Sun Proposes Flash Data Form Factor for Storage

The entry-level capacity for the proposed device would be 24 GB and would support the Serial Advanced standard

March 18, 2009

1 Min Read
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By Ed Scannell, InformationWeek, March 17, 2009, 12:00 PM

Hoping to push the industry toward a flash data form factor for storage, Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: JAVA) is proposing a new standard it plans to make public to the open source community.

The design of the newly proposed form factor, about the size of a typical memory card, is significantly smaller than existing solid state drives, according to the company.

The entry-level capacity for the proposed device would be 24 GB and would support the serial advanced standard. The device would still be perceived as a hard drive to the software, although vendors will have to redesign their hardware in order for it to fit into the new slot, company officials said.

Sun said it plans to release the electrical specifications for the Open Flash Module (OFM) to several open source communities including The proposed standard will take advantage of the JDEC specification, and also will be submitted to a "number" of standards bodies, it said.Company officials noted they have already added flash technology to its Storage 7000 Unified Storage line, and has optimized its ZFS file system to better work with flash, by bringing together DRAM, SSDs, and more traditional hard drives all working in storage pool.

Samsung is reportedly in the process of creating its own device based on the proposed standard's specifications.

In a related announcement Sun also said building SSD flash technology into its x64-based, multithreaded blade systems.

Sun isn't the only one trying to change server and storage standards. InformationWeek has published an independent analysis of NextIO's PCIe-based technology. Download the report here

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