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Vol. 7 No. 6 August 2008

Reliability questions plague solid state

Just how reliable are the NAND flash cells in solid-state drives (SSDs)? One of flash memory's drawbacks has been that it permits only a finite number of writes before it becomes unusable. SSD reliability came under attack earlier this year when Avi Cohen, head of research and managing partner at Boston-based Avian Securities LLC, leveled the charge in a report that Dell laptops with SSDs were suffering from failure rates of between 10% and 20% and that the return rate on these laptops was between 20% and 30%. Mark Farley at Dell EqualLogic responded in a blog that Dell's SSDs "are showing the kind of reliability that everyone expected of storage with no moving parts. They are just as reliable as rotating disk drives, if not more so." Farley pointed out that Dell's SSDs don't use low-cost, consumer multilayer flash but single-level flash, which has better reliability. So these drives don't have disastrous end-of-life failures from wear-out. In fact, he says, Dell's next-generation SSD products will have performance levels that ...

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Features in this issue

  • Lights, camera, storage!

    by  Deni Connor

    The digital media business and corporate multimedia departments are looking at increasing terabytes and even petabytes of information generated in the creation, editing, archiving and distribution of digital content. In addition, the move to high-definition television and higher resolution camera work will tax storage boundaries.

  • Quality Awards IV: It's a tie--EMC and NetApp share enterprise array honors

    In the four years we've conducted our Diogenes Labs-Storage magazine Quality Award for enterprise arrays, we've never had co-winners ... until now. EMC Corp. rode to the top on very strong scores in the product features and reliability sections, while co-winner NetApp was a model of consistency.

  • Reliability questions plague solid state

Columns in this issue

  • Storage Bin 2.0: The life and death of information

    We sometimes complicate our processes to create a perception of increased value. Forget information lifecycle management and tiered storage; concentrate on the four simple stages of life for any kind of information.

  • Get your iSCSI game on: Best Practices

    by  Ashish Nadkarni

    iSCSI is a mature protocol for accessing storage and a solid alternative to Fibre Channel. Technologies such as blade servers and server virtualization benefit from iSCSI as it lets you minimize the number of connections required. And because everything is IP-based, there's no more need to waste slots for host bus adapters, which simplifies your configuration.

  • The big pipe: Editorial

  • Backup gets a boost: Hot Spots

    by  Lauren Whitehouse

    Snapshots, continuous data protection and deduplication are making their way into traditional backup products. By capturing, transferring and storing less data in the backup process, organizations can back up more data to disk--retaining data on disk for longer periods of time or enabling disk-to-disk backup for more sets of data than before.

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