At this year’s annual Flash Memory Summit held in Santa Clara, CA, Seagate participated in a number of panel sessions, tutorials, and delivered a keynote address. Well over 2,000 people registered to attend, and the event certainly earned its spot as “the place to be” for flash designers, system engineers, and OEMs to discuss and learn about the latest in solid state technology.
Many great discussions emerged out of this year’s summit, including those on standards and performance measurement. Seagate’s Craig Parris gave a tutorial that explained the Storage Performance Council (SPC) tools and methods used for delivering consistent SSD performance measurement. According to Parris, these tools help eliminate confusion and provide consistency to aid in SSD selection.
Improving SSD endurance was another critical trend and topic area for designers. There was plenty of interest in JEDEC’s standards (which we originally wrote about last year here) for endurance. Marty Czekalski, senior staff program manager within Seagate’s Enterprise Market Development Group, spent time explaining the need and benefits of the standards to a packed room.
Interface choices were a hot topic last year and this trend remained strong, with many sessions dedicated to this debate, including a session which was called out by many as being the best of the show. In a panel titled, “Which Interface will be Boss for Solid State Storage” hosted by IDC’s Jeff Janukowicz, and featuring panelists from Dell, HP, EMC, Intel and LSI, the participants debated interface connectivity. While some stated their preference for onboard or PCIE-based storage, Seagate’s Marty Czekalski called out the inflexibility of those methods, especially for today’s larger enterprises. SAS, Czekalksi said, with its ability to scale in capacity, operate over longer distances, as well as easily integrate into existing architectures, makes it the best storage interface choice.
Security was a hot area, and many well-attended security sessions featured Seagate director of development engineering, Monty Forehand. In his session titled, “Speed is great, but what about security?” Forehand called out the importance of having sanctioning bodies manage the implementation of encryption and added that the goal was that eventually every solid state device will be encrypted. His conclusion raised the question and point, “Where better to put security then where the actual data resides?”
Beyond the panel sessions and presentations, Seagate also showcased its latest SSD and SSHD products on the show floor. Among them was Seagate’s Pulsar family of enterprise SSDs including the Pulsar XT.2 and Pulsar.2 models. These two drives are the Seagate flagships for performance and endurance in enterprise environments and generated a lot of interest and questions from show attendees.
Also shown at the booth was Seagate’s Momentus XT Solid State Hybrid Drive. The Momentus XT was put through the paces in various live comparison demos which senior product marketing manager Joni Clark showed us in a previous video. Again, the Momentus XT proved itself as a hit at the show and generated a lot of discussion with its unique design and capabilities.
On the final day of the summit event, John Moon, senior director of Emerging System Integration, gave an entertaining and somewhat-surprising keynote address titled: “SSD vs. HDD vs. SSHD: It’s not who will win, it’s who should win.” The inquisitive title then revealed Moon’s main message that it was the consumer who should ultimately “win”. Moon added that the industry needs to work together more harmoniously as ultimately better solutions would then result.