SOURCE: Nexsan Corporation

Nexsan Corporation

January 17, 2012 10:00 ET

Nexsan Reveals Five Solid State Disk Trends to Impact IT Professionals in 2012

For Some Applications, the Scale Is Tipping for SSD as a Less Expensive Option to Hard Drive Technology While Delivering Monumental Performance Increases

THOUSAND OAKS, CA--(Marketwire - Jan 17, 2012) - Nexsan®, a leading independent provider of disk-based data storage systems, today announced five noteworthy trends in Solid State Disk (SSD) technology for 2012. While the current mindset is that SSD drives are extremely expensive, both SSD drives and systems have dropped in price significantly, making them a viable option for select applications in today's IT environments.

"With the increasing advancements in SSD technology, organizations will discover that using solid state storage for some applications may be cheaper than traditional hard drive technology while offering monumental performance increases, said Gary Watson, CTO, Nexsan. "Many enterprises short-stroke traditional disk drives in order to increase their performance for virtualized operating environments or business-critical databases. Because of the resulting loss in capacity, the comparable price advantages compared to SSD drives are lost, making it more appropriate in many cases to select SSD drives for these applications. Not only will this result in cheaper I/O per second performance but also cost-savings resulting from reduced power usage that SSDs are known for. Due to the reduction in latency, many more virtual machines can be hosted on a physical machine, which will lead to significant savings in hardware and licensing costs."

"While the value of SSD drives is increasingly attractive, the businesses using them should review their vendors carefully when researching SSD-powered storage systems," said Christine Taylor, Senior Analyst, Taneja Group. "It is critical to select a vendor that regularly reviews and tests the latest generation drives to ensure the best available technology is appropriately matched to the intended application. It is equally important to work with vendors confident enough to stand behind these products with comprehensive warranties and support."

Beyond the increasingly attractive cost/performance advantages of SSD technology, the following are key trends that Nexsan storage system experts anticipate will impact IT professionals this year:

1. SSD storage system innovations to improve IOPS and reduce end-to-end latency. 2012 marks an increasing effort by vendors to reduce end-to-end latency and improve the performance of SSD technology, both from a drive and system perspective. Because of the inherent limitation in storage interfaces such as Fibre Channel and SAS, it can be difficult to create storage controllers that can support the million IOPS or more that the back-end solid state storage could theoretically deliver. Because of this, vendors will develop creative alternatives for improving transactional performance. Technologies and approaches such as Infiniband-based controllers, PCI-Express controllers, the implementation of block-level deduplication, auto-tiering, and caching will enable SSDs to achieve higher performance so that customers can do more, such as run a greater number of virtual machines.

2. Increased focus on the need to match SSD drive type with the intended application. As the hype around SSD begins to subside, users will select the best SSD solution for their intended applications. Enterprises will adopt a mix of industry standard and high performance SSDs to achieve higher performance rates -- up to 10x for some applications -- along with higher reliability and lower overall costs. Tiering of SSD between DRAM, SLC flash, and eMLC flash, will ultimately deliver bigger wins than tiering of different kinds of hard drives.

3. More active system vendor evaluation. As SSD technology advancements continue their rapid evolution, vendors will become more engaged in reviewing SSD products to package the best available technology in their solutions. Vendors will continue to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to changing SSD drive reliability, performance and cost.

4. Increased scrutiny in system vendor selection by customers. System buyers will become more SSD-aware this year and knowledgeable in drive and system differentiation. As a result, customers will likely evaluate system vendors on their ability to appropriately analyze, test and design new SSD solutions for optimal performance. For example, some SSDs will experience significant performance degradation as they approach full capacity. Storage systems must be re-engineered for these SSDs in order to get the most out of them and to achieve the financial savings and performance benefits promised.

5. Encroachment of Multi-Level Cell (MLC) SSDs into the datacenter. Consumer-level MLC drives will unfortunately find themselves in the datacenter in 2012. As a result, reliability will suffer significantly as the expected life of an MLC SSD drive in a data center environment is typically no more than one year. This can result in catastrophic downtime if mission critical data is placed on systems using MLC drives are used. Data centers should consider SLC or eMLC drives instead.

"As technologies in this area advance we will remain focused on delivering innovative systems such as the Nexsan E5000 SSD-powered NAS storage system," added Victoria Grey, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Nexsan. "While our partners and the businesses they serve will benefit from the enhanced capabilities of these products, they can also depend on the quality engineering, reliability and high service levels we have become recognized for."

About Nexsan
Nexsan® is a leading independent provider of disk-based data storage systems purpose-built and priced for the mid-market, offering industry-leading reliability, space and power efficiency. Nexsan SAN and NAS storage systems provide scalability, integrity and security for growing volumes of unstructured data and are ideal for virtual storage, disk-to-disk backup, secure online archiving, bulk and cloud storage applications. Overcoming the challenges of traditional storage, Nexsan delivers a different kind of storage experience with easy-to-use, efficient and enterprise-class solutions that reduce the complexity and cost of storage. Nexsan delivers its storage systems through a select global partner ecosystem of solution providers, OEMs and system integrators. Nexsan is based in Thousand Oaks, Calif. For more information, visit the company's website at

For more information about Nexsan's products and solutions, visit

Nexsan is a registered trademark of Nexsan Corporation. All other product or company names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

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