19" rack SSDs
1976 - 2011 SSD
- SSD look back
- SSD look ahead
|About the publisher
After SSDs... what next?
Analysts - SSD market
Animal brands in the
and blogs - re SSD
ASAPs / Auto
block management in flash SSDs
Benchmarks - can you trust
/ cheapest SSD?
Big market picture of
from SSD leaders
Branding Strategies in
the SSD market
Buyers Guide to SSDs
Cables for storage interfaces
CD, DVD and optical storage
Chips - storage
interface / processors
Chips - SSD on a chip &
- with SSD twists
chips for SSDs
of SSDs - why so much?
Data integrity in
recovery for flash SSDs?
Disk to disk
Duplicators - optical (DVD
Duplicators - HDD / SSD
DuraClass - strength
in SSD brands
MLC SSDs - how safe?
Encryption in notebook
- in flash SSDs
Enter the SSD market
- 3 easy ways
Fast purge /
Flaky consumer SSDs
flash SSD vs RAM SSD
drives - recovery guide
of enterprise storage (2020)
Garbage Collection - SSD
of data storage
of disk to disk backup
History of the SPARC
History of SSD
syndrome - invisible capacity
Imprinting the brain of
the brain of the SSD
Industry trade associations (ORGs)
IOPS - inflation in
Jargon - legacy storage
Jargon - RAID
Jargon - flash SSD
Jukeboxes - optical storage
Legacy vs New Dynasty
- speed in SSD brands
Market research (all
Mice and storage
MLC - in SSD jargon
MLC in enterprise SSDs
People in storage
Petabyte SSD roadmap
Popular SSDs - 2007
Power loss -
sudden in SSDs
Power, Speed &
Strength in brands
PR agencies - storage and
RAID systems & SSD
RAM cache ratios in
- SSD brands article
SSDs versus Flash SSDs
Recession - impact
on SSD market?
Record breaking storage
Reliability - SSD
Reliability - storage
SAN - FC
SAN - IP
SAS - flexibility for
the Data Center
SCSI SSDs - legacy parallel
SLC vs eMLC
SSD articles and blogs (popular)
Switches - SAN
Top 20 SSD companies
TuffServ - strength
in SSD brands
SANs with SSDs
Value Propositions for SSDs
VC funds in storage
Videos - about SSDs
Wear leveling (SSD jargon)
What's an SSD?
list of SSD companies|
There are 300+ manufacturers of
SSDs profiled on StorageSearch.com. I've listed some of these below.
Active Media Products,
Aitech Defense Systems,
ATP Electronics, Attorn,
DTS, Dynamic Solutions Int'l,
Extreme Engineering Solutions,
Fortasa Memory Systems,
Fuji Xerox, Fusion-io,
General Micro Systems,
Huawei Symantec ,
Micron Technology, Microsemi, Micross Components,
Nimbus Data Systems,
Pillar Data Systems,
Real Ram Disk,
Red Rock Technologies,
Renice Technology , RunCore,
Silicon Power ,
Access Technologies, Solidata International
Technologies , Solid
Solutions , Super
Talent Technology, Swissbit,
Taejin Infotech, Targa Systems,
Team Group, Texas Memory Systems,
Trident Space &
Viking Modular Solutions,
State Storage, WhipTail
Electronic Designs, Wintec,
more SSD related companies - see
auto tiering SSDs,
history and acquired,
gone-away and renamed storage companies.
SSD news - this is not
an RSS feed
|SMART sets new competitive level in
STEC-class enterprise SSDs
Editor:- February 22, 2012 - when you've got a memory business
which also designs SSDs that creates hard to reconcile business tensions.
in the memory market comes from caution and long term planning to enable
survival in the inevitable feast and famine memory business cycles.
in the SSD market comes from...
Well it's too early to say
definititively what it comes from - but investing in your own IP and
understanding a small set of focused customer application cases better than
anyone else - is a good starting point (judging by those in the
top 10 SSD companies list)
and being prepared to do things which are different to the way that others are
already doing them may be a good plan too - (as long as you are eventually
Several leading companies in the past, including
OCZ, have found that the
best thing to do if you're the SSD part of a memory business is to forget about
those memories and do your own SSD thing.
The latest company to
follow this route is SMART Storage Systems
which has officially been spun out as a separate entity - it was
The SSD bit is the only bit of the company I've been
interested in - and probably the same goes for most of you too. So you could say
- what's changed? - apart from a few legal formalities.
Last week I
spoke to SMART's president John Scaramuzzo and
learned more about the company's new enterprise SSD controller - which is used
in their new
Ultra (a SAS SSD)
launched today. The new controller has reliability characteristics above and
beyond the industry standard products - from
SandForce - which
SMART also uses. SMART's new SSD design - like those from
STEC - can guarantee an
industry leading level of SSD write longevity - while using low cost consumer
Some tier 1 storage customers have been sufficiently
impressed to qualify the new SSD family in their systems. More about SMART, how
their new SSD was developed and how I think this could affect rankings
within the elite companies in the enterprise SSD grand famiglia next week.
GreenBytes launches its first pure SSD rack
February 21, 2012 - GreenBytes
announced imminent availability of its first pure SSD based storage array.
Solidarity is a
iSCSI 3U rackmount SSD
with real-time dedupe and
compression with upto 13.5TB raw / 60TB effective capacity ($75K) and
120,000 4K IOPS performance.
WhipTail recruits CMO
Editor:- February 21, 2012 -
that Maxwell K. Riggsbee
Jr. has joined WhipTail as VP and chief marketing officer.
comments:- in the multi-faceted technology and user value proposition
blender which is flavoring today's enterprise SSD market - marketing is the
secret ingredient which can lift vendors above the heap with
that potential customers can recognize.
Users have been working
work hard to understand
what enterprise SSDs can do for them - but vendors have to invest more effort
too - to explain why their type of product is better in particular roles.
Who's who in SSD? - comeback for a flash SSD pioneer
February 21, 2012 - BiTMICRO is
the latest company to be featured on our home page - in the series - Who's who
Forget whatever you know about their past - it's their
future which could be much more interesting.
STT secures $36 million A round for OST-MRAM
February 15, 2012 - Spin
Transfer Technologies today
it has secured $36 million in Series A funding - led by its parent company,
Allied Minds and
Invesco Asset Management -
to accelerate development of STT's patented orthogonal spin transfer
magneto resistive random access memory technology (OST-MRAM).
"the company is poised to create the next generation of memory
applications combining the non-volatility of flash with the read and write
performance of DRAM and SRAM into one, seamless product."
also:- VCs & SSDs,
flash and other NVM,
storage glue chips.
SanDisk acquires FlashSoft
Editor:- February 15,
2012 - SanDisk
it has acquired FlashSoft
- one of the leading independent software vendors in the
SSD ASAPs market.
SanDisk intends to sell FlashSoft's products as standalone software, as well as
offer these software products in combination with SanDisk's growing portfolio of
SAS, PCIe and SATA enterprise solutions.
Editor's comments:- I'm not surprised that someone has
acquired FlashSoft - because they were an obvious target sitting so high in the
Top SSD companies list.
means that SanDisk now joins an impressive roster of enterprise SSD makers who
have acquired auto acceleration / virtualization software companies in the
only stumbling block is that acquiring enterprise SSD assets isn't the same as
being able to do anything useful with them afterwards from the business point
of view. Especially when they're software companies.
I still remain
unconvinced that SanDisk has achieved as much as it should have done from its
earlier acquisition of enterprise SSD controller maker
(Although Pliant made SSDs - they had virtually no market share - so their main
value to SDK was as a sounrce of enterprise controller IP.)
don't think SanDisk understands the enterprise SSD market in the same way as
the other companies with which it competes. It's not the same as marketing
OCZ ships 16TB CloudServ auto caching PCIe SSD
February 14, 2012 - OCZ
imminent shipments of new high capacity
PCIe SSDs optimized
for cloud apps.
R4 CloudServ (which uses 16x
SandForce 2581 SSD
processors) has up to 16TB of storage capacity on a single full height
card and is supported by auto-caching functionality (based on the acquisition
VXL) and OCZ's
which together enable host migrations without loss of performance or
interruption of service.
Tegile enters the SSD ASAP market
14, 2012 - Tegile
announced general availability of its
storage arrays - which are rackmount
SSD ASAPs with
internal hard drives and integrated
compression and snapshot.
Virident and NEC publish new Oracle IOPS benchmark
February 14, 2012 - Virident Systems
recently published some
results related to the Oracle application accelerator market.
system was a single
Xeon family based (8x 10-core CPU)
Express5800/A1080a "GX" server - which had 8x 1.4TB
FlashMAX PCIe SSDs
installed - (11TB total) . The integrated solution delivered 1.2 million
and a bandwidth of 9.4 GB/s in real-world Oracle 8k block-size workloads.
VP at ESG Lab - the
company which did the testing for NEC and Virident said - "Our evaluations
of (the products in this system) have revealed that they can eliminate the
performance issues common to real-world workloads and deliver extremely high
levels of sustained and predictable performance for mixed-application workloads.
has addressed the challenges associated with many first-generation PCIe
flash devices with the multi-dimensional performance capabilities of its
FlashMAX SCM. Most notably, the Virident solution delivers extremely high levels
of performance for reads, writes, and a mix of reads and writes."
Editor's comments:- the
PCIe SSD market has
become the incubator and market proving ground for nearly all the major new
advances in high performance SSD architecture and associated memory management.
And from time to time all the leading vendors publish new benchmarks to
demonstrate just what you can achieve with their products. Although I've
about placing too much reliance on any single set of benchmark results - it's
interesting to see who is doing how many IOPS with whom and in what context.
NEVEX CacheWorks supports RamSan flash
February 8, 2012 - NEVEX
that its CacheWorks
for Windows Server has been tested and optimized for performance with the
new generation of flash SSDs from Texas Memory Systems
- in particular the RamSan-70
(a PCIe SSD) and the
RamSan-810 (a 1U
President of TMS said - "By combining our high-bandwidth, low-latency
enterprise data storage systems with NEVEX's application optimisation cache
software, we provide I/O acceleration for virtualised applications that blows
the others out of the water."
Editor's comments:- In
wrote about the sometimes
stretch of "RamSan" - as even back then 70% of the SSDs that TMS
sold were flash rather RAM - and PCIe was a sizable chunk of the product line
This software support from NEVEX fills a key functional gap
(SSD ASAP) in the TMS
route to market. Unlike some other PCIe SSD companies (Fusion-io,
Micron) which have
acquired SSD software companies in the past year - TMS is still
focusing its design
efforts on hardware and controller chips - while also grooming itself to
look as good as possible for a suitable acquirer.
Kaminario's systems today are mostly flash
February 7, 2012 - Here's an update on the long running
RAM versus flash
transition in enterprise SSD accelerators.
It's about 20 months
entered the SSD market as a new name in the RAM SSD market - and just 6 months
since the company also started offering flash - as a hybrid or pure alternative
- based on PCIe SSDs from Fusion-io.
I asked Kaminario's VP of marketing - Gareth Taube
how's the flash thing going? And can you tell me and my readers what
proportion of recent system shipments are flash rather than RAM.
told me - "I would say we are running about 45% all flash arrays, 45%
Hybrids (but the hybrids are mostly Flash with 10% DRAM) and about 10% all DRAM.
At least that is the way it has been running in the last 2 quarters."
Intel's fastest SSD uses SandForce inside
February 6, 2012 - Intel
it has used SandForce
controllers for the first time in its new (and fastest) SATA 3 2.5"
SSD - the
SSD 520 - which (with upto 80K R/W IOPS peak - 4KB) is aimed at gaming, CAD
and graphics content creation markets. Price- based on 1,000-unit quantities
is - 60GB for $149, 120GB at $229, 180GB at $369, 240GB at $509 and 480GB at
"We worked closely with Intel to leverage their deep
understanding of the NAND flash, ultimately providing a unique and optimized
solution for client computing applications with the LSI SandForce Flash Storage
Processor," said Michael Raam, VP and GM of LSI's Flash Components
Rambus aims at replacement technology for flash SSDs
February 6, 2012 -Rambus
it has acquired Unity
Semiconductor for an aggregate of $35 million in cash.
part of this acquisition, the Unity team members have joined Rambus to continue
developing innovations and solutions for next-generation
With 9 years of development history, Unity's memory
technology, CMOx, has been
designed to accelerate the commercialization of the Terabit generation of
non-volatile memories. Unity expects that devices using CMOx cell technology
will (one day)
achieve higher density, faster performance, lower manufacturing costs and
reliability than NAND Flash.
"At Rambus, we are creating
disruptive technologies to enable future electronic products," said Sharon Holt,
senior VP and GMof the Semiconductor Business Group at Rambus. "With the
addition of Unity, we can develop non-volatile memory solutions that will
advance semiconductor scaling beyond the limits of today's NAND technology. This
will enable new memory architectures that help meet ever-increasing consumer
Editor's comments:- Unity's CMOx - is one of the
many alternative non volatile memory technologies which have been camping
outside the gates of the flash SSD castle for the past 10 years or more - saying
in effect to the flash insiders - please surrender (or preferably give up the
ghost) - because we'd like to take your place.
If it wasn't so
serious - billions of dollars have been
sunk in the "kill-flash"
camp sites - you might think you were watching a scene from
flash technologists look down on the besieging efforts and effectively say "I
fart in your general direction".
The castle walls keep getting
stronger and the flash people inside the castle - who were supposed to be dead
years ago - are counting their riches and having the world's best chefs and food
flown in daily by chopper - which the wouldbe flash terminators can only throw
I've been observing and making judgements on nv memory
technologies ever since the first such technologies appeared appeared in
silicon. It's much longer than you think - and predates flash itself.
wrote an article about this - last year called
3 things that could have
killed flash SSDs.
Does the intervention of Rambus change things?
it's good news for CMOx - because this technology gets another lease on life
and a leg up to access markets more easily if the comparisons ever look
But as all the other wannabe nvRAM developers know - to
their cost - when you're chasing a fast moving quarry like flash - which keeps
changing and reinventing itself - it's hard hanging on the tail lights year
EMC gets around to PCIe SSD launch
February 6, 2012 - EMC
its new PCIe SSD based product line - which as widely reported last month -
leverages hardware designed by LSI.
you'd expect - EMC say they plan to do a lot of things to support this with
their wrap around software protection (high availability, data integrity,
reliability, and disaster recovery) and
auto tiering / SSD ASAP.
And in the future they're going to do things even faster. Nothing to get
excited about then - unless you are a supplier to EMC.
EMC would like
to suggest that it was the first company to offer flash SSDs in an enterprise
storage array Their press release said - "VFCache is the latest in a line
of enterprise flash innovation firsts, beginning in 2008 when EMC was the first
to integrate flash drives into an enterprise storage array."
an idiosyncratic reinterpretation of
In the interests of accuracy I would rewrite that to say - "EMC was
the 1st company to ship lonely flash drives in an EMC branded enterprise
storage array (which consisted mostly of hard drives)."
I guess you can count
STEC as a loser -
because having been EMC's original flash SSD supplier (in other form factors)
they may have had some hopes that their late-to-market new PCIe SSD might get
its tires kicked.
I'm only saying this - because otherwise I'll get a
load of emails asking what I think - but in my view it would be a mistake to
count Fusion-io as a
loser in this.
FIO is the company which did most to establish PCIe
SSDs as a recognized and disruptive force in the enterprise market - and a year
ago upset EMC by disclosing it had shipped significantly more of its fast
ioDrive flash SSD capacity into the enterprise than EMC had done with its slower
STEC kind - despite EMC having had the prior advantage of a legacy tied
I heard recently from someone who is no longer with the
company - that as you might expect for a fledgling company developing oem
opportunities - many years ago Fusion-io offered its PCIe SSDs as an oem
platform to EMC. Apparently EMC evaluated the ioDrive and poked around the
issue for months - but EMC was - at that time - "clueless" about the
potential of the SSD market couldn't understand what to do with it.
SSD talk with the founder and CEO of Nimbus
February 2, 2012 - I had an interesting discussion about the enterprise SSD
market yesterday with Thomas Isakovich,
CEO and founder of Nimbus
Data Systems which recently launched its first high availability SAN
SSDs. ...read the
SSD rack FAQs you shouldn't have to struggle to answer
February 1, 2012 -
what do you need to know about any new
rackmount SSD? - is a new article published today on our home page.
StorageSearch.com's readership grew 28%
February 1, 2012 - I was pleased to see that the readership here on StorageSearch.com
grew 28% in January compared to a year ago.
Now you may
think that's not so great when the
SSD market is
growing so fast. But I'm more interested in quality than quantity. In the
quantitive SSD bucket - there are thousands of other sites and blogs talking
about SSDs so there's a lot of competition out there for your precious time.
One good thing about this mass of other "out there" SSD
content though is it means I can spend more of my time on SSD thought
leadership issues. Because like most of you - I'm seriously interested in
thinking about and helping to steer the SSD market's direction - so it gets
to somewhere better, faster while minimizing the bumps.
If you want to
read SSD RSS feeds masquerading as SSD headline news - such as for example -
the 45th company which has launched a 2.5" SSD which uses
controller (unless it's Intel),
or a consumer SSD maker's
Nth annual SSD firmware
recall, or some
enterprise SSD marketer gushing about their rackmount SSD being so much
faster than a room full of 15K whirligigs - all very important things no doubt
for the companies involved - then you can read about those elsewhere.
be surprised how many editors of other SSD magazines read the mouse site too.
But we all have different goals and reader demographics. Here - since the 1990s
- it's always been about leading the way to the new storage frontier.
Thanks for your participation in helping to make the SSD market better.
new to SSD? - new report from Forward Insights
January 31, 2012 - Forward Insights
has recently published a new report -
SSD Technology and
Applications: A Primer (88 pages $1,499).
Author Gregory Wong says - "It's
an ideal guide for novices interested in acquiring a basic understanding of SSD
technology and applications as well as a handy reference for more experienced
Editor's comments:- Among other things
pdf for more details) Greg says the report also provides an overview of the
competitive landscape for SSDs.
See also:- SSD
Nimbus does that "no spof SSD" thing
January 31, 2012 - Nimbus
Data Systems today
its entry into the
enterprise SSD market with the uveiling of the company's -
E-Class systems -
which are 2U rackmount SSDs with 10TB
eMLC per U of
usable capacity and no single point of failure. Unified interface
support includes 10GbE,
software (which supports upto 0.5
petabytes in a
single SSD file system) automatically detects controller and path failures,
providing non-disruptive failover. The E-Class also supports online software
updates and online capacity expansion. It has
RAID protection and
hot-swappable flash, power, and cooling modules. Pricing starts at $150K approx
for a 10TB dual configuration system.
Nimbus seemed incredulous at my immediate reaction to the preliminary info they
sent me. I said I knew of competing shipping SSDs which were denser, faster
and offered more HA features too. But that's not to understate the value of
what the company does. Instead of being impressed by a bunch of me-too
technical metricals I was rather more impressed to learn that Nimbus is still
profitable. More about that later.
SSD link appears on EMC.com
Editor:- January 30,
2012 - EMC has
link (effectively still "under construction") on its
main home page.
I had no
foreknowledge of this when I wrote last week about EMC's stealth mode SSD
business - "When you start seeing a permament flash SSD link on EMC's
- you'll know that the company is taking SSD more seriously."
was asked recently if I thought that EMC would turn out to be (in the
Christensen sense) -
Kodak (in photography) and
(in word processing) - yet another example of a company which - while being a
leader in one type of technology - would fail to make a successful transition
through to being leader in a a disruptive technology which would replace it.
Digital electrronics replacing optical film - for Kodak, software and PCs
replacing wordprocessors - in the case of Wang, and SSDs replacing HDD arrays -
in the case of EMC.
The thought had occurred to me too - and it has
given solace to many SSD company founders - who compete with EMC - because it
has behaved like a company which is "clueless" from the SSD
leadership perspective - despite having had the benefit of many intensive
evaluations of leading enterprise SSDs.
Nevertheless - some of the
same SSD companies which have enjoyed the ease with which they have grown their
SSD petabyte market
share at the expense of the SSD clueless EMC - would possibly change their
tune if EMC would deign to acquire their companies or oem their products.
told my inquirer that I hadn't quite written EMC off in the SSD market -
because as long as they retained enough loot from their rotating storage empire
they still had plenty
of time to pursue a strategy which was a blend of home grown with
oemed and acquired
The name chosen for its new SSD launch is the same
as that of another well established
SSD brand -
Lightning - from SanDisk.
But that's just a confusing coincidence - because EMC's new PCIe SSD product
will instead be based on LSI's
HA enterprise SSD arrays
Editor:- January 26, 2012 -
due to the growing number of oems in the high availability rackmount SSD market
published a new directory focusing on
HA enterprise SSD
In my past 20 years of publishing enterprise buyers guides
- I've developed an instrinct for judging when the market is ready for a new
focused directory. Sometimes I've been too early - but with the momentum in the
enterprise SSD market and the number of HA SSD vendors already dipping into
double digits - I think this is exactly the right time for such a new
will rental break through the indecision barrier for SSD ASAPs?
January 26, 2012 - One of the business development obstacles facing
enterprise SSD ASAP
/ caching vendors in the past few years has been that users have mostly
thought of them as being HDD array accelerators.
And even if a user is
interested right now - and even if they are happy with their try before you buy
results - they often hold off making a purchase - because they think (after
reading web sites like this one) that one day they'll be ripping out their
rotating RAID systems and
replacing them with SSDs - so it might be silly to buy an SSD cache appliance
right now - if it only speeds up HDDs.
Now in reality - most users
won't replace their entire HDD storage as quickly as they might like to think -
and ASAPs do have a permanent role in the pure SSD datacenter too. Some
vendors' marketing materials talk about that - while others are still
about hard disks and the "superiority" of SSD - even when their
technology roadmap works just as well for SSD.
through the user indecision barrier - Dataram today
published a customer story about their
long term commitment" - Acceleration on Demand - leasing program. It
sounds like a good idea - but I don't know the exact terms and conditions
Fusion-io's revenue nearly trebles, but...
Editor:- January 24, 2012 - Fusion-io
that revenue for its 2nd quarter ended December 31, 2011 was $84
million - which is 2.7x its revenue in the year ago period.
comments:- like many other SSD companies nowadays FIO lost money in the
quarter and you can see the gory details by clicking on the links above and
going to their web site.
I'm not a financial guy - but I have
written an article below in which I share my thoughts about why loss making
SSD companies like Fusion-io are still warming (rather than cooling) SSD
interest in the
VC investor climate.
What follows includes pure speculation on my part which may be entirely wrong.
like the weather - VCs have changing climates
of their pedigree the founders of Intel had
relatively acces to venture capital but they aimed to be profitable as soon
as possible because the business culture of startups was very different in the
late 1960s and early 70s than it is today. Intel's early success meant
that some VCs were more receptive to the computer / semiconductor industry. But
it still wasn't easy for the company which created the first mass market for
- when they went shopping for money in 1976 . And although the VC tech funding
climate warmed up in the early 1980s - it was still tough on founders as you
can see in this video about
Compaq. But things
were getting easier - and by the mid 1980s anyone with a good product,
strong partner(s) and a business plan could get a couple of rounds of VC
funding (including yours
truly). It was getting almost too easy - so some VCs got picky in the mid
to late 1980s with the JAW generation -
In the mid to
late 1990s in the
dotcom bubble (pdf)
I saw investors seemingly lose their sense of perspective and ability to reason
as they over funded too many nutty dotcom businesses which had no prospect
whatsoever of being profitable - based on the wild notion that growth was worth
getting if you got enough eyeballs on your site.
I was publishing a
buyers guide to dot-in-dotcom
compatible servers at the time - and I couldn't understand why people
couldn't see that many of the startups which bought these servers and never even
unpacked them - were flaky. Didn't people realize that while it was good to get
visitors to your web site - it wasn't so clever if the true cost was $100
per click. I - on my part - didn't appreciate that in a bubble it's making money
along the way which is the driving force for most investors - not actually
arriving at the end. Following the dotcom bust at the end of the 1990s those VCs
who still had money avoided most new digital investments - except Google -
like the plague.
How about the SSD market?
ago I said that we were starting an
Nevertheless tangible benefits are being delivered to users along the way
and at the end of the rainbow will be a
huge market for SSDs.
So there are bubble elements - but some chewy goodness too. How does this relate
to the many companies in the enterprise SSD market today who are growing
revenue - but not necessarily profitable - like Fusion-io?
about Fusion-io's rolling losses is that part of this is due to the
continuing investment (in technology, sales and marketing) which any similar
company has to make in a fast changing. fast growing tech market - but another
factor in its profit equation may the high proportion of its business which goes
to a small number of big customers. It's just a fact of life that when
storage companies sell to server oems and super users they have to sell at a
lower price than if they're selling to other types of customers - because there
are competiutors out there who will also buy this business opportunity. But even
in the dearth / absence of profit in such deals- the high sales volumes which
result - speed up positive outcomes in other factors which can be healthy
for future business development.
It is to be hoped that at some point in the future - as the innovation curve
flattens - and the technology creator's brand strengthens and the product
becomes a sticky standard supported by compatible 3rd party partners - the
margins in the product itself and in the channel mix may change for the better.
too are another possibility for extracting more profit from high volume oem
customers.) There are no guarantees in any competive market but that's my way
of trying to make long term sense of what's going on in some hot spots in the
SSD market today.
Intel buys InfiniBand line from QLogic
January 24, 2012 - Intel
an agreement to acquire the
40Gbps (pdf) related product lines, IP and business assets of QLogic.
comments:- if you're not familiar with
InfiniBand - it was
originally proposed in 2000 as a standard for remote CPU R/W with small packet
sizes and ultra low latency to support arrays of CPUs over many cards and racks.
In the early days - InfiniBand evangelists and some storage analysts believed
the standard would go into the commercial server mainstream.
what happened was that fatter multi-core CPU chips, and faster GbE wiped out
the volume market need for IB technology - because they could do the same job
cheaper and incrementally for smaller clusters of CPUs. So the IB market
nowadays is mainly a niche market for scientific research and high performance
Some of the
fastest SSD benchmarks
have been recorded in IB environments. And at one time (before 2008) I thought
that IB might be a significant and natural upward path for high performance
SSDs. However, PCIe SSD
systems also support remote array connections - so IB's role remains that of
occupying the narrow turf of clustering hundreds to thousands more CPUs than
Intel or others can pack into a single chip.
Another way to think about
it is this. You can't have viable HPC without SSD. But you can have a healthy
SSD market where HPC is a small niche.
There's no doubt that SSDs are
an enabling technology which make it realistic for CPU designers to think
about what they could do with hundreds of cores on a single chip and over 1,000
cores on a single server card. I discussed that blue sky concept with
processor designers nearly 10 years ago. But does the mainstream market need
data driven factories of the future - the answer is yes. But that could be
another 5 years in the future - because there are still closely related
standards to firm up - such as Hybrid
Memory Cubes. And
shows that new standards
take years to get into the market. In the meantime - if you're not in the HPC
market - but still need very fast CPU performance - keep an eye on what the
leading PCIe SSD makers do - and you won't go far wrong.
TCS ships 200GB fast erase MIL-STD-810 2.5" SSD
January 24, 2012 - TCS today
announced shipments of a rugged 200GB 2.5" SLC SSD which has has been
verified by outside labs to meet MIL-STD-810 requirements for shock, vibration,
temperature range, temperature shock, humidity and altitude.
SSD has 40K IOPS performance, includes 128-bit AES
encryption and can
fast erase the full
drive in less than 15 seconds.
"Few solid-state drives combine the
quality, data capacity and ruggedization features of Galatea," said Michael
Bristol, senior VP and GM of TCS' Government Solutions Group. "It
is ideal for a wide range of extreme industrial and defense applications,
including oil and gas exploration, avionics and data logging in a variety of
air, land and sea vehicles. Galatea combines superior access latency and power
consumption performance with long-term reliability."
Editor's comments:- I hadn't heard of TCS before in the SSD
market - and I feel uncomfortable when I see a significant new SSD product pop
out from seemingly nowhere. But then I recognized one of the legacy products
names - Triton and sure enough TCS is the new identity for
Trident Space &
Defense - which was acquired a year ago.
I googled "Galatea"
- and I'd like to think it was named after one of the
Harry Potter characters
- who taught defence against the dark arts.
Later today:- -
Charlie Cassidy who
is Director of the Advanced Products Group at TCS contacted me to say - "I
thought I would let you in on the "secret" of the Galatea name. No
Harry Potter involved, we didn't even realize that connection. Our SSDs (Triton,
Proteus, Galatea) are named after themoons
of Neptune - paying homage to the Trident heritage."
Violin video re visibility advantages of home grown controllers
January 23, 2012 - I commented recently that the
top 10 SSD companies in
Q4 2011 all had one thing in common (apart from the fact they make SSDs) -
they all had their own proprietary
architecture which they could use to optimize products for some application
markets (even if some of them also used other controllers too).
video - Violin's,
CTO Software Jonathan Goldick
talks about the benefits they get from having their own controller.
like it because it also echoes themes I discussed last year in my
big versus small
SSD architecture article - and also because it's short - less than 250
Violin's SSD video
|the SSD page since
|"I waste my time so
readers don't have to waste theirs."|
to a reader what he does for a living. And why being the 49th SSD company in a
particular form factor didn't rate a mention on StorageSearch.com's news page
recently - even if it was widely reported on RSS fed pages.|
manufacturer takes product quality seriously. When an SSD manufacturer
tries to downgrade Nand Flash to lower the price and impress consumers, they
also pass on the risk of data loss to consumers."|
- (September 2011) warning about buying SSDs from oems which don't test
and qualify the quality and compatibility of their raw flash suppliers.|
|"...My advice re
SSDs for database acceleration has always been - try before you buy.
That's because the performance model which you have in your head may not be the
same performance model which is at work inside your system."|
to a reader in mid August who asked about the interplay of enterprise
software with SSDs in database apps. |
|"...You like the
idea - SSDs could make your apps go faster. Problem is - you're not in an
industry where you can stuff raw low latency and high IOPS in one end
of your business sausage machine and expect to see increased revenue and
dollars streaming out the other end..."|
the need for auto tiering
SSDs / SSD ASAPs|
sudden power loss|
|Why should you care
what happens in an SSD when the power goes down? |
This important design
feature - which barely rates a mention in most SSD datasheets and press releases
- has a strong impact on
SSD data integrity
This article will help you understand why some
SSDs which (work perfectly well in one type of application) might fail in
others... even when the changes in the operational environment appear to be