SSDs hit mainstream stride

November 17, 2010 – You know a storage technology is hot when there are four significant (well, at least interesting) announcements related to that technology in a single day. Such was the case yesterday with announcements related to solid-state disk (SSD) drives from Hitachi GST (in partnership with Intel), LSI, Violin Memory, Anobit and Intel.

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (GST) claims to be the first hard disk drive (HDD) vendor to ship both SAS and Fibre Channel “enterprise-class” SSDs, albeit in only limited quantities to OEMs, with production shipments ramping over the first half of next year.

See “Hitachi GST enters SSD market.”

LSI announced a PCIe accelerator card based on SSD technology this week, with shipments slated for the end of the month. With 4KB block sizes, LSI claims performance of 240,000 IOPS on sequential reads and 200,000 IOPS on random reads. At an MSRP of $11,500, LSI’s 300GB WarpDrive SPL-300 card isn’t cheap but the company has some cool technology that integrators can bundle, including MegaRAID CacheCade and FastPath software.

See “LSI ships SSD-based accelerator card.”

Violin Memory introduced cache appliances based on flash and DRAM memory that significantly boost the performance of NFS-based NAS systems. The secret sauce in the NFS caching software comes from Violin’s acquisition of Gear6 earlier this year.

See “Violin’s cache appliances accelerate NFS NAS.”

Also yesterday, Anobit announced that it had received $32 million in a funding round led by Intel Capital, Intel’s equity investment unit. That brought the total funding behind Anobit to more than $70 million. Anobit specializes in NAND flash memory and Memory Signal Processing technology.

It’s not surprising that so many vendors are trying to get a piece of the SSD market. Market researcher IDC predicts that the total SSD market will grow at a 58% CAGR in unit shipments and a 44% CAGR in revenues over the next few years.

However, the fastest growing segment of the overall market is enterprise SSDs, where unit shipment are expected to surge at a CAGR of 74%, and revenues are expected to grow at a 54% clip, through 2014.

IDC expects the total SSD market to exceed $7 billion in 2014.

Related article: “Vendor group develops standards for PCIe SSDs”


posted by: Dave Simpson

Dave Simpson, Editor-in-Chief
by Dave Simpson

Dave Simpson has been the Editor-in-Chief of InfoStor since its inception in 1997. He previously held editorial positions at publications such as Datamation, Systems Integration, and Digital News and Review. He can be contacted at dsimpson@quinstreet.com

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