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Storage Visions 2015 -One of the most innovative products to ever hit our lab came in the form of the SanDisk ULLtraDIMM (product evaluation here). The ULLtraDIMM places flash on the memory bus to realize incredible performance gains and the lowest latency possible.
Part of the magic behind the ULLtraDIMM resides in the MCS (Memory Channel Storage) Platform that translates and negotiates the data transfer between the flash and the memory bus. Diablo Technologies partners with SanDisk to provide the ULLtraDIMM, and their MCS platform powers the device. Jerome McFarland from Diablo Technologies briefs us on the continuing refinement of the MCS Platform.
Storage Visions 2015 -Brian Cox from SanDisk stopped by the TweakTown booth at Storage Visions 2015 to discuss SanDisk's wide variety of datacenter products.
Brian also provided us with a glimpse inside the 4TB Optimus Max. Continuing SSD density increases are seriously challenging the HDD segment, particularly in the performance segment. SanDisk has 8TB models slated for release this year, and future capacity increases are on the horizon.
Storage Visions 2015 - Jim Handy, the founder of the Objective analysis consulting firm, fills us in on the challenges facing current cloud storage services. Objective Analysis offers third-party independent market research and data for the semiconductor industry and investors in the semiconductor industry.
Connectivity issues, performance challenges, and data security are all problems that cloud storage providers are working to resolve. Jim explains why cloud storage services do not currently meet the criteria to replace internal storage devices.
Storage Visions 2015 - Robin Harris, an analyst who contributes at ZDNet and operates Storage Mojo, stopped by the TweakTown booth at Storage Visions to discuss the future of the datacenter.
New disruptive technologies are emerging that are altering the future of the datacenter, and Robin walks us through some of the leading trends.
Mangstor has a blazing fast enterprise PCIe SSD hiding in plain sight. The MX6000 comes in both HHHL and FHHL form factors, and features 2TB and 2.7TB of eMLC NAND, respectively. With 1 million random read IOPS and 600,000 random write IOPS the MX6000 lays claim to the title of the fastest PCIe SSD in the world. Thee MX6000 also provides protection from host power loss with a unique solution.
Typical SSDs have a volatile DRAM cache, which requires power-fail circuitry and capacitors to protect the cache. The MX6000 utilizes a next-generation 64MB MRAM cache from Everspin, which provides built-in write persistence for all data, simplifying design and firmware. The MX6000 boasts a beast of an FPGA with 100 cores running at 500MHz to manage the flash. The card utilizes eMLC to provide a robust 8-10 DWPD threshold that will satisfy the most demanding workloads.
Storage Visions 2015 - At the SATA-IO booth at Storage Visions an HGST Ultrastar He8 HDD is on display. The new high capacity drives from HGST are utilizing helium, with their HelioSeal technology, to reduce air resistance and vibration. This allows them to cram more platters into the standard 3.5" form factor. The He8 features the same 7stac architecture as its predecessor, the Ultrastar He6 (review here). This architecture utilizes 7 platters and 14 heads.
The net benefit is 33% more capacity with a decrease of 23% for idle power consumption. The He8 also offers 44% better Watts per TB. The drives also feature Instant Secure Erase for security and Rebuild Assist to speed RAID recovery tasks.
PMC-Sierra has joined the OpenPOWER Foundation, which is dedicated to developing advanced server, networking, storage and acceleration technology, along with open source software. The open source movement is radically altering the design of hyperscale and cloud data centers by providing more efficiency at lower cost.
The OpenPOWER group makes POWER hardware and software available to open development for the first time, as well as making POWER intellectual property licensable to others, greatly expanding the ecosystem of innovators on the platform. PMC will leverage their deep knowledge of SAS and NVMe controllers to help develop new I/O interfaces by sponsoring a new I/O workgroup, along with IBM, Emulex, QLogic and Mellanox.
Crossbar has recently made some encouraging gains in the path to commercializing 3D RRAM by 2016. 3D Resistive RAM (RRAM) promises to break the barriers associated with the reduced endurance of NAND as the lithography shrinks. While the best-in-class SLC NAND can pull off 100,000 write-erase cycles, 3D RRAM can deliver an exponential gain to a mind-boggling 100 million write cycles. 3D RRAM is also denser, up to 10X per chip compared to NAND, and provides speeds up to 20 times that of flash. As an added bonus, it draws less power. Seems to be too good to be true, right? Basically unlimited endurance, faster performance, lower power consumption, and it's all wrapped up in one amazingly dense 1TB chip the size of a postage stamp? Providing a product with the performance of RAM, but the persistence of NAND, is the Holy Grail. But is it feasible?
Crossbar believes they are on the cusp of delivering this almost too good to be true product. Crossbar outlined some of the latest advancements at the 2014 International Electron Devices Meeting. Crossbar has patented their Field Assisted Superlinear Threshold Selector, which overcomes the limitations of a sneak path current issue. Sneak path current disrupts the reading of data from RRAM's cells. By eliminating the problem Crossbar has made a huge breakthrough that will see wearable products entering the market in 2016, at least by their estimates, and SSDs roughly 18 months after. We would assume they mean late 2016.
Toshiba has announced the release of their latest datacenter HDD, the 6TB MG04 series. The MG04 comes in SAS and SATA flavors and also touts a 30% increase in the sustained data rate. The models also feature Toshiba's persistent write cache technology. This technology persists data to the storage medium by utilizing the rotation of the disk platters during a power loss event to generate enough power to flush the data. This power loss protection technique lends another layer of protection for key business-critical storage systems.
The MG04 spins at 7,200 RPM to deliver nearline-class seek performance, and the increased storage density delivers 50% better power efficiency, on a watts-per-TB basis, than previous 4TB models. The drives use 4K native and 512e sector lengths, and models are available with ISE (Instant Secure Erase) functionality. The SAS drives also sport a 12Gb/s connection for compatibility with the latest hardware. The competition in the HDD arena is heating up as we move to denser HDD storage solutions, and the continued advances in HDD technology compliment Toshiba's vast flash-based product portfolio.
WD has announced the all-cash purchase of Skyera, a leading all-flash array vendor. The Skyera acquisition will be folded into HGST, which is fast becoming the flash arm of WD. The purchase of Skyera has larger implications to the world of flash storage as a whole, as it embodies the movement of HGST up the stack to delivering fully-functional storage subsystems.
HGST has been making several key moves in recent years as it solidifies its position as a flash power house. HGST recently brought in Virident and sTEC for their broad storage portfolios and IP, and Velobit was also added to increase their capabilities in the flash-based software acceleration space. These acquisitions have cost WD a whopping $1.4 billion, but solidify their position in the expanding flash market.
Skyera has powerful 1U skyHawk products on the market that pack 136TB of flash, and skyEagle is in the works to provide up to 500TB. These high-powered all-flash arrays lead the market in density and pack quite the performance punch. Skyera was co-founded by Radoslav Danilak, who also pioneered SandForce controllers. Radoslav recently stepped down to become the CTO of the company while Frankie Roohparvar stepped in as CEO. Financial details of the deal are not being disclosed, but estimates run from $200 to $500 million.