You know flash is king when disk giant Seagate grows its SSD line
Plus: Might elbow its way into PCIe server flash card market
Seagate is going to expand its solid state drive (SSD) line this year using co-developed Samsung controller technology and introducing its first multi-level cell drive.
Seagate and Samsung have a flash chip supply and controller partnership. Stifel Nicolaus analyst Aaron Rakers has talked to Seagate execs and gleaned that:
Seagate ... will have a refreshed line-up of SATA and SAS solid state drives, based on the co-development work with Samsung on controller technology, in 2013. Additionally, our conversations suggested that the company also plans to launch its first MLC-based PCIe SSDs in 2013.
Seagate currently ships its fast single level cell (SLC) Pulsar XT and Pulsar.2 MLC SSDs. Its recent flash activity includes investing in controller company DensBits, whose technology makes slow, shorter-life TLC (3-bits per cell) flash work for longer.
Just over a year ago, Seagate bought Samsung's disk drive business as part of its reaction to Western Digital buying Hitachi GST and leap-frogging Seagate into the disk drive market revenue leadership. Both Seagate and Western Digital appear to realise that the performance data access market is moving away from fast spinning hard drives into a high-end pure-flash market and a mid-range/low-end hybrid solid state hard drive (SSHD) market. Flash is where the strongest growth prospects are - for both Seagate and WD. Of course, just last year, Seagate was singing a different tune.
A move into the PCIe flash card for servers space from Seagate would be logical. We note Samsung has invested in PCIe server flash card market leader Fusion-io, which will make its relationship with Seagate interesting. The PCIe flash card product space is pretty crowded and the entry of Seagate would not be welcomed by other suppliers. ®
I've already replaced the boot HDD in my 2 year old laptop with an SSD, new lease of life, produces less heat so no fan kicking in all the time, everything is faster, and the battery lasts and extra hour or more (was about 2.5 hours normally, now 3.5 to 4 hours on a charge).
Cost wise, HDDs hit the $1 per GB in 2005, SSDs hit this price early to mid last year. 2005 was also the year the first 500GB HDDs came out and we did get 480/512 SSD drives last year, and 1TB drives are now on their way. So seems SSDs are where HDDs were about 7 years ago, but SSDs are moving faster, so hopefully shouldn't be 7 years to get to a 1TB SSD for £45, or 2TB for £65, maybe 2-3 years?
I think the $1 level was the critical mass point for HDDs, suddenly people were buying more and larger drives which increased demand, increased production, which brought down costs, and so on. SSDs seemed to be going the same way till the hiccup in the market last year, but hopefully is back on track again now.
On original old SSD controllers perhaps.
Are you really writing 50-100 times the drive's capacity every single day for 9 months?
Re: Question to all and sundry
We run 11 SSDs in a RAID 5 array here. They're HP enterprise models. Yes, they do generally "just die" but then in my experience, normal hard drives do that too in servers. ie. you get a message on your monitoring system "Drive 7 has failed" and that's it. In a loud server room, you're not gonna hear any noises, and I've yet to have SMART warn me of anything likely to happen.
But then that's one of the reasons to run them in a RAID array. So long as you get SSDs that support it, with TRIM.