Feeds

NetApp flashes array SSD

Another STEC win

Build a business case: developing custom apps

NetApp's Jay Kidd has told SearchStorage that the company's storage arrays will have solid state drives (SSD) announced for them by the end of the year.

Currently NetApp has a two-pronged flash strategy. The first is to have flash caches in its array controllers, the Performance Accelerator Modules (PAM). PAM I is deliverable now and uses DRAM. PAM II was announced last Friday and provides up to 4TB of single level cell (SLC) flash for a controller. It accelerates read I/O for everything in the attached array that is accessed through the controller.

Kidd said that NetApp would be using a native SAS interface for the SSD. STEC, the main supplier of enterprise flash drives to the storage array industry, has a SAS interface for its ZeusIOPS SLC drives. Stifel Nicolaus analyst Aaron Rakers understands that NetApp will be using these STEC drives. This is another terrific design win for STEC.

According to the StorageSearch website, Hitachi GST and Intel are jointly developing a SAS interface SSD but this isn't ready. Toshiba has a SAS interface SSD but it supplies flash for laptops and not enterprise arrays. SandForce is developing a SAS interface SSD but it is not ready. The expected Pliant SSD is also expected to have a SAS interface.

Seagate will have its enterprise flash drive out by the end of the year and this is expected to have a SAS interface, not a Fibre Channel (FC) one. That's curious as one would think a Seagate FC SSD would be a drop-in replacement for a Seagate FC hard disk drive. Rakers says he is repeatedly informed by STEC that no other supplier is developing Fibre Channel interface SSDs.

STEC has recently announced it will produce a multi-level cell (MLC) version of the ZeusIOPS SSD, also using a SAS interface. This will cost less than the SLC Zeus but it will need OEM qualification before adoption.

None of the other competing array SAS SSD suppliers have product, and when they do six to nine months will be needed for OEMs to qualify them, giving STEC a clear run until then.

It's understood that NetApp has not previously announced its array SSD ship intentions because it doesn't see any meaningful revenues from them, at least in the short-term. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
Cutting cancer rates: Data, models and a happy ending?
How surgery might be making cancer prognoses worse
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
VMware's high-wire balancing act: EVO might drag us ALL down
Get it right, EMC, or there'll be STORAGE CIVIL WAR. Mark my words
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?