I mean this as constructive criticism, not as angry bickering. I totally
respect you guys doing your own thing.

Thanks, I'll try my best to address your comments...

*) Increased capacity for high-volume applications.

We do have a select number of customers striping two
X1s for a total capacity of 8GB, but for a majority of our customers 4GB is perfect. Increasing capacity
obviously increases the cost, so we wanted the baseline
capacity to reflect a solution to most but not every need.

*) Remove the requirement to have an external UPS (couple of
   supercaps? microbattery?)

Done!  We will be formally introducing an optional DDRdrive
SuperCap PowerPack at the upcoming OpenStorage Summit.

*) Use cheaper MLC flash to lower cost - it's only written to in case
   of a power outage, anyway so lower write cycles aren't an issue and
   modern MLC is almost as fast as SLC at sequential IO (within 10%

We will be staying with SLC not only for performance but longevity/reliability.
Check out the specifications (ie erase/program cycles and required ECC) for a "modern" 20 nm MLC chip and then let me know if this is where you *really* want to cut costs :)

*) PCI Express 3.0 interface (perhaps even x4)

Our product is FPGA based and the PCIe capability is the biggest factor
in determining component cost. When we introduced the X1, the FPGA cost *alone* to support just PCIe Gen2 x8 was greater than the current street price of the DDRdrive X1.

*) At least updated benchmarks your site to compare against modern
   flash-based competition (not the Intel X25-E, which is seriously
   stone age by now...)

I completely agree we need to refresh the website, not even the photos are representative of our shipping product (we now offer VLP DIMMs). We are engineers first and foremost, but an updated website is in the works.

In the mean time, we have benchmarked against both the Intel 320/710
in my OpenStorage Summit 2011 presentation which can be found at:


*) Lower price, lower price, lower price.
   I can get 3-4 200GB OCZ Talos-Rs for $2k FFS. That means I could
   equip my machine with one to two mirrored slogs and nearly 800GB
   worth of L2ARC for the price of a single X1.

I strongly believe the benefits of a DRAM/NAND based SSD (compared to a Flash only based SSD) make them exceptionally cost effective for enterprise focused ZIL acceleration. Sustained write IOPS are paramount for a dedicated log device, I detail this key fact and compare against OCZ SSDs (older now but also sandforce based) in a OpenStorage Summit 2010 presentation:


I do agree cost is always critical to wider acceptance. Know this, our street price is *extremely* aggressive relative to our costs of production for such a targeted product. We do what we do at DDRdrive for a single reason, our passion for ZFS. We want nothing more than to continue to design and offer our unique ZIL accelerators as an alternative to Flash only SSDs and hopefully help (in some small way) the success of ZFS.

Thanks again for taking the time to share your thoughts!

The drive for speed,

Christopher George
cgeorge at ddrdrive.com
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