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    Assessing SSD Performance in the Data Center

    October 20th, 2015

    By Marty Foltyn

    As solid state drives (SSDs) are deployed in datacenters around the world in both hybrid HDD/SSD and all flash arrays (AFAs), it is becoming increasingly important to understand what metrics are relevant to assess SSD datacenter performance. While the traditional metrics of IO operations per second (IOPS), Bandwidth, and Response Times are commonly used, it is becoming more important to report and understand the ‘Quality of Service’ of those metrics.

    eden articleEden Kim, Chair of the SNIA Solid State Storage Technical Working Group, has recently authored an article on Understanding Data Center Workloads. In it, he defines workloads and specifically data center workloads, describes how they are tested, and shows how to measure workloads for performance analysis. Industry standard test methodologies that ensure fair and accurate testing of SSDs both at the device and system level are described, along with how to use them on a reference test platform, Eden also describes in depth Response Time Confidence levels and how an understanding of Demand Variation and Demand Intensity can help the IT administrator assess how a given SSD or array will perform relative to the requirements of an application workload or relative to a specific Response Time Ceiling thus helping in the overall system optimization, design, and deployment.

    Read Eden’s full article on the SNIA Solid State Storage Education page at http://www.snia.org/forums/sssi/knowledge/educationBy. Scroll down to “Performance” to find this and a whole range of white papers, tech notes, webcasts, and presentations on this important Solid State Storage topic.

    SSD Data Retention Issue Debunked

    June 1st, 2015

    For the past few weeks, there has been quite a commotion on tech sites, and it was all because of a 5 year old presentation. Someone discovered a set of slides created in 2010 by then-chair of the JEDEC SSD committee, Alvin Cox of Seagate. That person misinterpreted one of the slides to mean that unpowered SSDs would retain data for only a few days in a hot room. It was reported on one site and of course picked up by several others, spreading quickly across the spectrum of sites reporting on technical matters. Finally, Alvin and a colleague gave an interview to PCWorld (www.pcworld.com/article/2925173/debunked-your-ssd-wont-lose-data-if-left-unplugged-after-all.html) setting the record straight, stating that a scenario that might cause data loss is highly unlikely, especially for consumers. Read the article for more details.

    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!

    NVM Programming Model Recognized for Enterprise Business Innovation

    August 21st, 2014

    At the most recent Flash Memory Summit in August 2014, the SNIA NVM Programming Model was selected for a singular honor – industry recognition as a Best of Show for Enterprise Business Applications.  Being recognized was quite unique, as the Model is not a product or a solution as were other winners in the various categories; but rather a body of work that defines new software programming models for non-volatile memory, also known as NVM.

    NVM technologies are currently advancing in such a way as to blur the line between storage and memory – which will radically transform the way software is written. The NVM Programming Model embraces this transformation, describing behavior provided by operating systems that enables applications, file systems, and other software to take advantage of new NVM capabilities.

    The Model addresses NVM extensions for existing devices such as SSDs and persistent memory, describing the differences between software written for block storage (SSDs and disks) and persistent memory, and outlining the potential benefits for adapting software for persistent memory.

    In presenting the Award to Doug Voigt, co-chair of the SNIA NVM Programming Technical Work Group, Jay Kramer, Chairman of the Flash Memory Summit Awards Program and President of Network Storage Advisors Inc., stated,  “Flash memory technology is currently experiencing a progression of innovations that can make a real difference in solving storage solution challenges. The industry is seeing a proliferation of new Non–Volatile Memory (NVM) functionality and new NVM technologies.  We are proud to select the SNIA NVM Programming Model for the Best of Show Award as it brings to the marketplace a new standard with a model that defines recommended behavior between various user spaces and operating system (OS) kernel components supporting NVM.”

    Congratulations to the many SNIA member company contributors to the Programming Model for this honor!  For information and to download the specification, visit http://www.snia.org/forums/sssi/nvmp.



    M.2 Webcast – Get the Latest Info on the New SSD Card Form Factor!

    June 10th, 2014

    The SNIA Solid State Storage Initiative is partnering with SATA-IO and NVM Express to present a panel of experts from Objective Analysis, Micron, TE Connectivity, Intel, Calypso, and Coughlin Associates to give you the latest information on M.2, the new SSD card form factor. 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.

    Join us on June 10, 2014 at 10:00 am.  Register at http://snia.org/news_events/multimedia#webcasts!

    Hear the Latest on UltraDIMM SSDs Monday June 9 at 4:00 pm PDT

    June 3rd, 2014

    Join the SNIA Solid State Storage Initiative for an “open-to-all interested” PCIe SSD Committee call and a discussion on UltraDIMM SSDs.

    SSSI member Rob Callaghan of SanDisk will discuss:

    * What is an UltraDIMM SSD?
    * How is it different from other SSDs?
    * How does a Block IO SSD reside on a DIMM channel?
    * Do I need to modify/update my BIOS to use it?
    * How many do I use, and what is the scalability?
    * What kind of performance can I expect to get?
    * What is the cost benefit of using this technology?
    * What applications will benefit from using an UltraDIMM SSD?

    Below are the dial-in and WebEx details.  Eden Kim and the PCIe SSD Committee hope you will join the SSSI for this interesting topic!

    UltraDIMM Discussion

    Monday June 9, 2014 at 4PM PDT

    Log in to:  snia.webex.com Meeting Number: 792 152 928 password:  sssipcie

    Dial-in to: Teleconference: 1-866-439-4480 Passcode: 57236696#

    Help Develop Next Generation SSDs and Win Cool Stuff!

    April 30th, 2014

    The SNIA Solid State Storage Initiative (SNIA SSSI) is working to better understand disk drive use in everyday computer actions. You can help by participating in our Workload I/O Capture Project – WIOCP – and get rewarded!


    The WIOCP captures I/O statistics unobtrusively and without compromising your PC’s performance. No personal data or content is captured – only statistics on the types of data transfers that occur.  This helps the SNIA SSSI and the industry understand what actually takes place with your drive when you use your PC.


    Collecting I/O statistics helps computer scientists determine the type of workloads your drive is experiencing.  By capturing statistics from a large number of computer users, designers can optimize both the drive and the host computer system to improve your overall computing experience.  You can be a part of history!


    Participate NOW and return one set of statistics to qualify to win a $10 Amazon gift card and to be  entered in a drawing for a free Intel 120GB SSD.  Submit more sets and increase your chance of winning a SSD!


    Go to http://www.snia.org/forums/sssi/wiocp for a FAQ and details on participating.  And see results at http://iotta.snia.org/

    Your Chance to Learn about PCIe Storage Protocol Analysis Test and Connectivity Tools and How to Hear On-demand The Latest on NVDIMM

    December 6th, 2013

    Join the SNIA Solid State Storage Initiative for an Open SSSI PCIe SSD Committee call

    Who:  John Weidemier, Teledyne LeCroy

    What:  PCIe storage protocol analysis test and connectivity tools

    When:  Monday December 9, 2013 at  4:00 PM PST

    Where:   via WebEx. at http://snia.webex.com Meeting Number: 792 152 928 password: sssipcie  and by dialing in to teleconference: 1-866-439-4480 Passcode: 57236696#

    Why:  This OPEN call is an invitation to non SSSI Members to learn more about the exciting work of the PCIe Solid State Drive Committee and 2014 activities of the SSSI.

    And, the great NVDIMM talk given on 12/5/13 as part of the BrightTALK Enterprise Storage Summit is now available for on-demand viewing! The session ranked 4.8 out of a 5.0 for quality technical content featuring information on a wide number of vendors who are creating NVDIMM products and solutions.

    Click on this link  https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/663/95329.

    Learn about NVDIMM in BrightTalk’s Enterprise Storage Summit

    December 3rd, 2013

    If 2013 was the year of software-defined everything, of everything-as-a-service, and big data – what’s on the horizon for storage in 2014? What do we still need to know about the innovations of this year? What hard realities have been missing from the hype? In the  Enterprise Storage Summit, https://www.brighttalk.com/summit/2271, a bi-annual event from BrightTALK, top thought leaders from all over the globe gather to share their insights into one of the most difficult areas of IT infrastructure and shed light on some of the most crucial topics facing enterprises today, including backup/recovery, hardware innovations, continued transition to cloud storage and the implications of big data.

    On December 5 at 9:00 am Pacific/12:00 noon Eastern, learn how Non-Volatile DIMMs, or NVDIMMs, provide a persistent memory solution with the endurance and performance of DRAM coupled with the non-volatility of Flash. This webinar, presented by Jeff Chang of AgigaTech, will provide a general overview of this emerging technology and why the industry is starting to take notice.

    You will learn what an NVDIMM is, how it works, where it fits and why every system architect should consider them for their next generation enterprise server and storage designs.

    Join this summit with other smart people from around the world to participate in live events and ask your questions. Register at https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/663/95329 to attend live or be notified of on-demand viewing.


    Participate in the SSD Features Rating Project!

    October 21st, 2013

    The SSSI has launched the SSD Features Rating project – intended to provide a better understanding of what users expect of their SSDs.

    Understanding which attributes are most important in applications will help SSD manufacturers to design products more suitable for those applications, and will provide guidance to users looking for the best SSD for their application.

    The first step of the project  is a survey which asks SSD users to rate the importance of various SSD attributes/features.  SSSI plans to announce the results of the survey at the Storage Visions conference on January 5-6, 2014.

    The survey is now open and will close on November 28.  Survey results will be posted on this page after the conference.

    Join our LinkedIn Group:  SSDs – What’s Important to You? to contribute to the discussion!

    Please take the survey at  http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LGWKWJL