employee, finance and material resource management. Increased demands meant that the performance needed to be accelerated. They made their selection after testing and turning down fast RAID devices. The Nitro SSD seamlessly installed into GuangDong Branch of China Mobile's SUN environment, including SUN Fire6800 Servers, SUN StorEdge6120 RAID storage, and Oracle RDBMS application."

Article related vendor:- Curtis

article:- Charting the Rise of the Solid State Disk Market

According to Clayton M. Christensen ( "The Innovator's Dilemma - published 1997") in the early phase of disruptive markets there is little or no reliable market data. That's because the markets are too small to attract the investment of traditional market research companies which are funded by the "usual suspects" - IBM, HP, Dell etc. STORAGEsearch was the first publication to note the emergence of SSDs as a breakthrough technology into the commercial server market. This article was originally published on our main SSD page in July 2003 and includes a commentary of critical marketing events since that time right up to the present day.

article:- Flash Solid State Disks - Inferior Technology or Closet Superstar?

"A general perception in the computing industry is that only DRAM is robust enough for enterprise use. That sentiment doesn't give enough credit to flash memory."

Article related vendor:- BiTMICRO Networks

article:- Eurex US Derivatives - a Solid State Disk Case Study (pdf)

"Deutsche Börse Systems sought to augment server operations by adding solid state disk to the time critical processing environment in Chicago."

Article related vendor:- Dynamic Solutions International

article:- Using Solid State Disks to Boost Legacy RAID and Database Performance

Adding a solid state disk to inter-operate with an existing RAID storage system can be like sprinkling fairy dust which makes everything go faster. That's often cheaper and more effective than upgrading servers and licenses or replacing existing storage.

Article related vendor:- Texas Memory Systems

article:- Rugged & Reliable Data Storage: Solid-State Flash Disks overview

"Based on flash technology, solid-state flash disks are becoming common data storage within military and airborne systems, telecommunication infrastructure and factory automation systems as they offer significantly higher reliability and a maintenance free solution than traditional mechanical disks."

Article related vendor:- M-Systems

article:- Why Upgrade Your Servers? - SSDs Provide Superior ROI for a Bank - Case Study (pdf)

"Bar Harbor Banking and Trust initially suspected that they needed more processing power. However, analysis revealed that they were suffering from I/O bottlenecks."

Article related vendor:- Dynamic Solutions International

article:- Faster Oracle Database Access with the RamSan-210

"One of the first things that most IT shops do when performance wanes, is to add processors to servers or add servers to server farms.... In many cases, these likely sources for database performance problems are just masking the true cause of poor database performance: the gap between processor performance and storage performance."

Article related vendor:- Texas Memory Systems

article:- Tuning SANs with Solid State Disks

"Regardless of the interconnect employed, servers cannot approach the almost limitless capabilities of today's SSD devices."

Article related vendor:- Imperial Technology

article:- Accelerating Key Application Performance (pdf)

" moved its most heavily accessed "hot" files from HDD RAID storage to a pair of 16-GB SSD units. The results included a 30% reduction in query time, a 50% improvement in database indexing time and the ability of existing servers to handle 25% more simultaneous users."

Article related vendor:- Platypus Technology

article:- Solid State File-Caching for Performance and Scalability

"After the message queues were moved to a solid-state file cache, the Sun server was able to process four times as many messages per second. The ISP was able to scale the application by increasing the throughput of each server, rather than buying four times as many servers and managing a more complex hardware environment."

Article related vendor:- Solid Data Systems

article:- Flash Memory vs. Hard Disk Drives - Which Will Win? - by Semico Research

There's a confusing picture in many consumer products like phones, cameras and music players in which one day it seems that the storage function is done by flash and next day another company announces they're doing the same thing with miniature hard disks. Is there any sense to this seemingly random choice? This article uses pricing trends, technology trends and unique market analysis insights to show that users and oems may be able to reliably predict which storage devices will be most cost effective depending where you are on the future history curve.

Article by market research company:- Semico Research
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articles about Solid State Disks on other sites
Flash SSD Data Reliability and Lifetime (pdf)

Starting from a description of floating gates and going all the way up to the architecture of a flash SSD this paper written by Alan R. Olson & Denis J. Langlois at Imation includes good descriptions of data failure modes, including:- erase failure, (erase) stress induced long term leakage, disturb faults, and the potential for inadequate error correction code coverage in MLC.

SSDs in Enterprise Storage (pdf)

This paper by Hubbert Smith Director, Enterprise Storage Marketing Samsung Electronics includes interesting graphs which compare the IOPS per dollar and IOPS per watt of 2.5" and 3.5" hard drives compared with flash SSDs.

Design Tradeoffs for (SLC flash) SSD Performance (pdf)

by Nitin Agrawal, Vijayan Prabhakaran, Ted Wobber, John D. Davis, Mark Manasse and Rina Panigrahy looks in detail at the internal architecture of a typical commercially available SLC flash SSD and the various points where different types of software algorithms can impact performance.

New Equations for Measuring the Value of High Performance Storage (pdf)

By Tomas Havrda and Chas Chesler, Solid Access Technologies, this paper compares the rack height, electrical power and price to achieve identical IOPS using RAM SSDs and hard disks.

Does Serial Attached SCSI make sense for Solid State Storage? (pdf)

Esther Spanjer, Director of Technical Marketing at Adtron weighs up the different reliability and performance benefits of SAS for HDDs and SSDs.

Is All CompactFlash Really Created Equal? (pdf)

Written by Mark Downey, Director of Strategic Development White Electronic Designs this article analyzes the critical differences between consumer and high reliability grade flash SSDs when used in medical instrumentation.

presentation:- Solid State Drives Moving into Design (pdf)

Written by Y.R. Kim Director, Technical Marketing Samsung Electronics for the Flash Memory Summit in August 2007 - this 30 page document summarises Samsung's thinking re the case for flash SSDs in notebooks and describes the internal architecture of their SSD products. Also includes a detailed discussion of flash endurance and overall SSD performance relative to notebook hard disks.

case study:- iGLASS Improves Response Times with SAS SSD (pdf)

"Many customers are on the fence when budgeting and assessing SSD implementation. However, they evaluate the wrong metric, looking at cost per GB storage capacity when the relevant metric should be cost per IOPS."

iGLASS Networks monitors over 7 million servers / devices in real-time for its own customers. By using Solid Access Technologies' SAS connected SSD iGLASS was able to reduce the number of of data gathering servers from 7 down to 4 and improve reliability while speeding up the generation of reports to its customers.

Article related vendors:- Solid Access Technologies , LSI Logic

article:- SSDs - by Rich Tehrani

This article discusses the benefits of having a quieter notebook PC in your hotel room when you try to go to sleep. Incidentally - the same arguments apply to SSDs in submarines.

article:- Solid State Technology – Where Does it Fit for Customer Applications? (pdf)

"Applications don't want IOPS • They want time (less is better)"

Article related vendor:- Xiotech

article:- Why disks are obsolete

"When you figure disk capacity in the last 20 years has gone from 30 megabytes on a hard drive to 300-500 gigabytes (a factor of 17,067 increase) while disk transfer rates have only gone up by a factor of 20 or so it isn't hard to see why people have difficulty specifying their disk systems in a meaningful way."

article:- Windows PC Accelerators - How Windows Vista Supports Solid State Disks

"Microsoft research has shown that demand paging-a method for implementing virtual memory that involves swapping pages of data between disk storage and main memory as they're needed-is a key contributor to poor performance. Demand paging generates many requests to the disk and creates a usage pattern that resembles random disk I/O, with long latencies caused by seeks on the disk." The Windows PC Accelerators in Vista analyze usage patterns and automatically manage solid state disk caching.

Article related vendor:- Microsoft

article:- Solid State Disks - intro, applications & FAQs

"Video Processing – SSDs are used for video streaming applications that require real time editing and processing."

Article related vendor:- Curtis

article:- Why Sun Should Acquire a Solid State Disk Company

"Sun's chip designers aren't in the first league when it comes to processor design - but adding SSD support to Sun's Solaris operating system could enable Sun's SPARC and Opteron servers to run faster than the Linux and Windows competition."

article:- Accelerated Life Testing Reliability Verification for Adtron Fllash Disks (pdf)

Over 6 years ago Adtron took a bunch of their flash SSDs and subjected them to accelerated ageing at high temperature. The article discusses the theoretical failure mechanisms in this type of storage. "Adtron predicted 28 years, of life under normal operating conditions and this accelerated life test validates these predictions."

article:- Are solid-state drives really better than hard disks?

The first version of the SSD MacBook Air disappointed many with its dull performance. This article says that part of the problem lies in the fact that operating systems have been optimized to deal with the quirky requirements of hard drives, and this means they fail to operate optimally with flash SSDs - even if the SSDs are "faster".

article:- Storage Hierarchy Management for Scientific Computing - by Ethan Leo Miller (pdf)

Editor's note:- this dissertation paper (written in 1995 by Ethan Leo Miller as part of a Phd program) is the earliest published example I have found which correctly places SSDs within a hierarchical storage model context.

article:- SSD Speeds Compliance with U.S.A. Patriot Act - Case Study

Campus USA Credit Union, with 70,000 members, had a VMS mainframe which could take upto 30 minutes to answer detailed customer queries. To comply with the US Patriot Act and speed up real-time customer identification they turned to a solid state disk accelerator from Dynamic Solutions International. As a result, mundane queries that previously used to take 3 minutes to run on the old system, now take about 8 seconds, while longer queries that used to take more than 30 minutes, now can be processed in five or six minutes.

Article related vendor:- Dynamic Solutions International

article:- Hybrid Hard Disks and Beyond -

This is a report from an IDEMA symposium (December 2005) in which vendors discussed the attributes and feasibility of hybrid disk drives which combine hard disks with onboard flash.

article:- Raytheon Speeds Up the Tolls on Canada's Highway 407 - Case Study

"The central portion of the toll-collection system consists of two IBM RS/6000 model J40s with 756 megabytes of memory and 100 gigabytes of disks. Although this powerful system eliminates the delays of a human toll booth attendant and the need of drivers to toss coins in a funnel, it has limits. Each vehicle entering the toll road must be logged into the computer so a charge can levied, and charges vary with the time of day. At peak hours of toll road usage, the disks, limited by rotational and head-positioning delays inherent to the technology, could not keep up with the pace of vehicles entering the tollgates. Without a solution to this performance limitation, either the entrance to the toll road had to be slowed down, creating a traffic jam at the worst possible time, or the driver would get free access to the toll road. Neither option was acceptable."

Article related vendor:- Imperial Technology

article:- University of Hull Eases Pain with Solid State Disks - Case Study (pdf)

"The University of Hull, in the UK, caters for over 17,000 full and part time students. The Authentication Service for students was demanding and intensive on both CPU and Disk I/O. Despite several optimisation projects which had limited success due to the constraints of the speed of the disks, Max and his team wanted a long term solution that would increase speed without compromising reliability."

Article related vendors:- PlumExpress (UK VAR), Curtis

article:- Getting More Bang for the Storage Buck

"Are SSDs a viable alternative for price-conscious buyers who are running performance-hungry OLTP apps? The objective of this article is to examine the benefits of utilizing flash SSD-enabled storage system as cache storage in an enterprise environment. A comparison will be made between conventional storage systems (featuring HDDs) and solid-state disk-based network storage in terms of performance and overall cost per IOPS."

Article related vendor:- BiTMICRO Networks

article:- SSD Success Stories - by Memtech

Editor:- From the depths of Earth's oceans to the sands of Mars - Memtech's flash solid state disks have been deployed in hostile applications where no other type of disk drive can survive. A fascinating glimpse into the wild side of SSDs.

Article related vendor:- Memtech

article:- SSD v HDD - Comparing Server IOPs (pdf)

"Under heavy random load, the performance of even today's fastest (15,000 RPM) hard disks can be brought as low as 100 operations per second. ...An SSD today can supply around 200,000 operations per second or 1,000 times that of a traditional disk."

article:- The Storage Performance Dilemma (pdf)

"Storage can be considered as part of a pyramid-shaped hierarchy. Huge capacity storage (low performance tape storage, cheap arrays of disks) are at the base of the pyramid, medium capacity storage (Fibre Channel arrays) is in the middle, and the low capacity solid state disk is at the top."

Article related vendor:- Texas Memory Systems

article:- Solid-State Disks: Moving from Luxury to Necessity

"Today we can buy a server with one or more 3GHz CPUs, and a number of hard disk drives that still get about a 5ms access time. Do you know what the result of this is? A CPU that idles along at under 20% utilization while I/O beats the disks to death."

Article related vendor:- BiTMICRO Networks

article:- Comparison of Solid State Drives to SATA Drive Arrays for Use with Oracle - by Mike Aulton

"Over all, based on elapsed time, the SSD array performed the queries 276 times faster than the ATA array. Note that this was using the 30 hour limitation on the queries, had I waited for those long-running queries to complete, the difference may have been much greater."

article:- Understanding IOPS (pdf)

"Be wary of hardware vendors that publish burst rates, as these are not sustainable in a realistic high traffic environment. Similarly, many storage systems will publish high IOPS rates "from cache," which cannot reflect real-world application performance."

Article related vendor:- Texas Memory Systems

article:- Samsung's Solid State Disk Drive Unveiled - The Future of Things

More interesting than the actual article (published Dec 2006) is the reader dialog which follows. It includes a range of erudite and ignorant comments - which SSD marketers would do well to consider. The state of knowledge and misknowledge about SSDs requires a great deal of investment in education about the technology and benefits.

article:- FreeBSD and Solid State Devices

"This article covers the use of solid state disk devices in FreeBSD to create embedded systems."

article:- Satisfying the Need for Speed in a SAN (pdf)

"When a server accesses storage, a disk platter must rotate and a magnetic head must move to the correct position to complete the read or write. This takes precious time. An elegant and cost-effective means to bolster storage performance in a SAN is to employ solid state disk technology."

Balancing Server CPU & I/O with FlashDisk RAID

"Most server jobs nowadays are unbalanced with the processors typically spending 90% of their time in I/O processing."

Article related vendor:- Winchester Systems

article:- Boosting Scalability for Citrix MetaFrame (pdf)

"When the TiGiJet SSD device was added to Ushio's production environment scalability immediately skyrocketed from just 17 concurrent users to 70. The servers were no longer locking-up as they had been doing with many less users. In addition, workers began experiencing better and more consistent performance on their desktops. "We added four times as many users to each server and everything ran better," said Strand.

Article related vendor:- TiGi

article:- FRAM Technology Backgrounder - by Ramtron (pdf)

In the 2004 edition of the Solid State Disks Buyers Guide - we identified FRAM as a technology which might impact the SSD market in a 5 year timeframe.

"Ferroelectric Random Access Memory or FRAM has attributes that make it the ideal nonvolatile memory. It is a true nonvolatile RAM. FRAM is a RAM-based device that uses the ferroelectric effect for a storage mechanism. This is a completely different mechanism than the one used by other nonvolatile memories, which use floating gate technology."

Article related vendor:- Ramtron

case study:- High Performance QFS with Solid State Disk Metadata Storage (pdf)

How a solid state disk system helped the San Diego Super Computer Center speed up its SAN backup operation from 21 hours and 40 minutes to just 34 minutes.

Article related vendor:- Texas Memory Systems

(removed) article: - Alternatives to Using NAND Flash - by M-Systems (pdf)

"Bit-Flipping - All flash architectures today suffer from a phenomenon known as "bit-flipping". On some occasions (usually rare, yet more common in NAND than in NOR), a bit is either reversed, or is reported reversed. Although a single reversal may seem insignificant, this "minor" glitch may hang your system completely if it corrupts a critical file. When the problem is just of reporting, repeating the read operation may solve it; however, if the bit was actually reversed, an error detection/correction algorithm must be applied (as offered in the DiskOnChip®). Since this phenomenon is more common in NAND devices, all NAND vendors recommend using an EDC/ECC algorithm. When using NAND for multimedia information, this problem is not critical, but when using it as a local storage device to store the system OS, configuration files and other sensitive information, an EDC/ECC system MUST be implemented."

Article related vendor:- M-Systems

article:- Memtech's drives take a beating - by David Morrill,

"The devices also have been tested by magnetic fields in mines and cold temperatures in areas like Antartica... The only condition a Memtech device might not survive is a nuclear explosion. "It might melt in a nuclear explosion. But if that happened, it wouldn't matter because nobody would be around to get the data anyway.""

Article related vendor:- Memtech

article:- Solid State Disks in an Oracle Environment - by James A Morle, Scale Abilities Ltd

"...The reality of most commercial (as opposed to scientific) databases is that there is a very definite working set of data that is much smaller than the total size of the database. If this set can be identified, and operationally staged on the SSD, then 80% of the gain will be realized with significantly lower cost than putting the whole database onto SSD."

article:- Lower Your TCO With last Solid-State Disks - on

"Solid-state disks have been around a long time and have appeared in many different forms under many different names. The earliest systems were known as mass memory systems (MMS), and were manufactured by a number of prominent companies -- Dataram, Intel, Mostek, Motorola, National Semiconductor, and Texas Memory Systems, to name a few. Most of these companies believed that solid-state storage was the wave of the future and made corresponding plans for tremendous market growth. Each of these companies underestimated the price reduction that disk drives would achieve. The SSD market turned out to be non-existent for all but some I/O intensive military applications. Only Texas Memory Systems has remained in this market providing SSDs to these military applications."

Article related vendor:- Texas Memory Systems

article:- Solid-state memory takes over in niche military and aerospace applications - on Military & Aerospace Electronics

"Designers of solid-state memory systems have made significant strides in recent years, not only in increasing speed and density, but also in reducing costs. At the same time, however, those designing mechanical bulk memory have made equally significant advances in those same areas. As a result, the cost/performance computation continues to be a serious factor as systems integrators determine what kind of mass memory system they choose to implement in new programs, in upgrades, or in retrofits."

article:- Hard-driving Memtech in talks for possible merger - by Eric Lai, East Bay Business Times

"Memtech has sold 30,000 drives since 1993, of which only a few dozen per year get returned due to problems, according to Schuster. One Memtech drive that did not get returned plunged 127,000 feet as part of a NASA weather balloon that crashed onto a Virginia highway, where it was promptly run over by a truck. Despite being "totally bent out of shape" the data was still accessible."

...Later:- 6 months after the above article was published Memtech was acquired by SimpleTech

SSD articles - on Industrial Embedded Systems

There's a bunch of articles here about extending the life of factory controllers by using SSDs instead of quickly obsolescing HDDs (by Adtron), speeding up database transactions (by Solid Data Systems) and embedding security into SSDs (by SiliconSystems).
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a new way to classify enterprise SSDs
Editor:- September 29, 2010 - published a new article called - Legacy versus New Dynasty - a new way of looking at the Enterprise SSD market.
Legacy vs New Dynasty - the new way of looking at Enterprise SSDs It introduces a new conceptual framework which cuts across technology boundaries and will help you understand where all new enterprise SSD products fit in the scheme of things - and which ones you can safely ignore. the article
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the SSD Heresies
Editor:- June 11, 2010 - more than 10 key areas of fundamental disagreement within the SSD industry are listed in a recent article published here on - the SSD Heresies.
click to read the article - the SSD Heresies ... Why can't SSD's true believers agree about a single coherent vision for the future of solid state storage? the article
What's the best / cheapest - PC SSD?
Editor:- May 14, 2010 - I often get emails from readers which ask the above question.

An article on - called What's the best / cheapest PC SSD? - is my attempt to create a simple FAQs page - which answers the question...
click to read this article ...of why I can't answer your question - and follows on to pose some probing questions which you can ask yourself. the article
SSDs - reaching for the Petabyte
Editor:- March 16, 2010 - in 2016 there will be just 3 types of SSD in the datacenter.

One of them doesn't exist yet.

And there will be no hard drives.

The new model of the datacenter is just one of the many ideas explored in this visionary article - Reaching for the petabyte SSD.
SSD Pricing - where does all the money go?
Editor:- January 27, 2010 - SSDs are among the most expensive computer hardware products you will ever buy.

Understanding the factors which determine SSD costs is often a confusing and irritating process...
Clarifying SSD Pricing - where does all the money go? - click to read the article ...not made any easier when market prices for identical capacity SSDs can vary more than 100x to 1! Why is that? the article
2010 - 1st Fizz in the SSD Market Bubble
Editor:- January 12, 2010 - today published a new article - 2010 - 1st Fizz in the SSD Bubble.
2010 - year 1 of the SSD Market Bubble - article on I think SSD analysts will look back on 2010 as - "Year 1 of the SSD Market Bubble."

Greed will play as big a part as technology in shaping the SSD year ahead. Wonder why? the article
the Problem with Write IOPS
Editor:- December 16, 2009 - today published a new article - the Problem with Write IOPS - in flash SSDs.

Flash SSD "random write IOPS" are now similar to "read IOPS" in many of the fastest SSDs. So why are they such a poor predictor of application performance?

And why are users still buying RAM SSDs which cost 9x more than SLC? - even when the IOPS specs look similar.
the problem with flash SSD  write IOPS This new article tells you why the specs got faster - but the applications didn't. And why competing SSDs with apparently identical benchmark results can perform completely differently. the article
Data Integrity Challenges in flash SSD Design
Editor:- October 16, 2009 - recently published a new article called - Data Integrity Challenges in flash SSD Design - written by Kent Smith Senior Director, Product Marketing, SandForce.

Since bursting onto the SSD scene in April 2009, SandForce has achieved remarkably high reader popularity. How did a company whose business is designing SSD controllers achieve this? - especially when the direct market for its products today numbers less than 1,000 oems.

The answer is - that if you want to know what the future of 2.5" enterprise SATA SSDs might look like -you have to look at the leading technology cores that will affect this market. Even if you're not planning to use SandForce based products yourself - you can't afford to ignore them - because they are setting the agenda.

Reliability is the next new thing for SSD designers and users to start worrying about.
read the article about SSD integrity A common theme you will hear from all fast SSD companies is that the faster you make an SSD go - the more effort you have to put into understanding and engineering data integrity to eliminate the risk of "silent errors." the article
Fast Purge flash SSDs - when "Rugged SSDs" won't do
Editor:- September 25, 2009 - today published a new directory of Fast Purge flash SSDs.

The need for fast and secure data erase - in which vital parts of a flash SSD or its data are destroyed in seconds - has always been a requirement in military projects.
Fast Purge flash SSDs directory & articles Although many industrial SSD vendors are offering their products with extended "rugged" operating environment capabilities - it's the availability of fast purge which differentiates "true military" SSDs which can be deployed in defense applications.
Why Consumers Can Expect More Flaky Flash SSDs!
Editor:- August 10, 2009 - a new article published today on the home page of explains why the consumer flash SSD quality problem is not going to get better any time soon.

You know what I mean. Product recalls, firmware upgrades, performance downgrades and bad behavior which users did not anticipate from reading glowing magazine product reviews. And that's if they can get hold of the new products in the first place.

We predicted this unreliability scenario many years ago. And you have to get used to it. The new article explains why it's happening and gives some suggested workarounds for navigating in a world of imperfect flash SSD product marketing. the article
The New Skinny on flash SSDs
Editor:- July 28, 2009 - today published an article - RAM Cache Ratios in flash SSDs - which proposes new terms to describe and differentiate products in the flash SSD market.
read the article RAM Cache Ratios in flash SSDs It is hoped that the new classification jargon will be useful to users who have to evaluate lots of products, and will be useful to vendors as a shorthand when communicating about different segments within their flash SSD product lines. the article
Notebook SSD Market Overview
Editor:- June 15, 2009 - published a new article today called - Overview of the Notebook SSD Market.

There's a simple way to summarize the complex view of the SSD Notebook / Netbook market.
Notebook SSDs Lots of initial hype and optimism that the market would deliver an astonishingly new product experience to users, followed by dismay and disillusion due to a flurry of poorly conceived, badly designed and ineptly executed products. the article
Debunking Tier 0 Storage Babble
Editor:- May 18, 2009 - in a new article published today on I explain why - I Tire of - "Tier Zero Storage"

You don't need to waste any of your precious brain cells by investing "tier 0 storage" with an importance this travesty of storage jargon really doesn't deserve. the article
How Bad is - Choosing the Wrong SSD Supplier?

Editor:- March 24, 2009 - I've published a article called - How Bad is - Choosing the Wrong SSD Supplier?

I've spoken to countless VCs, oems and end-users about how difficult it is to know you've got the best SSD company in your sights as a potential acquisition target, supplier or technology partner. If you know what you're doing - it takes time. And in the past 9 weeks while you've been doing that - another 30 new companies have entered the SSD market to make things more complicated. It's a big decision. How big a deal - if you decide later - it was the wrong choice? Trust me. We live in difficult times. The vampires are coming. If the pointy stick breaks you may not get another chance. the article
Predicting the Storage Market's Next Obsession - After SSDs

Editor:- March 12, 2009 has published a new article - After SSDs... What Next?

It looks beyond the next 3 years of hoopla in the SSD market and predicts what will be the next "big thing" in storage after that. the article, SSD market research & analysts
flash SSD Jargon Explained
Editor:- February 25, 2009 - understanding the list of ingredients inside flash SSDs - is as important as knowing what you can do with them - and a new article published today on tries to hit this fast moving target.

"Just as some foods are healthier than others - so too some SSDs are better suited for particular applications" says editor Zsolt Kerekes.

"Better user education about SSDs is a critical factor for the industry to sustain its growth. Design tradeoffs in products go far deeper than the choice of memory and interface. Being aware that there are other parameters which SSD vendors have implemented well, badly (or not at all) can be the difference between a satisfactory or disillusionary experience." the article
New Directory - Serial SCSI SSDs
Editor:- January 26, 2009 - today published a new article and directory on the subject of SAS SSDs.

This market has been a long time acoming - and for many years there were only 1 or 2 vendors in the market. The new article chronicles the genesis of SAS SSDs and lists known vendors - which will head into double digits this year.
A New Methodology for Realistically Predicting Flash SSD Reliability
Editor:- December 15, 2008 - Gary Drossel, VP Product Planning at SiliconSystems has written a new article - "NAND Evolution and its Effects on SSD Useable Life."

This is probably one of the 3 most significant articles on the subject of flash SSD reliability which have been published in recent years. Starting with a tour of the state of the art in the flash SSD market and technology the paper introduces several new concepts to help systems designers understand why current wear usage models don't give a complete picture.

The paper discusses the theoretical expected lifetimes and amplification factors for several applications and concludes that measurement of wear-out in real applications is the best way to understand what is happening. It suggests that systems designers can use the company's SiliconDrive (which includes real-time on-chip endurance monitoring) as an endurance analysis design tool. By simply plugging in SiliconDrive(s) to a new application for a day, week or month - the percentage of wear-out can be measured - and corrective steps taken (in software design or overprovisioning) to correct reliability problems.

What isn't stated in the article - but is a logical inference - is that even if your product design goal is to buy SSDs from other oems - the SiliconDrives can be used in your design process to capture information in a non invasive manner which is difficult or impossible to collect using other instrumentation. the article (pdf), ...SiliconSystems profile, storage reliability
Santa Announces Green SSD Server Acceleration Initiative
North Pole - December 2, 2008 - Texas Memory Systems and Santa today announced an initiative to replace all monolithic RAID storage at the North Pole with energy efficient and super fast solid state disks by the end of 2009.

This proactive move is expected to reduce the energy required to process the "Naughty or Nice" lists by up to 50%. the case study, ...Texas Memory Systems profile
SSD Market's First Century
Editor:- November 14, 2008 - a year ago I predicted that the total number of active SSD oems would reach 100 by the close of 2008.

With 6 weeks still to go - and the current count at 91 - it looks like that first SSD century will easily be achieved.

What about next year?

The potential market for rackmount SSD arrays will look very attractive compared to other parts of the storage market which may level off or decline. That could attract hundreds of recession hungry manufacturers who are currently making RAID systems or NAS and create a tsunami of confusion for buyers of enterprise SSDs.

But here's a warning...

Just as many of today's 2.5" flash SSDs are me-too products (which simply bolted a hard disk interface chip design to a weakly designed media controller and a bunch of flash memory) so too will many "new" SSD rackmounts simply be rehashed boxes which were originally designed for hard drives. So although performance will be adequate - it will be far below the state of the art.

News stories speculating about companies entering the SSD market in 2009 are daily events - and not worth reporting any more on these pages until said Johnny-come-latelies actually do something more solid about solid state drives than talk to the media.

In the same category are stories from oems saying they will produce "faster" SSDs in 2009.

No oem has yet promised to ship slower devices next year. Now that would be newsworthy!
New SATA SSDs List
Editor:- September 30, 2008 - today published a new directory of - SATA SSDs.

In the past 4 years we've tracked the SATA SSD market from zero manufacturers to more than 30. And new ones are coming into the market every month.
SATA SSDs directory To simplify the process of finding them among nearly 100 SSD companies in our main SSD page - we've published a new guide. the article
New SSD Market Analysts Directory
Editor:- September 3, 2008 - today published a new directory - "SSD market analysts and SSD market research".

It lists analysts and market research companies which sell high quality reports or marketing services related to the SSD market.
SSD soothsayers "As the number of SSD focused analyst companies starts moving into double digits - defragmenting these strategic data resources and more clearly signposting what they have to offer, will become a necessary part of the information services that we deliver to our readers" - said editor, Zsolt Kerekes.
Article Rounds Up State of the Market Opinions re SSDs
Editor:- July 11, 2008 - in an article published today on, editor Mary Brandel, asks and answers the question - when will the SSD market go mainstream?

It includes inputs from various SSD market analysts - including yours truly here at the mouse site. the article
White Paper on SSD vs HDD Metrology
Editor:- June 19, 2008 - Solid Access Technologies has released a new white paper called - "New Equations for Measuring the Value of High Performance Storage."

It compares the rack height, electrical power and price to achieve identical IOPS using RAM SSDs and hard disks. I saw a preview edition of the article and that's what prompted me to write my plea Calling for an End to Unrealistic SSD vs HDD IOPS Comparisons.

I asked for the registration barrier to be removed and Solid Access has now done that.

Despite my rant it's not a bad article. In fact it's quite informative. I guess the reason it skips the metrics for flash SSD arrays is that so much depends on implementation details which are vendor specific. There's no such thing as a generic high speed flash SSD. the article (pdf), ...Solid Access Technologies profile
New SSD is a Zillion Times Faster than a Hard Drive
Editor:- May 7, 2008 - in a new article published today on called - "How Much Hay Has Your Car Been Eating Lately?" - I bemoan the tired old comparisons of server SSD IOPS to HDDs.

SSDs have been around for long enough now to drop those worn out old comparisons from which we never learned anything very useful in the first place. the article
Flash SSD Performance Roadmap
Editor:- April 17, 2008 - published a new article today called - the Flash SSD Performance Roadmap.

A few weeks ago a reader asked a very good question.

"Is there an industry roadmap for future flash SSD performance?"

That prompted other questions like... How fast are flash SSDs going to be in 2009? or 2012? What are the technology factors which relate to throughput and IOPS? And how much faster will they be than today.

There wasn't a simple answer I could give at the time. Clues lay scattered all across this web site and in my many discussions about the market... But I agreed there should be a single place on the web where these answers could be found. Forget Moore's Law. That gives you the wrong answer, and this article explains why. the article
Notebook SSD Unreliability Story is Unreliable

Editor:- March 20, 2008 - a recent CNET article insinuating high customer reject rates for Dell's SSD based notebooks has been dismissed as not true.
1.8" Storage Drives
Editor:- March 10, 2008 - published a new directory of 1.8" Storage Drives.

The battle for supremacy in the 1.8" storage drive form factor, between hard disks and flash SSDs is reminiscent of the 30 year war between Intel and AMD over which processor would be designed into PCs, notebooks and servers. Currently 21 oems actively market 1.8" drives. the article
New SSD Article from BiTMICRO
Editor:- February 19, 2008 - BiTMICRO Networks has recently published a new article called - SSDs: Carving a Niche in the Consumer and Enterprise Markets.

The author Joanne De Peralta observes that "Nobody is pushing us to jump into the SSD bandwagon. The only reason why all these talks have surfaced is because we have been presented with something that can elevate our computing experience to a higher level, something that will enable us to thrive in previously impossible situations and perform really well." the article, ...BiTMICRO profile
Hybrid Hard Drives Market Report
Los Gatos, CA - December 19, 2007 - The Hybrid Hard Drive will not make a big splash in 2008, according to a new 36-page report by Objective Analysis.

PC users who are waiting for this technology to speed their boot times are going to have to wait a little longer.

"Once all the kinks are ironed out, hybrid drives and their counterparts should sweep the market," said Jim Handy, the report's author. "Unfortunately, the hardware is ready but the software support is weak. Hybrid drives will have to wait for better support to justify their small additional cost."

Hybrid Hard Drives: How, Why, And When? - is an in-depth review of the hybrid hard drive market, exploring the technology, implementation costs, and expected benefits, as it explains why those benefits are not within reach today. ...Objective Analysis profile
Performance in Databases
Editor:- August 24, 2007 - Solid Data Systems today published a new white paper called - "Comparison of Drive Technologies for High-Transaction Databases."

Database transactions are by nature random and usually come with small block sizes. The article, written by Wade Tuma, founder and CEO of Solid Data Systems, analyzes and tabulates cost and performance tradeoffs between hard drives, flash-based solid state disks and DRAM-based SSDs.

It discusses considerations in choosing the right technology and provides a viewpoint on performance comparison using industry-standard benchmarks and handy graphical guides for estimating read and write database performance improvements. ...Solid Data Systems profile, the article (pdf)

Editor's comments:-
last week published a major article RAM versus Flash SSDs - which is Best? which included sub articles written by 6 leading SSD industry experts.

Wade Tuma was on my invitation list for that article and was already part way through writing his own (the subject of today's news story). But due to other commitments it missed my deadline. Well it's ready today and you should read all the articles to get a balanced picture. Whatever you thought you knew about this subject even 6 months ago is obsolete. New price shifts and technologies have changed the rules of what's a viable solution.
2007 - Year of SSD Revolutions?
One of the few dates I can remember from studying European history (at the age of 16) was 1848.

1848 was the Year of Revolutions...

I don't think we did any dates before that. And due to lack of time - we didn't quite finish the syllabus and reach the other end of this historical slice - which was 1945. I think we only got as far as 1933 before the exams crept up on us.

The definition of "Europe" in that academic context meant "continental Europe" and axiomatically excluded the UK - as England (where the exams took place) was naturally not considered to be a part of Europe.

As I found in later years there are plenty of things that have happened in the world before and after these magic dates - and most of these events have taken place outside the continent of Europe (whichever definition of the old world you choose). But one benefit of my history education has been that I've enjoyed many long hours reading about history - since leaving school - without the narrative plot having been spoiled by a fore-knowledge of what happened next.

Similarly with my knowledge of English literature. When I am occasionally dragged to Stratford upon Avon to see a new production by the Royal Shakespeare Company - I know that - as long as it's not that one play we did for the exams - I don't know the plot - or even whether it's supposed to be a comedy or tragedy - and I can enjoy it (or not) without any previous prejudice.

But back to the Year of Revolutions.

2007 is shaping up to be the Year of Revolutions in the Solid State Disk market.

Although I've been expecting something like this for many years the new SSD technology announcements in the past year have included many twists and revolutionary changes which will break down the barriers which once separated different segments of this market.

The old obsolete price comparisons between hard disk and flash SSD pricing sound as ridiculous today as dinosaur print media executives who still talk about the internet as "new media".

As I said to one reader this week "Hard disk pricing is irrelevant for many parts of the enterprise SSD market." Even if hard disks were free - users will switch to SSDs if they have the right type of applications - because the alternative cost of managing more servers, swapping out failed disks, electrical power and data center floor space are too high - or technically unfeasible.

The real battle in the enterprise server market in the next few years will be internecine...

"RAM versus Flash SSDs - which is Best?"

I invited the world's leading experts to contribute to an article on this subject which was published August 20, 2007.
. Publishes 2.5" SSD Guide

Editor:- June 13, 2007 - today published a new directory of 2.5" solid state disks.

It provides a summary and quick links to nearly 100 SSD models from 23 oems actively marketing SSDs in the 2.5 inch form factor, including new products launched today.

The 2.5 inch form factor is the hottest part of the solid state disk market - with new oems entering the market every couple of weeks in the first half of 2007. At stake are multibillion dollar market segments for 3 of the 4 primary applications described in detail in our SSD Market Adoption Model. These will add up to a $10 billion / year SSD market within a few years. The 2.5" form factor is the only size which straddles the wide range of SSD application slots. the article
Solid Data Opens Up SSD Acceleration Articles Archive

Editor:- February 16, 2007 - readers interested in viewing articles about SSDs but who (like me) regard signing up to read an online article as an unnecessary intrusion - may be interested to know that Solid Data Systems this week opened up its SSD archive.

Solid Data's many articles span a period of about 10 years - and provide insights and tips into the type of applications and server environments which can benefit from SSD acceleration - also giving an indication of the speedup effects achieved in practise. ...Solid Data Systems profile
Why I was Wrong About SSD Growth.... It will be Very Much Faster

Editor:- December 7, 2006 - although 2006 has been a very good year for revenue growth in the SSD market - next year will be even better.

SSD market adoption has progressed pretty much as predicted in my article last year. And those predictions about applications look just as accurate for the next couple of years too. But as we start to see SSDs appearing more widely in products - there are some factors which may accelerate the take-up beyond what might be predicted from preliminary performance predictions.

For example - in the notebook market - flash vendors have predicted that SSDs will give an application speedup of x2 to x3. Those figures are based on comparing the theoretical performance of low cost flash SSDs compared to hard disk drives, and are backed up by early measurements done by product developers.

What the figures don't tell you is that the comparisons are done for new systems with a freshly loaded squeaky clean OS and application software. Real life is more messy.

If you fast forward a couple of months and end-users start doing software updates - the effect of fragmentation will slow the performance of the HDD based systems down by a factor of x2 to x7 depending on the application and the interval between defrags (which is rarely - if ever performed on most personal notebooks).

In contrast - the speed of the SSD systems stays the same as it was when the system was new - because the random access time is the same for all data - and fragmentation effects are effectively zero.

The impact is that when you compare a 3 month old Vista notebook with or without an SSD - the difference in speed could be as much as x5 or x10.

This only applies to notebooks which have pure SSDs and the benefit won't apply to hybrids.

I predict that once users have eyeballed the comparisons in real-life - the flash based SSD sales will soar. Pressure from users on their corporate IT managers to throw out the old HDD based notebooks will create a tsunami of demand as strong as that which led to companies originally buying PCs back in the early 80s.

Am I right? - Keep bookmarked to this page - and you'll see.

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