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 “The First SSD”

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 “An HDD Cache for an SSD?”

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

LSI Acquires SandForce

On October 26 LSI announced its acquisition of leading SSD controller maker SandForce.  The privately-held firm has made significant strides in the development of high-performance controllers that have gained great popularity through a string of impressive benchmark results in the online reviewer community. Continue reading “LSI Acquires SandForce”