Monday, October 31, 2011

Icy News: Improve Write Performance With SSD

"In our last entry, we covered some of the differences between automated tiering and caching. An area that deserves specific examination is how each of these technologies deals with inbound writes. Writes are one of the most resource-consuming things that a storage system has to do, and how these technologies help you--or not--with write I/O is important in product selection..." - via Informationweek

This article talks about the future of SSD writing and is compared to spindle hard drives. What can be altered would be the tiering technologies that are automated now. By doing this, one could increase the write performance of a hard drive by creating a cache system that would be to send all the writes to the SSD tier first. If it does not get used, move it to the mechanical hard drive. This sounds similar to what Intel has achieved with their RST (Rapid Storage Technology), of course, more on a limited basis as the maximum that can be cached is 64GB. This article explains with some information on how and why this is the next step. If this does catch on, will you purchase some sort of system such as RST or perhaps something that is more all-in-one solution? Let us know what you think!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Icy News: Thai floods boost PC hard drive prices

"(Reuters) - Prices for hard drives are jumping as flooding in Thailand creates a shortage of the major component used in personal computers and one big customer is complaining of price gouging." - via Reuters

With hard drive prices going up due to the flooding in Thailand, it may change how the pricing will be for Black Friday 2011. What do you think about this? Will it have any changes in the next couple months? Let us know!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Icy News: LSI to Buy SandForce

"LSI Corporation (NYSE:LSI) has announced an agreement to purchase SandForce. Under the agreement LSI will pay roughly $322 million in cash and assume $48 million of unvested stock options and restricted shares held by SandForce employees. The acquisition obviously gives LSI an immediate competitive boost, especially with their WarpDrive PCIe SSDs (WarpDrive 2 Preview), which leverage SandForce processors... Moreover, because OCZ and SandForce previously contemplated this scenario, we expect that this combination will have no material impact to our existing product lines or business," concluded Mr. Petersen." - via StorageReview
Now, this is pretty interesting. We wonder now how LSI will take advantage of this purchase to produce a native advantage since they will own the company. They mention that the importance of a planned no change in material use. We will see how that plays out once everything has settled. Do you think this is a good move by LSI? Should OCZ or perhaps a different company have tried to purchase the company? Let us know what you think!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Icy News: OCZ Octane 2.5-Inch SSDs Up to 1TB

"3/6Gb SATA, up to 560MB/s and 45,000 IO/s, 0.06ms read, 0.09ms write
OCZ Technology Group, Inc. launched the Indilinx Everest-based Octane SATA 3.0 and SATA 2.0 SSD series, striking the balance between capacity, physical size, and speed.

In addition to to achieve up to a 1TB capacity in a 2.5 inch format, OCZ's Octane SSD series combines fast data transfer rates with record access times.

"OCZ has reached an important milestone in the development of its own controller technology," said James E. Bagley, Senior Analyst with Storage Strategies NOW. "The high sustained performance, even with compressed files, the rapid boot feature and high access speeds using SATA 3.0 protocol puts their controller technology in the major league."

"Until now SSDs have been tailored for specific applications, forcing users into a product which maximizes performance for a narrow band of applications, but is significantly lacking in others," said Ryan Petersen, CEO of OCZ Technology. "The Octane Series solves this problem by providing the highest level of performance across varied workloads including mixed file sizes and mixed compressible and uncompressible data, all while nearly doubling NAND flash endurance."

The Octane series leverages the Indilinx Everest platform to deliver up to 560MB/s of bandwidth and 45,000 IOPS and is optimized for the complete spectrum of file types and sizes. In particular, the Octane's proprietary page mapping algorithms allow for steady mixed-workload performance, mirroring real world conditions across a range of applications.

The Octane series also includes a number of features of Indilinx, including innovative latency reduction technology, enabling both read and write access times as low as 0.06ms and 0.09ms respectively. This enhances application responsiveness and enables features such as fast boot in consumer applications.

Octane SSDs also come equipped with Indilinx's proprietary NDurance technology, increasing the lifespan of the NAND flash memory, ensuring consistent and reliable performance as well as minimizing performance degradation even after the drive's storage capacity is highly utilized. In addition, Octane series drives support AES and automatic encryption to secure critical data.

Octane Product Features:
  • Dual core CPU
  • Up to 512MB DRAM cache
  • 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB models
  • High sequential speeds: Octane (SATA 3.0) Read: 560MB/s, Write: 400MB/s; Octane-S2 (SATA 2.0) Read: 275MB/s; Write: 265MB/s
  • High transactional performance - Optimized for 4K to 16K compressed files: Octane (SATA 3.0) 45,000 random read 4K IOPS; Octane-S2 (SATA 2.0) 30,000 random read 4K IOPS
  • Low latency: Read: 0.06ms; Write: 0.09ms
  • Strong performance at low queue depths (QD 1 -- 3)
  • Up to 8 channels with up to 16-way Interleaving
  • Advanced BCH ECC engine enabling more than 70 bits correction capability per 1KB of data
  • Proprietary NDurance Technology: increases NAND life up to 2X of the rated P/E cycles
  • Efficient NAND Flash management: Dynamic and static wear-leveling, and background garbage collection
  • Boot time reduction optimizations
  • NCQ support up to 32 queue depth
  • End-to-end data protection
  • TRIM support
  • SMART reporting
The OCZ Octane SSD Series will be available November 1st in models ranging from 128GB-1TB capacities throughout OCZ's global channel." -via

OCZ once again is pushing the envelope in the SSD market. OCZ has now developed its own controller technology that will put them up with some of the bigger names in the SSD market. The new OCZ Octane SSD is not only very fast but it is also up to 1TB! Let us know what you think about OCZs new SSD. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Icy News: Intel's New 520 Series SSD Codenamed "Cherryville"

"Intel continues to establish itself as a leader in the SSD market with its planned successor to the popular 510 Series SSD, the 520 Series SSD (Codenamed - "Cherryville").
"Cherryville", Intel's new high-end 520 Series SSD, is based on 2.5-inch SATA 6 Gb/s form-factor and comes in 60 GB, 120 GB, 160 GB, 240 GB, and 480 GB capacities (versus just 120 GB & 240 GB with the 510 Series). The drive will utilize 25 nm multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory made by Intel and features support for TRIM, SMART, NCQ, and ACS-2 compliance. Intel looks to be setting up to battle the SandForce SF-22xx SSDs at each capacity level and price-point...." - via Tom's Hardware

This is a interesting new announcement by Intel as you look at the highest is now 480 GB. The 25nm is also pretty good and we will have to see how it will perform. Let us know what you think about this! 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Icy News: OCZ Identifies Bug on SandForce Controller

"OCZ Technology Group, Inc. announced that the cause of a BSOD issue experienced by some SF-2000-based drive owners has been identified by OCZ and SandForce, Inc.

A new firmware update which directly addresses this BSOD occurrence related to SF-2000 based SSDs is available here

All newly-manufactured OCZ SF-2000 based SSDs will feature the new 2.15 firmware revision (which is based on SandForce firmware version 3.3.2.).

We highly recommend that any customers that have experienced the BSOD issue update their firmware to 2.15." -via StorageNewsletter 

Fixing a very big issue with SF-2000 based SSD has hopefully is a start of less problems with these higher performing controllers. Now that it seems to be fixed, will you purchase a SF-2000 SSD? Let us know!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Icy News: OCZ Octane SSD Announced

"OCZ has announced their latest family of SSDs, the Octane. Leveraging the Indilinx Everest platform and SATA 6Gb/s interface, the OCZ Octane delivers read speeds up to 570 MB/s and writes of 400 MB/s. It's not all about performance though, the Octane is the first 2.5" SSD to hit the 1TB capacity mark and that's within a 7.5mm height. 
Within the processor and firmware combination, OCZ is also promoting several software benefits of the Octane. Indilinx nDurance increases NAND life two times longer than the 3,000-5,000 PE write cycles currently seen for 2Xnm NAND, pushing the lifespan back into the ranges we saw at the 3xnm die size. "Fast Boot" technology delivers 50% speedier boot times and there are no data compression limiations as in SandForce-equipped models, so users can expect better performance with certain operations with media files and the like..." - via StorageReview
Using the new Indilinx Everest platform, it seems that the Octane can read and write pretty quickly. But the most important thing is the 7.5mm height! If this would be the new standard, it could bring up more possibilities with hardware design. What do you all think about this? It should be releasing soon, so will you purchase? Let us know!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Icy News: EU Approved Acquisition of Samsung HDD Unit by Seagate

"Decision still pending for WD/HGST
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation, following an in-depth investigation, the acquisition of the HDD business of Samsung Electronics of Korea bySeagate Technology of the US. HDDs are data storage devices used in computers, laptops or camcorders. 

Although the merger will further consolidate markets that are already highly concentrated, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in EEA or any substantial part of it..." - via StorageNewsletter

With Seagate attempting to buyout Samsung's HDD division, we wonder about the lifespan of the traditional hard drive industry. How long will it last if the sole limitation of speed is of the speed of sound? So far, there has not been a breakthrough of a dramatic increase in performance in the last decade. Meanwhile, SSD's are rapidly increasing at a much higher rate currently. So let us know what your thoughts are!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Icy News: Thailand Floods to Significantly Impact HDD Industry

"For WD only: primary manufacturing site inundated, second site at risk
Western Digital Corp. has extended the suspension of its operations in Thailand.

Over the weekend, rising water penetrated the Bang Pa-in Industrial Park flood defenses, inundating the company's manufacturing facilities there and submerging some equipment.

At the other company manufacturing location in Thailand, Navanakorn Industrial Park, the park flood defenses were breached on Monday morning local time and water has begun to flow into the park threatening the company's facilities there.

All WD employees in Thailand remain safe.

The company's other facilities in Malaysia, Singapore and the U.S. are fully operational.

The company now expects that the flooding of its Thailand facilities, combined with flood damage to the company's supply chain in Thailand, will have significant impact on the company's overall operations and its ability to meet customer demand for its products in the December quarter.

The company will provide further updates on the situation on its investment community conference call on Wednesday, October 19, 2011."  - via

The article is focusing on WD but in fact, a majority of hard drive manufacturers have been affected by this flood. Do you think that this will cause an increase in HDD prices while the supply is low? Let us know what you think about the flood and how it will affect the HDD industry. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

ICY TIP: The Best 2.5/3.5 IDE/SATA USB 3.0 Hard Drive Docking Station with Portable Adapter

The docking station has been the IT and average user’s biggest asset as the biggest features are its compatibility and flexibility. With an abundant variety in the market however, it makes it difficult to distinct from the good ones to the great ones. Most docking stations only come with the most basic features that do not provide anything else to be multi faceted when faced with different situations. With the MB981U3-1SA, we have taken the docking station and make it how it should be used.

One of the biggest complaints is the ease of use with many other docking stations. But with the MB981U3-1SA, we have improved the design to provide an excellent experience without very much hassle. Many docking stations either have a very small eject button or none at all depending on the design. The MB981U-1SA uses a large eject button to make it easy to eject a hard drive. Another improvement is with the two part dust cover. This is one design that is important because other docking stations lack the same feature. This benefits greatly with use of a 2.5” hard drive, as the smaller portion of the dust cover will open up and protect the electronics from such as dust or debris.

Improving on just a couple of features may or may not sell the product, so the world’s first detachable mobile adapter has been integrated into the MB981U3-1SA. This is what the average IT dreams about when they sleep, an ultra portable USB 3.0 adapter that can also be used as a docking station. It is so small that it can fit in the palm of your hand. The MB981U3-1SA takes the versatility even further by providing compatibility for both 2.5/3.5 IDE and SATA hard drives. IT people do not have to worry about bringing an IDE and SATA adapter any longer as they can just bring the MB981U3-1SA in either its mobile form or the docking station.

The MB981U3-1SA changed the way of thinking on how the docking station should be used. By incorporating the newest interface with USB 3.0, adding impressive compatibility of 2.5/3.5 IDE and SATA hard drives, the MB981U3-1SA is the most versatile and unique enclosure on the market.
MB981U3-1SA 2.5” & 3.5” SATA & IDE SuperSpeed USB 3.0 Hard Drive Docking Station with Adapter

Friday, October 14, 2011

Icy News: One SSD Currently Sold for 49 HDDs

"For IHS iSuppli
Shipments of storage devices for computers rose across the board during the second quarter, resulting from the March earthquake in Japan after panicked manufacturers strove to replenish stockpiles, according to a new IHS iSuppli Storage Market Tracker from information and analysis provider IHS iSuppli.

Combined shipments in the second quarter for the three major storage segments of hard disk drives (HDD), optical disk drives (ODD) and solid state drives (SDD) amounted to 248.8 million units, up 4.5 percent from 238.1 million units in the previous quarter. 

"In an ironic twist, the earthquake disaster in Japan had the effect of stimulating the storage market, as manufacturers accelerated orders and increased inventory to ensure adequate supply," said Fang Zhang, analyst for storage systems at IHS. "The effect was felt most in the HDD space, the largest storage segment, resulting in higher HDD shipments."

In all, HDD shipments during the second quarter amounted to 167.1 million units, up 4.2 percent from 160.4 million in the first quarter.

The HDD industry, however, faced challenges on the profitability front with margin declines suffered by Seagate Technology and Western Digital Corp., the two main players in the space. Forces contributing to a decline in profitability included price erosion resulting from higher competition; elevated research and development costs coming from technical issues associated with next-generation drives with higher densities; and the mounting cost of materials, such as rare-earth metals from China.

In the second largest storage segment, ODDs, shipments rose approximately 4.4 percent to 78.3 million units, but revenue was flat because of declining prices. Despite the growth, some computer original equipment manufacturers are abandoning ODDs - such as DVD-ROMs and Blu-ray disc players or recorders - in certain PCs because of the ongoing transition from disc-based usage to streaming media, as well as the popularity of thin-type PCs like the MacBook Air from Apple Inc. that eschew ODDs altogether.

In the third storage segment of SSDs, shipments in the second quarter climbed a hefty 21.4 percent to 3.4 million units, up from 2.8 million in the first quarter. As the newest storage sector, SSDs continue to deepen their penetration into the market, and the technology is expected to pick up more steam with the recent debut of consumer NAND caching technology from Intel Corp.

Companion cache SSDs represent an easier and less expensive means to boost system performance compared to replacing HDDs, as caching requires less NAND and works alongside the hard disk drive.

The technology also addresses common customer and manufacturer complaints associated with standalone SSDs, including high average selling prices and limited densities.

However, the expected proliferation of cache SSDs in emerging end markets like the Ultrabook—a type of ultraportable laptop—will lower the industry's average densities and pricing in the upcoming years, IHS projects, especially impacting the smaller participants of the SSD landscape.

The SSD market also faces the challenge of a crowded manufacturer base weighed down by a relative lack of experience. In particular, overreliance on third-party controllers and NAND flash sourced from the spot market contributed to a recent spate of drive errors and recalls.

Like any fast-growing semiconductor segment, SSDs are experiencing teething pains on the way to becoming a stable market with healthy revenues and margins. A thinning of the supplier base, however, will be necessary in order for SSDs to experience more sustainable dynamics, IHS believes." -via

The statistics do not lie, HDDs are still out selling SSDs. It is largely due to the price per gigabyte comparing the two. How long do you think or will we see SSDs out sell HDD? Let us know what you think about the recent statistics. Also what will it take for SSDs to out sell HDDs, price, performance, capacity? Let us know!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Icy News: Thunderbolt vs. SuperSpeed USB 3.0

"Intel will tell you its new high-speed interconnect technology,Thunderbolt, is not in competition with Universal Serial Bus (USB), the ubiquitous standard for connecting computers with other devices.
Apple has gone all in with Thunderbolt-enabled products, and there are a dozen or so manufacturers ready to ship Thunderbolt-enabled systems next year, according to an Intel spokesman. At the Intel Developer Forum in September, a dozen new products were displayed with Thunderbolt ports.
"You can look forward to seeing Windows-based systems with Thunderbolt in market in the first half of 2012," said Intel spokesman Dave Salvator. Microsofthas also already demonstrated Windows 8 support for Thunderbolt.
Thunderbolt, announced earlier this year, offers twice the performance of the latest SuperSpeed USB (3.0) interconnect. So there is reason to believe it could someday overtake USB, the most ubiquitous external I/O technology ever created." - via Computerworld
This is a very interesting article as both protocols are new and very fast. Of course Thunderbolt has the advantage of different types of connections sharing the one cable. However, this cost is shown as the cabling cost is much greater than USB3.0. Disregarding these two mentioned items, it seems that Thunderbolt scales pretty nicely for the most part (double speed, double Wattage support). In the coming months, will you purchase a Thunderbolt enabled product? Let us know!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Icy News: Toshiba 2.5-Inch (SFF) 15,000rpm HDD at 300GB

"With 6Gb SAS and self encrypting model, in 1Q2012
Toshiba's Storage Products Business Unit, a division of Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc., announced the industry's highest-capacity 2.5-inch high performance enterprise-class drive. 

The Toshiba MK01GRRB/R series supports the exacting requirements of compute-intensive environments with a 15,000 RPM spin speed, 6Gb/s SAS interface, and top capacity of 300GB. In addition, the Toshiba MK01GRRR models offer drive-based encryption to help companies manage data security.

"Enterprise customers are increasingly satisfying their performance and capacity needs with power efficient small form factor drives. Enterprise drives with the latest self-encryption features are helping data centers to more cost-effectively achieve compliance with information security mandates," said Joel Hagberg, vice president of marketing at Toshiba's Storage Products Business Unit. "Toshiba small form factor enterprise drives deliver the performance, capacity and security features IT administrators require for today's mission critical server, storage and cloud appliance markets."

Toshiba's third generation 2.5-inch 15,000 RPM enterprise drives leverage an enhanced power condition state that reduces drive spin in idle states, significantly lowering power consumption. Lower power consumption also means lower heat dissipation, which increases system stability, and less energy use. This saves enterprises money and reduces the impact on the environment.

As part of its commitment to improved security, the Toshiba MK01GRRR drive features self-encryption technology designed to the Trusted Computing Group (TCG) 'Enterprise SSC' specification. SED technology provides simple and complete data security throughout the drive's usable life cycle - with no performance impact - and enables organizations to crypto-graphically erase protected data securely, enabling the ability to return, service, repurpose, or retire drives without lengthy data overwrite operations or physical destruction of the drive.

"Increasing the capacity of 2.5-inch enterprise class HDDs is expanding the market opportunity for this form factor given its inherent power and data density advantages as compared to 3.5-inch models," said John Rydning, IDC's research vice president for hard disk drives. "Toshiba's new MK01GRRB/R series drives give server and storage system customers the capacity they want with the performance they need, as well as the ability to secure data on the drive with Toshiba's SED technology option." 

The Toshiba MK01GRRB/R series is scheduled to begin volume shipments in Q1 2012." - Via Storage Newsletter

With Toshiba preparing for a new SAS 6Gb self encrypting hard drive, it will be interesting to see how consumer's in the enterprise market react. Would this be easier than software encryption? Let us know what you think!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Icy News: Corsair Adds 480GB Force GT, 180GB and 480GB Force 3 SSDs

"Corsair in now shipping high capacity SSDs in both their Force 3 and Force GT (Force GT Review) lines, along with a new 180GB capacity in the Force 3 line. The new 180GB is designed to give those looking for a little more than 120GB a gentle step up, the 480GB capacities are the top capacity available for a single processor SandForce SSD. 

Both families of drives leverage a SandForce SF-2280 processor and SATA 6 Gb/s interface. The Force 3 uses asynchronous NAND to deliver 550 MB/s reads and 520 MB/s writes. The Force GT has synchronous NAND to deliver 555 MB/s reads and 525 MB/s writes. 
Corsair includes a mounting bracket so that you can also use these in a standard desktop PC 3.5” drive bays.
Pricing and Availability
All three SSDs are shipping now, the Corsair Force 3 180GB carries an MSRP of $249, the 480GB $799. The Force GT 480GB has an MSRP of $999." - via Storage Review

The HC (high capacity) SSD are starting to get bigger as of 2011. The question is still the status quo, "Should I pay more a bigger SSD or go with a spindle or even a lower capacity SSD?" What do you guys think? Let us know!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

MB882HX-1SB review - posted by

The Icy Dock MB882HX-1SB 2.5” SATA SSD Xpander Hybrid Adapter can bring new life to your previous generation SSDs. The MB882HX-1SB 2.5” SATA SSD Xpander Hybrid Adapter can double the sequential transfer rate of the HDD in the hybrid partition when paired with a moderate or 2nd generation 2.5” SSD. Once installed, the MB882HX-1SB Xpander Hybrid automatically creates two partitions: an SSD Hybrid partition, equal to twice the size of the SSD inside the adapter, and a useable storage partition, equal to the size of the HDD minus the SSD Hybrid the full review

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Icy News: TDK to Get Doubled HDD Recording Capacity

"TDK Corp. said it has developed new technology that more than doubles the recording capacity of hard disk drives, an advance that will lead to significantly improved performance of televisions and personal computers.TDK said it intends to mass produce hard disk drives with enlarged recording capacities late next year.The new technology makes it easier to write data by adding heat to the disk through a laser. The laser source is contained in the magnetic head." - via StorageNewsletter

There isn't much information, but this looks promising as spindle hard drives seem to hit a plateau. With the new technology being developed further for mass production we could be seeing these type of hard drives sooner than later! The question is, will it be faster than the current hard drives? Let us know what you think!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Icy News: 30GB 3Gb SATA SSD for $68 or $2.3/GB at OW

"Other World Computing (OWC) announced the addition of its lowest-cost SSD line.
The OWC Mercury EXTREME Pro 3G SSD combines SandForce, Inc.'s technologies and Tier 1/Grade A NAND to deliver data rates over 275MB/s in a noiseless, more reliable form factor over conventional magnetic hard disk drives. 

Designed and manufactured in the U.S. with imported parts, the new OWC Mercury EXTREME Pro 3G 30GB SSD's $67.99 MSRP makes it one of the lowest-priced, high-performance SSDs on the market.

Maximizes Computer's 3G Data Bus
Consumers using a Mac or PC equipped with the Serial ATA data bus will find the OWC Mercury EXTREME Pro 3G 30GB is able to deliver near bus saturating speed. Independent tests have confirmed the OWC Mercury EXTREME 3G SSDs deliversustained data rates over 275MB/s and provide significant benefits in overall system responsiveness and sustained workflow.

No Slow Down With Repeated Use
While ordinary SSDs initially offer fast read/write performance; they experience significant write speed degradation over repeated usage. Independent simulation tests conducted by drive performance experts like MacPerformanceGuide confirm OWC Mercury SSD's ultra-efficient Block Management & Wear Leveling technologies are able to eliminate virtually any reduction in data transfer speeds over heavy, long-term usage without dependency on less-than-effective OS TRIM management...." -via StorageNewsletter

With OWC releasing their newest SSD, it seems pretty interesting given the second feature. The no slow down with use sounds nice, but will it be able to do so when consumers put it to the test? If it does and this is the future, how will the market look like? Let us know!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

ICY TIP: Build a Compact Industrial Server with MB994SP-4S, MB994IPO-3SB & MB991IK-B mobile racks

Building a compact server always has compromises to be made. The different choices of available server chassis and other components tend to limit certain features of what the server can accomplish. We notice that SSD’s are then becoming increasingly important to have in compact servers. This is a great idea except, many pedestal server chassis currently completely lack any 2.5” hard drive storage bays. To address the need for a complete backup system, the MB994SP-4S in all aspects provides an excellent solution for system builders and enthusiasts alike.
The MB994SP-4S internal multi-bay enclosure improves functionality further in a multitude of RAID and non-RAID setups by minimizing and simplifying the installation and removal of the hot swappable disks. So this gives the user more choice on how to implement the server be it half RAID 1 and half RAID 0 or many other configurations. Because of this feature, replacements of backups are a thing of the past. The normal process would be to shut down the server computer, un-mount the bad drive, and then repeat the process to remount the replacement drive. Given that for a small form factor case, this makes the job even more difficult physically. The MB994SP-4S only requires to press the eject lever to release the drive and then swap with the replacement drive. There are no cables or screws while swapping to deal with which guarantees no issues with loose cables and less time troubleshooting.

The MB994SP-4S is accompanied by 4 EZ Slide Mini Trays as well with dual fans to insure that the four drives remain cool. It reduces the foot print inside the enclosing computer, protecting the disk from vibration and external forces with its all metal and anti-vibration constructions. Full metal construction of the cage and the EZ Slide Mini Tray are used in order to give the best quality possible for industrial use. Because of this reason, it ensures secure swapping and stability. If four 2.5” slots are not enough however, the floppy disk bay can be exchanged for an additional 2.5” hard drive slot. The MB991IK-B is a single bay mobile rack that fits into a 3.5 device bay. It uses the same EZ Slide Mini Tray as the MB994SP-4S, so the drives can be exchanged in and out of these hot swap bays for backups or repair between the two devices. Meanwhile, if a DVD disk drive is required for added versatility, the MB994IPO-3SB (Coming soon) will fit the bill. The MB994IPO follows the MB994 series with its full metal multi-bay design including 1 x Slim Optical Disk Drive (ODD) slot and 2 x 2.5” hard drive slots for use.
The MB994SP-4S is a very solid device, making it especially ideal for rugged environments. Configurations such as RAID 5 in a compact space make it great to work with given the application. The solid metal construction, along with the EZ Slide Mini Tray makes swapping out drives in case of a server crash quick and simple. Likewise, the MB991IK-B mobile rack allows for mobile transfer of data with ease. This is the perfect solution for system builders who require different types of backup but have a very small workspace and time to deal with any issues that may occur.
MB994SP-4S - 2.5” SAS/SATA Hot Swap Backplane RAID Cage with Four HDD Bays For Single 5.25” Device Bay
MB994IPO-3S - 2.5” SAS/SATA Hot Swap Backplane RAID Cage with Two HDD Bays & One Slim ODD Bay For Single 5.25” Device Bay (Pre Order)
MB991IK-B - 2.5” SAS/SATA Mobile Rack For 3.5” Device Bay
MB991TRAY-B - 2.5” SAS/SATA Drive Tray for MB991IK, MB994SP Series Internal Mobile Rack Hot Swap Backplane RAID Cage

Icy News: Rebirth of 1.8-Inch HDD (or not)

"A report from TrendFocus
He is an article, The Rebirth of 1.8-Inch HDD (or not), written by TrendFocus, Inc., a team of analysts following deeply since many years all the aspects of the worldwide storage industy:

The topics of ultrabooks and how the HDD industry will fend off the latest threat to demand (weak PC market, tablets, SSDs, etc.) were at the forefront of our latest swing through Japan this week.

Of course, Japanese companies lamented the disappointing demand trends in 2H11, but on the heels of several quarters of rather tepid orders and a weak global economy this comes as little surprise to anyone. Much of the talk centered on the potential of the ultrabook platform and whether HDDs could adequately compete for this 'new' market segment.

So, a few thoughts:
Ultrabook potential difficult to gauge and its reach unclear: Although some believe that "together with Windows 8, ultrabook is the future of the PC markets ..." it is clear the ultrabook opportunity is unclear. Simple questions on target markets, price points, storage capacities, and so on are not yet answered definitively. And despite Intel's seemingly whopping promotional budget, the 2009 failure of the CULV platform weighs heavily on the outlook.

Storage? Some of the ultrabook design platforms can accommodate HDDs (7mm 2.5") but early information suggests a tendency toward SSDs. However, didn't the 'netbook' start off this way only to fall back into the HDD realm? The Macbook Air is the obvious benchmark for the ultrabook, but does anyone really believe that >$1,000 PCs can be a large market (other than for Apple)? And is the world ready for >$1,000 PCs with small storage capacity or can HDDs once again enable innovation in the PC world and keep prices in the mainstream? We suspect that HDDs will play a significant role in ultrabooks.

5mm 2.5" HDDs: The notion of the thinnest-ever 2.5" HDD was popular in Japan, but eyebrow-raising design challenges prevented any consensus of opinion on the topic - except that it is likely to take 18-24 months to get this proposed format into mass production. BUT THE HDD INDUSTRY ALREADY HAS A 5mm Z-HEIGHT DEVICE - it's a 1.8" HDD. Could the perceived need for even thinner HDDs spell resurgence in 1.8" HDDs? Announced about 20 years ago, the 1.8" form factor has seemingly died many times only to be revived by specialized applications. Will the HDD industry's search for sustained relevance cause widespread reengagement in 1.8" or will it be a passing dalliance?" - via

With technology getting smaller and smaller the components need to shrink as well. One of the major parts of any computer or tablet is the storage memory. Do you think that the thinner smaller 1.8 inch hard drive will be the more popular choice in smaller computers? Or do you think that consumers would rather pay the extra money for the faster yet smaller capacity SSD? Let us know if you would rather have cheaper and more capacity or expensive and faster. 

Monday, October 03, 2011

Icy News: HBA With Four USB 3.0 ports and RAID Support

"HighPoint Technologies, Inc. launches its USB 3.0 HBA, theRocketU 1144AR

Four dedicated 5Gb/s ports deliver 20Gb/s of throughput, and support single disk and RAID configurations including 0, 1, 5, 10 and JBOD.
Conventional USB 3.0 Card + RAID Enclosure packages restrict performance with a maximum transfer bandwidth of 5Gb/s. Such solutions effectively handicap today's fastest external devices, including the latest generation of SSDs, which now meet or exceed this 5Gb/s limitation.

HighPoint's RocketU Quad-Port HBA's eliminate this performance bottleneck, and represent a cost effective external USB 3.0 storage solution for PC platforms.

With a potent combination of PCI-E x4 bus speeds and dedicated 5Gb/s per-port transfer rates, the RocketU 1144AR delivers performance while saving you hundreds of dollars over existing RAID solutions.

Flexible, High-Performance External Storage
The RU1144's integrated RAID technology allows users to configure arrays using combinations of USB external hard drives, SSDs, enclosures and docking bays. Mix and match SSDs and hard drives of any USB generation, into high-performance stripe configurations, or secure valuable data with mirrored arrays.

For the gaming and multi-media experience, configure RAID 0 arrays using multiple, external USB 3.0 drives for maximum performance. Configure mirror and 5 arrays to provide additional layers of security, and protect valuable data from the risks of hardware failure.

The RocketU 1144AR's web-based Management interface allows you to configure RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 and JBOD arrays using a variety of external USB 3.0 storage devices.

RocketU HBA's are backwards compatible with any PCI-E 1.0 x4/x8 and x16 slot, and will automatically recognize any external USB hard disk or SSD's that are pre-configured or already contain data. RocketU HBA's are compatible with USB 1.1, 2.0 and 3.0 hard drives, SSDs, multi-bay enclosures and docking bays." -via StorageNewsletter

Had enough of USB 3.0? HighPoint releasing this kind of device is something to note. With USB 3.0 enclosures on the trend up, it can make transferring data much faster. Let us know what you think!