No More Waiting for Solid State

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Solid state disk (SSD) technology could get a big boost from a new technology that promises to eliminate data access delays following a shutdown or power loss.

Texas Memory System’s (TMS) Instant-On Input-Output (IO²) lets enterprises gain instant access to data from RAM-based SSDs once a unit is powered on. Prior to the innovation, it could take up to two hours to access a half-terabyte of data from SSD memory.

“The downtime has always been a concern, whether it was part of a maintenance effort or a power outage,” said TMS sales engineer Jamon Bowen. Another benefit is that the technology enables much higher capacity to RAM that right now is typically held down in scope due to access time issues.

“The wait time has always been holding us back from increasing the capacity, and now we’re looking at building new bigger systems,” said Bowen.

TMS has been manufacturing SSDs since the late 1970s and began developing flash-based SSDs just about a year ago. At this point, it has no plans to license the technology, but Bowen didn’t dismiss the option either.

SSDs are used to accelerate enterprise applications that handle very high transaction volumes as well as increasing concurrent users without having to add servers, RAID or conduct database tuning.

Last July, an IDC report predicted that the technology’s performance and mobility-related requirements will push SSD revenues from $373 million in 2006 to $5.4 billion by 2011. EMC got the ball rolling in January by adding SSDs to its high-end Symmetrix systems, and other vendors have followed since then.

RAM- and flash-based SSD are gaining prominence, but high costs compared to magnetic media have limited enterprise adoption. Solutions based on RAM are typically much more pricey than flash offerings, with prices at about $700 per gigabyte compared to a $150 range.

“Solid state disks are becoming more important in the data center as users demand faster application performance,” stated Mike Karp, senior analyst at Enterprise Management Associates.

“As these systems achieve faster time to performance as well as greater capacity, the ROI calculation begins to shift much more favorably in favor of using SSDs with critical applications,” Karp added.

Article courtesy of

Judy Mottl
Judy Mottl
Judy Mottl is an experienced technology journalist who has served as a senior editor, reporter, writer, and blogger for InformationWeek, Investors Business Daily, CNET, and Information Security Magazine, as well as other media outlets.

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