Showing posts with label Storage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Storage. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Samsung intros 8TB SSD in NF1 form factor - highest capacity NVMe

-Samsung Electronics launched the industry’s highest capacity NVMe solid state drive (SSD) based on Next-generation Small Form Factor – an eight-terabyte (TB) NF1 SSD.

The new 8TB NVMe NF1 SSD has been optimized for data-intensive analytics and virtualization applications in next-generation data centers and enterprise server systems.

"By introducing the first NF1 NVMe SSD, Samsung is taking the investment efficiency in data centers to new heights," said Sewon Chun, senior vice president of Memory Marketing at Samsung Electronics. “We will continue to lead the trend toward enabling ultra-high density data centers and enterprise systems by delivering storage solutions with unparalleled performance and density levels.”

Samsung said its new SSD is built with 16 of Samsung’s 512-gigabyte (GB) NAND packages, each stacked in 16 layers of 256 gigabit (Gb) 3-bit V-NAND chips, achieving an 8TB density in an ultra-small footprint of 11cm x 3.05cm.  This is twice the capacity offered by the M.2 NVMe SSD (11cm x 2.2cm) commonly used in hyper-scale server designs and ultra-slim laptops.

The NF1 SSD features a brand new, high-performance controller that supports the NVMe 1.3 protocol and PCIe 4.0 interface, delivering sequential read speeds of 3,100 megabytes per second (MB/s) and write speeds of 2,000MB/s. These speeds are more than five times and three times that of a typical SATA SSD, respectively. Random speeds come in at 500,000 IOPS for read operations and 50,000 IOPS for writes. Utilizing the new NF1 storage solution, an enterprise server system can perform over one million IOPS in a 2U rack space, significantly enhancing the return on investment for next-generation large-scale data centers. The SSD also includes a 12GB LPDDR4 DRAM to enable faster and more energy-efficient data processing.

To ensure long-term data reliability, the NF1 NVMe SSD has been designed with an endurance level of 1.3 drive write per day (DWPD), which guarantees writing an entire 8TB of data 1.3 times a day over its three-year warranty period.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Toshiba launches lower cost SAS SSDs for servers

Toshiba introduced a new category of SAS SSDs to replace SATA SSDs in servers.

The RM5 12Gbit/s value SAS (vSAS) series feature Toshiba's BiCS FLASH TLC (3-bit-per-cell) 3D flash memory and will initially be available in capacities up to 7.68TB in a 2.5” form factor.

Toshiba said the new drives offer capacity, performance, reliability, manageability and data security advantages – at a price that obsoletes SATA SSDs.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Western Digital intros 14TB HDDs for data centers

Western Digital introduced its new 14TB Ultrastar DC HC530 hard drive -- the highest capacity hard drive based on CMR (conventional magnetic recording) technology.

The new drive, which is based on the company's fifth-generation HelioSeal technology, is designed for public and private cloud data centers where storage density, watt/TB and $/TB are critical parameters for creating the most cost-efficient infrastructure. It is available with either 12Gb/s SAS or 6Gb/s SATA interface.

WD already offers 14TB SMR (shingled magnetic recording) drive.

The company noted that Tencent, a leading global Internet service provider based in China is adopting Western Digital’s HelioSeal-based hard drives for their Tencent Cloud data centers.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Kingston intros consumer-grade PCIe NVMe SSD using 3D NAND

Kingston Digital introduced a line of entry-level consumer-grade PCIe NVMe SSD utilizing 3D NAND for notebooks and desktop. The drive is available in 240GB, 480GB and 960GB2 capacities,

The single-sided M.2 2280 (22mm x 80mm) form factor makes SSD features a Gen 3.0 x2 interface, 4-channel Phison 5008 controller, and 3D NAND Flash. It delivers 2x the performance of SATA SSDs with read/write speeds up to 1500MB/s and 1000MB/s.

Some key specs

Interface: PCIe NVMe Gen 3.0 x2 Lanes
Controller: Phison 5008
NAND: 3D TLC
Sequential Read/Write:

  • 240GB: up to 1,500/800MB/s
  • 480GB: up to 1,500/900MB/s
  • 960GB: up to 1,500/1,000MB/s

Random 4K Read/Write:

  • 240GB: up to 100,000/80,000MB/s
  • 480GB: up to 100,000/90,000MB/s
  • 960GB: up to 120,000/100,000MB/s

MTBF: 1 million hours

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Seagate shows 14TB helium-based Exos HDD

Seagate Technology introduced its 14TB helium-based Exos X14 enterprise drive at the OCP U.S. Summit 2018 in San Jose, California.

The Seagate Exos X14, which is aimed at hyperscale data centers, boasts enhanced areal density for higher capacity storage in a smaller package. It offers built-in encryption with the United States government’s Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2, Level 2 certification and the Common Criteria for Information Technology Security Evaluation (CC) - an international computer security certification standard (ISO/EIC 15408). Other key features include 40 percent more petabytes per rack versus Exos 10TB drives, a 10 percent weight reduction versus air nearline drives, and a flexible design that delivers wider integration options and support for a greater number of workloads.

The drive is currently sampling to select customers and will be followed by production availability this summer.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Toshiba delivers data center SSDs based on 64-layer 3-bit-per-cell flash

Toshiba announced its latest line-up of NVM Express (NVMe) and SATA data center solid-state drives (SSDs) based on its 64-layer 3-bit-per-cell TLC (triple-level cell) BiCS FLASH 3D flash memory. The drives feature controllers designed and developed in-house.

The two PCIe® NVMe SSDs are designed to accommodate multiple data center workload profiles, with capacities ranging from 960GB to 7.68TB in a 2.5-inch form factor. These drives deliver up to 500,000 IOPS random read, up to 35,000 IOPS random write, up to 3,140MB/s sequential read, and up to 1,980MB/s sequential write performance within a 9-14W power envelope.

The XD5 Series is a small-footprint M.2 22110 form factor SSD that supports capacities up to 3.84TB and delivers up to 2,600 MB/s sequential read and up to 890MB/s sequential write performance in a 7W power envelope. All three series are optimized for low latency and performance consistency in read-intensive workloads, for Open Compute Project (OCP) and hyper-scale/cloud applications.

The HK6-DC Series is a 6Gbits/s SATA SSD and is available in 960GB, 1.92TB and 3.84TB capacities. It delivers a performance of up to 85,000IOPS random read and 16,000IOPS random write, and up to 550 MB/s sequential read and 500MB/s sequential write.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Intel intros 4 and 8 TB SSDs based on 64-layer 3D NAND

Intel introduced its first SSD designed for data center applications.

The Intel P4510 Series drives uses 64-layer TLC Intel 3D NAND. The density enables up to four times more terabytes per server and delivers up to 10 times better random read latency at 99.99 percent quality of service than previous generations. Intel says its drive can also deliver up to double the input-output operations per second (IOPS) per terabyte.

The 1 and 2TB capacities have been shipping to cloud service providers (CSPs) in high volume since August 2017, and the 4 and 8TB capacities are now available to CSPs and channel customers.

All capacities are in the 2.5-inch 15 mm U.2 form factor and utilize a PCIe* NVMe 3.0 x4 connection.


To help replace legacy storage hardware, Intel is also introducing two new technologies:


  • Intel Volume Management Device (VMD), which is included with Intel Xeon Scale processors, enable robust management such as surprise insertion/removal and LED management of PCIe SSDs directly connected to the CPU. 
  • Intel Virtual RAID on CPU (VROC) uses Intel VMD to provide RAID to PCIe SSDs. Replacing RAID cards with Intel VROC yields up to twice the IOPs performance and up to a 70 percent cost savings with PCIe SSDs directly attached to the CPU.


Intel also noted that the Enterprise and Datacenter SSD Form Factor specification was recently ratified by the EDSFF Working Group, which includes Intel, Samsung, Microsoft, Facebook and others.

Intel has been shipping a pre-spec version of the Intel SSD DC P4500.

  •  In August 2017, Intel introduced its  "ruler" form factor for SSD. Instead of the traditional, 2.5" or 3.5" rectangular box for disk drives, Intel's ruler is a long, thin box designed to slide in to a 1" server chassis, plugging in via a PCIe interface at the end of the ruler. It is a slick design. Apart from looking better, the long, thin shape dissipates heat easier. Intel showed a 1” RU server chassis accommodating 32 of these SSD rulers, creating up to 1 petabyte of storage. Intel could offer Optane SSDs and/or 3D NAND SSDs in this form factor.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

SK Hynix ships 72-Layer 512Gb 3D NAND Flash SSD

SK Hynix announced an enterprise SATA Solid State Drive based on its 72-Layer 512Gb (Gigabits) 3D NAND Flash chips.

SK Hynix combined the 72-Layer 512Gb 3D NAND Flash with its in-house firmware and controller to provide the maximum density of 4TB.  The drive supports sequential read and write speed of up to 560MB/s (Megabytes per second) and 515MB/s, respectively, and it can perform 98,000 random read IOPS and 32,000 random write IOPS. SK Hynix also improved the read latency, which is of the utmost importance in eSSD performance. The Company is sampling the product to server and data center clients in the United States.

SK Hynix is also sampling an enterprise PCIe (PCI Express) SSD to server and data center clients. The PCIe SSD will also use the 72-Layer 3D NAND and have a capacity of more than 1TB. The 1TB PCIe SSD operates at 2,700MB/s and 1,100MB/s of sequential read/write speed and runs random read/write performance of 230,000 IOPS and 35,000 IOPS.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Samsung cranks out 512-GB Flash for mobiles

Samsung has begun production of the first 512-gigabyte (GB) embedded Universal Flash Storage (eUFS) for next-generation mobile devices. A smartphone with 512GB of flash would be capable of storing approximately 130 4K Ultra HD (3840x2160) video clips of a 10-minute duration.

The new devices stack together eight 64-layer 512Gb V-NAND chips and a controller chip.

Samsung said its new 512GB UFS doubles the density of its previous 48-layer V-NAND-based 256GB eUFS, in the same amount of space as the 256GB package.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Toshiba intros 10 TB HDD for video surveillance

Toshiba America Electronic Components introduced a 10 TB hard drive designed for 24/7 streaming operation scenarios, and is typically used for surveillance digital video recorders (SDVR), surveillance network video recorders (SNVR) and Hybrid SDVR. The 3.5-inch drive is optimized to support up to 64 camera streams. Higher capacity and transfer rates enable support for higher resolution camera streams to meet changing compliance mandates for surveillance data.

The MD06ACA-V Series features 7,200 rpm access performance, and the new 10TB model delivers a 58 percent increase in maximum sustained transfer rate when compared to Toshiba’s prior MD04ABA-V series, pushing it to 237MiB/s3.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Toshiba announces 10TB Enterprise Capacity HDDs

Toshiba America Electronic Components introduced its biggest spinning hard disks yet -- the 10 TB MG06 Series Enterprise Capacity HDD, boasting a 25 percent capacity increase compared to prior generations/

In addition to a heftier capacity, the 10TB MG06 Series features a greater maximum sustained transfer rate, 237 MiB/s2, than the earlier MG05 Series, as well as a 25 percent increase in MTTF3, with a rating of 2.5M hours.

“The volume and value of digital data across organizations of all sizes continue to create opportunities and challenges for CSPs, server and storage vendors, and IT professionals,” said Scott Wright, Director of HDD Product Marketing at Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. “Toshiba’s new MG06 Series advances performance and value across a range of Enterprise Capacity HDD models to better align with the diverse needs of systems and solutions for Cloud and Business Critical applications today.”

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Minio raises $20m for Multi-Cloud Object Storage

Minio, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California, raised $20 million in Series A funding for open source object storage for cloud-native and containerized applications.

Minio has developed an object storage server that enables developers to store unstructured data on any public or private cloud infrastructure, including multi-cloud deployments. The solution lets users build their own Amazon S3-compatible object storage on bare metal, public cloud or existing SAN/NAS storage infrastructure.

Minio reports  over 10M downloads since its general availability in January 2017.

The Series A funding round was jointly led by Dell Technologies Capital, General Catalyst Partners and Nexus Venture Partners, with participation by Intel Capital, AME Cloud and Steve Singh.


Thursday, August 31, 2017

SanDisk packs 400GB into microSD

SanDisk announced the highest capacity microSD card to date: 400GB. This would be sufficient for 40 hours of full HD video. Transfer speed is rated at up to 100 MB/s.

The 400GB SanDisk Ultra microSDXC UHS-I card comes just two years after a 200GB version was announced. MSRP is $250.

“We continue to push technology boundaries and transform the way consumers use their mobile devices,” said Sven Rathjen, vice president, product marketing, Western Digital.

http://www.sandisk.com

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

WD Acquires Tegile for Flash arrays

Western Digital agreed to acquire Tegile, which offers flash and persistent-memory storage solutions for enterprise data center applications. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Tegile, which is based in Newark, California, has been offering flash storage solutions since 2012. The company claims 1,700 customers.

“The Tegile acquisition will fit perfectly in Western Digital’s long-term strategy to deliver high value solutions that address customers’ rapidly evolving storage needs,” said Mike Cordano, president and chief operating officer of Western Digital. “The addition of Tegile’s technology and talented team will advance our goal of solving customers’ most significant challenges in capturing, preserving, transforming and accessing data. We welcome the Tegile team to Western Digital and look forward to working together to enhance our leadership position in enterprise and cloud-based storage.”

http://investor.wdc.com
https://www.tegile.com/


  • Tegile's investors include August Capital, Capricorn Investment Group, Crosscreek Advisors, Meritech, Pine River Capital Management, and Western Digital Capital.

Pure Storage names Charlie Giancarlo as new CEO

Pure Storage annnounced the appointment of Charlie Giancarlo, replacing Scott Dietzen, who will take on the role of Chairman of the Board.

Giancarlo is known for his leadership roles at Cisco, where he previously served as Chief Technology Officer and Chief Development Officer. Since leaving Cisco, he has shared his management experience across Silver Lake Partners’ portfolio, including as Avaya’s Interim CEO, as well as on the boards of Arista, Accenture and ServiceNow.

https://blog.purestorage.com/august-24th-announcement-1/

Monday, August 28, 2017

WD acquires Upthere app for consumer cloud storage

Western Digital has acquired Upthere, a start-up that offers an enhanced cloud storage experience for consumers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Upthere, which is based in Redwood City, California, offers an app that is "designed to be the single home for all of a user’s photos, videos, documents and music." The Upthere app is available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices, as well as macOS and Windows PCs.

WD said Upthere’s technology and team will augment itss Client Solutions business unit.

In addition, Western Digital announced that Barbara Nelson will lead its Cloud Services business. Ms. Nelson recently joined Western Digital from IronKey, a cloud security business where she was executive vice president and general manager.

http://www.investor.wdc.com

Sunday, August 27, 2017

IBM Offers Data Protection Software

IBM announced a new data protection software with hybrid cloud capabilities that can rapidly move data from on-premises back-end storage to public or private clouds.

IBM said the software is designed to be used by virtual machines (VM) and application administrators. It also provides data clone functionality to support and automate DevOps workflows.

IBM Spectrum Protect Plus is offered for two different deployment options, either as a stand-alone software installed into virtualized environments or as an integrated function with IBM’s Spectrum Protect software, which can be used by large enterprise clients with diverse data protection and availability requirements.

IBM Spectrum Protect Plus also has data protection and monitoring based upon automated Service Level Agreements to provide backup status and support retention compliance.

IBM Spectrum Protect Plus provides data availability using snapshot technology for rapid backup, recovery and data management.

https://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/53024.wss

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Flash Memory Summit – big changes in non-volatile memory part 3

Hyperconverged platforms, such as those offered by Nutanix, have proven to be extremely successful in the market because they integrate compute, networking and storage in a single, scale-out box. They are a new way of looking at the old problem of how best to connect these three resources. In a similar fashion, the Open Compute Project, which was launched by Facebook six years ago, set out to rethink how compute, storage and networking could be optimised at the rack level to build hyperscale data centres.

What we’re seeing now, as evidenced by the 2017 Flash Memory Summit in Silicon Valley, is that non-volatile memory is advancing at a faster pace than other storage technologies, and at faster pace than compute (CPUs and GPUs), or networking. Ethernet has continued to progress in either 10X or 4X steps, but recently, these have taken time. In data centres, 10G backbones are common. Carrier backbones typically run utilise 100G links.

These statements were true a year ago – or even two years ago. We see some 400G pluggable transceiver apparently ready for market this year. But will 400G be rapidly adopted in either data centres or carrier networks? For a variety of network engineering reasons, implementing 400G in a network is not as easily done as deploying new SSDs with 4 times the capacity as last year’s model.

More importantly, Samsung Electronics has a ten-year roadmap showing how its 3D NANDs will evolve from 4th generation to 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th over the course of a decade.

The company says the physics of the last two generations in this progression have yet to be solved but so far look possible. At this point, it seems likely that this rapid evolution will deliver 2X or 3X capacity improvements every two years of less. On the networking side, we’ve seen the Ethernet Alliance publish an Ethernet Roadmap that envisions a proliferation of new interface speeds. This roadmap predicts terabit speed interfaces by 2020, scaling up to 10 terabits/second by 2030. Storage innovation may be winning this race.

Here are some other interesting observations on the storage market.

Western Digital pushes 3D NAND to 96 layers

Western Digital, which received the Flash Memory Summit ‘Best of Show’ award for its BiCS4 technology, has now pushed its 3D NAND technology to 96 layers of vertical storage capability. This marks several years of continuous improvement. In 2016, WD announced 64-layer 3D NAND after achieving 48-layer 3D NAND in 2015. Last month, the company also announced the development of its first four-bits-per-cell (X4) 3D NAND technology. More layers translate into more capacity.
Toshiba faces uncertainty but moves to 64-layer, triple-level Flash

Toshiba’s semiconductor division has been a state-of-turmoil due to restructuring and likely sale. Various suitors have been suggested and apparently rejected either by the company or the Japanese authorities.  Most recently, Toshiba’s management appears to be nearing a deal to sell the business to a consortium led by Bain Capital, although this too may be at an impasse.  The joint venture with SanDisk (a division of WD) focused on flash memory has become mired in legal disputes. Apparently, Toshiba will not ship its latest generation of 96-layer BiCS modules to SanDisk.
Nevertheless, at Flash Memory Summit, Toshiba America Electronic Components (TAEC) introduced its first enterprise SSDs utilizing the 64-layer,3-bit-per-cell TLC (triple-level cell) technology flash memory: the PM5 12Gbit/s SAS series and the CM5 NVM Express (NVMe) series. Toshiba’s PM5 series will be available in a 2.5-inch form factor in capacities from 400GB to 30.72TB], with endurance options of 1, 3, 5 and 10DWPD (drive writes per day). Toshiba also introduced its own consumer SSDs for PCs and laptops based on the same 64-layer technology. Capacity options include 256GB, 512GB, and 1024GB.

Toshiba is also introducing the first MultiLink SAS architecture, enabling up to 3350MB/s of sequential read and 2720MB/s of sequential write in MultiLink mode and 400,000 random read IOPS in narrow or MultiLink mode.

Mellanox looks to NVMe over Fabrics

Mellanox Technologies is pushing ahead with its BlueField System-on-Chip (SoC) for NVMe over a network fabric. BlueField integrates all the technologies needed to connect NVMe over Fabrics flash arrays. It provides 200 Gb/s of throughput and more than 10 million IOPS in a single SoC device. In addition, an on-board multicore ARM processor subsystem enables flexible programmability that allows vendors to differentiate their software-defined storage appliances with advanced capabilities. The BlueField chip can be used to control and connect All Flash Arrays and Just-a-Bunch-Of-Flash (JBOF) systems to InfiniBand and Ethernet Storage fabrics. The Mellanox SoC combines a programmable multicore CPU, networking, storage, security, and virtualization acceleration engines into a single, highly integrated device. Refence storage platforms are now ready.

“By tightly integrating high-speed networking, programmable ARM cores, PCIe switching, cache, memory management, and smart offload technology all in one chip; the result is improved performance, power consumption, and affordability for flash storage arrays. BlueField is a key part of our Ethernet Storage Fabric solution, which is the most efficient way to network and share high-performance storage,” stated Michael Kagan, CTO of Mellanox.

Seagate revs its Nytro Flash storage

Seagate Technology introduced enhanced versions of two flash technologies to boost performance and capacity for mixed data center workloads. The updated solid-state drives — including the 2 TB Nytro 5000 M.2 non-volatile memory express (NVMe) SSD and the Nytro 3000 Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) SSD — address different segments of the cloud and data center markets. The latest Nytro 3000 SAS SSD offers a dual-port SAS interface to maintain data integrity in the event of an unexpected communication channel loss. Capacity is 15TB, more than four times the capacity of the previous version.

Seagate also previewed plans to offer a 64-terabyte (TB) NVMe add-in card (AIC). This forthcoming product boasts a read speed of 13 gigabytes per second (GB/s) — the fastest and highest-capacity SSD ever demonstrated.

“Large-capacity SSDs are in high demand in hyperscale computing, a market that is growing faster than any other sector,” said Jim Handy, general director of research firm Objective Analysis. “Seagate’s new SSDs, with their high-performance interfaces and high capacities, should find ready acceptance in this market and other data center applications.”

WekaIO, a start-up based in San Jose, California with R&D in Israel, introduced a cloud-native scalable file system that scales to exabytes of data in a single namespace while delivering a big performance boost to applications, processing four times the workload compared to IBM Spectrum Scale measured on Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. (SPEC) SFS 2014. A key innovation is that WekaIO eliminates bottlenecks and storage silos by aggregating local SSDs inside the servers into one logical pool, which is then presented as a single namespace to the host applications. A transparent tiering layer offloads cold data to any S3 or Swift cloud object store for unlimited capacity scaling, under the same single namespace.

In partnership with Intel, WekaIO is now demonstrating a native NVMe-oF system using the new “ruler” form factor for Intel SSDs. The companies said this enables a storage capacity of beyond 1PB in 1U while delivering more than 3 million IOPS.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Flash Memory Summit – big changes in non-volatile memory - part 2

Over the past year, we’ve seen that HDD capacity increases have plateaued. Spinning disks have been surpassed in storage capacity by SSDs. Performance comparisons between the two is not even a topic of debate. For CIOs, the deployment of flash storage arrays is easy and offers an immediate boost in IOPs for critical applications. More importantly, all the innovation in new drive development has shifted to flash. We are now seeing many approaches being tried in the market to boost SSD performance even further, to scale up to new drive capacities and new array architectures, to adopt new form factors for better rack-scale integration, and increase manufacturing volume to finally meet market demand.

In the first part of this article, we covered Samsung’s rapid progression with 3-D NAND technology. With the arrival of its 5th generation 3D NAND next year we will see 2.5” SSDs soar into the 128TB range. The company says its on-track for 5 more generations of 3-D NAND in the coming decade. In this second part of the article, we’ll look at innovations from another giant, Intel, which has also set its sights on bringing non-volatile memory technologies to the forefront of server, system and data centre design, as well as developments from Nimbus Data and the Gen-Z consortium.

Intel’s non-volatile memory advancements

Intel began shipping its first SSDs as early as 2008 and has been on a continuous improvement path ever since. In 2010, Intel and Micron Technology entered into a partnership focused on NAND flash memory. In 2015, Intel and Micron announced 3D XPoint technology, which was described as the first new memory category since the introduction of NAND flash in 1989, with promises to be up to 1,000 times faster and up to 1,000 times greater endurance than NAND, while being cheaper than DRAM and non-volatile. Intel then adopted the "Optane" brand for products based on thistechnology, while Micron adopted the QuantX brand. Optane is fundamentally different from NAND and uses a combination of unique Intel memory + storage controllers, Intel interconnect IP, and Intel software.

Introducing the memory ruler

Intel's big news at last week's Flash Memory Summit was its new "ruler" form factor for SSD. Instead of the traditional, 2.5" or 3.5" rectangular box for disk drives, Intel's ruler is a long, thin box designed to slide in to a 1" server chassis, plugging in via a PCIe interface at the end of the ruler. It is a slick design. Apart from looking better, the long, thin shape dissipates heat easier. Intel showed a 1” RU server chassis accommodating 32 of these SSD rulers, creating up to 1 petabyte of storage. Intel could offer Optane SSDs and/or 3D NAND SSDs in this form factor.

It’s been a while since a new storage drive format gained widespread acceptance. Intel will need to bring its new form factor to standardization, perhaps via the Open Compute Project, although this was not confirmed. The ruler design should prove to be particularly useful in hyperscale data centres, where plug-n-play convenience is especially useful when 100s of thousands of servers need to be maintained. Intel also noted that its ruler form factor could be used for plug-in accelerators, perhaps FPGA boards optimized for specific functions. No timeline was given for when the ruler might enter the market.

Intel and Attala Systems also announced an FPGA-based accelerated RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE) networking solution designed to serve as high-performance, composable storage infrastructure with features such as self-learning orchestration and provisioning capabilities. The idea is to create an adaptable storage infrastructure that is essentially an elastic block storage (EBS) solution, accelerated. Attala Systems is a start-up based in San Jose, California that was founded by Sujith Arramreddy, who previously co-founded ServerEngines (acquired by Emulex for $250 million in 2010) and ServerWorks (acquired by Broadcom for $1.4 billion in 2001). Attala's CEO is Taufik Ma, who previously was co-GM of Intel's Server System business unit before leaving for a storage/networking start-up. Nimbus Data sees 500 TB SSDs by 2020

Nimbus Data is a privately-held develop of all-flash arrays based in Irvine, California. The company observes that 40 million nearline/high-capacity HDDs are shipped per year, and all of them use the 3.5” form factor. At Flash Memory Summit, Nimbus Data introduced a software and multiprocessor solution for OEMs developing next-generation solid state drives for data centres. Whereas conventional SSDs are based on a single flash controller, Nimbus ExaDrive is based on a distributed multiprocessor architecture. Inside an ExaDrive-powered SSD, multiple ultra-low power ASICs exclusively handle error correction, while an intelligent flash processor provides wear-leveling and capacity management in software. Nimbus sees an opportunity for its ExaDrive being used in super capacity SSDs that let data centers rip-andreplace HDDs with flash. ExaDrive supports the standard SAS interface and is optimized to fully utilize the volume of the 3.5” form factor.

Nimbus said its ExaDrive is used by Viking Technology and SMART Modular Technologies in 50 TB and 25 TB SSDs for cloud infrastructure, technical computing, and digital content storage. The company predicts that its ExaDrive software-defined architecture will enable SSDs as large as 500 TB by the year 2020, achieving up to 600 petabytes in a single rack. This represents a 50x increase over what is possible with HDDs today. “ExaDrive’s software-defined multiprocessor architecture for SSDs delivers a game-changing leap forward in capacity, density, and energy efficiency that HDDs will never be able to recoup,” stated Thomas Isakovich, CEO and Founder of Nimbus Data. “ExaDrive broadens the appeal of flash memory to tier 2 and nearline use cases, enabling flash to become the dominant data center storage media.”

Gen-Z consortium targets data centres

The Gen-Z Consortium is a vendor-led group that is developing an open systems interconnect with memory semantic access to data and devices via direct-attached, switched or fabric topologies. Its major members include AMD, ARM, Broadcom, Cray, Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Huawei, IDT, Micron, Samsung, SK hynix, and Xilinx. At this year’s Flash Memory Summit, the group had planned it’s the Gen-Z multi-vendor technology demonstration, connecting compute, memory, and I/O devices. Despite the unfortunate fire at a vendor booth on the opening day of the event, the demo was still able to occur in a nearby meeting room.

The demo showed FPGA-based Gen-Z adapters connecting compute nodes to memory pools through a Gen-Z switch, creating a fabric connecting multiple server vendors and a variety of memory vendors. Such a highperformance and scalable fabric/interconnect could be implemented in future data centres. The demo also featured a scalable prototype connector defined by the Gen-Z Consortium, running at 112 giga-transfers/sec. “We are excited to showcase the first technology demonstration of Gen-Z that includes solutions from multiple member companies, including a variety of servers, memory and I/O devices, all connected with a Gen-Z fabric,” said Kurtis Bowman, President of the Gen-Z Consortium. “The consortium continues to meet the planned development schedule and we expect to see initial Gen-Z products in the 2019-2020 timeframe.”

http://genzconsortium.org/

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Flash Memory Summit – big changes in non-volatile memory - part 1

Can you imagine a 128 TB SAS SSD? It is coming soon from Samsung in the familiar 2.5” disk drive package and destined for the next generation of cloud data centres. Leading companies and start-ups from across the storage industry met at this week's Flash Memory Summit in Santa Clara, California. A key takeaway from the event is that solid state storage continues to improve at a rate much faster than networking technologies. Solid state drives surpassed spinning disks in total capacity some time ago - Samsung announced a 16 TB SDD in August 2015 and currently offers a 32 TB SSD, but prices remain high.



The market is driven by unrelenting demand for flash drives in laptops, desktops and servers, especially in cloud data centres where there has been an uptick in spending over the last few quarters. NAND prices on a $/GB are significantly higher than they were 12 months. According to data from Objective Analysis, contract prices for NAND averaged $0.30 per gigabyte on July 2nd, compared to $0.20 per gigabyte a year ago. Looking at Amazon.com, the street price of a 500 GB SSD is about the same in mid-2017 as last summer. Meanwhile, with higher prices and relentless demand in the current market, the leading manufacturers of 3D NAND are doing quite well. For Samsung Electronics, this translated into very strong revenue and earnings for its June financial report, which predicted that a tight market for DRAM and 3D NAND will continue for the rest of the calendar year.

In a presentation at Flash Memory Summit, Jim Handy of Objective Analysis predicted that NAND prices will remain stable at these rates through mid-2018, but will then suddenly collapse due to a saturation of new supply entering the market. His argument goes that all vendors have begun to ship 3D NAND but only in limited volume due to the complexity of mastering 3D NAND manufacturing. Over time, these complexities are being ironed out, manufacturers will move to add additional layers of stacking and the cost per GB will become cheaper for 3D NAND than for 2D planar NAND. Objective Analysis expects a steep oversupply of 3D NAND by late 2018, even before significant new manufacturing facilities in China come online.

Disruption at Flash Memory Summit

This year’s Flash Memory Summit was disrupted on opening day by a fire in the exhibition area, apparently an electrical issue at one of the vendor stands. Thankfully no one was hurt, but the exhibits were cancelled for the remainder of the event. Conferences and keynotes were the forum for technological disruptions, of which there are plenty in this rapidly evolving segment.

Firstly, Samsung made several important announcements and previewed that massive 128 TB SSD. At a fundamental level, Samsung said its 3D NAND roadmap is progressing on schedule. Last year, Samsung introduced its 4th generation, 64-layer triple-level-cell V-NAND flash memory. This has now gone into production and is being used for products such as the 32TB SSD. Drive capacity and performance are expected to scale up with the upcoming v5 generation of 3D NAND. Samsung has already started work on v6 and v7, with an assumed 18-month interval between each generation. Samsung executives seemed confident they will be able to squeeze at least ten generations out of 3D NAND technology, which provide another decade of continuous improvement if Flash SSD. Beyond that, other non-volatile memory technologies will need to be developed.
Samsung's 1 TB V-NAND chip

Samsung also announced a 1 TB V-NAND chip, slated for commercial production next year, that will enable 2 TB of memory in a single V-NAND package. This is achieved by stacking 16 x 1 TB dies – an advancement the company considers 'one of the most important memory advances of the past decade'.

Samsung is introducing a 16 TB NGSFF (next generation small form factor) SSD that is designed for use in 1U rack servers. Measuring 30.5 x 110 x 4.38 mm, the Samsung NGSFF SSD aims for improved space utilisation and scaling. The company showcased a 1U sample design, codenamed Mission Peak, that pack 36 of the units for a total capacity of 576 TB in the 1 RU appliance. Samsung is looking for partners on this new drive form factor.

In addition, for extreme SSD read/write performance, Samsung introduced its first Z-SSD product, boasting 15 microseconds of read latency time, which is approximately a seventh of the read latency of an NVMe SSD. At the application level, the company estimates its Z-SSDs can reduce system response time by up to 12 fold compared to using NVMe SSDs.

Samsung is also introducing a technology it calls Key Value SSD. Whereas today's SSDs convert object data of widely ranging sizes into data fragments of a specific size called 'blocks', the new Key Value SSD technology allows SSDs to process data without converting it into blocks. Samsung said its Key Value instead assigns a ‘key’, or specific location, to each value, or piece of object data, regardless of its size. The key enables direct addressing of a data location, which in turn enables the storage to be scaled.

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