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Texas Memory Systems

Since 1978 - Texas Memory Systems has been at the forefront of architecting, manufacturing, and delivering to market the World's Fastest Storage®.

TMS's RamSan® SSDs accelerate critical data in major financial exchanges, the world's largest telcos, U.S. DOD, eCommerce sites and major search engines.
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see also:- Texas Memory Systems - editor mentions on StorageSearch.com

Texas Memory Systems' - storage tuning blog - Nov 2012
TMS History of Working With the US DoD - by Holly Frost (pdf) - Sep 2010
Designing fast HA SSDs - conversation with Holly Frost, CEO TMS - Dec 2011
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Who's who in SSD? - TMS (final edition)

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor - March, 2013

Texas Memory Systems has been an IBM owned company since October 2012. (The process of subsuming the identity and branding of TMS into IBM was completed in May 2013.)

Prior to that - TMS had been operating in the fast acceleration end of the enterprise SSD market longer than any other company which is still in business.

Unlike many of the pioneering companies it once competed with - TMS successfully rode through and mastered many transitions in the SSD market which occured in the 2004 to 2012 timeframe, including:-
  • transition from RAM SSDs to flash SSDs as the dominant memory technology in enterprise SSD acceleration.
  • emergence of server side SSD acceleration (in particular PCIe SSDs) as an important new type of SSD acceleration.

    (Before that TMS had been a pioneer and leader in the SAN compatible / rackmount SSD product market.)
  • change in the competitive environment of SSDs - from around 25 SSD companies in 2004 to several hundred competing SSD companies in 2012.
Summarizing Texas Memory Systems in a few short phrases today - the company and its products are significant in these market subsets:- Top 10 SSD Companies, Fast Enterprise SSDs, PCIe SSDs, High availability enterprise SSDs, rackmount SSDs, Big SSD controller architecture.


Here, below - is an earlier version of my "who's who in SSD?" article about Texas Memory Systems - from March 12, 2012

Texas Memory Systems is 1 of nearly 200 enterprise SSD companies. TMS is listed in these directories:- rackmount SSDs, PCIe SSDs, FC SAN SSDs, InfiniBand SSDs, RAM SSDs, high availability enterprise SSDs, the fastest SSDs and also in the Top 10 SSD companies.

Here's how TMS describe themselves

"Since 1978 - Texas Memory Systems has been at the forefront of architecting, manufacturing, and delivering to market the World's Fastest Storage. TMS's RamSan SSDs accelerate critical data in major financial exchanges, the world's largest telcos, U.S. DOD, eCommerce sites and major search engines."

That's not a bad summary insofar as it tells you
  • they've been doing SSDs for a long time
  • their SSDs are fast
  • their SSDs are aimed at mission critical apps
But it also omits to say that:-
  • over 90% of their SSD business in recent years has been in flash based enterprise systems rather than RAM.
  • and they're one of the top 5 leaders in the PCIe SSD market too.
I wrote about the confusing signals sent out by their RamSan brand stretch in 2010 - prompted by a reader who told me - "I like the look of the RamSan-20 (PCIe SSD) but I know I can't afford it because it uses RAM."

fastest SSD = most expensive too?

The market perception that TMS's SSD systems are always at the top end of the price range is one the marketing problems which TMS told me recently they're trying to solve.

It used to be true for many years - but it's not always the case now - especially in the rackmount SSD market. (Another SSD company which has the same pricey image problem is STEC.)

What can I tell you about TMS?

I've known TMS longer than any of the other SSD companies which are still in the market - having listed their products in my enterprise buyers guides since the early 1990s. Their SAM 2000 - from those days was a multi-ported remote shared access memory system - which was used to interconnect different computers at memory speeds. Needs like that are now satisifed by InfiniBand.

So for me - describing TMS involves some detours via SSD market history.

start of the modern SSD era

In 2001 TMS launched an SSD system - which still looks more like the kind of products you see on the market today - called the RamSan-210 - a 200K IOPS 2U FC SAN SSD.

I said to Woody Hutsell, who was TMS's Marketing Director at that time - "I've got a gut feel that our readers are right for your kind of products" and I suggested TMS try advertising their SSD systems here on StorageSearch.com. (In those days SSDs ads were a small part of our business - but have grown to be 100% of our business in recent years.)

One of the enjoyable things for me about the SSD market in those days is that there weren't any other SSD focused publications - so I was able to spend a lot more time talking to the few vendors in the market - and learning about their techniologies.

Nowadays - I have to ration the time I spend shooting the breeze with hundreds of SSD makers - because there just aren't enough hours in the day. But I still make time for anyone who's a leader in their own segment of the SSD market (or likely to get there).

the company to beat in enterprise SSD

For many years in the middle of the last decade Texas Memory Systems was regarded as the company which new entrants to the fast SSD market had to beat.

And now - some of those very same "newcomers" have become the established companies to beat - in new SSD segments which they have helped to create.

enterprise customers have always wanted more

One of the feedback messages which kept coming back from TMS's early FC SAN SSD customers was that users wanted more capacity and speed. And there were some customers who got enough benefits from SSD acceleration that they would fill a cabinet with the latest SSD accelerators - even if that cost them millions of dollars.

the first terabyte SSDs

Reacting to that demand - for more - TMS was one of two companies which simultaneously launched the world's first terabyte FC SAN SSDs. The original Tera-RamSan - launched in February 2003 - required 2 cabinets and 5kW. But it was 1/2 the price of the competing system. There's a lot of interest today re data integrity in flash SSDs - but those pioneering terabyte RAM systems required a ton of original reliability engineering too. No one had ever built such massive memory chip arrays before.

the SSD conversation with enterprise users has changed pre/post flash

In the pre-flash, enterprise SSD era the first RamSan most customers bought was also their first SSD and in those days a big part of the sales process was having to educate users about how bottlenecks arise in servers and how SSDs can solve them. And there was a conspiracy of silence from many satisfied SSD users who didn't want their own direct competitors to know how they were benefiting from SSDs

Nowadays in the flash dominated enterprise SSD era the biggest customers are already on their 3rd, 4th or 5th generation SSD deployments - and most users have learned about SSDs from multiple sources.

Today SSD vendors carry a smaller burden of responsibility for educating customers about SSDs. Instead SSD marketers need to spend more time explaining why their products are different to all the others. And why they think those differences matter.

the early days of enterprise flash

In 2004 - when people started talking about the transition in enterprise SSDs from RAM based to flash based systems there were very big differences between the 2 types of SSD companies. The flash companies mostly had military and memory chip related backgrounds and expertise - while the "enterprise" SSD people knew how to do systems with RAM and fibre-channel.

In 2007 the comparisons between RAM and flash SSDs became a hot topic as the long awaited theoretical clashes became a shooting war. Most early flash SSD racks were simply arrays of 3.5" SSDs. But TMS showed that another way to design enterprise flash could be with a proprietary architecture - with its RamSan-500 - a 100K IOPS 4U flash systems launched in September 2007

Within a few years flash was the dominant memory in enterprise SSD. Most of the original RAM SSD companies never made the transition. But TMS showed that it could be successul in flash too.

The next big change in thinking in the enterprise SSD market was the adoption of PCIe SSDs. There were already more than 10 companies in that market when TMS launched its first PCIe SSD in March 2009.

And more recently - in 2011 - TMS entered the newly emerging market for fast fault tolerant SSD arrays .

As you can see from my introduction above TMS is a company which- despite its longevity in the SSD market - has surprised many commentators by its ability to adapt to big changes in the enterprise SSD market and reinvent its products.

What about TMS now? - like and unlike competitors

I think a good way to understand TMS today is by reference to like and unlike competitors in the 2 main markets in which TMS excels:- fast rackmount SSDs and fast PCIe SSDs.

By "like" and "unlike" I mean competitors whose products have similar performance profiles when viewed from a black-box external point of view - but whose internal design architecture is similar in approach or extremely different.

In the rackmount SSD market products from TMS are:-
  • most unlike... the K2 from Kaminario - which is a server based design. Another unlike to TMS - but in different ways to Kaminario - is Nimbus Data Systems - which is also software heavy and uses an array of 2.5" SAS SSDs
  • most like / similar to... systems from Violin Memory - which designs proprietary SSD arrays based on its own design of controller chips.
In the PCIe SSD market products from TMS are:-
  • most unlike... Fusion-io - whose ioMemory SSDs use server host CPU cycles to manage memory.
  • most like / similar to - Virident Systems and STEC insofar as they all minimize flash management from the host CPU and aim to provide balanced performance in a small phsyical footprint. (There are differences too. TMS product has a fat flash cache architecture - whereas Virident's FlashMAX is skinny.)
TMS is unique in being a company which has succeeded in being pre-eminent in the enterprise acceleration SSD market through more product generations than any other company.

is "fastest" enough for success in SSD?

Throughout most of SSD history "speedup" was the main reason people bought enterprise SSDs. It's still the main reason today.

But I believe the enterprise SSD market will fragment into many different types of fast which are suitable for different applications - and new markets for SSDs which are fast-enough, and provide densest storage or are the cheapest to run will become significant in their own right too as the market for solid state storage matures. And to serve user needs better - SSDs may have to get more enmeshed with the apps software too.

Will there always be a market for "fastest SSDs" - with a light server footprint, and vanilla storage profile which represent the ultimate performance you can get with a bunch of chips? We'll have to wait and see.

For more info about TMS take a look at the links above and Texas Memory Systems - editor mentions on StorageSearch.com

I currently talk to more than 300 makers of SSDs and another 100 or so companies which are closely enmeshed around the SSD ecosphere - which are all profiled here on the mouse site.

I learn about new SSD companies every day, including many in stealth mode. If you're interested in the growing big picture of the SSD market canvass - StorageSearch will help you along the way. Many SSD company CEOs read our site too - and say they value our thought leading SSD content - even when we say something that's not always comfortable to hear. I hope you'll find it it useful too.
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TMS mentions from recent SSD market history

In July 2008 - Texas Memory Systems announced the RamSan-440 - a fast 4U rackmount RAM SSD with 512GB capacity and 4Gbps fibre-channel interfaces. It delivers 600,000 sustained random IOPS and over 4GB/S of sustained random read or write bandwidth, with latency of less than 15 microseconds. The RamSan-440 uses RAID protected flash instead of hard disks to backup and restore data in case of a power outage. Data from the RAM SSD can be instantly accessed on power up and the full SSD is restored 20x faster than with hard disk backed RAM SSDs.

In December 2008 - Texas Memory Systems announced it had supplied Santa an SSD system to help accelerate processing of the "Naughty or Nice" lists in time for Christmas.

In January 2009 - Texas Memory Systems announced that its SSD revenue in 2008 had grown 20% compared to 2007, and that it had also achieved record revenue in Q4 (the time when the Credit Crunch iceberg hit the Titanic world economy hard enough for even the 1st class passengers to take pause).

In February 2009 - Network Appliance announced support and interoperation between its Performance Acceleration Module and the RamSan-500 flash SSD systems from Texas Memory Systems.

In March 2009 - Texas Memory Systems unveiled a PCIe SSD that will ship in Q2 2009. The RamSan-20 has 450GB of RAID protected SLC flash with 80 microseconds latency. R/W bandwidth is 700MB/s and 500MB/s respectively. Sustained IOPS are:- 120,000 random read, and 50,000 random write. Endurance is rated at 12 years (assuming 25% continuous writes). List price is about $18,000.

Also in March 2009 - Woody Hutsell, President of Texas Memory Systems - shared his SSD Bookmarks with readers of StorageSearch.com

In April 2009 - Texas Memory Systems announced the RamSan-620 - a 2U rackmount SLC Flash SSD with 2TB ($88,000 list price) to 5TB capacity and 2 to 8 FC or InfiniBand ports. Throughput is 3GB/s. R/W latency is 250µS and 80µS respectively. Transactional performance is 250,000 random IOPS. Power consumption is 325W. Multiple RamSan-620s can scale to higher capacities. Upto 100TB can fit in a single 40U rack.

In August 2009 - Texas Memory Systems launched the RamSan-6200 a 40U rackmount SSD with 100TB of SLC flash storage, 5 million IOPS performance and upto 60GB/s throughput - which uses approximately 6kW of power. It's a scaled up system that combines 20x RamSan-620s in a single datacenter rack and uses TMS' TeraWatch software to provide unified management and monitoring from a single GUI console.

In September 2009 - Texas Memory Systems expanded its IP base with the acquisition of data management patents and source code from Incipient. This technology acquisition will allow TMS to further differentiate its industry-leading RamSan line of solid state storage solutions. Incipient developed scalable storage virtualisation and management capabilities over a period of 8 years. During that time, the company made significant technological advances and was awarded multiple patents.

In October 2009 - Some of the technical folks at Texas Memory Systems have contributed to a new book called - Oracle Performance Tuning with SSDs - written by Oracle expert, Mike Ault. This is part of an august collection of Oracle tuning books published by Rampant Press.

Also in October 2009 - Texas Memory Systems announced that its RamSan-620 - (2U 5TB SLC flash SSD, price $220,000 approx) - has achieved a record setting SPC-1 result. It produced 254,994.21 SPC-1 IOPS with average response time of 0.72mS and at a cost of only $1.13 per SPC-1 IOPS - which is better than any competing RAID or Flash solution.

In November 2009 - NextIO entered the rackmount SSD market via an oem agreement which leverages multiple 225GB / 450GB PCIe SLC SSDs made by Texas Memory Systems.

Available immediately, the 14 slot NextIO application acceleration appliance can be configured and reconfigured with any mix of servers and TMS SSD cards depending on system demands. Pricing for a basic configuration starts at $19,500, which includes implementation, training and onsite application or database tuning assistance.

In January 2010 - Texas Memory Systems announced it is delivering open source drivers on Linux and Solaris for its RamSan-20 PCIe SSD accelerator.

In April 2010 - Texas Memory Systems announced the availability of the RamSan-630 an FC / InfiniBand compatible 3U SLC SSD with 4 to 10TB capacity, 500,000 IOPS, 8GB/s bandwidth, and R/W latency of 250 / 80 microseconds in a 450W power budget.

In September 2010 - Holly Frost founder of Texas Memory Systems has written a paper (pdf) which describes how variants of the company's newer SSDs like the RamSan-630 have been used recently by the US DoD and Intelligence Community. In another article he describes some features of their 1st DoD SSD in 1988. The company launched its 1st commercial enterprise SSDs in 2001 - but has continued evolving its defense based array processing capabilities.

In November 2010 - in a webinar - Texas Memory Systems disclosed that the company already has more than a petabyte of its enterprise SSDs installed and running in customer sites (mostly in banks and telcos). The webinar also discusses the different types of SSDs in the market, types of customers and why enterprise customers use its SSDs to accelerate apps performance.

The associated presentation also compares latency and IOPS for PCIe and external rackmount SSDs.

In January 2011 - Texas Memory Systems announced the availability of 8Gbps fibre-channel interfaces for its RamSan-630 - fast 10TB 3U rackmount SLC SSDs. Each unit can be configured with upto 10 independent 8Gb FC ports for a total data transfer rate of 8 GBytes / sec. Ports can be mixed - with the previously available (and 25% faster) InfiniBand. See the interview which exclusively reveals - key performance enablers inside the RamSan-630.

In May 2011 - Texas Memory Systems unveiled imminent availability of a new fast PCIe SSD - the RamSan-70 - a 900GB (SLC) 1/2 length card with 330K / 160K R/W IOPS and upto 2GB/s throughput.

In June 2011 - Texas Memory Systems announced imminent availability of the RamSan-710 - a 1U rackmount SSD with 5TB usable SLC flash storage with 2 dual ported 8Gbps FC ports upto 2 40Gbps InfiniBand ports. Throughput is quoted as 5 GB/s - although no IOPS figure was mentioned at press time. The system includes various reliability options- including N+1 batteries to support orderly shutdown and an internal active spare flash card configuration option which provides protection levels beyond RAID.

In August 2011 - Texas Memory Systems launched its first MLC flash based SSD. The RamSan-810 is a 10TB FC SAN MLC SSD in a 1U rackmount package - with 320K IOPS performance.

In September 2011 - Texas Memory Systems promoted an independent PCIe SSDs benchmark test (pdf) - which illustrates the performance of its - RamSan-70. The Swiss National Supercomputing Centre - which earlier published similar reports about competing PCIe SLC SSDs - said - "The RamSan-70 provided by far the best IOPS result we have ever measured..."

In February 2012 - NEVEX announced a partnership agreement with Texas Memory Systems - which among other products includes software support for the RamSan-70 ( PCIe SSD).

In August 2012 - IBM announced it will acquire Texas Memory Systems

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IBM migrates high availability SSD systems designed by TMS into IBM FlashSystem product line
Editor:- April 12, 2013 - 3 years ago I wrote a blog about the confusing nature of the "RamSan" brand of SSDs from Texas Memory Systems given that all the recent models in the family were in fact flash memory rather than RAM based - and furthermore some of the models didn't connect via an FC SAN but used PCIe instead.

So it wasn't a surprise to see in yesterday's announcement by IBM (who acquired TMS last year) that the RamSan designation has been dropped in favor of the more accurate sounding "FlashSystem" in those models which migrated intact to IBM's enterprise flash product line.

So - for example in the category of high availability rackmount SSDs - the old RamSan-720 (SLC) and RamSan-820 (MLC) have become the new IBM FlashSystem 720 and 820.

Unless I missed them - then it doesn't look to me as though TMS's PCIe SSD models have been so fortunate. I couldn't see them in IBM's range of PCIe SSDs (High IOPS Modular Adapters) which are based on products and technologies from Fusion-io and LSI. That no-show may be due to the fact that - unlike TMS's rackmount systems which were software agnostic - a lot more work is required to efficiently integrate server based SSDs into a wide range of server products. But I anticipate that TMS's big architecture SSD controller technology will resurface in future IBM SSD cards.

Much more significant was the news that IBM is investing $1 billion in research and development to design, create and integrate new flash solutions into its portfolio of servers, storage systems and middleware. IBM also announced plans to open 12 centers of flash competency around the globe. That demonstrates confidence in the future scale of the SSD market and an appropriate sense of perspective relative to SSD's place in computer history.
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IBM paper on SSD's data challenges
Editor:- December 4, 2012 - I've been browsing the online papers from last week's Server Design Summit.

If you can only read one - it should be this:- How do we handle all the data? (pdf) - by Andy Walls, Distinguished Engineer, Storage Hardware Chief Architect, IBM.

I won't give away the plot - because I think you'll enjoy it more if you read it yourself. But here are a few bullet points which resonated with me.

Among other things - Andy Walls says...
  • "90% of all the data in the world today was created in the last 2 years."
  • "Flash is starting to free up the IO bottleneck - but the bottleneck is more complicated..."
...read the article (pdf) - which also mentions the RamSan product line from TMS BTW

See also:- future SSD capacity ratios , SSD bottlenecks, where are we now with SSD software?
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the standard for enterprise PCIe SSDs
by which all others are judged
ioDrives from Fusion-io
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How will IBM's acquisition of TMS impact FIO?
See the analysis in SSD news. (September 25, 2012)
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Texas Memory Systems will be acquired by IBM
Editor:- August 16, 2012 - IBM today announced it will acquire Texas Memory Systems.

The deal is expected to close later this year. Following acquisition close, IBM plans to invest in and support the TMS product portfolio, and will look to integrate over time TMS technologies into a variety of solutions including storage, servers, software, and PureSystems offerings.

Editor's comments:- TMS has been in the enterprise SSD market longer than any other other company. But unlike other enterprise SSD pioneers which failed to adapt to the many memory and business transitions in the market in the past 10 years Texas Memory Systems adapted and became a serially successful performance leader in multiple memory technology generations:- the RAM, SLC and then MLC phasesof the market. TMS even managed to establish strong products in the fiercely competitive PCIe SSD market.

TMS's core technology strength is a big controller architecture, which provides ultra low latency and very fast performance with minimum system impact when used in the context of legacy enterprise storage applications. In the past year TMS also showed that this technology can be redeployed down market to build low cost fast-enough SSDs and up market to deliver the fastest fault tolerant SSD systems too.

Texas Memory Systems- which employs about 100 people, is privately owned and doesn't have VC involvement. It was clear to me last December that TMS had changed its long held ideas about remaining independent - and at about that time they started the process of seeking an acquirer.

With this acquisition IBM will get 2 benefits
  • a range of SSD racks and PCIe SSDs which are OS agnostic and have been market proven in a wide range of applications within most of the largest enterprises which use SSD acceleration.
TMS's SSD products have always leaned heavily on silicon to achieve performance - and have been light in their use of SSD software.

My guess is that by leveraging the high reputation which TMS has already established in the SSD market - along with the systems support, software and marketing of IBM - this acquisition could rapidly scale into a billion dollar revenue enterprise SSD business unit - thereby making it one of the largest SSD companies in the business.
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the future of PCIe SSDs - series 6, episode 192 - will the Semicos take it all?
Editor:- July 24, 2012 - You can see how an anticipated 45 second discussion with Texas Memory Systems about bootable PCIe SSDs turned into a 45 minutes discussion about the future of the PCIe SSD market. ...read the article
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"world's fastest storage" maker introduces "fast-enough" PCIe SSD in ASAP bundle
Editor:- March 27, 2012 - Texas Memory Systems has introduced a new fast-enough MLC PCIe SSD into its product line as part of an SSD ASAP / caching bundle which includes software from NEVEX

The new RamSan-80 eMLC PCIe SSD provides 450GB usable capacity, 700 MB/s throughput and 80K / 170K R/W IOPS.

Editor's comments:- this new product from TMS is aimed at a different market to those which the company traditionally focused on with its "world's fastest storage".

The company's new eMLC PCIe SSD - which is only available as part of this new SSD ASAP bundle - enables TMS to reach down to price points which are significantly lower than anything it has ever done before - with a product that's easy for users to deploy to get apps speedups in Windows SAN and NAS environments.
SSD silos article The market classification - fast-enough enterprise SSD - doesn't sound sound sexy. And until recently it didn't exist. But now that SSD prices have dropped into general affordability it's what most people will actually buy. Read more in an introduction to enterprise SSD market silos.
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"In April 2005 - Texas Memory Systems offered the world's first money-back performance guarantee for SSDs. This was sparked by StorageSearch.com's 2004 SSD Survey revealing that users would be more likely to try SSD systems if vendors offered such guarantees."
...from:- Charting the Rise of the SSD Market
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TMS packs 24TB fastest HA eMLC in 1U
Editor:- February 28, 2012 - I was just getting used to getting the measure of how much enterprise flash capacity can fit into 1U rackspace - when Texas Memory Systems changed things yet again by doing even more.

TMS today announced a 24TB high availability system called the RamSan-820. This has similar internal architecture to their 720 which I discussed with their CEO Holly Frost last December - but it uses eMLC instead of SLC - hence the doubling of the storage density.

TMS today revealed more about the internal features of their proprietary rackmount SSDs. Their RamSan-OS has been in continuous development for over 5 years, initially shipping with the RamSan-500 flash SSD in 2007. The RamSan-OS is designed from the ground up to run on a cluster of CPU nodes and FPGAs distributed throughout the RamSan systems.

Speed is still a core differentiator from TMS.

"Many of our competitors claim they are software companies and that their products are Application Accelerators. While this may be fundamentally true, all TMS products are 2x faster than any other Application Accelerators shipping today," according to TMS CEO Holly Frost. "It comes down to very simple technical and business questions: Why put key functions into slow software when you can speed up these functions in fast hardware?"
storage test equipment and analyzers news and directory Power consumption is an important part of the reliability budget too - and to drive this point home - TMS say they are happy to supply customers with a wattmeter so they can compare these new SSDs with competing products.
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will new RamSan rattle Violin?
Editor:- December 6, 2011 - Texas Memory Systems today announced imminent availability of the RamSan-720 - a 4 port (FC/IB) 1U rackmount SSD which provides 10TB of usable 2D (FPGA implemented) RAID protected and hot swappable - SLC capacity with 100/25 microseconds R/W latency (with all protections in place) delivering 400K IOPS (4KB), 5GB/s throughput - with no single point of failure (at $20K/TB approx list).

The new SSD uses a regular RAM cache flash architecture which in the event of sudden power loss has an ultra reliable battery array which holds up the SSD power for 30 seconds while automatically backing up all data in flight and translation tables to nonvolatile flash storage. On power up - the SSD is ready for full speed operation in less than a minute.

Aimed at HA tier 1 storage markets - the RamSan-720 consumes only 300-400 W - which makes it practical for high end users to install nearly 1/2 petabyte of SSD storage in a single cabinet - without having to worry about the secondary reliability and data integrity risks which can arise from high temperature build-ups in such enclosures.

Editor's comments:- I've been talking to TMS every month for over 10 years - and I've been writing about their memory appliances since the early 1990s - so you might think that I would have run out of things to say by now. When I saw the preliminary specs for the new RS-720 - the features which jumped out at me were:-
  • the low R/W latency for this class of SPOF product. Which is 2x as good as the next fastest product I know - the 6000 series fron Violin - and several times faster than some other tier 1 SSD vendors such as Kaminario and Huawei Symantec
  • the high storage density - over 3x better than Violin delivers in SLC - and close to the usable RAIDed capacity that a Fusion-io 1U server can deliver in MLC when using Octal.
A few days ago I spoke to Holly Frost, CEO and Dan Scheel, President of Texas Memory Systems about their new SSD, what they think about what's going on in the SSD market, and the philosophy that steers the design of their SSDs. In a hour long discussion I learned enough new stuff to write several new articles. So instead of condensing it down here into a couple of bullet points - I'm going to give you the benefit of what I learned in a new article tomorrow called - "StorageSearch talks SSD with Holly Frost."

Going back to my headline - will new RamSan rattle Violin?
FC SAN SSDs I'm sure that Violin would say that this simply validates what they are doing (and shipping) already - and that the enterprise SSD market is big enough for all vendors in this category to keep growing at a healthy clip. It make you wonder how much a company like TMS might be worth too...
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"Texas Memory Systems has shown that it's not going to be bit flipped aside by changing market fashions in memory technologies or form factors - although it was indeed almost the last of the enterprise SSD makers to introduce MLC (naughty flash) into its product lines this year..."
...Editor:- from the 2011 Q3 edition of the Top SSD Companies.
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the fastest PCIe SLC SSD
Editor:- September 27, 2011 - Texas Memory Systems is promoting an independent PCIe SSDs benchmark test (pdf) - which illustrates the performance of its - RamSan-70.

The Swiss National Supercomputing Centre - which earlier published similar reports about competing PCIe SLC SSDs - said - "The RamSan-70 provided by far the best IOPS result we have ever measured..."

"It wouldn't surprise anyone if they heard me say that when speed and performance are critical to the success of a company's business, there is no better solution on the market today than the RamSan-70," said Holly Frost, CEO of Texas Memory Systems. "But to have those claims backed up by independent testing by a respected organization like the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre, we are able to validate the hard work we've undertaken to achieve our results.
pcie  SSDs - click to read article "We went head-to-head against Fusion-io and Virident and we came out on top. Add in our exceptional service, and there's no reason to turn to anyone other than Texas Memory Systems."
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the 3 fastest PCIe SSDs?
Are you tied up in knots trying to shortlist flash SSD accelerators ranked according to published comparative benchmarks?

You know the sort of thing I mean - where a magazine compares 10 SSDs or a blogger compares 2 SSDs against each other. It would be nice to have a shortlist so that you don't have to waste too much of your own valuable time testing unsuitable candidates wouldn't it?

StorageSearch's long running fastest SSDs directory typically indicates 1 main product in each form factor category but those examples may not be compatible with your own ecosystem.

If so a new article - the 3 fastest PCIe SSDs list (or is it really lists?) may help you cut that Gordian knot. Hmm... you may be thinking that StorageSearch's editor never gives easy answers to SSD questions if more complicated ones are available.
the 3 fastest  PCIe SSDs  - click to read article But in this case you'd be wrong. (I didn't say you'd like the answers, though.) ...read the article
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