NVMe-oC: Wolley’s New Take on CXL-Based SSDs

Vertical block diagram with a CPU at the top, a CXL link below, and a dashed-line box below that. The Dashed box contains two side-by-side devices: NVMe NAND and Memory. Two bidirectional arrows communicate from these two devices through the CXL link to the CPU. A little red arrow shows data moving directly from the NAND into the memory while bypassing CXL.With all the recent interest in CXL, and its ability to connect a processor to any memory, no matter the speed, it’s only natural that someone would try using it for SSDs.  This notion is the basis for the Memory-Semantic SSD, or MS-SSD.

But MS-SSDs suffer from the same problem as SSDs, hard drives, and other mass storage.  The basic concept requires Continue reading “NVMe-oC: Wolley’s New Take on CXL-Based SSDs”

It’s Official: WDC to Split into HDD & Flash Parts

During the company’s October 30 earnings call Western Digital CEO David Goeckeler started the conversation with the revelation that the company would be split into two, with a new flash-only company to be created in the process.  This plan, intended to increase the company’s shareholder value, was the outcome of a process triggered by activist shareholder Elliott in May 2022, which was the subject of a couple of Continue reading “It’s Official: WDC to Split into HDD & Flash Parts”

Flexible Data Placement Means Better SSDs

Overlay with Fadu's logo over Meta's logoOne of the most compelling keynotes at the Flash Memory Summit last August was presented by SSD controller maker FADU Technology and social media giant Meta (Facebook).  These two companies were advocating a new way of managing SSDs called: “Flexible Data Placement.”  The SSD Guy believes that these two companies’ findings are pretty remarkable and well worth sharing.

Ross Stenfort from Meta presented a timeline showing that since 2019 Meta and Microsoft (Azure) have been working Continue reading “Flexible Data Placement Means Better SSDs”

WDC’s Top-to-Bottom Storage Fabric Approach

Small cropped version of the chassis photo further down in the blog.Western Digital launched a storage fabric architecture in August that aims to address certain issues that occur with existing storage systems.  WDC is furthermore taking a number of steps to try to promote this architecture’s adoption into mainstream storage.  It’s an interesting approach that The SSD Guy thought was worth discussion.

The company is working to address the problem of Continue reading “WDC’s Top-to-Bottom Storage Fabric Approach”

AI’s Feeding Frenzy Killed My Sites

Picture of hungry sharkSome of this blog’s kindly readers alerted me to an outage last week.  The Internet service provider that hosts both blogs (The SSD Guy and The Memory Guy) plus the Objective Analysis website explained that one of the blogs’ activity had suddenly increased to over 100 times what was budgeted, so all three sites were shut down in response.

Time for a speedy call to my website guru for help.  He and I guessed that the culprit was probably Continue reading “AI’s Feeding Frenzy Killed My Sites”

SNIA CXL Webinar

The SNIA logoOn June 27, The SSD Guy moderated a 1-hour CXL webinar, sponsored by the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA).  The slides are already online at the SNIA Educational Library, and a recorded video is available on BrightTalk.  Both attendees and those who missed it can now take advantage of this rare collection of Continue reading “SNIA CXL Webinar”

Tailor-Made Enterprise SSDs

Words "Custom Tailored" and a needle over an SSD's photoAn interesting advertisement appeared in The SSD Guy’s in-box, so I decided to ask more about it.  SSD maker Swissbit is offering to customize one of its enterprise SSD models to match their customers’ workloads.

Matching an SSD to the workload has always been problematic for SSD makers and users alike.  Everyone’s workload is different, and an SSD must be Continue reading “Tailor-Made Enterprise SSDs”

Dealing with a Data Shortage

Thumbnail image of this post's first chartFor the past several years presenters at data-oriented conferences have quoted forecasts for data growth that taxed their vocabularies.  Exabytes gave way to Zettabytes, and then Yottabytes, and these were often charted out on standard linear charts like the one below, with the inevitable result that Continue reading “Dealing with a Data Shortage”

What is Write Amplification?

A 4x4 checkerboard of red, green, and white squaresFor a long time, The SSD Guy has been talking about Write Amplification without explaining what It is.  This post is intended to fix that.

Write amplification is an internal issue for NAND flash SSDs that arises from the way that NAND chips work.  It doesn’t exist in standard HDDs, nor did it exist in DRAM SSDs before we had NAND ones.  In a nutshell it’s the Continue reading “What is Write Amplification?”

Optane’s Legacy, Part III: Memory Expansion and Security

Photo of an Optane DIMM

A lot of folks believe that when Intel’s Optane is gone there will be nothing left but the story of its rise and fall.  That is far from the truth.  Optane has created a legacy of developments that will find use in computing for quite some time.

In this three-part series The SSD Guy blog reviews Optane’s lasting legacy to reveal six changes that it has brought to computing architecture in its short lifetime.

Each of the three parts covers two new developments:


This third and final post will cover Optane’s new approach to memory expansion and the new security Continue reading “Optane’s Legacy, Part III: Memory Expansion and Security”