• Home
  • About

    Not a Tempest But a Seachange – Persistent Memory

    October 12th, 2016

    by Marty Foltyn

    Persistent memory discussions are capturing the minds of SNIA members and colleagues.  At last month’s SNIA Storage Developer Conference, NVM (non-volatile memory) and NVMe sessions were standing-room-only, and opinion sharing continued into animated hallway discussions.  I encourage you to check out the many presentations on the SNIA SDC website, and to download the live recordings of the keynotes here.

    memconSNIA continued their education on persistent memory at this week’s Memcon in Santa Clara CA. SNIA’s booth was packed with attendees asking questions like what is the difference between the different kinds of NVDIMMs (you’ll want to check out our new snia_nvdimm_infographic), and is NVDIMM a standard (indeed, it is, JEDEC just released the DDR4 NVDIMM-N Design Standard Revision 1.0 last month, and you can download the link from our website).

    pm-video-jimThe work being done within SNIA on persistent memory is contributing to a seachange in the industry – the convergence of memory and storage – perhaps the most revolutionary change since the invention of the transistor more than 60 years ago.  To learn more, check out this interview with Jim Pappas, SNIA’s Vice-Chairman and co-chair of the SNIA Solid State Storage Initiative.  And mark your calendar for January 18, 2017, when SNIA will hold the 5th annual Persistent Memory Summit in San Jose CA.  The latest details can be found here.



    SNIA NVM Summit Delivers the Persistent Memory Knowledge You Need

    January 18th, 2016

    by Marty Foltyn

    The discussion, use, and application of Non-volatile Memory (NVM) has come a long way from the first SNIA NVM Summit in 2013.  The significant improvements in persistent memory, with enormous capacity, memory-like speed and non-volatility, will make the long-awaited promise of the convergence storage and memory a reality. In this 4th annual NVM Summit, we will see how Storage and Memory have now converged, and learn that we are now faced with developing the needed ecosystem.  Register and join colleagues on Wednesday, January 20, 2016 in San Jose, CA to learn more, or follow http://www.snia.org/nvmsummit to review presentations post- event.

    The Summit day begins with Rick Coulson, Senior Fellow, Intel, discussing the most recent developments in persistent memory with a presentation on All the Ways 3D XPoint Impacts Systems Architecture.

    Ethan Miller, Professor of Computer Science at UC Santa Cruz, will discuss Rethinking Benchmarks for Non-Volatile Memory Storage Systems. He will describe the challenges for benchmarks posed by the transition to NVM, and propose potential solutions to these challenges.

    Ken Gibson, NVM SW Architecture, Intel will present Memory is the New Storage: How Next Generation NVM DIMMs will Enable New Solutions That Use Memory as the High-Performance Storage Tier . This talk reviews some of the decades-old assumptions that change for suppliers of storage and data services as solutions move to memory as the new storage

    Jim Handy, General Director, Objective Analysis, and Tom Coughlin, President, Coughlin Associates will discuss Future Memories and Today’s Opportunities, exploring the role of NVM in today’s and future applications. They will give some market analysis and projections for the various NVM technologies in use today.

    Matt Bryson, SVP-Research, ABR, will lead a panel on NVM Futures-Emerging Embedded Memory Technologies, exploring the current status and future opportunities for NVM technologies and in particular both embedded and standalone MRAM technologies and associated applications.

    Edward Sharp, Chief, Strategy and Technology, PMC-Sierra, will present Changes Coming to Architecture with NVM. Although the IT industry has made tremendous progress innovating up and down the computing stack to enable, and take advantage of, non-volatile memory, is it sufficient, and where are the weakest links to fully unlock the potential of NVM.

    Don Jeanette, VP and John Chen, VP of Trendfocus will review the Solid State Storage Market, discuss what is happening in various segments, and why, as it relates to PCIe.

    Dejan Vucinc, HGST San Jose Research Center will discuss Latency in Context: Finding Room for NVMs in the Existing Software Ecosystem. HGST Research has been working diligently to find out where is there room in the existing hardware/software ecosystem for emerging NVM technology when viewed as block storage rather than main memory. Vucinc will show an update on previously published results using prototype PCI Express-attached PCM SSDs and our custom device protocol, DC Express, as well as measurements of its latency and performance through a proper device driver using several different kinds of Linux kernel block layer architecture.

    Arthur Sainio, Director Marketing, SMART Modular and Co-Chair, SNIA NVDIMM SIG, will lead a panel on NVDIMM. discussing how new media types are joining NAND Flash, and enhanced controllers and networking are being developed to unlock the latency and throughput advantages of NVDIMM.

    Neal Christiansen, Principal Development Lead, Microsoft, Microsoft will discuss Storage Class Memory Support in the Windows OS. Storage Class Memories (SCM) have been the topic of R&D for the last few years and with the promise of near term product delivery, the question is how will Windows be enabled for such SCM products and how can applications take advantage of these capabilities.

    Jeff Moyer, Principal Software Engineer, Red Hat will give an overview of the current state of Persistent Memory Support in the Linux Kernel.

    Cristian Diaconu, Principal Software Engineer, Microsoft will present Microsoft SQL Hekaton – Towards Large Scale Use of PM for In-memory Databases, using the example of Hekaton (Sql Server in-memory database engine) to break down the opportunity areas for non-volatile memory in the database space.

    Tom Talpey, Architect File Server Team, Microsoft, will discuss Microsoft Going Remote at Low Latency: A Future Networked NVM Ecosystem. As new ultra-low latency storage such as Persistent Memory and NVM is deployed, it becomes necessary to provide remote access – for replication, availability and resiliency to errors.

    Kevin Deierling, VP Marketing, Mellanox will discuss the role of the network in developing Persistent Memory over Fabrics, and what are the key goals and key fabric features requirements.

    Upcoming December 11 Webcast: Flash Memory Enables 4K and Beyond Video Workflows

    December 7th, 2015

    by Marty Foltyn

    The Consumer Electronics Show (CES), held each year in early January in Las Vegas, has moved a long way from the days when you had to search high and low on the show floor for storage-related exhibits. Step on the floor in 2016, and you may never get past the automobile displays which have the capability to track and store your every activity. And even if you do, the plethora of accessible tech, video imaging, and smart home apps will make your head spin!

    Solid State Storage is an important contributor to the internet of things featured at CES, and understanding it is key to making informed choices. Get ready for CES 2016 by first attending a SNIA Solid State Storage webcast on Friday, December 11 at 11:00 am Pacific where Tom Coughlin, CEO of analyst firm Coughlin Associates, presents Flash Memory Enables 4K and Beyond Video Workflows.

    As the price and availability of flash memory grows flash memory will enable future generations of media that is even more immersive than today as video moves to 8K and virtual reality begins to play an increasing role in entertainment. Tom will discuss how, as the resolution and frame rate for video increase, flash memory is staring to play a significant role for content capture, post production and content delivery. His presentation will include material from the 2015 Digital Storage in Media and Entertainment Report from Coughlin Associates (and the associated 2015 digital media professional survey) on the growing use of flash memory in all aspects of professional media and entertainment and put flash use in context with other storage technologies in this industry.

    The webcast is an important lead in to the CES partner program Storage Visions Conference January 3-4 in Las Vegas, where SNIA will exhibit  solid state and persistent memory and have a pre-conference education day.  Register for this informative SNIA Brighttalk webcast , held on December 11, 2015 at 11:00 apm Pacific/2:00 pm Eastern at https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/663/180197

    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.


    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.

    New SIG for SSD Data Recovery/Erase Formed – Calls Open to All Interested Participants

    April 26th, 2015

    SSDs present particular challenges when trying to erase all data or attempting to recover data from a broken drive. To address these issues, a new Data Recovery/Erase Special Interest Group has been formed within the SNIA Solid State Storage Initiative.

    The goal of the SIG is to provide a forum in which solution providers and solid state storage manufacturers can collaborate to enable data recovery and erase capabilities in solid state storage in such a way as to ensure that customer demands for these services can be met in a cost-effective and timely manner, with a high likelihood of success. A key to the success of the SIG is obtaining input and participation from all of the key stakeholders: solid state storage manufacturers, data recovery and erase solution providers, and solid state storage customers.

    The SIG will be having a limited number of conference calls that will be open to non-members. Go to http://www.snia.org/forums/sssi/dresig for more details and to register for the first open meeting.

    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

    SSSI Sheds Light on Solid State Storage at Flash Memory Summit

    August 22nd, 2013

    If you attended Flash Memory Summit along with thousands of other business professionals, you soon learned that solid state keynotes, breakouts, and show floor booths, while informative, could be mystifying.  Fortunately, the SNIA Solid State Storage Initiative (SSSI) was at FMS to provide enlightenment in the form of a SSS Reception, four new publications on SSS, and three SSSI member demonstrations.

    SSSI’s second annual SSS Reception was attended by over 90 individualIMG_6196s and featured presentations by SSSI Governing Board members Paul Wassenberg of Marvell, Walt Hubis of Fusion-io, and Eden Kim of Calypso Systems on SSSI key programs and technical work.   SSSI Education Chair Tom Coughlin of Coughlin Associates delivered a market update on ubiquitous flash memory.   All SSSI members are eligible and encouraged to join specification development, education, and outreach programs, and new companies are welcome to join SSSI activities.

    At the SSSI Booth, attendees snapped up new white papers and Tech Notes authored by SSSI members.  These papers are complimentary to all interested individuals and available on the SSSI education page.

    • The PCI Express (PCIe) 101 – An Overview of Standards, Markets, and Performance white paper surveys the broad landscape of emerging high performance PCIe storage and the implications of revolutionary applications of these new architectures.  Thirteen members of the SNIA SSSI PCIe SSD Committee representing eleven SNIA and SSSI member companies contributed their technical expertise to this paper, which covers standards, programming models for non-volatile memory, the PCIe SSD market, and PCIe SSD performance.
    • The SSD Performance – A Primer white paper, authored by SNIA SSS Technical Work Group chair Eden Kim of Calypso Systems, provides an introduction to solid state drive performance, evaluation, and test.  As noted in the Foreword by SSSI Founder and 2008-2010 SSSI Chair Phil Mills of IBM, “this paper is an excellent tutorial on the performance of solid state drives, which covers this topic in a very easy to understand way, yet provides detailed technical information that the reader can either dig into for a better understanding, or simply skip without missing the main points”.
    • A new PTS User Guide Tech Note delivers the hows and whys of the SNIA Solid State Performance Test Specification.  Authored by SNIA SSSI members Eden Kim of Calypso Systems and Chuck Paradon of HP, this Tech Note provides an easy to understand, step-by step guide to using the SNIA SSS Performance Test Specification (PTS) test methodologies and tests. The Tech Note discusses four basic PTS 1.1 tests – Write Saturation (WSAT), IOPS, Throughput (TP) and Response Time (or Latency) – as updated per SNIA draft PTS-E version 1.1.
    • The SSSI Workload I/O Capture Program (WIOCP) FAQ, authored by SNIA SSSI member Tom West of hyperI/O LLC, gives details on this project undertaken by the SNIA SSSI to collect I/O operation performance metrics. These empirical metrics reflect the actual I/O operation activity performed during normal, everyday application/workload usage spanning both consumer/client and enterprise systems.


    Also in the booth, the Media, Entertainment and Scientific Storage (MESS) Meetup group chatted with end users, and SSSI members exhibited new solid state storage solutions for enterprise markets:

    • BitMicro  presented a high performance MaxIO drive incorporating BiTMICRO’s ultra fast Talino Quad Core ASIC controller, which integrates embedded processors with a high speed multi-bus design to achieve performance far beyond legacy solid state designs.
    • Fastor Systems unveiled a NVMe compliant PCIe software defined storage device (SDS), or post-controller SSD, in which a de-coupled control & data plane together with a non-blocking fabric and message based architecture provide both high throughput and low latency to address the needs of today’s hyperscale datacenters.
    • Micron showcased a P420m PCIe SSD featuring multilevel (MLC) NAND technology.

    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.