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Flash Memory Summit 2014 - BiTMICRO's newest MaxIO SSDs pack a whopping 6TB of data into a half-length full-height PCIe form factor. The new MaxIO SSDs feature full data path protection and their proprietary DriveLight Management Software. The MaxIO series leverages Toshiba A19nm MLC NAND to provide 240,000 random read IOPS and 100,000 random write IOPS. Sequential performance weighs in at 1.1 GB/s read and 800 MB/s write. The MaxIO is exceptionally power efficient, requiring less than 30W active for up to 6TB of flash storage. The MaxIO also differentiates by running all of its processes, including ECC, on the SSD. Other alternatives utilize the host server to handle these basic flash management functions.
BiTMICRO tackles some of the inherent challenges of a large capacity SSD by separating their Talino controller architecture into a Split ASIC technology, placing the FTL (Flash Translation Layer) onto a separate processor. This allows the MaxIO to effectively manage the much larger LBA range of a high capacity device, while also enabling global wear leveling techniques to enhance endurance. Cramming as much capacity onto one device is critical in high-density applications that need the performance of an AFA (All Flash Array), but want to maintain the highest performance by keeping the SSD as close to the processor as possible. This helps to reduce any associated networking infrastructure. The drives are optimized for read-centric applications and features up to 1 DWPD of endurance during the five-year warranty period. We were lucky enough to speak with Zophar Sante and Stephan Uriarte about the differentiators and advantages of their new architecture in the video below.
Flash Memory Summit 2014 - The SSD industry is moving fast, and several companies with core SSD controller IP have been purchased by larger companies. As SSDs become more mainstream some of the smaller players, such as SMI, JMicron, and Phison, have become more prevalent in the SSD market.
We took a few moments to speak with Iri Trashanski from Marvell Technology Group about the state of the SSD controller industry. Marvell has one of the broadest lines of SSD controllers in the industry, and they recently announced their latest NVMe SSD controller. The NVMe 88SS1093 also features 3rd generation NANDEdge LDPC (Low Density Parity Check) technology. LDPC is the newest form of error correction that requires less space on the drive and also provides more error correction power. LDPC also allows for varying levels of error correction during different stages of the SSD life cycle.
The 88SS1093 features 4GB/s or 2GB/s endpoints, dependent upon host system customization, via a x4 PCIe 3.0 connection. The leaner command set and multiple queue/pair mechanisms within the NVMe stack will provide higher performance and lower latency in comparison to older interfaces.
Perhaps most importantly, LDPC technology can support 15nm TLC and 3D NAND.The endurance trade-offs of TLC require robust error correction technology. More TLC products are coming to market soon as Toshiba and Hynix start to sell TLC NAND to third parties. The controller supports NVMe 1.1 with its Tri-core CPU architecture, and also supports volumes up to 2TB. The 28nm CMOS process will enable lower cost and less power consumption. Power consumption is always relevant in mobile applications, and the small footprint of the 88SS1093 will likely be found in many laptops in the M.2 form factor.
Flash Memory Summit 2014 - Jim Handy from Objective Analysis stopped by our booth to talk about the latest and greatest in the storage market. Jim's 3D NAND series, which explores the rationale behind 3D NAND and delves into an in-depth breakdown of the architecture, has became a go-to source of information on 3D NAND. His informative series of articles can be found here on thememoryguy.com.
Jim also discusses the possibilities of future storage technology. Objective Analysis offers third-party independent market research and data for the semiconductor industry and investors in the semiconductor industry.
Flash Memory Summit 2014 - Enmotus stopped by to brief us on their Storage MicroVirtualization and MicroTiering data storage solution. The FuzeDrive software takes a new approach to combining the speed of flash with the capacity of HDDs. Users can install any SSD of their choice, be it m.2, PCIe, SATA, or SAS, and use it to accelerate the underlying HDD storage. Thee Enmotus software intelligently analyzes the data patterns and decides which data to promote to the flash storage. The software works at the block level, so users can still leverage RAID configurations to provide HA capabilities.
One of the immediate benefits is that users get to actually use the capacity of the flash device installed in their system, and of course the speed of the system is increased almost immediately. Enmotus is also working on a collaboration with Viking to work with their NVDIMM technology, which should enable even more expansive data acceleration possibilities. We will be including a video of a working demo, so stay tuned to these pages for an update.
Flash Memory Summit 2014 - NVMe has been a popular topic on our pages of late, with our initial article 'Defining NVMe - Hands-on testing with the 1.6TB Intel P3700 SSD' taking an in-depth look at the NVMe specification as a whole, and some included test data that helps highlight the improvements NVMe brings to the table. We followed this with our full evaluation of the first NVMe SSD in the retail space in our 'Intel SSD DC P3700 1.6TB PCIe NVMe Enterprise Review'.
The UNH-IOL (University of New Hampshire InterOperability Lab) tests and certifies NVMe devices for all major vendors. NVMe is a huge topic at the Flash Memory Summit as we see the initial products come to market, and the senior engineer, David Woolf, sat down with us to cover the latest developments.
The UNH-IOL lab is already busy, and with future plug-fests and more products from multiple vendors in the pipeline they will likely bee busy for the next few years ensuring that the future of storage technology works right the first time.
Flash Memory Summit 2014 - Diablo stopped by the booth to give us some updates on their progress. Diablo currently provides the MCS architecture which allows NAND devices to communicate via the memory bus. Their MCS technology has been implemented in the UltraDIMM product from SanDisk, which is definitely one of the most anticipated storage developments this year.
One of the big announcements is a new partnership with Supermicro on their upcoming X9-Series platforms. The addition of another OEM, in addition to IBM, adds another avenue of growth for the MCS ecosystem. Diablo has made great gains in the last year with their original Carbon product, and they are already working on Carbon2. Carbon2 will support the DDR4 bus and bring enhanced functionality, such as NanoCommit technology, which will allow applications to leverage MCS products in a more efficient manner. The move to DDR4 also brings along a reduction in latency, which is impressive considering that the MCS architecture already delivers superb latency.
Flash Memory Summit 2014 - Roger Peene from PMC-Sierra stopped by to chat about their new Flashtec NVRAM drives. Flashtec provides non-volatile DRAM-like performance with the benefit of NAND persistence. These new drives are capable of over ten million IOPS with sub-microsecond latency.
PMC-Sierra has designed the Flashtec drives to work with industry standard interfaces, such as NVMe, via the PCIe 3.0 x8 connection. This makes integration a snap, with no special BIOS or other support required. These drives can fulfill multiple roles in the datacenter due to the ability to be connected as either a memory or block device. Users can actually provision the drives to use both types of addressing simultaneously.
The new drives come in capacities of 4, 8, and 16 GB. These new drives are very exciting and will enable a new ultra-fast storage class memory tier to accelerate critical applications in scale-out storage and all-flash arrays
Flash Memory Summit 2014 - Emilio Billi with A3cube stopped by the booth to discuss their vision for a new datacenter fabric. The shared memory architecture combines distributed non-transparent bridging to extend PCIe features and benefits among multiple servers.
This scalable interconnection fabric can enable exciting new datacenter architectures, especially in clustering and hyperscale applications.
Businesses need to adapt to a constant technological evolution, with "business consumers" helping drive a shift in the traditional workplace. Emerging digital technologies is disrupting the workplace, as embracing consumer computing for business purposes is becoming increasingly beneficial and can transform the workplace.
IT administrators must deal with 'bring your own device' (BYOD) and 'bring your own application' (BYOA), in addition to mobile app development and trying to keep all of these newer solutions secure.
"Starting with the rise of PCs and the Internet era, users have a greater influence on IT strategy and we are currently witnessing the rise of what Gartner calls the 'business consumer' - an employee for whom business activities are one part of a wider lifestyle," said Matthew Cain, Gartner research VP. "Individuals do not stop being consumers when they go to work. Business consumers often make more consumer-like choices in their workplace computing tools and styles to increase efficiency."
In what may eventually prove to be a very shrewd move, Panzura announced today that it will provide a free virtual appliance version of its cloud gateway. Further, they have partnered with Google so that
customers users of the free gateway also get 2TB of free storage via the Google Cloud Platform for one year.
In reading through the press release and blog post on their website, Panzura is clearly looking to drive home the point that there is a stark difference between simply having cloud storage for one office versus actually setting up cloud storage so that it is both high performant AND collaborative across locations. As they point out, the real value add in the Panzura technology is the file locking capabilities for distributed enterprises that have multiple locations. While the gateway may be free, this file locking feature is not.