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    SNIA’s Solid State Storage Initiative Advances the Industry at Flash Memory Summit

    August 28th, 2015

    A classic case of SNIA Solid State Storage Initiative (SSSI) member collaboration for industry advancement was on display in the SSSI booth for NVDIMM-N demonstration at the Flash Memory Summit (FMS) 2015. Under the direction of SSSI Chair Jim Ryan and coordinated by NVDIMM SIG co chairs Arthur Sainio and Jeff Chang and TechDev Committee chair Eden Kim, the SSSI was able to update and include NVDIMM-N storage performance in the SSSI marketing collaterals on the Summary Performance Comparison by Storage Class charts.

    2015SummaryPerformanceChart.NVDIMM.1200

    Five SSSI member companies – AgigA Tech, Calypso, Micron, SMART Modular, and Viking Technology – collaborated over a four week period on the introduction of a new NVDIMM-N storage performance demonstration. While it is rare to have potential competitors collaborate in such a fashion, NVDIMM-N storage represents a new paradigm for super fast, low latency, high IO/watt storage solutions. The NVDIMM-SIG has taken a leadership position by evangelizing the technology and developing the industry infrastructure necessary for large scale deployment.

    This collaboration highlighted a classic blend of technical, marketing and industry association cooperation.

    In the weeks leading up to FMS, the NVDIMM-SIG planned for an in-booth demonstration of the NVDIMM-N storage modules. To pave the way for universal adoption, the team worked together to dial in the Intel Open Source block IO development driver to meet the standards of the SNIA Performance Test Specification (PTS). An added goal was inclusion of NVDIMM-N modules as a new line item on the Summary Performance Comparison by Storage Class chart which lists PTS performance for various storage technologies. Under the guidance of NVDIMM-SIG, a rush project was instigated to get NVDIMM-N performance data tested to the PTS for the trade show.

    Micron took the lead by lending a Supermicro server with Micron NVDIMM-N to Calypso for testing. Calypso then installed CTS test software on the server to allow full testing to the PTS. Viking and SMART Modular contributed by helping dial in the drivers, as well as sending modules from Viking and SMART Modular to cross reference with the Micron modules. The test plan was comprised of several test iterations using single, dual and finally quad modules using each of the vendor contributed modules.

    The early single and dual module tests ran into repeatability and stability issues. NVDIMM-SIG consulted with Intel on the nuance of the Intel block IO driver while Calypso continued testing. The team successfully completed a test run that met the PTS steady state requirements on the quad module in time to release data for the show.

    We had a solid demonstration at the SNIA SSSI Flash Memory Summit Booth on NVDIMM-N Performance complete with marketing collateral available for review and a handout. NVDIMM-SIG members responded to the many questions and interest in the NVDIMM-N storage technology.

    fms booth

    “Once again,” said SSSI Chair Jim Ryan, “we can see the value and benefit of SNIA SSSI to its members, the SNIA educational community and the NVDIMM industry. I believe this is a great case study in how we all can contribute and benefit from working within the SSSI for the betterment of individual companies, market development and the Solid State Storage industry at large.” SSSI provides educational and marketing materials free of charge on its public website while SNIA SSSI members may join the NVDIMM-SIG and other SSSI committees. Anyone interested to find out more about the SSSI or any of its many committees can go to the following link http://www.snia.org/sssi.

     


    Data Recovery and Selective Erasure of Solid State Storage a New Focus at SNIA

    July 15th, 2015

    The rise of solid state storage has been incredibly beneficial to users in a variety of industries. Solid state technology presents a more reliable and efficient alternative to traditional storage devices. However, these benefits have not come without unforeseen drawbacks in other areas. For those in the data recovery and data erase industries, for example, solid state storage has presented challenges. The obstacles to data recovery and selective erasure capabilities are not only a problem for those in these industries, but they can also make end users more hesitant to adopt solid state storage technology.

    Recently a new Data Recovery and Erase Special Interest Group (SIG) has been formed within the Solid State Storage Initiative (SSSI) within the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA). SNIA’s mission is to “lead the storage industry worldwide in developing and promoting standards, technologies and educational services to empower organizations in the management of information.” This fantastic organization has given the Data Recovery and Erase SIG a solid platform on which to build the initiative.

    The new group has held a number of introductory open meetings for SNIA members and non-members to promote the group and develop the group’s charter. For its initial meetings, the group sought to recruit both SNIA members and non-members that were key stakeholders in fields related to the SIG. This includes data recovery providers, erase solution providers and solid state storage device manufacturers. Aside from these groups, members of leading standards bodies and major solid state storage device consumers were also included in the group’s initial formation.

    The group’s main purpose is to be an open forum of discussion among all key stakeholders. In the past, there have been few opportunities for representatives from different industries to work together, and collaboration had often been on an individual basis rather than as a group. With the formation of this group, members intend to cooperate between industries on a collective basis in order to foster a more constructive dialogue incorporating the opinions and feedback of multiple parties.

    During the initial meetings of the Data Recovery and Erase SIG, members agreed on a charter to outline the group’s purpose and goals. The main objective is to foster collaboration among all parties to ensure consumer demands for data recovery and erase services on solid state storage technology can be performed in a cost-effective, timely and fully successful manner

    In order to achieve this goal, the group has laid out six steps needed, involving all relevant stakeholders:

    1. Build the business case to support the need for effective data recovery and erase capabilities on solid state technology by using use cases and real examples from end users with these needs.
    2. Create a feedback loop allowing data recovery providers to provide failure information to manufacturers in order to improve product design.
    3. Foster cooperation between solid state manufacturers and data recovery and erase providers to determine what information is necessary to improve capabilities.
    4. Protect sensitive intellectual property shared between data recovery and erase providers and solid state storage manufacturers.
    5. Work with standards bodies to ensure future revisions of their specifications account for capabilities necessary to enable data recovery and erase functionality on solid state storage.
    6. Collaborate with solid state storage manufacturers to incorporate capabilities needed to perform data recovery and erase in product design for future device models.

    The success of this special interest group depends not only on the hard work of the current members, but also in a diverse membership base of representatives from different industries. We will be at Flash Memory Summit in booth 820 to meet you in person! Or you can visit our website at www.snia.org/forums/sssi for more information on this new initiative and all solid state storage happenings at SNIA.   If you’re a SNIA member and you’d like to learn more about the Data Recovery/Erase SIG or you think you’d be a good fit for membership, we’d love to speak with you.  Not a SNIA member yet? Email marty.foltyn@snia.org for details on joining.


    New SNIA SSSI Webcast May 28 on Persistent Memory Advances

    May 22nd, 2015

    Join the NVDIMM Special Interest Group for an informative SNIA Brighttalk webcast on Persistent Memory Advances:  Solutions with Endurance, Performance & Non-Volatility on Thursday, May 28, 2015 at 12:00 noon Eastern/9:00 am Pacific.  Register at http://www.snia.org/news_events/multimedia#webcasts

    Mario Martinez of Netlist, a SNIA SSSI NVDIMM SIG member, will discuss how persistent memory solutions deliver the endurance and performance of DRAM coupled with the non-volatility of Flash. This webinar will also update you on the latest solutions for enterprise server and storage designs, and provide insights into future persistent memory advances. A specific focus will be NVDIMM solutions, with examples from the member companies of the SNIA NVDIMM Special Interest Group.


    Solid State Summit Webinar Presentations Now Available for Viewing

    April 30th, 2015

    The April 21/22, 2015 Solid State Storage Summit, presented by SNIA and the Evaluator Group on the SNIA Brighttalk Channel, was a great success.  Attendees raved about the high quality content and knowledgable speakers.

    Did you miss it?

    No worries!  Now you can listen to  SNIA Solid State Storage Initiative experts and analysts from the Evaluator Group on the latest updates on Solid State Technology.  Click on the title of each presentation to listen to this great technical information.

    Day 1Solid State Systems – 5 different webcasts from Intel, Load Dynamix, Evaluator Group, EMC, and HP

    Day 2 – Solid State Components – 5 different webcasts from the San Diego Supercomputer Center, NetApp, Micron, Toshiba, and SMART Modular


    MRAM Topic of Open SSSI TechDev Committee Call Monday February 2 at 2:00 pm PT

    January 30th, 2015

    As part of their educational offering, the SNIA Solid State Storage Initiative TechDev committee will feature Barry Hoberman speaking on Spin Transfer and MRAM.

    This conference call and SNIA WebEx at 2:00 pm Pacific time February 2, 2015 is open to the public. Find the answers to your questions on Spin Transfer/MRAM, including:

    • What are the drivers pushing emergence / adoption of Spin Transfer / MRAM?
    • What are the compelling advantages of Spin Transfer / MRAM?
    • What are the key applications that will be able to take advantage of MRAM?
    • What has to happen for Spin Transfer to find traction and deployment?
    • When will Spin Transfer / MRAM market adoption take place?

    Dial-in to: snia.webex.com Meeting Number: 794 116 066 password: TechDev2015 Teleconference: 1-866-439-4480 Passcode: 57236696#

    Looking forward to seeing you!


    What a Solid State We Store In

    June 30th, 2014

    Note:  This blog entry is authored by SNIA Solid State Storage Initiative Governing Board member Gilda Fosswho serves on the SNIA Solid State Storage Initiative [SSSI] Governing Board as well as her role as Industry Evangelist in the CTO Office at NetApp, Inc

    Solid state drives use semiconductor chips, as opposed to magnetic media, to store data.  The chips that solid state drives use are non-volatile memory meaning that the data remains even when the system has no power.  I’ve written about solid state drive technology in the past and I will continue to, for it represents the first major advancement in primary storage in a very long time.  Serving on the Governing Board of the SNIA Solid State Storage Initiative, it allows me to help foster the growth and success of the market for solid state storage in both enterprise and client environments. Our goals are to be the recognized authority for storage made from solid state devices, to determine and document the characteristics of storage made from solid state devices, and to determine and document the impact of storage made from solid state devices on system architectures.

    So what can you expect if you were to ever upgrade to an SSD?  Well, for starters your computing experience will be transformed with screaming fast random access speeds, multi-tasking proficiency, as well as fantastic reliability and durability… and you can choose between an external SSD or even a hybrid drive so you’ve got some options.  A new SSD will make your system faster because the boot times will decrease, launching apps will be lightening fast, opening and saving docs will no longer drag, copying and duplicating file speeds will improve, and overall your system will have a new ‘pep in its step’.  Furthermore, to promote being green, SSDs consume far less power than traditional hard drives, which means they also preserve battery life and stay cooler.  Who doesn’t want and need that? They’re also very quiet, with none of the spinning and clanking you get with HDDs – for obvious reasons. SSDs are cooler and quieter, all the while being faster.

    Since modern SSDs are Flash-based, there is no real hard-defined difference between Flash and SSD.  Rather, as mentioned previously, Solid State Disk is essentially storage that doesn’t require moving parts and Flash is what allows that to exist.  SSDs use Flash instead of RAM these days, since it’s a type of memory that’s super fast and doesn’t require continuous power, making it non-volatile.  A match made in solid-state heaven.

    There are some fundamental aspects that folks expect from a robust flash-based storage solution.  First off, I/O performance and efficiency for many applications, including database acceleration, server and desktop virtualization, and cloud infrastructure.  You should also expect to speed up overall IT performance, boost responsiveness of performance-critical applications, and reduce power costs and over-provisioning.  Furthermore, you will obviously use more high-capacity, low-cost SATA drives while improving utilization of your data center space.  If you can achieve all your flash-based goals without changing your IT infrastructure management processes, then you’ve really got it good.

    Flash storage has customarily had substantial aging issues. In a nutshell, a user could only write to the memory a certain number of times before they would just lose that section of the drive coupled with the fact that performance would degrade over time, too.  However, a lot of these issues were resolved and companies started manufacturing SSDs out of Flash memory instead of out of RAM.

    I’ve stated in the past that many people in the industry believe that flash SSDs will eventually replace traditional hard drives.  By the time this happens other characteristics, such as slower write time and added cost, will likely have been eradicated or significantly diminished. Even today, an SSD can extend the life of a laptop battery, reduce the weight of the system, make it quieter, and increase read performance.  When properly and optimally engineered, SSDs are now at least as reliable as traditional spinning hard drives.  Relating to the faster speed, think of one starting up in seconds versus minutes. Even the slowest current SSD gives you much improved real-world performance than does the fastest conventional hard drive, perhaps even 100x as fast.  This allows for better user productivity, allowing for more work to get done in a fraction of the time.  Furthermore, using flash in enterprise storage servers means you can support more users, do more work, and use less power so it’s no wonder that it’s become an important technology for business transactions.   It’s a solid win-win-win.

    SSSI’s 2014 Mission

    This SNIA initiative was formed in September 2008 and its mission is to foster the growth and success of the market for solid state storage in both enterprise and client environments. Our goals are to be the recognized authority for storage made from solid state devices, to determine and document the characteristics of storage made from solid state devices, and to determine and document the impact of storage made from solid state devices on system architectures.  Additionally, the SSSI collects solid state technical requirements of storage system vendors and communicate to SSD manufacturers for common features, behavior, and robustness.  The initiative collaborates with academia and the research labs of member companies to understand how advances in solid state memory will impact storage made from solid state memory as well as to educate the vendor and user communities about storage made from solid state devices.

    The SNIA SSSI also coordinates education activities with the Education Committee, performs benchmark testing to highlight the performance advantages of solid state storage, create peer reviewed vendor neutral SNIA Tutorials, and create vendor-neutral demonstrations.  The SSI also leverages SNIA and partner conferences, collaborate with industry analysts, perform market outreach that highlights the virtues of storage made from solid state devices.  The initiative determines what technical work should be performed within SNIA technical working groups to further the acceptance of storage made from solid state devices.  Furthermore and very importantly, the SSSI determines the standards that will be necessary to support the industry usage of SSDs by performing interoperability plug-fests as necessary in support of standards development.

    Collaboration between other SNIA organizations is also key.  The SSSI works with the Storage Management Initiative (SMI) to understand how SMI-S can be used to manage storage made from solid state devices.  We also work with the Green Storage Initiative (GSI) to understand how storage made from solid state devices will impact energy use in computer systems.  The work that the SSI does with the Technical Council helps create the desired technical working groups and provides external advocacy and support of these technical working groups.

    Finally, the SSSI collaborates with other industry associations via SNIA’s Strategic Alliances Committee (SAC) on SSD-related technical work in which they are involved as well as coordinates with SNIA Regional Affiliates to ensure that the impact of the SSS Initiative is felt worldwide.  For more information, please visit http://www.snia.org/forums/sssi


    It’s “All About M.2 SSDs” In a New SSSI Webcast June 10

    June 4th, 2014

    Interested in M.2, the new SSD card form factor?

    The SNIA Solid State Storage Initiative is partnering with SATA-IO and NVM Express to give you the latest information on M.2, the new SSD card form factor.  Join us “live” on Tuesday, June 10, at 10:00 am Pacific time/1:00 pm Eastern time.

    Hear from a panel of experts, including Tom Coughlin of Coughlin Associates, Jim Handy of Objective Analysis, Jon Tanguy of Micron, Jaren May of TE Connectivity, David Akerson of Intel, and Eden Kim of Calypso Systems.  You will leave this webinar with an understanding of the M.2 market, M.2 cards and connection schemes, NVM Express, and M.2 performance. You’ll also be able to ask questions of the experts.

    You can access this webcast via the internet.  Click here, or visit http://snia.org/news_events/multimedia#webcasts


    New SIG Formed to Accelerate Adoption of NVDIMM

    January 28th, 2014

    SNIA has just announced a new special interest group around NVDIMM to:

    • Provide  education on how system vendors can “design-in” NVDIMMs.
    • Communicate existing industry standards, and areas for vendor differentiation.
    • Help technology and solution vendors whose products integrate NVDIMMs to communicate their benefits and value to the greater market.
    • Develop vendor-agnostic user perspective case studies, best practices, and vertical industry requirements to help end user customers understand how products and solutions can meet performance, cost, and efficiency goals.

    Initial members of the NVDIMM SIG include  vendors AgigA Tech, IDT,  Inphi,  Intel, Micron, Microsoft Corporation,  Netlist,  Pericom, Samsung, SK Hynix,  SMART Modular Technologies, and Viking Technology.

    A new webpage under the Solid State Storage Technology Community on the SNIA website at www.snia.org/nvdimm provides a knowledge resource for presentations, white papers, FAQs, and  webcasts on NVDIMM contributed by SIG companies. Those interested in joining the NVDIMM SIG should contact nvdimmsigchair@snia.org.


    SSD Education Afternoon Monday January 27 at SNIA Symposium in San Jose

    January 24th, 2014

    Interested in the latest information on SSD technology?  Join the SNIA Solid State Storage Initiative Monday January 27 for lunch and an afternoon of the latest on:

    • Flash/SSD technology
    • SCSI Express
    • SAS
    • NVM Express
    • SATA Express
    • SSD performance
    • SSD Markets

    Lunch begins at noon, with presentations from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm.  There is no charge to attend this session at the Sainte Claire Hotel in downtown San Jose CA. You can attend in person – register at www.snia.org/events/symp2014 or by WebEx (click here for details and the agenda).


    Join the SSSI at Flash Memory Summit August 12-15 in Santa Clara CA!

    August 7th, 2013

    SSSI returns to the Flash Memory Summit in booth 808, featuring information on updates on new tests in the SNIA Solid State Storage Performance Test Specification-Enterprise 1.1, NVM programming, and Workload I/O Capture Program (WIOCP) activities; new tech notes and white papers, including a PTS User Guide Tech Note, a PCIe SSD 101 Whitepaper, and a Performance Primer Whitepaper; and PCIe SSD demonstrations from SSSI members Bitmicro, Fastor, and Micron.

    flash memory summitAll current SSSI members attending FMS and individuals from companies interested in the SSSI and their activities are cordially invited to the SSSI Solid State Storage Reception Monday evening August 12 from 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm in Room 209-210 at the Santa Clara Convention Center.   At the reception, SSSI Education Chair Tom Coughlin of Coughlin Associates will provide an overview of the SSD market, and SSSI Chair Paul Wassenberg of Marvell will discuss SSD performance.  SSSI Vice Chair Walt Hubis of Fusion-io will discuss SSSI programs, including PTS, NVM Programming, Workload I/O Capture, and PCIe SSD.  Refreshments, table displays, and an opportunity drawing for SSDs provided by SSSI members Intel, Micron, and OCZ will be featured.

    FMS conference activities begin August 13, and the agenda can be found here.  SSSI members speaking and chairing panels include:

    Tuesday August 13

    4:35 pm – Paul Wassenberg of Marvell on Standards

    Wednesday August 14

    8:30 am – Eden Kim and Easen Ho of Calypso Testers – PCIe Power Budgets, Performance, and Deployment

    9:50 am – Eden Kim and Easen Ho of Calypso Testers –  SNIA Solid State Storage Performance Test Specification

    3:10 pm – Walt Hubis of Fusion-io – Revolutionizing Application Development Using NVM Storage Software

    3:10 pm – Easen Ho of Calypso Testers –  SSD Testing Challenges

    4:30 pm – Paul von Behren of Intel –  SNIA Tutorial: SNIA NVM Programming Model:  Optimizing Software for Flash

    Thursday August 15

    3:10 pm – Jim Pappas of Intel – PCI Express and  Enterprise SSDs

    3:10 pm – Jim Handy of Objective Analysis – Market Research

    An open “Chat with the Experts” roundtable session Tuesday August 13 at 7:00 pm will feature Jim Pappas of Intel at a Standards table, Eden Kim of Calypso Testers at a SSD Performance table, Easen Ho of Calypso Testers at a Testing table, and Paul Wassenberg of Marvell at a SATA Express table.MESS - Final logo #2-Megan Archer

    The Media Entertainment and Scientific Storage (MESS) will hold their August “Meetup” at the Open Chat with the Experts, and also be located in SSSI Booth 808 for further discussions.

    Exhibit admission is complimentary until August 8.  SNIA and SSSI members and colleagues can receive a $100 discount on either the 3-day conference or the 1-day technical program using the code SNIA at www.flashmemorysummit.com.