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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Sun Microsystems serves up SSD

The Boston Globe has an article talking about Sun Microsystems' planned introduction of SSD storage in their enterprise products.

An excerpt:

Flash memory drives use chips rather than mechanical hard drives to store information. Their use is popular in consumer devices like MP3 music players and digital cameras. The chips cost far more than the equivalent amount of hard drive storage, but flash memories are smaller, lighter, and require less electricity.

Sun and EMC say flash drives are ideal for business users who need to swap huge amounts of data in and out of computer systems. Flash chips read and write information thousands of times faster than hard drives, enabling enormous increases in processing speeds, resulting in improved efficiency and savings. In addition, Fowler said Sun's flash memory drives use only about two watts of power, compared to roughly 12 watts for a typical hard drive.

While EMC only makes storage gear, Sun is a major vendor of server and storage equipment. Sun plans to introduce servers that replace some of the standard hard drives with faster flash drives. Fowler said in addition to conserving electricity, the servers will deliver three times the data throughput of servers using only standard hard drives.

The only real play on SSD right now is STEC. Frankly, this isn't going to be a wildly complicated business for others to get into... but the first mover advantage is likely to really help STEC's results for a while. I don't know if they're in the Sun product. I don't care. The business is in its infancy. I think the stock is likely to move much higher as SSD growth significantly bolsters results.

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