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Vol. 8 Num. 6 September 2009

Solid-state storage update

Solid-state storage is still mostly for well-heeled shops with power-hungry apps, but new developments could bring solid-state down to earth soon. Solid-state storage received a big boost in 2009, with a large majority of storage vendors adding solid-state drive (SSD) options to their product lists. As a result, we've seen a sharp increase in the total number of enterprise-grade SSD components traded. A meager 59,000 units were sold worldwide in 2008, according to Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Inc., but the total is expected to reach 5.1 million units and $2 billion in revenue by 2013. Although the price for NAND flash has come down by approximately 30% since last year -- with expectations that it will continue to decline annually at that rate -- it's still an order of magnitude more expensive than high-end disk drives. Because of its premium price, customers continue to deploy NAND flash judiciously, mostly for applications adverse to latency and requiring a high number of IOPs; in the past, expensive bulky arrays with a large ...

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