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You know flash is king when disk giant Seagate grows its SSD line

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: …
Chris Mellor, 14 Jan 2013
channel

Hitachi GST flash stash speed dash

What a turn up for the books: Hitachi GST has just introduced a multi-level cell SSD that's faster – not slower – than its single level cell product. It's also cheaper, but that's expected. MLC flash is supposed to be slower than SLC flash. The SLC Ultrastar SSD400S does 41,000 and 21,000 random read and write IOPS respectively …
Chris Mellor, 09 Aug 2011
Seagate 3TB Barracuda XT

Seagate takes 7.2k notebook drives out back - and shoots them

A momentous moment: Seagate will end production of its Momentus 7,200rpm 2.5in disk-only drives. The storage giant will stop making the gear by the end of this year to focus on drives mixed with flash memory, although it will continue to pump out 5,400rpm disks for cheap laptops. “We are going stop building our notebook 7, …
Chris Mellor, 04 Mar 2013

SanDisk mimics EMC's Lightning

SanDisk has a PCIe server flash card called, as if to mimic EMC, Lightning, developed from its existing Lightning SSDs. The card is available this month from SanDisk resellers with the suggested retail price for the 200GB product of $1,350, $2,350 for the 400GB version. Both have a five-year warranty. EMC introduced its VFCache …
Chris Mellor, 04 Jun 2012
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Frisky Micron flashes its flash

Flash fab operator and drive supplier Micron is going to rapidly strengthen its server flash offerings, as well as developing its desktop/notebook SSDs. At the moment it offers a single PCIe flash card product, the single level cell (SLC) P320h using 34nm technology. According to a chart presented at a Needham investor …
Chris Mellor, 08 Nov 2011

Plextor joins titans of MLC flash at the 90,000 plus club

Plextor has joined OCZ and SMART in the 90,000+ club, the providers of elite MLC SSDs that exceed 90,000 random read IOPs per second. Fast single-level cell (SLC) flash is used to drive SSDs at speeds beyond 100,000 IOPS doing random reads of 4K data blocks. Multi-level cell (MLC) flash, with 2 bits per cell, is slower, shorter- …
Chris Mellor, 10 Aug 2012
HGST SSD1000MR

HGST unveils 12Gbit/s SAS SSDs for bankers, gamers and cloud-pushers

Western Digital subsidiary HGST has slapped 12Gbit/s SAS interfaces on three solid-state drives - which it claims is a storage industry first - and they fly, with one model boasting prolonged endurance as well. The SSD800 and SSD1000 drives store up to 800GB and 1TB respectively, using enterprise grade 2-bit multi-layer cell …
Chris Mellor, 10 Apr 2013

EMC: 'Nope', XtremIO won't link to back-end arrays

Not being happy with an interview write-up, EMC VP and Global Marketing CTO Chuck Hollis rewrote it in his blog with what he considered to be the right answers. This provided new information, to us, about EMC's coming XtremIO networked flash storage array. Answering the question if it will be possible to connect disk arrays to …
Chris Mellor, 07 Dec 2012
euros_channel_money

Thought biz would NEVER go for pricey flash storage? Think again

The benefits of flash memory-based solid state drives (SSDs) have long been trumpeted. Better performance, lighter, quieter, lower power consumption and altogether greener than their hard disk drive (HDD) cousins, the only real barrier up until recently was price. One or two years ago SSDs could cost 10 times as much as an HDD. …
WD RE4 Enterprise disk drive

WD to parade flash-disk mutant for Wall St moneybags this week

Western Digital will face investors on Thursday and tell them what the world's new number-one disk drive supplier is going to do to stay at the top. That means products, products and more products. Having acquired Hitachi GST and its enterprise drives, WD can't wait to put competitive pressure on Seagate and dive deeper into the …
Chris Mellor, 11 Sep 2012
channel

OCZ, SanDisk in flash scrap

OCZ and SanDisk, two enterprise flash drive suppliers, have announced competing products, with SanDisk boasting an HP OEM deal and seemingly better IOPS performance. OCZ has refreshed its Deneva line of enterprise SSDs by updating the SandForce SF-1500 controller processor to the faster SF-2000. OCZ Deneva 2 OCZ Deneva 2 …
Chris Mellor, 22 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

EMC, you big tease! At last, the specs for million-IOPS VNX2

Getting tired of EMC's teaser campaign for its coming VNX refresh in September? Relief is at hand: slide decks, blogs and PDFs seen by El Reg's storage desk confirm that EMC's VNX2 is a 7-product line-up optimised for multi-core CPUs and flash with new operating software. VNX arrays were getting slow because the software couldn' …
Chris Mellor, 22 Aug 2013
TERADIMM Latency vs PCIe flash

SMART Storage: Super DIMM sum adds up to tasty flash soup

Devilishly fast flash data access is on its way, courtesy of SMART Storage interfacing a DIMM-like flash product to a host's memory bus using Diablo Technologies' MCS TeraDIMM technology SMART's ULLtraDIMM product has what it says is ultra low latency compared to existing SSDs and PCIe flash cards. It inherits all of the MCS …
Chris Mellor, 08 Aug 2013
channel

GridIron jiggles MLC flash box, penetrates million IOPS barrier

A start-up called GridIron says its MLC flash technology has broken though the million IOPS barrier, leaving existing products maxing out at 800,000 IOPS behind. Multi-level cell (MLC) flash is cheaper and slower than single level cell (SLC) NAND. Some SLC flash array products reach the million IOPS mark: the TMS RamSan-630 and …
Chris Mellor, 22 Mar 2012
Samsung SSD 840 series

Samsung SSD 840 series storage review

When Samsung launched its first true consumer SSD, the 470, it was met with a generally good reception. Yet the timing of its release pretty much coincided with the arrival of drives using the second generation of LSI’s SandForce controller and its 6Gb/s SATA 3 interface. Hence, the 470 having a 3Gb/s SATA 2 interface was no …
Simon Crisp, 26 Nov 2012
HGST SSD1000MR

Why Flash storage will be fast and furious in 2014

Flash had a fantastic year in 2013 with an enormous number of developments. It was a year of generally positive flash transitions, with cell geometry shrinking, all-flash arrays springing up, flash companies being bought, flash companies crashing back to earth after inflated IPOs or just crashing, and happiness spraying out …
Chris Mellor, 15 Jan 2014
Broken CD with wrench

Leaked Intel roadmap reveals PCIe flash kit

Tom's Hardware has reported a leaked Intel storage roadmap that confirms a PCIe flash product is coming, as well as confirming updates across Chipzilla's three flash product families. According to the slide: The 700-series high-end products have a Ramsdale PRQ coming by the end of the year. It is a 200GB or 400GB PCIe card …
Chris Mellor, 19 Oct 2011
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TMS buckles up first MLC flash product

News from the flash front: TMS has a more affordable small flash SAN product that's higher capacity than the RamSan 710 speed rocket. The multi-level cell (MLC) RamSan-810, has MLC flash replacing the faster single-level cell (SLC) in the 710 which was announced in June. TMS has its RamSan-630 product for large SANs, the 710 …
Chris Mellor, 24 Aug 2011
EMC XtremSF

One day later: EMC declares war on all-flash array, server flash card rivals

EMC is announcing its XtremIO all-flash array and, just 24 hours after Violin Memory's PCIe card launch, a line of XtremSF server flash cards with XtremSW Cache software that effectively expands and renames the VFCache server flash card product line. It appears that the planned Project Thunder server networked flash cache …
Chris Mellor, 05 Mar 2013
cloud

Flash stalks Seagate's hybrid drives

Is Seagate in denial over Ultrabook solid-state storage and the rising capacities of flash drives? In an interview with magazine Barron's at CES 2012, Scott Horn, Seagate's chief marketing officer, said that many people overrate flash. He added that hybrid drives, which use a mix of flash cache and spinning disk, will be popular …
Chris Mellor, 13 Jan 2012
cloud

TMS launches RamSan-70 Gorilla

TMS has doubled the capacity of its PCIe flash card and almost tripled its performance. The RamSan-70, code-named Gorilla, has a capacity of 900GB of single-level cell (SLC) flash, twice that of the preceding RamSan-20. Gorilla, using 32nm NAND from Toshiba, is 2.75 times faster than the RamSan-20, half the size, and has a …
Chris Mellor, 17 May 2011
Violin array flash cards

TLC NAND could penetrate biz with flash-to-flash backup

Violin co-founder and CTO Jon Bennett identified a potential enterprise role for three-level cell (TLC) flash at VMworld Barcelona today: flash-to-flash backup. TLC is currently seen as pure consumer technology. The first TLC NAND SSD has been announced by Samsung. But TLC NAND has a short working life, with 500 - 750 phase/ …
Chris Mellor, 11 Oct 2012

Violin thrusts vSphere into flash arrays, turns them into servers

Flash array vendor Violin Memory is turning is all-flash arrays into virtualised servers by embedding vSphere in them. It has agreed an OEM deal with VMware to run vSphere inside its arrays. Violin's top-end array is the 6616, which uses fast single level cell (SLC) flash with 16TB of raw capacity, 12TB usable, and has two x86 …
Chris Mellor, 28 Aug 2012
graph up

STEC thrusts fat solid disk with godlike stamina

STEC has launched a super long-life SSD capable of having 33PB written to it over a five-year period. Flash cells wear out and so solid state drives (SSD) have a limited working life as the amount of writing activity mounts up. Multi-level cell (MLC) flash has a shorter working life than single-level cell (SLC) flash. This …
Chris Mellor, 01 Dec 2011
Fast and furious combat

How flash storage raced from glory to despair in 2013

Flash dramas abounded in 2013, from triumphant IPOs, disastrous IPO after-effects, profound strategy changes, and firms crashing out in flames. Two CEOs went. Two companies crashed. Several were bought. All in all it was a hell of a year. Let's start with all-flash arrays. All-flash arrays Here's where a lot of the flash …
Chris Mellor, 17 Jan 2014

New CEO takes reins at Virident with $26m in the saddlebag

Looking for a flash of magic, PCIe flash start-up Virident has recruited BlueArc's ex-CEO to take the business forward, with the two co-founders looking after technology and strategy. The firm has also been given $26 million for business development in a fourth round of funding. Mike Gustafson ran BlueArc, the hardware- …
Chris Mellor, 20 Sep 2012
Cat 5 cable

Dash for Flash: Seagate in NAND cash splash

You can't even afford to blink in the flash storage business without something big happening. Now Seagate's gone and invested in DensBits, the start-up that aims to make cheap slow NAND perform as well as fast flash. There are three kinds of flash: single-level cell or SLC, with 1 bit per cell, which is fast and long-lived; 2- …
Chris Mellor, 25 Jun 2012
For Sale sign detail

OCZ conquers Everest, flashes 3-bit NAND at world

OCZ is showing the first mainstream computer flash drive using 3-bit NAND at CES 2012. Flash comes in single-level cell (SLC) form, the fastest, longest-lived and most expensive, and also a 2-bit multi-level cell (MLC) variant which is slower, has a shorter working life but is less expensive than SLC. TLC is an extension of this …
Chris Mellor, 10 Jan 2012
channel

OCZ exposes bulging solid disk for 2012

Happy new year: OCZ expects to ship flash drives with a 50 per cent capacity jump next year, starting shipments in January. It's going to ship 3-bit multi-level cell (MLC or TLC) flash, according to Stifel Nicolaus analyst Aaron Rakers, who was at an OCZ investor presentation last week. TLC flash is inherently slower, less …
Chris Mellor, 08 Nov 2011
homeless man with sign

Flasher macs popular among data centre nerds

FlashMax sounds like a used car salesman from Essex. It's actually Virident's latest server flash card to replace the TachION and comes as Virident pockets $21m in extra funding from VCs keen to invest in the hottest flash market of them all. Fusion-io opened the door to the booming server flash market and tons of would-be …
Chris Mellor, 10 Nov 2011
globalisation

Texas Memory Systems gets some enterprise street cred

Texas Memory Systems (TMS) is getting some enterprise cred – by introducing a high-availability, shared-access RamSan flash array. Competitors such as Violin Memory have criticised TMS RamSan flash SAN arrays for not having high-availability (HA) features that enterprises require when running business-critical applications. TMS …
Chris Mellor, 07 Dec 2011
ULLtraDIMMs

Upstart chip chef Diablo's DIMM yum dumplings cram NAND in RAM

Canadian storage startup Diablo has pulled out what it hopes will be a PCIe-flash killer: its new tech provides fast flash data access by interfacing a NAND partner's solid-state drives to a host server's memory bus. Diablo, founded in 2003, has invented what it calls Memory Channel Storage (MCS) in which NAND flash is packaged …
Chris Mellor, 31 Jul 2013
cable

Intel penetrates PCIe flash biz with long-lasting hardness

A little while after its competitors, Intel has come up with its own PCIe flash card, the SSD 910. It is not a speed king, but boy, does it last: five years at 10 full writes a day. The SSD 910 caps out Intel's 300 and 700 SSD ranges. It is a half-height, half-length PCIe gen 2 x8 card storing 400GB or 800GB of 25nm MLC flash, …
Chris Mellor, 13 Apr 2012
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Anobit doubles flash stash

Israeli flash controller startup Anobit has doubled the capacity of its MSP controller and shipped 20 million of the little devils so far. The existing MSP2020 controller supports from 4GB to 128GB of multi-level cell NAND, either 2-bit – which is shipping – or 3-bit, which we understand is not. MSP stands for memory signal …
Chris Mellor, 09 Aug 2011

The incredible shrinking NAND: I'm MEELLLLTING

NAND is heading to the graveyard, getting closer and closer with every geometry shrink and every added cell bit. Any replacement NV-RAM technology will require controller software rip-and-replace, which could kill one trick pony flash array startups. NAND flash is non-volatile but expensive to make and both ways of making it …
Chris Mellor, 12 Jun 2012
graph up

EMC moves into LSI WarpDrive

LSI WarpDrive solid state drives will be used by EMC in its Project Lightning server flash product. LSI announced the EMC design win in a press release about its 2011 financial results. The SLP-300 WarpDrive is a 100, 200 or 300GB unit using SLC flash and delivering 150,000 random read IOPS (4K blocks), 190,000 random writes …
Chris Mellor, 26 Jan 2012
The Register breaking news

Student Loan Co writes off boss and chairman

Ralph Seymour-Jackson, the chief executive of the Student Loan Company and its chairman John Goodfellow have fallen on their swords following last year's failures. An interim chairman has been appointed while the board searches for an interim chief executive. Problems with the document-scanning system led to long delays for …
John Oates, 26 May 2010
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EMC redefines its flash future

EMC is starting to bet its primary data farm on flash, announcing multi-level cell flash SSDs for its arrays, all-flash arrays and, in a surprise move, server-side flash integrated with array side flash, code-named Project Lightning. The company has already shipped all-flash arrays to customers who requested such customised …
Chris Mellor, 10 May 2011
DVD it in many colours

XtremIO buy to spark flash array startup-gobbling frenzy

We're being told by people close to the action that EMC is buying XtremIO for its peer-to-peer, shared, scale-out flash array technology. Research analyst Andrew Nowinski from Piper Jaffray has positioned XtremIO diagrammatically in the EMC product space, showing how it fills a gap in EMC's storage product portfolio at the top …
Chris Mellor, 24 Apr 2012
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Fusion-io deploys PCIe flash toaster

Fusion-io has refreshed the whole of its ioDrive product range with smaller flash chip dies and new controller firmware to produce high performance, longer lasting flash using less silicon. CEO David Flynn said the current ioDrive technology was introduced four years ago and Fusion was now "introducing something that will toast …
Chris Mellor, 04 Oct 2011
cloud

Intel leaks show a flashy future

Here's a lovely leaked Intel SSD roadmap – thank you engadget – showing six 25nm products coming plus two more 34nm single-level cell speedsters by the end of the year. Intel's SSD range is moving from 34nm process geometry to 25nm geometry. The previous X25 and X18 branding has changed to 300, 500 and 700 brands and the most …
Chris Mellor, 03 May 2011
cable

The Great TLC flash cash-slash: Coming soon to tablets, Ultrabooks

SMART recently announced that its controller technology, the Guardian Technology Platform, could get MLC flash to do 50 full drive writes/day for five years. Now SMART's president has said 1Xnm TLC could be driven to 15,000 to 20,000 PE cycles using SMART's Guardian controller technology, representing a 30X - 40X increase – …
Chris Mellor, 11 Jul 2012
channel

Is a Fusion-io bubble building up?

Did you ever! Fusion-io shares opened at $25, $6 above the $19 IPO price and valuing the company at $1.9bn. Is this a flash bubble? The Fusion-io IPO was priced to value the start-up at $1.5bn, a sum that has now been exceeded, and which seems out of all proportion to the value of Fusion's relatively old technology. Unless new …
Chris Mellor, 10 Jun 2011
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Pliant does MLC flash

The march of MLC flash into mainstream enterprise storage took another step forward today as Pliant launched its Enterprise Flash Disk (EFD) products. Pliant is a startup focused on competing with industry leader STEC to supply solid state drives (SSD) as hard disk drive replacements for storage arrays, where they provide a top …
Chris Mellor, 08 Sep 2010
Punched card

Enterprise storage: A history of paper, rust and flash silicon

The story of data storage is one of ever decreasing circles. What started as holes punched into cards, then into tape, became hard disks, floppy disks, then hard shiny disks, until eventually circles are no longer involved at all. It is also the story of transitions from one medium to another as the IT industry searched for …
Chris Mellor, 09 Sep 2013
channel

Violin strings out fresh flash trio

Shared flash array supplier Violin Memory is announcing three new products, beefing up both the capacity and performance of its products. The existing 3000 range consists of two 3U rackmount enclosures: the 3200 is a 10TB product offering 220,000 sustained write IOPS from its single-level cell (SLC) flash, while the 3140 is a …
Chris Mellor, 27 Sep 2011
fingers pointing at man

IBM in dash for multi-level flash

STEC's 2-bit ZeusIOPS MLC (multi-level cell) flash will be supplied for the high-end DS8800, DS8700 Turbo, and Storwize V7000 storage, but not for IBM's DS5000 arrays. Maybe this s a "not yet" rather than a "not ever", as the DS5000 range does support SSD (solid state drive) use. STEC says that IBM chose it partly because of its …
Chris Mellor, 17 Dec 2010
The second rev of the Oracle Database Appliance, with the X3-2 moniker

Oracle revs Database Appliance to X3-2 – and nearly to Exadata

If you are looking for a server appliance that is pretuned to load an Oracle database on, then Ellison & Co have a new Database Appliance X3-2 they want to introduce you to. Not everyone needs an Exadata database cluster that can scale to petabytes of capacity, and that's why Oracle engineered the Database Appliance for small …
server room

Fusion-io flies into flash SAN space

It's flash SAN marketing war: Fusion-io has expanded upwards from its PCIe server flash card base into networked flash SAN storage, taking on Violin Memory, Pure Storage and all the other all-flash array players via OEMs and system builders who combine Fusion's flash hardware and SAN software with server systems. Fusion's ION …
Chris Mellor, 02 Aug 2012
Hybrid SSHD scenarios

Only way to stop the iPad: Flash-disk mutant SPEED FREAKS

With the rise of the iPad and the growing desire among consumers and enterprise for sexy and speedy gadgets, it seemed that flash gits were holding all the cards. The hard drive industry was holding its breath, wondering how to replicate the expensive experience. But what about hybrid disk drives, the ones that have a lump of …
Chris Mellor, 12 Feb 2013