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Superior Data Solutions

Superior Data Solutions manufacturers Tier 0 and Tier 1 Solid State storage solutions for the enterprise. Our FC enclosures incorporate today's best of breed FC or SATA high performance, enterprise grade, flash solid state drives while balancing overall performance with cost. SpeedStor, a direct connect FC or SAN enclosure, incorporates the worlds' fastest flash disk technology. SpeedStor offers access rates comparable to DRAM at a fraction of the cost. FlashStor, a cached SATA to FC flash RAID, balances capacity, performance and cost in order to offer a reasonable alternative to today's HDD subsystems.

see also:- Superior Data Solutions - editor mentions on and Superior's SSD page

  • editor's comments:- September 2011 - Superior Data Solutions was a pioneer in the use of flash SSD in enterprise apps - and in the 2006 to 2008 era of SSD market history were listed in's fastest SSDs list. Nowadays SDS markets solutions which integrate SSDs and RAID into VMware environments.
Superior Data Solutions milestones in SSD market history

Superior Data's 1st enterprise SSD was developed in 2006 in partnership with Gnutek.

More recently - in 2008 - Sun Microsystems oemed SDS's SpeedStor - a 1U rackmount flash SSD which includes best of breed COTS fibre-channel SSDs.

An important thing to bear in mind about the SpeedStor is it doesn't have any internal RAID protection. That's why the box looks superficially faster than some other flash SSD rackmounts (which do have internal RAID) - for example from EasyCo.

For serious online server apps you may need to deploy multiple SpeedStors and wrap data protection around the boxes - which could impact overall cost, performance and complexity.

In November 2008 - Linda LaPorta, President of Superior Data Solutions confirmed my guesses above - and said more about how customers use this product.

"The SpeedStor is designed to target high IOP environments with concurrent access to the same files (the more the better). In regards to RAID-Like protection; we purposefully designed SpeedStor to have direct connections to the FC HBA in order to ensure no additional latency. Furthermore, 2 or 3 drives will saturate most controllers. Again, this is to take full advantage of the drive's capability."

"For those whom require HA, we recommend host based mirroring, as the CPU overhead is negligible (remember, we are not placing entire databases on here). For instance, Sun places the metadata of SAMQFS onto the SpeedStor, and mirrors with disksuite. Overhead was not worth noting (.0003%). We do have customers who have designed very large high IOPs SSD systems with multiple drives, each on their own FC port, striped in a RAID 5 configuration with QFS as well as ZFS. "
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more enterprise SSD articles

Are MLC SSDs Safe in Enterprise Apps?
Yes you can! - swiftly sort Enterprise SSDs
the Problem with Write IOPS - in flash SSDs
Data Integrity Challenges in flash SSD Design
RAM SSDs versus Flash SSDs - which is Best?
Can you believe the word "reliability" in a 2.5" SSD ad?
Rackmount SSD Trends - open vs proprietary architectures
SSD ASAPs - Auto-tuning SSD Accelerated Pools of storage
the Problem with Selling Revolutionary SSDs to Risk Averse Users
90% of the enterprise SSD companies which you know have no good reasons to survive

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One of the challenges for the enterprise SSD market when designing new rackmount products is to understand complex customer needs and decision criteria - which go beyond the traditional use cases analyzed before.
Decloaking hidden segments in enterprise flash
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SDS shrinks SSD IOPS in VMware
Editor:- September 15, 2011 - the use of SSDs with VMware has popped up in these news pages in recent years more times than I care to count. But I got a new angle on this a few days ago in a discussion with Linda LaPorta, President of Superior Data Solutions .

Now you may ask - who is SDS? (the spelling is important here) and what do they know about SSDs? (It had been several years since I last heard from them too.) But you've all heard about STEC's ZeusIOPS - right? - Well SDS was selling this particular enterprise flash SSD design in 2006 - before STEC acquired it from Gnutek. An SDS platform was also one of Sun's early SSD offerings too. But SDS have switched focus from raw hardware to applications - and they are the US distributor for a product called VirtualStorm.

Linda LaPorta told me - "...Our software is changing the game in VDI. Right now IOPs is a big barrier to the acceptance of VDI because the cost to implement storage can be very high. (Windows 7 users are figuring 24-28 IOPs per VMgets pricey if you need to provision HDAs for 10,000). We need a fast IO device to store the virtual applications. We like a fast SSD, but it only needs to be 100 to 200GB. It is a read only drive that stores the master image of each application.
image shows software factory - click to see storage software directory "All the VMs go to a well cached raid system. This is where we reduce the IOPs to 2-4 /VM and we keep the capacity requirement to 3GB/per VM (which is actually making it AFFORDABLE to consider all SSD instead of HDDs)..."
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