The SSD You Can’t Fly With

Press photo of Boeing 747-8 (courtesy of Boeing Corp.)RunCore has just introduced a wonderfully innovative new SSD feature that could create new problems for air travel.

From the company’s press release: “RunCore’s Xapear is a smart USB 2.0 connected SSD solution with RFID protection, allowing you to split your data into a freely accessible partition, and a hidden partition that only becomes accessible by applying a special RFID key to your SSD. Furthermore, the Xapear offers remote data destruction by simply sending an SMS over your GSM from your mobile device to the integrated GSM receiver, which then will immediately start Continue reading “The SSD You Can’t Fly With”

Intel Jumps Into the PCIe SSD Market

Intel's 910 PCIe SSDIntel has gotten into the fast-growing and lucrative market for PCIe SSDs.  The company has announced a PCIe SSD, the 910, that provides the high performance you would expect of a PCIe drive with the quality guarantees that customers expect of Intel.

Who could blame them?  Fusion-io has become a Wall Street darling for creating the PCIe SSD market, and still rides it to continually growing revenues.  LSI is fascinated by the growth of its Warp Drive.  Micron attained a significant design win at EMC, Texas Memory Systems (TMS) has had success in its own narrow markets, and Virident, OCZ, and STEC have also participated in the PCIe SSD’s market growth.

Intel’s 910 consists of four Hitachi SAS SSD Continue reading “Intel Jumps Into the PCIe SSD Market”

Violin D-Round Values Company at $800M

A Violin Memory VIMM Memory ModuleViolin Memory has announced a $50 million mezzanine round that indicates that its latest crop of investors values the company at $800 million.  That’s pretty good for a start-up whose product has only been shipping since the end of 2008.

This round includes increases from existing investors Toshiba and Juniper Networks (a Violin user) along with new investors SAP Ventures, Highland Capital Partners, and others now joining the pool.

The company has been recruiting a highly-pedigreed staff from companies like Continue reading “Violin D-Round Values Company at $800M”

Avnet’s SSD Virtual Summit

Avnet's SSD Virtual SummitOn April 3 & 4 Avnet Embedded will host an on-line conference called the SSD Virtual Summit.  This free on-demand seminar will feature a keynote by Yours Truly, The SSD Guy, and presentations by leading SSD makers and related firms including Adaptech, Crucial, Dell, HGST, Intel, Kingston, LSI, Micron, OCZ, Rorke Data, Seagate, SMART Storage, STEC, and Toshiba.

Come join in to learn the latest information on SSDs.

Micron: SSD Over-Inventory at OEMs & Channel

Excess Inventory of SSDsDuring Micron Technology‘s quarterly earnings call an interesting tidbit was revealed: PC OEMs and Micron’s sales channel partners are carrying SSD inventory from panic buys they made in response to Thailand’s floods.

It seems that Micron’s OEMs and channel partners expected the HDD shortage that resulted from the floods to create new market opportunities for SSDs.  This is not an uncommon notion, and it was first discussed by The SSD Guy in a blog post early last November with another post added in January.  It seems that the messages of these posts didn’t reach those OEMs.

Micron mentioned this because Continue reading “Micron: SSD Over-Inventory at OEMs & Channel”

OCZ: Three Solid State Storage Products in Three Weeks

OCZ's PCIe Z-DriveSSD maker OCZ has been on something of a tear recently, introducing three new solid state storage products in three weeks:

  • Two weeks ago the company introduced the Z-Drive R4 CloudServ PCIe SSD, designed for the data center, in single-card capacities ranging from 300GB-16TB.  This product can transfer data at multiple gigabytes per second rates to deliver over a million IOPS.
  • Last week saw the introduction of the OCZ-SANRAD VXL enterprise storage accelerator, after OCZ’s January acquisition of SANRAD.  This product is flash cache acceleration software for VMware ESX and Citrix Xen virtualized environments that allows Continue reading “OCZ: Three Solid State Storage Products in Three Weeks”

New White Paper: Enterprise Reliability, Solid State Speed

Kaminario's K2 SystemThe SSD Guy has just posted a new white paper to the Objective Analysis home page.  It’s about Kaminario‘s approach to solid state storage.

Yes, this is a commissioned white paper, but that doesn’t preclude my taking the same unbiased approach my clients have come to expect.  Kaminario has re-thought how SSDs should be used in storage, and that deserves some attention.

It’s only six pages, but even so I will condense the content for this post:  Flash is tricky Continue reading “New White Paper: Enterprise Reliability, Solid State Speed”

Hitachi’s New 2nd Generation SAS SSDs

Hitachi UltraStar SSD400S.BToday Hitachi announced the company’s second generation Ultrastar SSD400S.B family, which Hitachi claims to be the industry’s first 25nm SLC enterprise-class SSD family.

This comes only two days after Intel announced a 25nm MLC SSDIntel‘s highest-performance SSD to date.

The new Hitachi SSDs support a SAS 6Gb/s dual port interface. SLC NAND flash was chosen for its high write performance and endurance.

Maximum sequential read speeds of 536MB/s and a sequential write speed of up to 520MB/s with 57K random read IOPS and 25K random write IOPS help to give ultra-fast access to data.

Continue reading “Hitachi’s New 2nd Generation SAS SSDs”

Fast New Intel SSD: The 520

Intel's 520 Press PictureIntel has announced a new SSD for the Enthusiast/Gamer market.  Intel’s fastest drive to date, this SSD, formerly known as “Cherryville” but now called the 520, is the first Intel SSD to use a SandForce/LSI controller and is made using Intel’s own 25nm flash.

Intel worked with SandForce for  a year and a half to produce an SSD that met Intel’s rigorous standards, and made hundreds of changes to SandForce’s firmware.  Users of SandForce controllers can differentiate their SSDs through the addition of features in the SSD controller’s firmware.  Intel did this by tapping into its expertise in end-to-end data protection (something the company learned when working with Hitachi to introduce that company’s Intel-based enterprise SSDs) while harnessing Intel’s deep understanding of its own NAND flash and of the I/O needs of the PC.

End-to-end data protection is not a trivial feature: Continue reading “Fast New Intel SSD: The 520”

Victorinox’ Terabyte-in-Your-Pocket

Victorinox 1TB SSDAt The Consumer Electronics Show this week, Swiss army knife maker Victorinox introduced a one-terabyte SSD in a form factor similar to a fat Swiss army knife.  Yes, that is right – a terabyte of NAND flash in your pocket.  The company tells us that the device’s dimensions, including the connector, are a scant 52x18x10mm.

Some of the other features include the use of an eSATA connector (to allow the product to be plugged into either a SATA port or a USB socket), AES256 encryption (any army would like this), and a bi-stable LCD to tell how much free space remains on the device.

But let’s look at the difficulty of building a 1TB flash SSD in such a small space:

Continue reading “Victorinox’ Terabyte-in-Your-Pocket”