2.5 inch solid state disk market guide and directory

Solid State Disks (SSDs)

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Violin 1010 - world's densest  DRAM  array -  for  HPC and data center server acceleration
world's fastest 2U RAM-SSD
from Violin Memory
. the Fastest SSDs
Flash SSDs / RAM SSDs
2.5" SSD Guide / 3.5" SSD Guide
What's an SSD? / SSD Market History
Squeak! - How Solid is Hard Disk's Future?
Squeak! - the Solid State Disks Buyers Guide
Squeak! - the Top 10 Solid State Disk Companies
article:- Despatches from the Magneto / Flash Wars
Squeak! - SSD Myths and Legends - "write endurance"
Squeak! - RAM SSDs versus Flash SSDs - which is Best?
article:- Flash Memory vs. Hard Disk Drives - Which Will Win?
75 more Articles, FAQs, Case Studies about Solid State Disks
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SanDisk Names SSD Channels

Milpitas, California - September 27, 2007 - SanDisk today announced that it will offer its line of solid-state drives for resale to the system integrator community through select US distribution partners - initially Ingram Micro, D&H Distributing and Bell Microproducts.

SanDisk plans to broaden distribution in the U.S. and into Europe during the first quarter of 2008 to accommodate expected increases in demand for SSDs as hard drive replacements. ...SanDisk profile



Fusion-io Launches PCIe flash SSD

SALT LAKE CITY - September 25, 2007 - Fusion-io emerged from stealth mode today and launched the ioDrive at DEMOFall '07.

The ioDrive is a PCIe form factor flash SSD with upto 640GB capacity and 100K IOPS performance.
Fusion-io founders Rick White, CEO, and David Flynn, CTO, demonstrated the ioDrive installed in an HP BladeSystem c-Class enclosure and functioning as a local storage device. The ioDrive can achieve sustained data rates of 800MB/sec (Read) and 600MB/sec (Write). Fusion-io's ioDrive will begin shipping in Q4'07 in 40GB, 80GB, 160GB or 320GB configurations. ...Fusion-io profile news image  Fusion-io's  ioDrive   source PRNewsFoto/Fusion-io

Data Recovery from Flash SSDs?

Editor:- September 24, 2007 - if the flash SSD market reaches the levels of penetration predicted by many analysts - then in a handful of years nearly half of all new notebook PCs will use flash SSDs instead of hard disk drives.

What happens when those SSDs inevitably fail - and there's no backup?

Most consumers don't do regular backups - and most small businesses don't either.

When hard drives fail, get submerged in water or get damaged in fires - the solution of last resort - is to call a data recovery company.

These superheroes can often recover a lot of data - even if the pcbs and chips in the disk drive have been damaged. Superheroes don't come cheap. The cost for a difficult recovery can run into thousands of dollars (for a single disk) but for many satisfied customers that's a much better result than being left with no business or months of lost time rewriting reports, novels etc.

Although flash SSDs are new to the consumer market - they've been around for many years in markets which absolutely needed their levels of ruggedness (and could bear the high cost). So you may be thinking that there's a well established industry already out there ready to process your flash SSD - if you are unlucky enough to need a data recovery service today.

You would be wrong.

The reason is that the biggest traditional customers of flash SSDs have been the military or industrial users who didn't want enemies / competitors stealing their secrets.

Erstwhile flash SSD manufacturers like Adtron, BiTMICRO and STEC (who all make SSDs whose performance or capacity leave Samsung's SSDs in the dust BTW) specialise in having on-board disk sanitization of various forms to make sure that that the data is never recovered by the wrong people.

So there isn't a public track record of data recovery for flash SSDs.

The closest that the market has to offer - is experience with recovering data from simple flash memory storage (like USB keyring style devices or camera memory cards). Unlike SSDs - those devices aren't designed for intensive write applications - and there is nothing very complicated between the interface controller and the flash chips themselves. So if the controller gets zapped by static - or crunched by your car driving over it - the data is relatively easy for experts to recover from the flash chips.

That isn't the case with most flash SSDs - which use complicated controller technology to extend the reliability and speed of storage. The architecture inside a high performance SSD is more complicated than that in most RAID systems. The algorithms which map addresses to physical media locations vary from manufacturer to manufacturer - and in many cases - like the formula for making Coke or Pepsi - the details are closely guarded commercial secrets.

Data recovery (at the single SSD level) is not so much of a problem for datacenter applications - because most often the SSDs are in some kind of RAID protected array - and are also backed up (internally or externally) to other disks.

But one thing missing in the consumer notebook SSD market is a clear signal by oems - that data in their devices can be easily recovered - if there is no backup - or the backup failed. Maybe the next generation of products will address that issue.

Although flash SSDs are inherently much more reliable than hard drives - that's no consolation for the customers who will be the pioneers in SSD data recovery.



Texas Memory Systems Launches World's Fastest Flash SSD

Houston, Texas - September 17, 2007 - Texas Memory Systems today announced the RamSan-500 - the first enterprise-class cached flash storage system, and the fastest flash-based SSD currently available.

Available in 1 or 2 terabyte capacities in a 4U rackmount chassis, the RamSan-500 delivers 100,000 IOPS sustained random read, 10,000 IOPS sustained random write and 2 gigabytes per second of sustained random read or write bandwidth and yet only consumes 250 watts of power. The system can be SAN-attached with up to 8x 4Gbps Fibre Channel ports. Multiple RamSan-500s can be combined to deliver additional high-performance capacity.

"We see a great opportunity to integrate flash storage technology into our SSD lineup and solve a wider array of customer performance challenges than ever before," said Woody Hutsell, Executive VP at Texas Memory Systems. "With the RamSan-500 we have engineered a solid state disk system that uniquely capitalizes on the best attributes of both DDR and flash, at a price point that we think will be attractive to customers who might otherwise compromise with HDD-based arrays, which offer lower performance and higher power consumption."

Texas Memory Systems is now accepting orders for the RamSan-500 from existing customers. General availability is expected in the 4th quarter of 2007. ...Texas Memory Systems profile, flash-SSDs, RAM-SSDs

Editor's comments:-
TMS has published a white paper which includes more details of the technology inside the RamSan-500.

Using a RAID-5 array of inhouse designed flash-SSDs - the write performance (typically the weak part of traditional flash SSDs) is maximized by writing to an already erased ready to write new physical flash location every time a block is written. A background process, which uses a 64G RAM cache, ensures that ready to write pools are nearly always available. In the rare event that they are not - the worst case latency for a cache miss is only 2ms, which is better than most hard disk arrays.

In the past TMS has been characterised by competitors as making the world's "most expensive SSDs" (as well as the "world's fastest"). Their new flash SSD product line means that they will be affordable by a much wider range of customers.

See also - article- RAM versus Flash SSDs in which experts discuss the state of the market and which also includes a long term comparative price projection from Objective Analysis.



Fastest SCSI SSD at High Performance on Wall Street

New York City, NY - September 17, 2007 - Solid Access Technologies today demonstrated the Universal Solid State Disk 200 at the High Performance on Wall Street event.

The USSD 200 augments existing server hardware and eliminates the root cause of I/O bottlenecks by increasing random I/O access speeds 250x faster than hard disk drives.

The demand for rapid information retrieval is growing at an incredible rate. Impressive improvements have occurred in CPU performance and storage capacity, but hard disk drive I/O processing speed has not experienced comparable advances. Mechanical disks cannot access data fast enough to keep up with the speed of contemporary processors. As a consequence, transaction-intensive enterprise applications continue to be plagued by I/O bottlenecks that limit their throughput and productivity.

Recently named one of the Top 10 Most Important SSD Manufactures by Storagesearch.com, Solid Access is helping to dramatically improve response times in high-volume I/O traffic applications with the USSD 200 acceleration device whose features include:- world's fastest SCSI SSD, the industry's first and only SSD with 3GB/s SAS interface, 95,000 random IOPS via a single fibre channel port and 3,600MB/s aggregated bandwidth via multi fibre channel links (full duplex).

Tomas Havrda, managing partner, Solid Access Technologies commented - "(Our) mature SSD technology attacks the root cause of I/O bottlenecks by augmenting existing hard disk drive environments for just those files that make the difference between success and failure. ...Solid Access Technologies profile



SiliconSystems Plans for More Expansion

Aliso Viejo, Calif - September 12, 2007 - SiliconSystems, Inc today announced plans to move its headquarters to a new 36,000 square foot office building in November to support the company's rapid growth.

Over the next 12 months, the company expects to increase its staff by approximately 50% to meet customer and market needs. SiliconSystems' existing facility was previously expanded in 2006. ...SiliconSystems profile



Objective Analysis Publishes SSD Market Report

DUBLIN, Ireland - September 11, 2007 - Research and Markets announced the availability of a major new SSD market report written by Jim Handy founder of Objective Analysis called - "the Solid State Disk Market: A Rigorous Look to their offering."

SSDs are poised to disrupt the hard disk drive market. Is this likely to happen? What will drive SSDs into acceptance? What will hinder their deployment? What is the impact to the NAND and the HDD markets?

This study covers the SSD market in depth, covering all players in great detail, and thoroughly evaluating end markets and market motivators. This study's rigorous approach clarifies key points and success factors to help readers understand the opportunities as well as the pitfalls that await all participants.

The 110-page study ($5,000 approx) is based upon exhaustive interviews with buyers and sellers of SSDs, as well as their suppliers and other key players in the market. This report covers all sides of the SSD equation including important market drivers and cost analysis history and projections, along with information from makers of HDDs about their plans to counter any market share loss threatened by the advent of the SSD. It looks into every aspect of the SSD market - market sizing, PC vs Industrial/Military markets, forecasts by application, company-by-company competitive analysis, Key user surveys, etc. There is no study even like it in the market today. ...Objective Analysis profile, storage market analysts

Editor's comments:-
I've read this report and think it's a solid introduction to anyone who is thinking about partnering with a solid state disk company or entering the flash SSD market.



BiTMICRO will Ship 412GB 2.5" SSDs in Q108

London, UK - September 11, 2007 - BiTMICRO Networks today said it will ship a 416GB 2.5" flash SSD in Q1 2008.

The announcement was made at Defence Systems & Equipment International in London. The forthcoming E-Disk Altima E2A133BL is designed for military, industrial and commercial users who are looking for faster and bigger storage upgrades for time-tested PATA-based systems. Throughput is 133MB/sec burst with up to 100MB/sec sustained reads and writes and up to 20,000+ Random IOPS.

"The launch of the E-Disk Altima series of cutting-edge solid state flash drives will usher in a new computing era, where solid state mass storage will combine with multi-core processors to deliver unprecedented levels of performance required by next-generation operating systems and applications," said Rudy Bruce, BiTMICRO's Exec. VP for Marketing. ...BiTMICRO Networks profile



Avnet - New US Disti for SiliconDrives

ALISO VIEJO, Calif - September 10, 2007 - SiliconSystems, Inc. announced that Avnet Technology Solutions has become a North American distributor for its SiliconDrives.

SiliconSystems selected Avnet for its market leadership, expertise and commitment to the embedded OEM market. ...SiliconSystems profile, Storage VARs



Adtron Signs Europrean Distributor

PHOENIX, AZ September 10, 2007 - Adtron Corp today announced the selection of UK-based Hammer PLC as its master distributor for Europe.

"We have seen a greater demand for SSD devices over the last 6 months than we have seen over the last 3 years clearly this market is booming," said James Ward, Hammer's Managing Director. ...Adtron profile, ...Hammer Distribution profile



Samsung's 64G SSDs Shipping in Notebooks

San Jose, CA - September 10, 2007 - Samsung announced today that its 2.5" SATA, 64GB solid state drive is available immediately in Dell and Alienware consumer notebooks.

Alienware will provide a 128GB SSD configuration, by offering dual 64GB SSD drives in a RAID 0 array, as well as a single 64GB SSD combined with a large capacity 200GB 7200RPM drive, available on its Area-51 m9750 gaming notebook. Dell is offering the SSD drive on its XPS M1330 ultra-portable notebook. ...Samsung profile



BiTMICRO Gets $9.3 million Funding

Fremont, CA - September 10, 2007 - BiTMICRO Networks, Inc. today announced the completion of $9.3 million in Series F funding with a team of investors led by Woodside Investments LP.

With this announcement, BiTMICRO's total funding now stands at $31.4 million in private funding.

"We are excited to be part of a dynamic organization that has a long and proud history in flash SSD development," said Buck Carson, general partner for Woodside Investments. "The recent entry of a number of global semiconductor and Fortune 500 companies in the SSD market suggests that it is poised to take off in the next few years. Our latest investment in BiTMICRO is testimony to our group's support for the management team and the execution of its business strategies."

"The global storage market is moving towards solid state, and as one of the pioneers in this industry, BiTMICRO Networks is all set to become a major player in this billion-dollar industry," said Rey Bruce, chairman, president and CEO of BiTMICRO Networks. "We are happy to note that investors such as Woodside Investments have taken cognizance of this fact and are prepared to support the product development efforts that are currently underway at BiTMICRO."

In 2005, BiTMICRO was cited by STORAGEsearch.com in its Solid State Disk Buyer Preferences Market Report as the most recognized brand in the SSD market. The company's long list of technological achievements includes the introduction of the world's first Ultra320 SCSI flash SSD, the world's first ATA/UDMA-66 IDE flash SSD and the world's first Fibre Channel flash SSD. ...BiTMICRO Networks profile



SanDisk's SSD Aims at sub-$250 PC Market

Berlin, Germany - August 31, 2007 - SanDisk Corp today announced the uSSD 5000 solid state drive which can be used as an economical substitute for hard disk drives in sub-$250 PCs.

Among the first computers using uSSD solid state drives will be the Intel-powered classmate PC, intended for educational markets in emerging nations.

The announcement was made at IFA 2007 where SanDisk is exhibiting this week.

SanDisk's uSSD 5000 solid state drive is a USB module designed to be embedded directly onto the motherboard of low-cost PCs as a hard disk replacement. The uSSD 5000 solid state drive supports a variety of operating systems, including Microsoft's Windows XP Professional as well as Linux. The uSSD 5000 solid state drive is expected to be available in capacities from 2 to 8 gigabytes.

uSSD 5000 solid state drives at 2GB are significantly less expensive than even the lowest-capacity conventional hard disk drives. And with no moving parts the durability of uSSD 5000 solid state drives surpasses mechanical hard disk drives. ...SanDisk profile



Hard / Flash / RAM Disk 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, ...read the article (pdf)

Editor's comments:-
last week STORAGEsearch.com 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.



USB 10-pin SiliconDrive Now Sampling

ALISO VIEJO, Calif - August 23, 2007 - SiliconSystems, Inc. today announced it is sampling a new USB 10-pin SiliconDrive.

It features an industry-standard form factor and is available with 1 to 4 gigabytes capacity. The SiliconDrive USB 10-pin module integrates advanced storage technologies to achieve higher write speeds, lower power consumption and enhanced ruggedness and reliability for embedded system applications such as blade servers, video poker machines, single board computers and interactive kiosks. ...SiliconSystems profile, USB storage, storage chips, Flash SSDs



SSD Rumors? Only Stupid Companies Wouldn't...

Editor:- August 23, 2007 - from time to time there are various stories in the online media about new companies getting into the SSD market.

Today it was Seagate, a few weeks before it was IBM.

I'm not surprised that the 2 most significant companies which actually did come out of stealth mode with SSD products in August - EasyCo and Violin Memory - chose STORAGEsearch.com as the publication for their detailed product launches and follow up articles.

We've currently got over 55 publicly active SSD oems listed on this site. I know several more significant real ones in stealth mode - and I expect the total to exceed 100 before another year is up.

My response to SSD rumors is always - only stupid companies wouldn't want to get into the SSD market. It will be worth somewhere between 5 to 10 billion dollars a year - and there's everything to play for.



RAM versus Flash SSDs - War for the Datacenter Core

Editor:- August 20, 2007 - STORAGEsearch.com today published a major new article on the SSD market called - "RAM versus Flash SSDs - which is Best?"

We've been writing for years about the subject of hard disks vs flash SSDs. There's a lot of consensus now about which technology will prevail in the disputed application slots for a single drive.

The next multibillion dollar war in the SSD market will be for domination in the high performance rackmount server acceleration space.

The SSD server core war will be internecine - one type of solid state storage versus another. The title of this article "RAM versus Flash SSDs" is misleading because there are many distinctly different products fighting under each similar looking flag.

With specially written features from the world's leading SSD companies - this article will change the way that you think about SSDs in enterprise server applications. 2007 will be seen as the Year of SSD Revolution. ...read the article



Mtron will Launch New SSDs at IFA 2007

Seoul, Korea - August 16, 2007 - Mtron today announced it will launch a new solid state drive product lineup at IFA 2007 (the world's largest consumer electronics trade fair) in Berlin at the end of the month.

At IFA 2007, Mtron will show new product lines optimized for 3 main market segments:- Standard (consumer), PRO (server applications) and XTM (Industrial). These will be available in volume (50K to 100K units / month production plan) from September.

Mtron's current SSD product line includes 2.5" and 3.5" SATA interface based products, with capacities of 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. Mtron says its new products are 3 - 4 times faster than existing HDDs and 30% - 40% faster than any other currently available flash SSDs - with maximum read / write speeds of more than 100MB/s and 80MB/s respectively, and random access time of less than 0.1ms.

Jack Han, director of Mtron's marketing department said "Mtron SSD is the best solution for high-end servers and notebook PCs that need faster speed, higher durability, lower power consumption and no noise. Mtron will launch new product lineup targeted for specific industry areas in order to satisfy the wide range of needs in the SSD market..." ...Mtron profile, Storage Events



STEC has High Hopes for Zeus IOPS SSDs

SANTA ANA, Calif - August 13, 2007 - STEC, Inc. announced today its financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2007.

Revenue for the second quarter of 2007 was $43.7 million, a decrease of 7.6% compared to Q206.

"During the second quarter of 2007, sampling activity and production revenue from our new line of Zeus IOPS Solid-State Drives accelerated in the Enterprise-storage and Video-on-Demand sectors," said Manouch Moshayedi, STEC's CEO. "Market receptivity for Zeus IOPS with Fibre Channel has been exceptional. We believe that at this time, our technology is clearly the leading technology for Enterprise-level applications... More importantly, we believe that our long-term outlook for our SSD technology for the Enterprise-storage and Enterprise-server sectors, VoD and other target sectors is very bright." ...STEC profile

Editor's comments:-
in its conference call the company confirmed that its future is tied to the success of its SSD products (rather than its legacy RAM products). In my view STEC sounded much too complacent about its technology lead and lack of competition in the enterprise server SSD market, factors which the company said would help it maintain high profit margins.



Noise Damping Techniques for PATA SSDs

Editor:- August 10, 2007 - SiliconSystems today published a new white paper called - "Noise Damping Techniques for PATA SSDs in Military-Embedded Systems."

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. ...read the article, ...SiliconSystems profile, storage chips, storage analyzers

Editor's comments:-
the article gives a good grounding (couldn't resist that one) in the signal quality factors needed to get high reliability operation and is equally relevant to hard disks.

To simplify the 20 page document:- if you connect reliable electronic modules using unreliable signal paths - that will compromise the integrity of the data. Logic states are virtual - but digital signals are real and can have completely different shapes to what you expect if you don't follow basic rules.



STEC Announces Native SAS Flash SSDs

SANTA ANA, Calif - August 8, 2007 - STEC today announced the industry's first native SAS flash solid state disks.

Zeus-IOPS products will be standard 3.5-inch form factor SSDs built with NAND Flash as the storage media. STEC says these high performance products will deliver 52,000 Sustained Random Read IOPS and 17,000 Sustained Random Write IOPS. The max sustained read throughput is 250MB/sec and 200MB/sec sustained writes.

Zeus-IOPS SATA products are expected to start shipping to OEMs in Q407. Zeus-IOPS SAS products are expected to start shipping to OEMs in Q108. ...STEC profile

Editor's comments:-
Q108 is still a long way in the future - and if you need SAS SSDs today the only real option is RAM-SSDs from Solid Access Technologies. The new Zeus products (if available today) would be the fastest 3.5" SSDs. Until then the HyperXCLR (197MB/s sustained read/ write) from Curtis retains that title.



Flash SSD Systems Get 100x Faster Writes

Wallingford, PA - August 6, 2007 - EasyCo announces the release of its "Managed Flash Technology" storage solution for Linux servers.

Dubbed "The 300,000 RPM Disk Drive", MFT combines Flash SSDs with a patent pending drive management layer which delivers sustained random write performance that is more than 100x faster than the bare solid state flash drive.

Flash SSDs only solve the "read half" of the enterprise performance equation. By delivering 2,000 to 7,000 4K read IOPS (IOs Per Second), Flash SSDs randomly read 10 to 30 times faster than 15K SCSI drives. Unfortunately, the random write performance of Flash SSDs is terrible. With random write rates of only 13 to 50 IOPS, even applications that do as few as 5% writes will spend 95% of their time writing. This renders existing, unmanaged Flash SSDs as unsuitable for most enterprise applications.

This is what SSD manufacturers refer to as "the random write problem" of flash technology. EasyCo's Managed Flash Technology solves the Flash SSD random write problem. As a result, random write speeds are in the range to 3,000 to 10,000 IOPS. Without MFT, Flash SSDs are only marginally faster than desktop hard disk drives. With MFT, Flash SSDs are accelerated into a class by themselves.

EasyCo's president, Sam Anderson, laughs about the first production data tests. "In our first live test, a prospect copied 218,000 of their own records, deliberately sorted out of sequential order, from one database file to another. Running on a 15K SCSI drive, the file to file copy took over 45 minutes. In fact, at one point, the client called to ask if the server had hung (they were testing remotely). The same job on an MFT Flash drive took only 2 minutes and 45 seconds, or 3,963 IOPS."

End-user pricing for the Linux supported product starts at under $2,500 and extends upwards to over $50,000 depending on the configuration. Windows solutions and storage appliance solutions should be available by Q407. EasyCo is also seeking qualified Linux system integrators, as well as server and storage appliance manufacturers who wish to distribute the MFT solution with their hardware. ...EasyCo profile

Editor's comments:-
last year when I dismissed the relevance of hybrid hard disks for enterprise applications it was because I forsaw that with clever systems integration arrays of inexpensive flash SSDs could be harnassed to do a superior job with respect to capacity and performance. EasyCo says it's getting the high system write performance using commodity Samsung 32G PATA drives which are "far from "leading edge".



Attorn Launches Rackmount HyperDrive4 SSD Array

Zaandam, Netherlands - August 3, 2007 - Attorn BV today announced the release of its HyperDrive4 solid state RAID arrays.

These arrays, based on DDRRAM, provide up to 576GB of high-speed, non-volatile storage that dramatically increase response times and throughput for I/O-intensive applications. The patented HyperDrive4 delivers fast access times - 250 nanoseconds for write requests and 1.1 microseconds for reads.

The HyperDrive4 arrays are available in rackmount (1U 96GB / 3U 320GB) or tower configurations. They can deliver a maximum IOPS of 104,000 (IOMeter) and a maximum available STR of 850MB/s (HDTach). This makes the HyperDrive4 arrays a superior replacement for high-end RAID arrays or an alternative to in-server memory systems.

With a price of around $250 per GB the HyperDrive4 product line offers the lowest published price for a RAM based solid state drive. The arrays incorporate several levels of data protection including:- a redundant power supply, batteries and back-up hard drives. ...Attorn profile



New Company Attacks Data Center SSD Pricing

Editor:- August 2, 2007 - Violin Memory, Inc. today launched an assault on the high end solid state disk acceleration market with the public début of the highest density rackmount memory system.

Designed for HPC and data center applications, the aggressively priced Violin 1010 connects via PCIe and supports 504GB of DRAM in a 2U chassis. Capacity can scale to 10 terabytes. Read write throughput is upto 1,400MB/s and 1,000MB/s respectively with 3 microseconds latency. Violin says this can deliver over 3 million random IOPS.

The Violin 1010 Memory Appliance is based on the patent-pending Violin Switched Memory (VXM) technology. VXM packs a 2U high Violin 1010 chassis with up to 84 Violin Intelligent Memory Modules which accommodate either DRAM or Flash memory. Higher density NAND Flash VIMMs will be released later.

While hard disk arrays are optimized for file accesses greater than a megabyte, the Violin 1010 supports full throughput for access sizes less than a kilobyte. The Violin 1010 provides significant benefits to applications with requirements for low latency or small file sizes. Video server applications benefit from the ability to have the same video simultaneously read by thousands of clients, without disk thrashing.

The Violin 1010 has been designed to provide cost-effective memory redundancy and protect against data loss. Its RAID algorithms store data redundantly across multiple VIMMs. The fully loaded system contains up to 4 hot spare VIMMs and supports non-disruptive replacement of VIMMs. Multiple VIMMs in the system can fail without the application losing any data.

The Violin 1010 Memory Appliance has been in trials for 6 months and is now available. A 504GB system is being demonstrated at LinuxWorld (August 7-9 in San Francisco). Pricing for a 120GB DRAM system starts at $39,500. ...Violin Memory profile

Editor's comments:-
although Violin doesn't call its new systems solid state disks - that's the best way to think about them - because they can do a similar server acceleration job as a classic RAM based SSD - but at a much lower price.

Part of the cost saving is because the memory array is volatile (data is lost when the power goes off). But in most data center applications that limitation has a simple workaround. Another part of the cost saving is the use of a PCI express interface instead of the classic Fibre-channel, SAS or Infiniband ports which connect other enterprise SSDs.

Violin is the first SSD oem to step across the artificial dividing line between flash SSDs and RAM SSDs - they will offer both. I've said for years that most enterprise customers don't care. They just want the best solution at the best price.

As with any product from a new company platform support is currently limited. Also reliability is an unknown factor. But Violin's entry into the SSD market (along with the 60% quarter to quarter drop in DRAM prices quoted recently by Qimonda's CEO) means that enterprise server customers can expect to get a taste of the SSD price wars which have been upto now confined to the flash SSD market.



How Solid is Hard Disk's Future?

Editor:- August 1, 2007 - STORAGEsearch.com today published a new article called - "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 STORAGEsearch.com are written from the SSD perspective. Is SSDs' gain really HDs' loss? - In some segments yes. But it's not a zero sum game. ...read the article



IDC Says SSDs Poised to go Mainstream

FRAMINGHAM, Mass - July 25, 2007 - a new report from IDC predicts that Solid State Disk revenues will grow 71% annually to reach $5.4 billion in 2011.

"For many years SSDs have sat on the fringe of the digital universe, but a tremendous opportunity is ahead for SSD storage," said Jeff Janukowicz, research manager, Solid State Drives. "Today, SSDs are about delivering a premium solution. In the future, SSDs will be about delivering the right solution to the right market as technology advances and requirements converge." ...IDC profile

Editor's comments:-
4 years ago you could fit all the world's SSD analysts onto a bike. As I predicted back then - there's now a flurry of market researchers parachuting in to peddle advice to the wannabe SSD giants of the future. It would be hard to squeeze today's SSD soothsayer crowd into a bus.

Although most predictions are going to be wrong - the volume of vultures circling around this subject doesn't signal the death of the whole hard disk industry. It's not that simple - as you'll see in forthcoming articles.



Solid Data Launches Terabyte Fibre-Channel SSD

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - July 17, 2007 - Solid Data Systems, Inc. today StorageSPIRE solid-state disk arrays providing up to a Terabyte of high-speed, non-volatile storage.

StorageSPIRE utilizes Solid Data's patented SSD technology, capitalizing on the company's 15 years experience in solid-state disk solutions. With immediate response to read or write commands, SSDs eliminate large server queues; thus, dramatically improving server stability and response times during peak periods.

StorageSPIRE's advanced design provides persistent, non-volatile data retention and easy configuration with no special device drivers required. Designed with 4 Gigabit data paths and up to 12 Fibre Channel connections, StorageSPIRE supports direct-connect, arbitrated loop and switched fabric mode configurations with 500G to 1T of high-performance data capacity per enclosure.

StorageSPIRE complements existing SANs and NAS by presenting a high volume of LUNs to servers and serving data 10 to 50x faster than mechanical disks, eliminating I/O bottlenecks. The StorageSPIRE solution deploys transparently in the data center to preserve current infrastructure, applications, file systems, and storage management software. ...Solid Data Systems profile, RAM SSDs

Editor's comments:- with pricing around $800 per Gigabyte this product will increase competition in the high end enterprise server acceleration market.
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click to read article:- SSD Market History
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SSD OEMs
A-DATA

Adtron

Advanced Media

Afaya

Altec ComputerSysteme

Apacer

Asine

Attorn

BiTMICRO Networks

Cenatek

Curtis

Curtiss-Wright

DataDirect Networks

DDRdrive

Delkin Devices

Dynamic Solutions Int'l

EasyCo

Fuji Xerox

Fusion-io

GalaxyStor

Gear6

GIGA-BYTE Technology

Hagiwara Sys-Com

IEI Technology

Imperial Technology

Intel

Memtech

Micro Memory

Mtron

Myung Information Technologies

Phoenix International

PNY Technologies

Pretec Electronics

PQI

Samsung Electronics

SanDisk

SEEK Systems

SiliconSystems

SMART Modular Technologies

Solid Access Technologies

Solid Data Systems

STEC

Super Talent Technology

Taejin Infotech

Targa Systems

TDK

Team Group

Texas Memory Systems

TiGi

Transcend Information

Unigen

Vanguard Rugged Storage

Violin Memory

ViON

White Electronic Designs

VMETRO
still can't find it? check the acquired, dead & renamed list

for hybrid disks (flash or battery backed RAM with HDD see the hard disk page
Solid State Disks...

Upcoming articles


Some of the new SSD articles that will be published here in the next few months include:-

RAM versus Flash SSDs - which is Best? - new product architectures have been closing the performance gap between RAM and flash based SSDs. But revenues for companies in both markets have been growing fast. This article will feature inputs from major oems on both sides of the fence explaining in which applications their technology works best.

the 1.8" SSD Guide - will list availability of every SSD by interface in this form factor which is crucial for the notebook market, along with links to reviews and consumer related technical guides.

SSD Data Recovery - SSDs are more reliable than hard disks but they can still fail. Is it possible to do data recovery on flash SSDs? We asked a leading DR company, which already recovers data from simpler flash memory products, to research this subject and tell us more about it.

Flash versus Flash SSDs which is Best? - there's a civil war raging in the flash market and unlike the Blues and Grays it's not so easy to identify which side companies are on.

Which flash technologies are going to win? - and which are going to be sidelined?

In addition to the traditional nand / nor / packaging camps there are new architectures which are using flash memory arrays in novel new ways (on and off chip) to increase performance and reliability.

How much of the internals do you need to know - when deciding on a major supplier commitment? How much can you ignore? Where are products heading in terms of capacity and speed.

the 1.0" and Smaller - Chip / Module SSD Guide - SSDs are appearing in phones, MP3 players and many other consumer devices. This dedicated directory will feature news and market availability of embedded SSDs.

Plus real-time / monthly / quarterly updates on all the existing features including:- top 10 SSD oems, fastest SSDs, SSD Buyers Guide etc.
disk
Hard disk drives

InfiniBand
InfiniBand

Flash Memory
Flash Memory

serial SCSI
Serial Attached SCSI

RAM
RAM

Military storage
Military STORAGE
The single big idea about SSD acceleration is that it can give you the same performance increase as doubling or trebling your processor clock speed! In datacenters that means faster applications and budget saving by deploying less enterprise servers. In notebooks it means better performance and longer unplugged.. SSD Market Adoption
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SD3000 / SD3000X2 high availability SSDs - click for more info
high performance, high availability
FC solid state disk accelerators
from Solid Data Systems

SATA flash SSDs with 150M bytes / sec burst read and 80M bytes / sec sustained write time from MTRON - sorry photo  coming soon
3.5" (128G) & 2.5" (32G) SATA SSDs
80MB/s sustained write
from Mtron

1U rackmount Solid State SAN from Curtis
1U rackmount FC Solid State Disk
from Curtis

SiliconDrives from SiliconSystems
2.5" SiliconDrives
from SiliconSystems

Targa Series 4 - 2.5 inch SCSI flash disk
Removable Military Solid State Disks
from Targa Systems

Tera-RamSan - terabyte solid state SAN storage 3.2 million random  IOPs
Tera-RamSan Enterprise SSD Array
1 Terabyte of Non-Volatile DDR RAM
from Texas Memory Systems

HyperDrive4 is the fastest SSD in 5.25 inch form factor
HyperDrive4 5.25" PATA SSD
44.000 IOPS - from Attorn

1  terabyte solid state disk storage with 12x 4Gbps FC ports -  StorageSPIRE - from Solid Data Systems
StorageSPIRE
1 terabyte solid state disk
from Solid Data Systems

worlds fastest 3.5 inch solid state disk from Curtis
world's fastest 3.5" solid state disk
from Curtis

A25FB - 2.5"   flash SSDs from Adtron with upto 160 GBytes
Adtron 2.5" 160G SATA / IDE solid state
flash disk with secure erase

RamSan-300 entry level SSD from  Texas Memory Systems
RamSan-300 (entry level model)
World's Fastest Storage
from Texas Memory Systems

SiliconDrive CF
SiliconDrive High Speed Type I CF
Form Factor - Solid State Disks
from SiliconSystems

SiliconDrive PC Cards from from SiliconSystems
SiliconDrive PC Card Solid State
Disks - from SiliconSystems

RamSan-400
RamSan-400 Enterprise Solid State Disk
The World's Fastest Storage
from Texas Memory Systems

Mtron flash SSDs 100 megabytes/sec sustained read, 80 megabytes / sec sustained write  click for more info
3.5" (128G) & 2.5" (32G) PATA SSDs
80MB/s sustained write
from Mtron

Dynamic Solutions International supplies solutions for the financial and banking markets
Founded in 1973, DSI is the premier
supplier of solid state disk solutions
to the financial services industry.

Adtron I25FB is the highest capacity 2.5 inch flash solid state disk
Adtron 2.5" 160G IDE solid state
flash disk with secure erase

Universal Solid State Disk USSD 200 from Solid Access Technologies with SAS, FC, SCSI or custom interfaces
performance/price leading
SAS, FC & SCSI enterprise solid state disks
from Solid Access Technologies

Easyco enterprise flash SSD 1U, 2U or 3U silver or black
1U, 2U, 3U enterprise flash SSDs
MFT accelerated appliances
from EasyCo
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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.
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.
In-Stat Says SSDs will be in 50% of Mobile Computers by 2013
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - July 17, 2006 - hard disk drives face competition in the mobile computer mass storage market as flash-based solid state drives stand ready in the wings according to a new report (price $2,995 ) published by In-Stat.

In fact, SSDs have the potential to dethrone HDD as the top laptop storage choice within 10 years, the high-tech market research firm says. The research leads In-Stat to believe that the SSD market share in mobile computers could reach 50% by 2013.

The research was driven by In-Stat's survey of 389 mobile computer users, which allowed primary insight into consumers' valuation of SSD in mobile computers. From this research, In-Stat weighed the perceived benefits of SSDs with the rapidly declining cost/gigabyte trends of Flash to develop a demand sensitive forecasting model. The market inflection point begins in 2010 for In-Stat's expected forecast, as SSDs start to become an economically viable alternative to a wider base of consumers. ...In-Stat profile, Market research

See also:- STORAGEsearch.com's SSD Market Adoption Model - which explains all the market segments for SSDs in the next 5 years.
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article by
War of the Disks: Hard Disk Drives vs. Flash Solid State Disks - article by BiTMICRO

BiTMICRO is the #1 best recognised brand of SSDs (source STORAGEsearch.com 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. ...read the article, ...BiTMICRO Networks profile, Solid State Disks, Hard disk drives

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