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About Fragmentation

Do you need defrag? It mostly depends on your hardware and your use case. While defragmenting a file system can make the computer run faster, it’s not the only answer.

Fragmentation is usually caused when modifying a file. Overwriting the file or making it larger means storing a fragment of the file in a new place, unless the file system creates a complete new copy of the file. Databases are particularly susceptible here – they are usually large files and often updated in the middle.

Another way fragmentation happens is when the file system initially stores the file in pieces. This could happen if the file system is not configured to keep file blocks together, or if the media is fairly full and there are no spaces of sufficient size for the new file.

What about the impact of fragmentation? In the days of rotating media, a fragmented file meant extra head movement and platter rotation to read the file. With flash media, the extra overhead is just additional block reads – a far smaller cost.

Avoiding fragmentation if you’re using Reliance Nitro can be as simple as customizing your transaction points. Instead of transacting on a timed basis, create a new transaction point only when the entire file is on the media, at “file close”. Similar settings may be available on other file systems.

If your use case causes fragmentation, a valid workaround might be to reformat the media after backing up the database files. A fresh file format is fairly quick on modern hardware, and can be coupled with a bad block test as well.

Read more about Reliance Nitro

Thom Denholm | January 26, 2011 | Performance, Product Benefit | 1 Comment

Datalight Blasting Into Space Again with SpaceX Falcon 9 Project

Earlier this month (June 4th) SpaceX sent the Falcon 9 rocket on its maiden voyage from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station with a successful orbital insertion. Falcon 9 is a reusable spacecraft which will be used to resupply the International Space Station under the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. We are delighted that SpaceX selected Datalight Reliance and FlashFX Pro to protect mission-critical data from the rigors of space travel, such as shock, vibration, temperature extremes and radiation. Emily Shanklin,Director, Marketing and Communications for SpaceX had this to say: “Datalight software enables reliable flash-based embedded computing for SpaceX’s upcoming Falcon 9 and Dragon spacecraft missions in the data-hostile conditions of space.”

Michele Pike | June 23, 2010 | Flash File System, Flash Memory Manager, Military/Aerospace, Reliability | Comments Off

Datalight XCFiles File System for SDXC Removable Storage Helps OEMs Get Consumer Devices to Market Quickly

Earlier this week we announced XCFiles, a design-ready exFAT-compatible file system for next-generation extended capacity SD (SDXC) cards. Visit Datalight.com to read the full announcement or learn more about our exFAT implementation

Michele Pike | | Consumer Mobile, Consumer Other, Cost Savings, Flash File System, Flash Industry Info | Comments Off

Datalight Chosen for Blackboard Campus Card Reader Systems

Blackboard is the standard-bearer for student ID systems around the world. Their contactless cards serve as campus ID, building access, and point-of-sale accounts for meals and other services, and are rapidly replacing the old magnetic stripe systems. The cards and readers use a Windows Embedded CE-based platform. When Blackboard’s BSP provider learned that the systems would be responsible for keeping track of sensitive financial transactions, they recommended Datalight software to make certain that the system will function with bullet-proof reliability. To read more about our work with Blackboard, check out the full success story.

Michele Pike | May 20, 2010 | Consumer Other, Flash File System, Reliability | Comments Off

Press Release: Latest Datalight Flash File System Brings 20 Millisecond Mount Times to Linux through Kernel Versions 2.6.33

Bothell, WA, – May 5, 2010 – Today Datalight announced support for Linux kernel versions up to 2.6.33, the most recently released Linux versions available. FlashFX Tera, the file-system independent flash memory manager and Reliance Nitro, the highly-reliable, high-performance file system offer much faster mount times than UBIFS, YAFFS, or JFFS2. In addition, the Datalight products boost write speed over the standard file systems and provide out-of-the-box support for over 300 different flash memory parts from all the leading suppliers. Linux is finding its way into more devices such as smart phones, automotive infotainment, and industrial equipment which require both responsiveness and 100% data reliability.

“With the growth in adoption of Linux for data-intensive embedded devices, OEMs need a flash file system that better supports their reliability and performance requirements.” said Roy Sherrill, Datalight CEO. “By supporting the most recent kernel versions of Linux we’re filling that gap in the market with a robust, commercial-grade solution backed by our reputation for responsive, high-quality support.”

FlashFX Tera supports the full range of flash technologies including NAND, NOR, and MLC NAND flash in a single driver. Its patented wear-leveling and bad block management extend the useful life of devices using flash. While FlashFX Tera can be used with virtually any file system, pairing it with Reliance Nitro provides an optimized data storage software stack to simplify system development.

FlashFX Tera 1.2 and Reliance Nitro 1.2 are available immediately from Datalight and the Datalight worldwide network of channel partners. Please visit us at http://www.datalight.com/partners/worldwide-sales-partners to find a reseller near you.

The Reliance family of file systems and FlashFX family of flash media managers comprise the Datalight flash file system solution. Reliance was designed from the ground up for high reliability applications. Dynamic Transaction Point™ technology gives developers full control over performance and data protection characteristics, protecting users from file system corruption, even after unexpected system interruption. Embedded applications can benefit from faster boot times that remain consistent for the life of the product, regardless of disk size. FlashFX™ Tera features pre-written support for over 300 flash parts, works with virtually any NAND controller, and features wear leveling, bad block management, and background compaction for unrivaled performance.

For information, contact:
Kerri McConnell, Director of Marketing
425.686.1069
kerri.mcconnell@datalight.com

 

Michele Pike | May 6, 2010 | Flash File System, Flash Memory Manager, Performance | Comments Off

Digital Payment: Come for the Flash Management, Stay for the Reliability

We recently had the opportunity to work with Digital Payment to solve a NAND flash corruption issue by using the validation tools that come standard in FlashFX Pro. You’ve probably seen their shiny parking meters around town, including many remote locations that have no permanent power and no easy access to service. That’s why when Digital Payment learned of the reliability benefits of Reliance, they saw an opportunity to improve up-time and lower service costs. Reliability is just one of many reasons their parking meters are popular with parking lot owners and municipalities looking for dependable, user-friendly machines. Be sure to check out the full case study for more information about Digital Payment’s experience with FlashFX Pro and Reliance.

Michele Pike | April 14, 2010 | Flash File System, Flash Memory Manager, Industrial, Reliability | Comments Off

Psst! Datalight is the “secret sauce”

Customers tell us the performance and reliability benefits of our products are important competitive advantages for them. So with hundreds of Datalight customers shipping millions of products, why don’t you see more glowing reviews and fact-driven case studies on our website? As one top-tier consumer OEM recently told us, “If our competitors know that we use Datalight, they may use it too, and we don’t want to lose that advantage.” What a fantastic endorsement – Datalight is an ingredient of this customer’s “secret sauce!” Just last week an OEM building a metering product expressed reluctance to have us publish a case study. They were concerned competitors googling their name would find it and learn about the problem Datalight solved for them. One the one hand, it’s wonderful that our products are a factor in customers beating their competition; on the other hand it’s frustrating to not be able to tell the world about the role we’re playing in market leading devices. For now, our solution is to take the “Dragnet” approach and change the names to protect the innocent. And now you know the rest of the story: behind each example we use in marketing our products sits an organization driving fantastic innovation in the embedded industry with a real-world problem that Datalight solved.

Here are a few case studies that we are allowed to share:

Datalight FlashFX Pro Helps WAGO Build a Faster PLC

InHand Preserves Reputation of Reliability

Boot Time is Cut in Half for LG Navigator

Michele Pike | April 7, 2010 | Datalight Products, Product Benefit | Comments Off

Datalight Simplifies Reliable Data Storage for Linux-based Devices

Bothell, WA, – March 18, 2010 – Datalight announces support for Linux kernel versions up to 2.6.29 with new versions of FlashFX Tera, the file-system independent flash memory driver and Reliance Nitro, the highly-reliable, high-performance file system. FlashFX Tera version 1.2 offers out-of-the-box support for over 300 different flash memory parts from all the leading suppliers, expanding the choice for OEMs using flash memory. Linux is finding its way into more devices such as smart phones, automotive infotainment, and industrial equipment which require both responsiveness and 100% data reliability, by adding Reliance Nitro 1.2, OEMs can ensure rock-solid reliability of their systems without paying a performance penalty.

“Datalight continues to raise the standard in delivering advanced file system features for MontaVista Linux,” said Dean Misenhimer, Director of Marketing at MontaVista Software. “Our partnership provides our customers the option of a pre-integrated professional flash file system solution to speed their development of flash-based devices. This ultimately leads to faster time to market with superior performance and reliability.”

FlashFX Tera supports the full range of flash technologies including NAND, NOR, and MLC NAND flash in a single driver. Its patented wear-leveling and bad block management extend the useful life of devices using flash. While FlashFX Tera can be used with virtually any file system, pairing it with Reliance Nitro provides an optimized data storage software stack to simplify system development.

Reliance Nitro version 1.2 also adds support for extended file attributes. Most commonly used to designate file permissions, extended attributes are important to customers using special Linux distributions like SMACK. As data quantity and complexity in devices grows, extended file attributes can also be used for storing additional metadata (data about the data), such as digital rights information, GPS location or any information that makes finding and using the data easier. The ability of Reliance Nitro to serve as the root file system for Linux can simplify the data storage stack for these devices by allowing them to operate with a single file system.

“With the growth in adoption of Linux for data-intensive embedded devices, OEMs need a flash file system that better supports their reliability and performance requirements.” said Roy Sherrill, Datalight CEO. “By migrating our flagship products to Linux we’re filling that gap in the market with a robust, commercial-grade solution backed by our reputation for responsive, high-quality support.”

FlashFX Tera 1.2 and Reliance Nitro 1.2 are available immediately from Datalight and the Datalight worldwide network of channel partners. Please visit us at datalight.com to find a reseller near you.

The Reliance family of file systems and FlashFX family of flash media managers comprise the Datalight flash file system solution. Reliance was designed from the ground up for high reliability applications. Dynamic Transaction Point™ technology gives developers full control over performance and data protection characteristics, protecting users from file system corruption, even after unexpected system interruption. Embedded applications can benefit from faster boot times that remain consistent for the life of the product, regardless of disk size. FlashFX™ Tera features pre-written support for over 300 flash parts, works with virtually any NAND controller, and features wear leveling, bad block management, and background compaction for unrivaled performance.

 

Michele Pike | March 22, 2010 | Flash File System, Flash Memory Manager, Reliability | Comments Off

Increase Capacity, Reduce Cost: Benefits of NAND Flash -Wind River and Datalight Webinar

Join us March 18th at 11am PDT as Datalight CEO Roy Sherrill and Wind River Product Manager Bill Graham weigh the pros and cons of switching to NAND. Maximize the usability and efficiency of your device memory by understanding all the considerations that go into integrating a NAND flash with your device’s software. Learn more and reserve your spot today as space is limited.

Michele Pike | February 19, 2010 | Cost Savings, Flash Industry Info, Flash Memory | Comments Off

Reliability on Windows CE 6.0

Watch Rob Hart demonstrating the Datalight flash file system on the Beagle Board with Windows CE 6.0

Michele Pike | October 1, 2009 | Flash File System, Performance, Reliability | Comments Off