In his Flash Memory Summit keynote on Wednesday, Micron VP and Chief Memory Systems Architect Ed Doller made a compelling demonstration of the power and performance advantages of a new approach to computing.
With true showmanship, Doller had his co-workers hand out buttons with LED lights to the entire audience. The LEDs in these buttons were either green or blue, with the colors randomly dispersed among the crowd. Doller asked the entire audience to turn on their lights, then called one row of the audience to file up to the stage so he could determine whether each person’s button was blue or green.
He pointed out that this was like having a single CPU check the contents of a drive. He then asked why things should work this way – wouldn’t it be more sensible to Continue reading
Skyera, a flash appliance start-up, has been working for some time to amaze would-be flash users. The company takes advantage of the most advanced flash processes and non-SSD formats to squeeze as much flash as possible into a 1U cabinet.
Not content with the 44TB maximum of its original 1U skyHawk product (based on 19/20nm NAND chips from Micron and Toshiba) the company, at the Flash Memory Summit, introduced its new product, skyEagle, a system that provides up to 500TB of storage in the same Continue reading
Violin Memory has introduced the 6264 array, doubling the capacity of its earlier 6232 product from 32 terabutes (TB) to 64TB, while remaining in the same form factor. The company has done this by migrating to 19nm MLC NAND flash from Toshiba.
Violin says that this move was made possible by the fact that the company’s arrays aren’t built using standard SSDs, and claims that this has caused Violin’s all flash array revenues to be significantly higher than those of any of its competitors.
With this product the company doubles its power efficiency, when measured in watts per gigabyte, and boosts its Continue reading
Nimbus has introduced its 4th generation Gemini flash array, which the company claims to be the first to use 1xnm NAND flash chips. Along with this announcement Nimbus has reduced pricing by 35% and has increased performance from 2-4 times that of its earlier-generation products.
Using Nimbus’ HALO software the company says it can achieve a cost of $0.78 per usable gigabyte, or about 1/3rd the cost of a comparable hybrid storage array.
The Gemini array uses redundant Continue reading
Today NAND flash is being shoehorned into HDD formats simply because it is persistent – the data doesn’t disappear when the lights go out. This approach fails to take advantage of NAND’s greatest strength – its low cost relative to DRAM – and this prevents it from fully meeting the needs of most data centers.
Since 2004 NAND has been cheaper than DRAM, and today its price per gigabyte is an order of magnitude lower than that of DRAM. NAND is cheaper and slower than DRAM, and HDD is cheaper and slower than NAND.
A role better suited to NAND flash technology is Continue reading
I can already hear readers saying: “Wait! You can’t do that!” Well, you’re right, but the new module comes awfully close to that by putting the NAND behind an ASIC that interfaces between the DDR3 bus and the NAND.
Why do this? Quite simply because you can get more “Bang for the Buck” by adding NAND to the system once you’ve reached a certain DRAM size. The Diablo “Memory Channel Storage” (MCS) approach supports the addition of terabytes of NAND at the loss of Continue reading
OCZ has just introduced a new software/hardware combination aimed at accelerating the performance of Microsoft SQL Server. The OCZ ZD-XL SQL Accelerator combines a custom PCIe SSD with caching software optimized for the SQL Server workload. The company boasted that this product won the “Best of Interop 2013″ award, a distinction certainly worth crowing about!
How does this product differ from standard caching software? OCZ tells us that the key elements required to Continue reading
I had the opportunity to participate in a round table webinar covering the best practices for solid state storage on July 18. The hour-long session (including Q&A) can be replayed at BrightTalk.
In this round table webinar entitled Best Practices for Solid State Storage Implementation storage analyst Tom Coughlin moderated three of us, Radoslav Danilak of Skyera, Esther Spanjer of SMART Storage Solutions, and The SSD Guy (Yours Truly) in a Continue reading
The following is excerpted from an Objective Analysis Alert e-mailed to our clients on 2 July, 2013:
SanDisk Corporation announced on 2 July 2013 an agreement to acquire SMART Storage Systems, the SSD arm of SMART Modular Technologies, for $307 million in cash and equity. The transaction is expected to close in August, 2013.
SMART has strong SSD technology that allows the company to ship MLC-based SSDs with endurance specifications superior to those of some SLC SSDs. The SSD maker had shipments of about $25M in its most recent quarter.
The SMART acquisition will be the fourth Continue reading
Today Kaminario added a performance guarantee and a 7-year warranty to its arsenal. The company introduced its “Consistency Under Failure Guarantee” which ensures customers will see no more than a 25% drop in performance during a system failure. This means that critical operations and applications can continue to run at near-standard performance despite the failure of an SSD or even an entire node. Kaminario president Dani Golan told The SSD Guy last week that this is a conservative guarantee, and that few customers see more than a 10% degradation during failure tests in their own production systems.
As for the 7-year flash endurance warranty, no matter which SSD Continue reading