Monthly Archives: November 2011

When will SSD Prices Drop Below HDD Prices?

From Objective Analysis Report: How PC NAND Will Undermine DRAMThe SSD Guy often hears people ask: “When will SSD prices drop below the prices of HDDs?”

This makes a lot of sense.  After all, NAND flash, which makes up the bulk of the cost of an SSD is renowned for its rapidly-falling prices.

The short answer to this question is: “Never!” Continue reading

SSD Presence Growing at Oracle OpenWorld

At Oracle’s October OpenWorld conference in San Francisco more exhibit hall space was dedicated to SSDs this year than  ever before.  That’s because Oracle runs faster on systems with SSDs than on systems without.

Even Oracle ships SSDs in its popular Exadata system, and the company recently announced that it had shipped over 1,000 installations since its introduction in 2009. Continue reading

The First SSD

Few realize just how long SSDs have been around.  In fact, Dataram introduced the Bulk Core SSD in 1976.

This 2-megabyte wonder, introduced in 1976, was said to offer speeds 10,000 times those of a fixed-head disk, while reducing power consumption, with no moving parts much like the SSDs of today.

Some may object to my calling this an SSD – and with good reason.  It didn’t use semiconductor memory technology, it used core memory. Continue reading

Seagate’s Barracuda to Add Hybrids

On Tuesday, November 1, Seagate announced improvements to its flagship Barracuda line of 3.5″ HDDs for the desktop.

  • The 5,900 RPM Barracuda Green will be discontinued in February
  • The  7,200 RPM Barracuda XT will be re-named the Barracuda (without the XT designation, which indicates a “top of the line” speed)
  • A new Barracuda XT line will be introduced at a later date and it will  incorporate the hybrid design Seagate pioneered in the popular Momentus XT.

Capacities will range from 250GB-3TB. Continue reading

An HDD Cache for an SSD?

University of TorontoA colleague – Isilon’s Rob Peglar – pointed out an interesting paper written by researchers at the University of Toronto in collaboration with Microsoft.  The paper makes a case for using an HDD to cache writes to an SSD to improve storage system performance.

“Wait a minute!” you say.  “An HDD as a cache for an SSD?  This can’t be possible!” Continue reading

What’s the SNIA SSD Performance Test Specification (PTS)?

Click Here for the SNIA SSSI PTSThe Storage Networking Industry Association – SNIA – determined a few years back that it should address SSDs since they were about to become an important part of most storage systems.  To this end SNIA created the Solid State Storage Initiative, or SSSI.

They didn’t name it after SSDs since there will clearly come a time when flash stops pretending it’s an HDD and abandons standard HDD mechanical and interface specifications. Continue reading

Thai Flooding and SSDs

Thailand's FlagInSpectrum, a spot market trading firm, shares a viewpoint that the floods in Thailand could increase SSD consumption.

HDD makers have been severely impacted by this disaster, and are projecting lower unit shipments in the fourth quarter as a result. Continue reading