Newcomer Skyera Brings Fresh Approach to SSD Storage

 
 
By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2012-06-19 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

New-generation approaches to solid-state storage systems, based on firsthand experience with both the successes and failures of past development initiatives, continue to come to the fore.

Startup Skyera Inc., founded by the man and his team that started up SandForce and then sold it to LSI for $370 million in October 2011, said June 19 that the company has developed a new  controller that improves the endurance of flash media by 10 times more than his previous controller--the one that had been the centerpiece of SanForce's IP.

In turn, that SandForce controller had improved the endurance of NAND flash by 10 times the previous industry best, the company claims.

NAND flash endurance has long been a weakness of the solid-state IT because there are only so many writes and reads that can be made on that media before it wears out. NAND flash, however, has seen continued improvement over the last five to six years through new development processes and now lasts years longer than it did previously--depending, of course, on how much pounding each drive takes on a daily basis.

One will find that very high-transaction finance, scientific and large-scale retail applications running on NAND flash servers and storage will use the drives up faster than, say, smaller-scale retail, health care and Web applications. It's just due to the science of the silicon material.

With its new controller, Skyera has found better methodology to use multi-level cell (MLC) flash, which stores more bits than single-level cell flash but is slower to access and wears out quicker.

"Until now, vendors have attempted to either address the challenges of storage or the challenges of networking, but they haven't yet cohesively approached both issues that enterprises face every day," Danilak said. "We are attacking the whole infrastructure in a way that no other SSD vendor is today. Using MLC flash memory, we will deliver a higher performance, more intelligent solid-state architecture that will help companies overcome the limitations that are currently hampering IT transformation."

San Jose, Calif.-based Skyera was featured in the Gartner report "Cool Vendors in Storage Technologies, 2012."  We'll keep an eye on it here at eWEEK.

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