Although the Trim command has been defined for nearly a decade, for some reason I have never written a post to explain it. It’s time for that to change.
Trim is something that was never required for HDDs, so it was a new command that was defined once SSDs became prevalent. The command is required because of one of those awkward encumbrances that NAND users must accommodate: Erase before write.
NAND flash bits cannot be altered the same way as an HDD. In an HDD a bit that’s currently set to a “1” can be re-written to a “0” and vice versa. Writing a bit either way takes the same amount of time. In NAND flash a 1 can be written to a zero, but the opposite is not the case. Instead, the entire block (4-16k bytes) must be erased at once, after which all bits are set to a 1. Once that has been done then zeros can be written into that block to store data. An erase is an excruciatingly slow operation, taking up to a half second to perform. Writes are faster, but they’re still slow.
Let’s say that a program needs to Continue reading “What is an SSD Trim Command?”
LSI’s SandForce has just rolled out its SF3700 family of four SSD controllers aimed at the Entry Client, Mainstream Client, Value Enterprise, and Enterprise Storage marketplaces. Performance is impressive, with worst-case random PCIe IOPS at 150K read/81K write and 94K/46K for the SATA interface.
The SF3700 family builds on the division’s first two product families by adding a choice of PCIe or SATA interfaces, LDPC error correction, and a boosted set of flash management features. The SSD Guy will explore this last point after highlighting the other two.
By providing both PCIe and SATA interfaces LSI is directly addressing the future: PCs are aiming to move to the m.2 SSD specification rather than Continue reading “LSI SandForce SSD Controllers Move the Knee in the Curve”
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 “SanDisk to Acquire SMART Storage”
Seagate this week updated its SSD portfolio with four new product families and now claims to have the broadest portfolio of storage products in the industry. This announcement squarely places the company in all the key SSD markets: SATA, SAS, and PCIe.
Here’s Seagate’s new lineup:
Earlier today Tom Coughlin and I presented a BrightTalk webinar in league with the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) to discuss our joint report: How Many IOPS is Enough?
The report is based upon a survey that asked IT managers about their enterprise IOPS requirements. The webinar gives a taste of the report’s contents, and explains the survey methodology. During the course of the webinar and at the end Tom and I answered a number of listener questions relating to the content.
The presentation also includes a little plug for SNIA’s client IOPS survey which is being run by downloading a program called the Workload I/O Capture Program, or “WIOCP.”
A replay of this webinar is available on the BrightTalk website.
The presentation was well received by our audience. Have a listen.
It’s tough to design an SSD controller, and even tougher to make one that can simply compete against the great ones that already ship in volume. To make a truly better controller would seem to require an astonishing effort. It appears that a company with a very odd name: Link_A_Media has done just that.
The company’s first commercial design win in Corsair‘s fourth-generation Neutron Series SSDs was announced at COMPUTEX on June 5th. Corsair’s market focus is high-performance compute hardware aimed at gamers – the company only ships product that can out-perform its competition, and is able to take a higher price thanks to its solid reputation for speed. Getting a first design win at Corsair is a real feather in Link_A_Media’s cap!
But then, today (June 7), Corsair won two Continue reading “Link_A_Media’s Roaring SSD Debut”
SSD 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”
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”