back to article Solidfire offers unlimited SSD wear guarantee, punts software at market

All-flash array startup Solidfire has a new array and is selling its software, minus hardware, to hyperscalers. Solidfire, whose products feature in-line data reduction, a high degree of system automation and scale-out platform design, sees different consumption models for modern IT infrastructure. It thinks SMB and startup …

  1. MrT

    ...SSD warranties of up to five years...

    ...apart from the SanDisk Extreme Pro and Samsung 850 Pro ones up to 10 years. Not 20 years, granted, but if Solidfire have come up with some way of managing array load, based on experience, then why not? Makes a change from OEMs downsizing warranties to the lowest common denominator in the components used.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: ...SSD warranties of up to five years...

      Warranties are simply futures options contracts, Since the cost of the flash chips is innevitably going to drop over 20years, or even if it were to rise slower than the stock market, they will win by taking your money now and offering to replace your 128Gb flash drive for free in 20years.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ...SSD warranties of up to five years...

        Not to mention that enterprises aren't likely to have heavily used servers/storage that isn't replaced after 5 years, let alone 10. The 10+ year old servers some have kicking around are the ones that do little and are out of sight / out of mind.

        To collect on an unlimited wear guarantee the SSD probably still has to be functional, just indicating too many bad blocks. They might pay out with a few customers who really are driving them to the max 24x7x365, but most customers will either be wildly overestimating how much data they write per day or only write at those rates during load peaks.

      2. Justicesays
        Boffin

        Re: ...SSD warranties of up to five years...

        How many 20 year old hard drives are you using in your enterprise right now?

        How many would you be using even if they hadn't failed at some point?

        in 1995 5.25" 9GB SCSI disks had just come out.

        IDE disks had just gone over 540MB.

        1. MrT

          Re: ...SSD warranties of up to five years...

          20yr-old disks still in use? Well, none, because older servers are retired, connection technology moves on and data is a beast with an insatiable appetite. But that's not my point. There are drives available right now with 10-year warranties, but the author states of effectively unlimited warranties "This is pretty outrageous, given current assumptions and SSD warranties of up to five years."

          Personally, I do still have old HDDs and stuff stored on 5.25" floppies from late 80's and very early 90's, then 3.25" disks and 100/250MB Zip disks, including the drives, but that's more down to my hoarding eccentricity than any hope of actually using them again ;-)

          1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

            Re: ...SSD warranties of up to five years...

            Many people still have 20 year old HDDs in their possession (I do), but few people will ever try to access the data that is on them, and even fewer people are actually still using those disks. Even if the disks being sold with a 20 year warranty will all fail after 5 years of use, there will be few buyers who will be asking for a warranty replacement because (a) a tiny percentage of buyers will be keeping the HDD in use for even as long as 5 years and (b) of the people who do, only a percentage will remember that the failed disk came with a 20 year warranty, and a smaller percentage will bother to collect on the warranty.

            A few years ago I did want to find some old data I knew was on 15-odd year-old floppy disks, and discovered that only about 60% of the data on those disks was still readable (not that they were stored particularly carefully). The same data was also stored on DAT tape backups that I still have, but I no longer have a DAT drive to read them ...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: ...SSD warranties of up to five years...

              The lifetime guarantees against wearout are only offered on enterprise storage, because enterprises won't take advantage of it. It just gives them peace of mind if they are worried about wearout. That was my point. A home user might hold onto stuff much longer, but no company will offer them a lifetime wearout warranty - can you imagine if SSDs had been sold to home users in 1995 and someone tries to claim on a worn out 500MB IDE SSD?

  2. Hans 1
    Boffin

    Serious question

    Has anyone ever witnessed flash wear first hand, as in, capacity loss, data loss due to wear ... even partial ? I doubt it. I am sure that theoretically it can happen, but has anybody been bitten by this ? I have 3+ year old SSD's with which I compile gigabytes of code, two of these are used daily ... no sign of wear over here ...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Serious question

      Yes.

      If you write the firewall logs of a company to an SSD, over-writing the logs every 6-10 minutes. The drive will fail much sooner than you'd think.

      1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

        Re: Serious question

        "If you write the firewall logs of a company to an SSD, over-writing the logs every 6-10 minutes. The drive will fail much sooner than you'd think."

        Will it? The whole point of the Flash management firmware is that repeated over-writing of a file does *not* mean that the same Flash locations are continuously over-written. Any given Flash location will be erased & rewritten only as frequently as a entire disk capacity is written, so to calculate how frequently flash is erased/written you need to divide the total disk capacity by your average *amount* of data written per unit time. A log file is unlikely to be (over)written at a rate high enough to cycle through a multi GB SSD drive in a year, and so if the Flash has an extremely low cycle life of 500 erase/write cycles it will still last until the year 2500 ...

  3. jcrb

    Not really that hard to do

    When the performance of a node with 10 SSDs is basically no greater than the performance of a single SSD, it will obviously have something like 10X the lifetime of a single SSD, so even if it was in use constantly it is likely that the lifetime will be longer than anyone will leave the box deployed for. Or as Yet Another Anonymous coward pointed out by the time you discover that you can wear it out the cost of replacing the array will be a lot less than it originally cost to buy it.

    So it's not that they did anything special to be able to make this claim, other than being really slow.

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