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Radian Memory

Radian Memory Systems, headquartered in Calabasas, California, is redefining software to enable the next generation of data center Flash storage.

See also:- Radian faqs, Radian mentions on

Who's who in SSD? - Radian Memory

by Zsolt Kerekes, editor -, September 2015

Radian Memory which emerged from stealth mode in August 2015 says it had been working for 4 years to develop its core SSD software technology called Symphonic which manages the flash resources in SSDs to operate better in an enterprise SSD perspective - by replacing traditional FTL with a new approach which assigns functionality and responsibility for dealing with flash management in several different palces - some at the local controller and some in the host software stack.

"Radian's Symphonic technology abstracts lower level Flash attributes while enabling the host system software to perform what the company calls Cooperative Flash Management."

This is a modern approach to improving the reliability, performance and efficiency of flash arrays which we've seen discussed in the past year or so by some big web scale entities - in particular Baidu.

A year earlier - in 2014 - Memblaze - one of the first PCIe SSD companies to talk publicly about this - called this "a 3rd generation approach".

Also in the same year InnoDisk said it was using 2 level controller techniques in enterprise SATA SSDs sold in its rackmount systems which were later remarketed by its susbsidiary - AccelStor.

And my guess was that many of the SSDs and controllers which Seagate was reported to be selling to big cloud companies in China would also have their firmware customized to enable this multi level aray optimized data management..

Returning to Radian...

The company summarizes its own view of this 3rd generation controller approach neatly in their architecture overview as being - "The right amount of abstraction, at the right level in the stack".

Radian's launch product was a 2.5" NVMe PCIe Gen x4 Interface SSD with 2TB eMLC and an unusually high amount (2GB) of "host controlled" NVRAM.

Radian explains that the host "can issue a single delegated move command, transferring data between SSD's NVRAM and Flash without copying data back into system memory."

While not going as far as the in-situ processing proposed (but not yet delivered) at that time by NxGn Data - Radian's approach is part of design approach what I called "adaptive intelligence flow symmetry" in my 2012 article - how fast can your SSD run backwards? - In which article I said "some companies have SSD IP sets in which knowledge about different parts of the SSD can be optimized and fed back to control and enhance SSD functionality over and beyond the standard accepted SSD function block boundaries".

Radian's software technology and its compatible launch SSD deservedly earned them a best of show award at the August 2015 Flash Memory Summit.

Re the possibility of support for other SSD interfaces - Radian says this.

"The technology was designed with the intention of being able to support SAS, but a SAS version has not been developed or tested. There are no plans to support SATA."

Does - what you call the SSD... impact - who the SSD buyer will call?
Branding Strategies in the SSD Market

90% of the enterprise SSD companies which you know have no good reasons to survive
In one of the most highly read articles on in recent years - I looked at drivers, mechanisms and routes towards consolidation in the enterprise SSD systems market along with some other outrageous and dangerous ideas. The conclusion?

"90% of the enterprise SSD companies which you know have no good reasons to survive." the article

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"Despite reaching state of the art status, the metrics for the best SSDs are still substantially behind the native performance of NAND Flash silicon. This is a direct result of SSD architectures which have from the outset been focused on complete backwards compatibility."

FTL SSDs, not NAND Flash,
have reached their architectural limit

(a faqs blog on Radian's web site)

the SSD Bookmarks
after AFAs - what's next?
spinning down to HDD's retirement
some thoughts about SSD customization
latency loving reasons for fading out DRAM
meet Ken - and the enterprise SSD software event horizon
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Radian will sample PCIe based competitor to NVDIMMs October 2016
Editor:- August 2, 2016 - Radian Memory today announced it will be sampling in October a new byte addessable, regular (NVRAM-flash cache ratio), 12TB PCIe SSD which has on-board host controlled tiering between its flash and NVRAM.

Editor's comments:- Radian is positioning the new product as a cost effective alternative competitor to hybrid NVDIMMs and similar emerging products in the SCM DIMM wars market.

what's the role for a Radian Memory SSD?
Editor:- November 10, 2015 - I thought I knew the answer to the question - what's the role for a Radian Memory SSD? - And I was going to write a short article about it. Turns out I would have been wrong.

Here's the story of how I learned some useful things about a significant product in the 2.5" NVME SSD market by simply asking a few questions. the article

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The enterprise SSD story...

why's the plot so complicated?

and was there ever a missed opportunity in the past to simplify it?
the elusive golden age of enterprise SSDs


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