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    IDEMA Diskcon Sep 9-10, 2010

    September 8th, 2010

    DISKCON USA 2010 – Santa Clara, CA

    September 9 & 10, 2010 – Conference and Trade show, Hyatt Regency, Santa Clara, CA

    Keynote Dinner – September 9, 2010 – Santa Clara Convention Center, Ballrooms E&F, 6pm No Host Cocktails and 7pm Dinner

    Announcing our Keynote Dinner Speaker – Clod Barrera, Distinguished Engineer and Chief Technical Strategist for IBM’s Systems Storage, “The Innovator’s Dream – Storage Systems in an Age of New Requirements and New Technology”

    Exhibit hours: Thu 10 am – 5 pm; Fri 10 am – 4 pm

    Note: SNIA SSSI members will speak at the following times:

    Tom Coughlin – Friday, September 10, 2010
    # 1:15pm – 4:30pm
    # Futures of Storage

    Tom Coughlin, Eden Kim – Friday, September 10, 2010
    # 9:00am – 12:00noon
    # Market Analyst Session
    # Dr. Tom Coughlin, Founder & President, Coughlin & Associates: Invest in New Technologies or Divest in Market Share: Hard Disk Drive and Component Companies Face a Critical Decision to Grow or Die
    #Eden Kim, CEO, Calypso Systems, Inc.: Calypso 2010 Blind Survey of SSD Performance

    #Esther Spanjer, Director, SSD Technical Marketing, SMART Modular Technologies – Poster Session: Enterprise SSD vs. Client SSD


    SSD Blind Survey at Flash Memory Summit

    August 27th, 2010

    Calypso recently presented an Industry Blind Survey of SSD Performance at the Flash Memory Summit.

    The survey compared (9) MLC, (8) SLC, and (1) 15K RPM SAS HDD.  The Chart shows all sample drives at RND 4K IOPS x Block Size for 65:35 R/W mix.  Small Blocks are in the back, large Blocks are in the front, IOPS are the Y axis.  This Chart clearly shows the general Steady State performance of SLC and MLC SSDs while referencing a 15K RPM SAS HDD.

    Take aways?  There is a lot of variance in performance between SSDs, but it is nice to see an apples to apples comparison on a Device Level.  RND 4K IOPS at a 65:35 R/W mix is a good corner case benchmark.  All  numbers are Steady State and comply with the recently released SNIA SSS Performance Test Specification.   All measurements were taken on the SNIA compliant Calypso Reference Test Platform.


    SSS Performance Test Specification Coming Soon

    July 9th, 2010

    SSS Performance Test Specification Coming Soon

    A new Performance Test Specification (PTS) for solid state storage is about to be released for Public Technical Review by the SNIA SSSI and SSS TWG.  The SNIA PTS is a device level performance specification for solid state storage testing that sets forth standard terminologies, metrics, methodologies, tests and reporting for NAND Flash based SSDs.  SNIA plans to release the final PTS v 1.0 later this year as a SNIA architecture tracking for INCITS and ANSI standards treatment.

    Why do we need a Solid State Storage Performance Test Specification?

    Lack of Industry Standards / Difficulty in Comparing SSD Performance

    There has been no industry standard test methodology for measuring solid state storage (SSS) device performance. As a result, each SSS manufacturer has utilized different measurement methodologies to derive performance specifications for their solid state storage (SSS) products. This made it difficult for purchasers of SSS to fairly compare the performance specifications of SSS products from different manufacturers.

    The SNIA Solid State Storage Technical Working Group (SSS TWG), working closely with the SNIA Solid State Storage Initiative (SSSI), has developed the Solid State Storage Performance Test Specification (SSS PTS) to address these issues. The SSS PTS defines a suite of tests and test methodologies that effectively measure the performance characteristics of SSS products. When executed in a specific hardware/software environment, SSS PTS provides measurements of performance that may be fairly compared to those of other SSS products measured in the same way in the same environment.

    Key Concepts

    Some of the key concepts of the PTS include proper pre test preparation, setting the appropriate test parameters, running the prescribed tests, and reporting results consistent with PTS protocol.  For all testing, the Device Under Test (DUT) must first be Purged (to ensure a repeatable test start point), preconditioned (by writing a prescribed access pattern of data to ensure measurements are taken when the DUT is in a steady state), and measurements taken in a prescribed steady state window (defined as a range of five rounds of data that stay within a prescribed excursion range for the data averages).

    Standard Tests

    The PTS sets forth three standard tests for client and enterprise SSDs:  IOPS, Throughput and Latency and measured in IOs per second, MB per second and average msec.  The test loop rounds consist of a Random data pattern stimulus in a matrix of R/W mixes and Block Sizes at a prescribed demand intensity (outstanding IOs – queue depth and thread count).  The user can extract performance measurements from this matrix that relate to workloads of interest.  For example, 4K RND W can equate to small block IO workloads typical in OLTP applications while 128K R can equate to large block sequential workloads typical in video on demand or media streaming applications.

    Reference Test Environment

    The SNIA PTS is hardware and software agnostic.  This means that the specification does not require any specific hardware, OS or test software to be used to run the PTS.  However, SSD performance is greatly affected by the system hardware, OS and test software (the test environment).  Because SSD performance is 100 to 1,000 times faster than HDDs, care must be taken not to introduce performance bottlenecks into the test measurements from the test environment.

    The PTS addresses this by setting forth basic test environment requirements and lists a suggested Reference Test Platform in an informative annex.  This RTP was used by the TWG in developing the PTS.  Other hardware and software can be used and the TWG is actively seeking industry feedback using the RTP and other test environment results.

    Standard Reporting

    The PTS also sets forth an informative annex with a recommended test reporting format.  This sample test format reports all of the PTS required test and result information to aid in comparing test data for solid state storage performance.

    Facilitate Market Adoption of Solid State Storage

    The SSS PTS will facilitate broader market adoption of Solid State Storage technology within both the client and enterprise computing environments.

    SSS PTS version 0.9 will be posted very shortly at http://www.snia.org/publicreview for public review. The public review phase is a 60-day period during which the proposed specification is publicly available and feedback is gathered (via http://www.snia.org/tech_activities/feedback/) across the worldwide storage industry. Upon completion of the public review phase, the SSS TWG will remove the SSS PTS from the web site, consider all submitted feedback, make modifications, and ultimately publish version 1.0 of the ratified SSS PTS.

    PTS Press Release……

    Watch for the press release on or about July 12, and keep an eye on http://www.snia.org/forums/sssi for updates.


    Solid State Storage Initiative – Transition in Leadership: Looking Back and Going Forward

    May 14th, 2010

    SSSI and SSS TWG:

    The SNIA Solid State Storage Initiative (SSSI) recently noted the transition in leadership from founding Chair Phil Mills of IBM.  Phil Mills, Secretary of the SNIA Board of Directors, drove formation of the SSSI in late 2008 and was instrumental in developing the Initiative’s organizational mission and objectives as well as forming the associated SNIA Solid State Storage Technical Working Group.  Due in large part to Phil’s Herculean efforts, the SSSI was successful in attaining critical mass by recruiting 26 founding members – a number that continued to grow to the current membership of 34 SSSI member companies, along with 56 SSS TWG member companies.

    SSSI Mission:

    The founding mission statement of the SSSI articulated a dedication to “foster the growth and success of the solid state storage market for client and enterprise applications… that encompasses marketing outreach, education, collaboration with SSS industry standards bodies, development of SNIA SSS Specifications and Standards (such as the SSS TWG), and a close following of advancements in non-volatile memory for solid state mass storage.”

    Progress to Date:

    Taking stock of the SSSI at this transition point, it is clear that the SSSI has been very successful in effecting these goals.  The SSSI has active committees for Marketing, Business Development, Education, Technical Development and SSS Total Cost of Ownership.  In conjunction with the work in the SSS TWG, the SSSI has made great strides in all areas.  Deliverables achieved to date include establishment of the SSSI as THE authoritative voice on Solid State Storage Performance, collaboration and cooperation with other Standards groups and Trade Associations (JEDEC, SSDA, and others), completion of several key white papers and tutorials on many aspects of solid state storage, industry noted presentations and presence at trade shows and events, completion of a TCO calculator for SSS, on-going investigations in emerging areas of SSS technologies (such as “drive pairing” and “storage tiering”) and imminent release of the SSS TWG Performance Test Specification for Public Technical Review – the industry’s first SSS Performance Specification whose goal is to help standardize the nomenclature, metrics, methodologies, tests and reporting of SSS performance.

    Looking Forward:

    Phil leaves the Initiative at at time of great market activity and leaves in place a capable team to carry the SSSI forward.  The SSSI Governing Board has appointed Paul Wassenberg of Marvell as the acting SSSI Chair.  Paul has been the chair of the TechDev sub committee and allows for a seamless transition with Paul’s extensive interaction with Education, Busdev, and the SSS TWG.  Paul and Marvell are also one of the founding companies of the SSSI and has been instrumental in getting the Initiative to where it is and will be key in moving us forward.

    Come Join Us:

    The SSSI continues to evangelize Solid State Storage and will have numerous opportunities to contribute to standardization of the SSS industry and widespread adoption and deployment of SSS mass storage.

    Thank You Phil:

    The entire SSSI wants to thank Phil for his dedication, leadership and vision and hopes to take the SSSI to the next level.  In that vein, the Initiative actively seeks to expand its membership and to address topics of interest to the SSS community and the Initiative’s membership.  People and companies that have an interest in participating in this exciting industry are invited to visit the SSSI at http://www.snia.org/forums/sssi