Orca Security adopts Tuxera's NTFS file system implementation into cloud security platform

Orca Security chooses Tuxera’s file system software for their enterprise multi-cloud security platform

Orca Security – Tuxera enterprise customersTuxera’s file system software helps cloud security innovation leader achieve exceptional performance in accessing files on cloud servers.

 

HELSINKI, Finland, April 13, 2021Tuxera, a world-leader in quality-assured storage management and networking software, announced that Orca Security, the cloud security innovation leader, has adopted Tuxera’s file system implementation as part of their cutting-edge cloud security platform. Orca Security provides cloud-wide, workload-deep security and compliance across multiple cloud platforms. Microsoft NTFS by Tuxera was adopted by Orca Security for its sustained and consistently high performance and proven use as in other enterprise storage applications.

Bringing visibility to security over multiple cloud servers

Orca Security provides workload-deep security – including VMs, containers, and serverless workloads – across AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. Orca Security’s patent-pending SideScanning™ technology is the only cloud security solution that identifies security risks without the use of agents, scanners, or any code running in the customer’s environment. Their platform brings complete visibility into the security of workloads and cloud configurations, detecting vulnerabilities, malware, misconfigurations, lateral movement risk, weak and leaked passwords, and unsecured PII.

The company serves customers across a broad spectrum of industries including financial services, media and entertainment, CPG, manufacturing, cloud, mid-market, and enterprise customers across all geographic regions. Because their platform accesses data from multiple clients and multiple servers, rapid data handling and consistent performance is paramount in ensuring high levels of customer satisfaction. Additionally, any technologies integrated with the Orca Security platform must also have rigorous control over data integrity, thus ensuring data security.

High throughput essential in ensuring enterprise customer satisfaction

Initially, the Orca Security platform relied on an alternative NTFS file system implementation to read, mount, and create disk snapshots from NTFS volumes. For volumes created from snapshots, the storage blocks must be pulled down from the cloud provider and written to the volume before they are accessible. This preliminary action takes time and can cause a significant increase in the latency of I/O operations the first time each block is accessed. In fact, the first consecutive read operations performed on a block can be five to ten times slower. The optimal volume performance is achieved after all blocks have been downloaded and written to the volume.

With their original NTFS file system implementation, Orca experienced poor performance. The company then turned to Tuxera for storage management expertise, aiming to get better performance.

“At Orca, we use cloud disk snapshots and provide forensic-level visibility inside of every virtual machine. Crawling and storage optimizations available in Microsoft NTFS by Tuxera provide the speed we need to deliver customers a complete view of their multi-cloud estate in minutes,” says Gil Geron co-founder and chief product officer at Orca Security. “Tuxera’s expertise in high-performing, fail-safe file systems and enterprise-grade storage software help us achieve a competitive edge in the market.”

Tuxera’s software enables optimal speeds for enterprise workloads 

Using Microsoft NTFS by Tuxera, the platform was able to achieve up to three times faster performance on average, solving the Orca Security platform speed-performance issues to AWS servers. “We’re very excited to work with the innovation leader in cloud security. Orca Security has an outstanding reputation backed by numerous success stories,” says Heinrich von Keler, Director of Enterprise Solutions at Tuxera. “Tuxera is proud to be integrated into such an innovative platform, ensuring the highest possible performance between the block level and cloud servers.”

Multi-cloud enterprise services adoption rapidly growing

This customer case comes in context of the booming adoption of cloud services by businesses and enterprises around the globe. World-leading research company Gartner predicts that by 2024, 14.2% of global enterprise IT spending will be dedicated to cloud services. This trend is increasingly pointing towards adoption of a multi-cloud strategy. In Flexera’s 2020 State of The Cloud Report, 93% of companies reported using a multi-cloud strategy. This trend is compounded by some of the challenges companies have in adopting cloud services, with some 66% of companies identifying security as the biggest challenge for cloud adoption.

Orca Security chooses Tuxera's file system software

About Orca Security

Orca Security, the cloud security innovation leader, provides cloud-wide, workload-deep security and compliance for AWS, Azure, and GCP – without the gaps in coverage, alert fatigue, and operational costs of agents.

Unlike competing tools that operate in silos, Orca treats your cloud as an interconnected web of assets, prioritizing risk based on the severity of the underlying security issue combined with environmental context, including its accessibility and potential damage to the business. This does away with thousands of meaningless security alerts to provide just the critical few that matter, along with their precise path to remediation.

Find critical attack vectors before your adversaries without having to cobble together disparate tools for cloud security posture management, compliance assessments, and workload and data protection. Delivered as SaaS, Orca Security’s patent-pending SideScanning™ technology reads your cloud configuration and workloads’ runtime block storage out-of-band, detecting vulnerabilities, malware, misconfigurations, lateral movement risk, weak and leaked passwords, and unsecured PII. SideScanning™ covers all your workloads – VMs, containers, and serverless.

Orca Security deploys in minutes – not months – because no code runs within your cloud environment. With Orca, there are no overlooked assets, no DevOps headaches, and no performance hits on live environments.

Connect your first cloud account in minutes and see for yourself. Visit https://orca.security

About Tuxera

Tuxera is the leading provider of quality-assured embedded storage management software and networking technologies. Helping people and businesses store and do more with their data, our software is at the core of phones, tablets, cars, TV sets, cameras, drones, external storage, routers, spacecraft, IoT devices, and more. We help you store your data reliably, while making file transfers fast and content easily accessible. Tuxera is also an active member of multiple industry organizations, including JEDEC, SNIA, AGL, SD Association, The Linux Foundation, and many others. Founded in 2008, Tuxera’s headquarters are located in Finland, with regional offices in China, Germany, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and the US.

Let us help solve your storage challenges. Learn more about us at www.tuxera.com

For more information, please contact:
VP Marketing, Tuxera
Tiffiny Rossi
press@tuxera.com

References:

  1. Gartner Forecasts Worldwide Public Cloud End-User Spending to Grow 18% in 2021, Accessed March 5, 2021: https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2020-11-17-gartner-forecasts-worldwide-public-cloud-end-user-spending-to-grow-18-percent-in-2021
  2. Flexera 2020 State of The Cloud Report, Accessed March 5, 2021: https://info.flexera.com/SLO-CM-REPORT-State-of-the-Cloud-2020
  3. Cloud Vision 2020: The Future of the Cloud A Survey of Industry Influencers, LogicMonitor, Accessed March 5, 2021: https://www.logicmonitor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/LogicMonitor-Cloud-2020-The-Future-of-the-Cloud.pdf

Embedded technology – Tuxera

2021 trends in embedded tech – data, AI, and vision tech abound

Embedded World 2021 revealed much about what’s shaping the embedded realm in general, and specifically industrial IoT systems design and development – with vision technology, AI, and data-driven applications leading the way.

Tuxera approached the Embedded World 2021 conference with a focus on reliability challenges faced by industrial IoT systems designers. While the convenience of moving from talk to talk in just a few clicks was handy, the real gems of the event were, of course, the fascinating topics covered at the conference. Some exciting trends that are heavily influencing the embedded realm now revolve around the booming adoption of vision technologies, as well as artificial intelligence in industrial applications. Read on as I go into a little more detail about these trends.

Vision technologies

One of the fascinating trends discussed in detail at the conference was around industrial vision systems. Machine vision is used, for example, to bring image-based, automated methods into industrial applications such as quality analysis and inspection activities, or for steering robots.

Machine vision is a sharply growing area of embedded technology. According to Research and Market, the industrial machine vision market is growing at a rate of 7.61% (CAGR) between 2017 and 2023. Companies are, of course, adopting these technologies for a competitive edge – but also for cost-savings and risk management measures. It goes without saying that these applications also involve a lot of real-time processing of data.

Artificial Intelligence

Another major talking point was artificial intelligence used in industrial applications – and that’s hardly surprising. According to Fortune Business Insights, AI in manufacturing market is projected to grow at a rate of 24.2% by 2027. AI is used to make automation more efficient and more precise, though it’s also used in, for example, predictive maintenance. Machine learning can be used to detect signals when equipment would start to wear and then “call in” for maintenance work before any operations are critically impacted. And – no surprise again – these applications also require real-time processing of data.

Data, everywhere

One thing on everyone’s lips was the amount of data being generated by embedded industrial use cases, mirroring the data-driven trend in pretty much every other sector in the world. An interesting topic that came up in one roundtable I attended was not around “making all the data”, but conversely, “reducing all the data”. And by that we mean techniques that can decrease the amount of data that would need to be processed, stored, or sent to the cloud. One such means includes using AI to focus on areas of data collection that are significant to the operation in question. Take – for example – facial recognition technology. This is one way to reduce data: if faces are the important data we need, then data capture should only focus on faces and immediate surroundings (and not say, the entire factory floor behind them).

Yet another topic we discussed in this data reduction round table was compression – both compressing the amount of data to be stored or processed, but also compressing it before sending to the cloud. I found that point significant when thinking of compression on a file system level, or also during network transfer – as with Fusion File Share by Tuxera (our advanced SMB file-sharing implementation).

Final thoughts

Along with the interesting trends in embedded industrial IoT, were the engaging talks and roundtables held by various companies. Many of the interesting and well attended ones involved several firms, along with customers, partners, and suppliers discussing specific topics in detail. However, nothing can truly replace the ability to wander the exhibition hall, see all the bling messages and screens and faces eager to tell you about their products. A fully digital Embedded World wasn’t perfect, though despite a few hiccups, we were happy to participate. And we definitely want to return to the exhibition and conference floor to learn more about embedded technology trends in 2022.


Hot off the presses: Tuxera’s Embedded World 2021 whitepaper – Keep device data safe with secure erase

If you attended Embedded World 2021, then you perhaps had the opportunity to hear Thom Denholm, our Technical Product Manager, talk about data sanitization techniques for embedded device data security. If you didn’t make it to his talk – no worries! Thom’s whitepaper, linked below, delves into more detail and complexity on his presentation topic. As a quick teaser of what this whitepaper is all about, here is the abstract:

Removing data securely from flash media is more challenging than older magnetic designs. The software and firmware must work in unison to provide secure solutions that are increasingly in demand. In this paper, we detail the secure interface from the application to the media and point out the possible pitfalls along the way.

Download Tuxera’s Embedded World 2021 whitepaper: Keep device data safe with secure erase

GET WHITEPAPER

Connected cars literally take us close to the edge

The connected car easily conjures up topics like 5G, V2X, and the cloud. It’s certainly enchanting – all the amazing services the cloud and high-speed wireless connectivity will bring to our cars in the coming years. But the down-to-earth reality is the mission-critical handling and processing of data will be done inside the car itself.

The noble edge may lack glamor, but certainly not relevance

Opposite of cloud computing, data processing and analysis that happens near where the data is collected is called “edge computing.” It’s hard to get people excited about edge computing – it’s just what we’re used to. Moreover, only a few years ago the jury was still out about the importance of edge computing in the IoT era. Today, its role is strong and clear, especially when it comes to the connected car. As venture capitalist Peter Levine explained to CIO Magazine, “the driverless car, whose 200-plus CPUs effectively make it a “data center on wheels,” is a prime example of an edge device whose computing capabilities must be self-contained.”

Levine further explained that an autonomous vehicle that relied too heavily on data from the cloud could run through stop signs and crash because of latency issues. And, as SanDisk’s Martin Booth reminds us, a connected car is not truly connected at all times, nor is the connection always optimal. While latency issues are expected to decrease over the coming years – especially with advancements in 5G technology – experts don’t feel it’s feasible to push all connected-car data to the cloud.

This point was driven home by Dan Gittleman, CEO of Xevo – a company specialized in data-driven automotive solutions. At his event talk, Gittleman said, “Think about it, there are hundreds of millions of cars and each car can have hundreds of sensors in there. It’s just not possible to get all this data to the cloud.” And, according to Gartner, “all this data” may have already reached over 280 million gigabytes annually.

Gittleman added that a lot of this data needs to be processed on the cars themselves – at the edge. There, the system can decide what data needs to be pushed to the cloud, what data needs to stay in the car for immediate action, and even what data can be tossed away entirely.

Connected cars need fast local storage solutions

On a whole, connected car data, and the business models emerging from it, could be worth $1.5 trillion by 2030 according to a 2016 report from McKinsey&Company. This is a valuable commodity to preserve – which places greater focus on onboard data handling and storage solutions. According to SanDisk’s Martin Booth, advanced autonomous vehicles may soon need edge storage capacities of one terabyte or higher.

Advancements in flash memory technology allow us to record the massive amounts of data pouring into the connected car at very fast speeds. But that also requires ultra-fast data storage software that can reliably handle multitudes of simultaneous data streams. Together, the storage hardware and software work to preserve the integrity of all the valuable data moving through and stored inside the connected car.

Final thoughts

While all eyes are turned toward the cloud, the not-so-lofty reality is that local means of handling, processing, and storing data in connected cars are not losing relevance. Into the foreseeable future, technologies that support edge computing, including onboard sensors and edge storage solutions, are only going to play an increasing role. And for us at Tuxera, we’re happy to be right there – at the edge, close to the data.


Car makers and Tier-1 suppliers – see how we can make your edge data handling and storage faster and fail-safe.

TUXERA AUTOMOTIVE SOLUTIONS

Tuxera – Will VR change the way we love?

Will VR change the way we love?

Once upon a time in 2016, I visited Nokia’s exhibit at Slush (Helsinki’s annual startup and tech event). At the booth, they showcased a music video that was filmed using their OZO VR camera. Although I had tried VR games, this music experience took me to a very different emotional place. The video placed you as a voyeur to a young couple falling in love. If you have a VR headset, you can watch the video featuring the music of OneRepublic here.

That experience left a lasting impression on me.

Standing close to the young couple, I found myself misty-eyed as their story unfolded around me. This immersive, emotional experience made me wonder – will VR change the way we love?

What the experts say about love and technology

At first thought, it’s easy to wander directly to the dystopian extreme of love and VR. That is, a person falls in love with an artificial intelligence, then never wants to leave the VR environment again. But as science and technology journalist, Jacob Ward, reminds us:

“Connecting to our own world and not to a made up one may be the real promise of virtual reality.”

Modern courtship is typically a “slow burn”

Biological Anthropologist Helen Fisher assures us that technology is not changing the type of person you’ll love or how you’ll feel love. But Fisher does note that technology is making an impact on how we court, or how we meet and pursue others romantically.

Take matchmaking sites, for example. Fisher – who is also match.com’s science advisor – explains that people experience cognitive overload on these sites, simply because there are too many choices. And when that happens, they just can’t decide who is “Mr., Mrs., or Mx. Right” – at least not after a long processes of considering their options. Coupled with fears of divorce, what we’re seeing today is a new form of courtship Fisher calls “slow love.” The pre-commitment stage before marriage is now much longer than ever before, and technology in the form of websites, chats, social media, and dating apps has played at least some part in supporting this new model of courtship.

Love and VR

So what happens if we carry Fisher’s discussion about love and technology over into VR space? VR technology will probably make it easier to find people to love. It may even have the potential for weeding people out before you even make it to the “slow love” stage.

Going back to my experience at Slush 2016 – a company called Texel was offering full-body 3D scans as a booth giveaway. Here’s what mine looks looks like:

It’s not long before it’s commonplace on dating sites to upload such 3D-scans, then animate them through body hardware so you can “pre-meet” people in a virtual environment. Instead of exchanging messages and reading profile after profile, you could just specify to meet people with certain interests in a VR cafe – all while your physical body stays at home in your pajamas. Want to have your first date on Mars? Why not? Using your virtual avatar, you could meet others and talk over a steaming cup of virtual joe in Martian gravity. And if things work out, you could move on to meeting each other physically in real life. If not, well, your VR experience saved you the hassle of getting dressed up for a fancy dinner.

In fact, the 2017 show “Virtually Dating” was built around this very premise.

Final thoughts

Based on Fisher’s stance on love and technology, there’s no reason to suggest that VR will change how we feel love or even the type of person we will love. But it will change the way we meet, court, and share experiences with others. For all you lovebirds out there, take comfort in what Fisher has to say:

“…love and attachment will prevail, technology cannot change it.”


Did you know?

Tuxera has high-performance file system software precision-engineered to tackle the storage challenges associated with VR equipment. Take a closer look on our solutions pages!

Storage management for consumer electronics

Tuxera presenting at GENIVI AMM '20

Meet Tuxera virtually at the 20th edition of the GENIVI All-Members meeting (AMM) October 26–28, 2020!

 

The GENIVI Alliance steers the open, Linux-based in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) platform. As a member of the GENIVI community, Tuxera is committed to addressing real-life challenges of the increasingly complex and connected vehicle.

For this year’s AMM, GENIVI will hold several sessions, including an industry-trend oriented program tackling issues like vehicle software complexity and maximizing the value of vehicle data. Speakers from Strategy Analytics, McKinsey, and a number of OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers – including Tuxera – will be part of the market trends sessions.

Join us on Monday, October 26 from 12:30-12:50 pm EDT (16:30–16:50 UTC) for a talk you won’t want to miss out on. Our Technical Product Manager, Thom Denholm will be presenting the following talk:

Solving data storage challenges in the automotive projects of tomorrow

Historically, automotive IVIs were literally read only. Functionality has been defined by the developer at the very beginning, with no major changes over lifetime. Consequently, the number of write cycles for flash memory was a no-worry. Now, systems have become much more complex with ECUs consolidated into domain controllers and hosting multiple functions on one SOC. The introduction of Android makes cars look like mobile phones, but with a higher lifetime of 10-15 years. Together with OTA updates, this results in many more write cycles that might make the flash wear out before end of life of the car. Fragmentation is observed to have an impact on performance in mobile devices – and could simply break an automotive system. Issues like FCA’s endless loop update from 2018, or the Spotify bug from 2016 with writing 5 GB per hour to flash puts further risk on future systems. We describe those effects more in detail, and suggest measures to mitigate the risks.

Hope to see you there!


Find out more and register for the GENIVI AMM here. Even non-members can listen in!

REGISTER FREE

Tuxera – protectors of data integrity

59 Zettabytes and counting – why file systems matter more than ever before

Today we live in an age of data-driven everything – where every millisecond of data capture is important. By the end of 2020, Statista estimates global data generation will reach 59 Zettabytes (ZB). In a layperson’s context, to get that much data onto 32 GB SD cards, you would have to fill over 2 TRILLION cards!

This is exactly why data storage – and the software that manages it – matters. Tuxera’s storage software ships in billions of devices around the world – such as cars, mobile phones, TVs – even spaceships! We’re the go-to storage software choice for brands that put a lot of care into ensuring the best user experience and satisfaction.

In general, storage management software works invisibly for us as users – managing the flow of data as it streams between apps, the operating system, and the storage hardware itself. It’s pretty much forgotten behind the scenes.

That is...until it doesn’t work right.

Loss of precious moments – like photos of those important to you. Sluggish devices or loss of device functionality from fragmented and corrupted storage blocks. Data loss that could bring critical operations – like a space flight – to an insurmountably expensive (or worse, life-threatening) failure.

Poorly designed, poorly implemented, and poorly supported file systems, flash management, and file sharing software can be a root cause of all these problems.

These are challenges Tuxera aims to end.

That’s why we promise unparalleled failure recovery, so if an accident or power loss happens, your data is stored safe and sound – uncorrupted and accessible. It’s why we design our software to extend the finite lifetime of flash memory, so you don’t have to worry about unexpected storage burnout. And it’s why we always strive for the best performance, so that rapidly flowing streams of data from multiple sources are securely captured on the hardware.

But moreover, our entire team has an uncanny eagerness to share our expertise in storage development, devoting time and care to ensure our customers meet their requirements and targets.

Right now, it's very likely our software is working diligently inside a device near you. But you might not even know that, because it’s working at its best – ensuring your data is securely stored for the long haul, uncorrupted, exactly when you need it.

Without further ado – we hope you enjoy watching our new brand video, which tells how Tuxera fits into the age of data-driven everything.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMM0cjKuR5k


Preparing for tomorrow's data: Tuxera's 2020 vision for data storage at Embedded World

Tuxera tackles automotive data storage, NAND errors, SD card formatting, and predictive maintenance and IIoT at Embedded World 2020

They say hindsight is 20/20. But with Embedded World 2020 right around the corner, it's also the future of data storage. If you’re headed to Nuremberg for this year’s event, we’ve got some presentations and a panel on embedded data storage you don’t want to miss out on! Read on to see all of what we’ll have in store for you there.

How to avoid end of life from NAND correctable errors

Flash media is fabulous for most use cases, but heavy reads can cause correctable errors. Linux flash file systems actually shorten the life of the media when dealing with these errors. How does this change with multiple bits per cell, including recent QLC NAND? We'll cover both this problem and the impacts in detail, from flash file systems to SSDs and other NAND flash-based media.

Presenter: Thom Denholm, Technical Product Manager

Session: 5.1: Hardware I – Memory

Date/time: Tuesday, February 25, 10:30–11:00

We will publish this as a whitepaper shortly after Embedded World, so check back later!

Challenges of tomorrow's data storage integrity in Automotive and IOT projects

Historically, automotive control units were literally read only. Functionality has been defined by the developer at the very beginning, with no major changes over lifetime. The number of write cycles for flash memory was a no-worry. Now, systems have become much more complex with ECUs consolidated into domain controllers and hosting multiple functions on one SOC. The introduction of Android makes cars look like mobile phones, but with a higher lifetime of 10-15 years. Together with OTA updates, this results in many more write cycles that might make the flash wear out before end of life of the car. Fragmentation is observed to have an impact on performance in mobile devices – and could simply break an automotive system. Issues like FCA’s endless loop update from 2018, or the Spotify bug from 2016 with writing 5 GB per hour to flash puts further risk on future systems. We describe those effects more in detail, and suggest measures to mitigate the risks.

Presenter: Bernd Niedermeier, Head of Automotive Business Development

Session: 4.6: Functional Safety & Security VI – Securing IoT

Date/time: Thursday, February 27, 16:00–16:30

This whitepaper will also be published shortly after Embedded World, so check back later!

First-class formatting: Ensuring optimal performance, lifetime, and quality of SD cards with the SD Card Formatter

Formatting an SD or microSD card requires specific tools to ensure a smooth process, positive experience, and minimal data loss. The SD Card Formatter handles SD cards in accordance with standards defined by the SD Association (SDA). Find out how it works and the performance benefits gained by formatting your SD cards using this helpful tool, developed by file system engineers at Tuxera.

Presenter: Thom Denholm, Technical Product Manager

Location: SD Association booth – Hall 3A / 3A-634

Date/time: Every day during Embedded World at 11:30

Panel: Predictive Maintenance Using the IIoT

Industrial systems, manufacturing equipment, robotics, etc., need to be maintained. There’s no getting around that. Doing it on your own schedule, rather than at the most inopportune time can lead to costly delays. This panel will look at what’s need to implement predictive maintenance. We’ll be there to discuss how embedded storage plays a role in predictive maintenance.

Panelist: Kerri McConnell, GM for Americas (CEO of Datalight)

Location: Embedded Computing Design booth – Hall 5, booth 5-341

Date/time: Tuesday, February 25 at 3 PM

We’ll be giving away a raffle prize, so don’t miss out on this thought-provoking discussion!

Meet Tuxera at Embedded World 2020

If you can’t make it to any of our talks or panels, you can also stop by our booth in Hall 4, 4-532. We’ll be there to listen and learn about your challenges with storage longevity, data integrity, fail-safety, and storage performance in the era of data-driven embedded technologies. Come learn about file systems and flash storage management solutions there. Hope to see you in Nuremberg!


Let’s talk about solving your embedded data storage challenges at Embedded World

BOOK A MEETING

 


Tuxera at CES 2020

CES 2020 wrap-up: more data means more storage challenges

For our 8th year in a row, Tuxera headed out to Las Vegas for CES (Consumer Electronics Show). As in previous recent years, our focus there was looking at automotive technology and engaging our partners in meaningful discussions about their challenges in automotive edge storage. Here's some of our observations and reflections from the show floor – which give you a different perspective beyond all the media hype surrounding the event.

Reliable storage software is needed now more than ever

Tuukka Ahoniemi, CEO, Tuxera 

“My takeaway was there’s a lot of place for file system technology to do good work. That said, there’s a lot of education to be done. People in the automotive industry especially are now waking up to all the challenges in handling and storing all this data coming into cars. There are a lot of specific workload requirements, and automotive companies are now starting to understand that they can’t just use what comes off the shelf or is available for free without knowing how to configure and set up and optimize for the type of data workloads they’re working with. They need our expertise now more than ever before, and we’re glad to be here to help.”

The pains of managing and storing data are felt across all industries

Heather Goring, Sales director – Americas

“It’s been interesting to see the shift in technologies at CES over the years. When I first started coming in the 90s, a lot of what you saw was truly embedded systems. Now we have robots on display that are scrubbing your windows and a lot of products coming from companies that I don’t necessarily see as technology companies.

Even though Tuxera was in the Automotive Grade Linux booth at CES, we not only talked to companies doing automotive projects, but also talked to a lot of different companies outside the industry: from energy, robotics, and farming, for example. All of them have storage challenges related to file systems, both with their internal flash memory and external storage. The conversations we had with them were amazing!”

Less hype, more realistic views toward autonomous driving

Bernd Niedermeir, Head of Automotive Business Development

"From the show perspective, the atmosphere felt a bit different this year. At least with autonomous driving, most companies seem to have their feet back on the ground again – because we’re finding out that it’s not all that easy to implement. It’s now very much about electro-mobility and connected cars. The messages we’re seeing from the floor feel a lot more realistic than in past years. Also, always interesting to experience the South Hall with it’s extremely diverse set up – you can have a Chinese A.I. based Level 4 Autonomous Driving Software Stack company on the left side and next to it there is a booth with massage seats for the living room. But maybe they connect well after all because with autonomous cars the passenger's seat might become a differentiator as well. ;-)"

CES is still the tech event to attend!

Eva Rio, Head of User and Market Research

“This was my first time at CES. I was a bit dubious about the event as I kept hearing that in the past years it had started to decline. I personally felt this couldn’t be farther from the truth! I found the show to be really “down-to-earth.” I was able to have meaningful discussions and did not hear any buzzwords like the ones you often see in press releases. Every person I talked to was an expert in their field and spoke of their products with passion and expertise. I really appreciate that despite the hectic pace of the show, we were able to have face-time with our customers and partners. Also, as a tech enthusiast, I would never forget my first impression being on the floor, the chills of being surrounded by prototypes and unreleased products – from the concept cars of Mercedes, Sony, Ford to the foldable screens of Royole, the FBI and American Express booths – it’s just spectacular. CES is still the event to attend! It’s great for networking and learning regardless of what industry you’re in.”

No shortage of interest in automotive edge storage solutions

Thom Denholm, Technical Product Manager

“This was also my first CES, and pretty overwhelming. It sprawls over several buildings in Las Vegas, with shuttle, Uber, taxi, and foot traffic evident between them. CES had a much larger automotive presence than I expected. There was less of a focus on autonomous vehicles than at the TU-Automotive Detroit show seven months ago, but perhaps that is because of a different audience. With the exception of the AGL booth, there was also less focus on what happens under the hood. That said, the various sensors, cameras, and cool new tech will all need somewhere to store all that data, even for a short time. We also had a presence at the GENIVI reception and it was worth the price of the flight itself. People were coming up to me non-stop to talk about one of our many file systems. FlashFX was also the focus of a few conversations. After three straight hours of talking, I nearly lost my voice!”

Welcome to the age of data-driven, voice-assisted everything

Tiffiny Rossi, Head of Marketing

“I'm also a CES first-timer. One thing was very clear – we are now in the age of data-driven, voice-assisted EVERYTHING. And I mean anything and everything. I think the Amazon booth was the epitome of this trend, where we found baby formula canisters that had Alexa integration and could notify you if you're running low on formula and order you new stock!

The car floor was some of the most dazzling marketing I have ever seen. Some companies like Nissan, Audi, and Ford brought actual car models they were about to release. Although I do have to admit, it felt like many of the car companies are playing catchup to deliver what Tesla already has driving out on the roads. Hyundai Mobis was showing their truly futuristic-looking M Vision S. And the Hyundai-Uber helicopter really made waves at the event – though I have trouble calling it a "flying car." From the product demos, it appeared to be a solution to take over long-distance intra-state car rides and short-haul flights now made by jetliners. It was also coupled with a little transportation "pod" that could take you from your home to a flight depot. I think the “Hyundai-Uber-copter” was really the thing to see this CES!”

 

CES 2020 automotive technology walkthrough from Tuxera on Vimeo.

 


Meet Tuxera at CES 2020

Come and visit us at booth 1815 to discuss automotive data storage and see our demos.

CES 2020 is in full swing. This year, we’re proud to announce that we’ll be with AGL and GENIVI – and we’re super excited to talk to you directly about automotive data handling. As the leading innovator in data storage software for autonomous cars, consumer electronics, IoT devices, and data-driven enterprises, we'll be there to help solve your most complex storage challenges. At booth 1815, we'll have product demos and even a game for you to experience. 

Here’s a short overview of where you can meet us and what you can expect to see:

Automotive Grade Linux Showcase

January 7-10, 2020

Booth 1815, Stand B3

Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino

We’re working with car makers, Tier-1s and other suppliers in the industry to show how to maximize flash memory storage reliability, performance, and lifetime of IVI and cluster storage. Come meet us at the AGL Showcase to learn more about our flash memory testing service, which analyzes performance, level of fail-safety, durability, risk analysis, and lifetime cost of the entire automotive storage stack.

A fun spin on fragmentation

Get a new perspective on how file systems can affect the flash lifetime and performance in cars with Frag Fighters, our fast-paced game playable at the AGL booth and GENIVI. Beat the high score and you could even win some cool prizes. See some of the gameplay in action below.

*This post was updated on January 8th, 2020.


So if you’re around, drop by the booth and let’s talk about solving your automotive data storage challenges. Or contact us directly to learn more about how we can help you do more with your data.

CONTACT US

 


Tesla troubles – averting automotive flash memory failure

Oops is an understatement here. Tesla’s got a problem with dead eMMC flash memory cards in Model S and Model X cars equipped with their MCUv1 (Media Control Unit). And according to InsideEVs, this dead part could cost more than $1,800 to repair! As reported in InsideEVs, the problem stems from excessive writing to a log file that’s causing flash wear. This, combined with the ever-increasing size of Tesla’s firmware (which has grown from 300 MB to 1 GB), leads to a situation where the MCUv1’s storage reaches its maximum endurance and fails.

A closer look at Tesla’s MCUv1 flash memory failure

An application in Tesla’s MCUv1 was writing and rewriting massive amounts of log data. But flash memory lifetime is limited by a finite number of write and erase cycles, typically in the tens of thousands. Over time in these intensive write-rewrite scenarios, the blocks in the flash memory storage eventually “die out,” making them unusable for storing any data. And when blocks fail, portions of the firmware file may become unreadable, which can lead to application crashes or complete failure of the MCU.

A lot of suggestions have been made which could have prevented the problem:

  1. Intelligent wear leveling

We caught up with our Technical Product Manager, Thom Denholm, to explain the wear leveling aspect in more detail. “Wear leveling describes techniques used to ensure even use of the blocks on flash media, with the purpose of achieving the longest possible lifetime of the storage.

The most basic wear leveling design is dynamic wear leveling. For each data write, the algorithm makes sure the block being written to is the least erased block. Unfortunately, this “quick and dirty” design has a flaw on most use cases that will compromise the lifetime of the flash. Any blocks containing data written only once (so-called static data) are left out of rotation for wear leveling. If a system contains a large portion of these static data blocks, that means fewer blocks available to balance the load. This could have perhaps been a problem in the Tesla case.”

Thom’s technical assessment of the situation is spot on! That said, even with good wear leveling at the flash management or file system level, the Tesla MCU would have still failed under such write and erase conditions. But proper wear leveling would have bought considerably more lifetime for the system.

  1. Retaining all the logged data in RAM

The InsideEVs article suggests that the logged data could instead be moved to RAM to essentially trick the system. This, however, would have drawbacks in poorer performance and the mere fact that logs would be in volatile memory. According to Joel Catala, our Director of Engineering, “This solution potentially defeats the initial intentions of the system designers, and might result in troublesome situations if the needed data isn't available in case of a crash.”

  1. The right grade of memory hardware

In a post on LinkedIn about the Tesla issue, Kevin Kilbuck, VP of Business Development for Longsys and Lexar comments, “As someone who has worked in the semiconductor memory industry for over 30 years, I can state emphatically that not all flash is created equal. There are many ‘grades’ of flash memory produced, ranging from low-end consumer grade, that is really only suitable for things like entry-level (cheap) USB drives and other consumer products, to enterprise-grade flash, which is utilized in high-reliability/endurance applications, such as write-intensive flash storage arrays.”

Kevin continues, “As others have pointed out, the hardware (controller) and software used to manage the flash are also important. That being said, it is not possible to take a low grade of flash and use it in a high-endurance application, no matter how robust your flash management is. The lower grades of flash have other failure mechanisms that error management software/hardware cannot correct. These lower grades are perfectly fine for the intended application, but not much else. I am in no way suggesting that Tesla tried to use a lower grade of flash than they should have, only that the silicon matters as well as the flash management techniques.”

  1. Putting the logged data on separate memory hardware

Sure, this could have solved Tesla’s problem. But memory hardware is costly and adds extra weight to the system, and there are better ways to solve the problem.

So what do we at Tuxera feel would have been the best solution to preventing Tesla’s MCU storage failure?

Go back to the basics – understand and test your entire storage stack

“Correct understanding of the memory devices (and their limitations), of software components such as data management (file system and flash management), and application behavior is key to designing systems that will be robust and survive the X number of years they are intended to live,” writes Joel Catala, our director of Engineering. This overview of the entire storage stack and all the data workload requirements must be done in the planning and design phase, not as an afterthought.

Joel continues, “At Tuxera, we've encountered issues like Tesla’s several times, and we are continuously collaborating with customers and partners on activities such as workload analysis, lifetime estimation, write amplification measures, and ultimately selection of data management software and storage devices.” Tuxera offers a Flash Memory Cost Analysis and Testing service to provide this level of understanding, and to help prevent memory failures.

Final thoughts

Let’s be clear. We’re actually big fans of Tesla over here at Tuxera (did someone say Caraoke? Yuss!). You can typically find a few Teslas in the parking lot behind our HQ here in Finland. But the Tesla MCU memory failure illustrates the need to fully understand everything going on in storage stack – from hardware, to software, to the use cases and potential workloads from when the car leaves the factory to 5 years from that date. These factors are the key to designing robust systems that will match the lifetime of the car.


We work with car makers and Tier-1 suppliers to help them choose the optimal storage hardware-software combinations for their specific use cases. Let’s solve your automotive flash memory challenges.

TUXERA FLASH TESTING SERVICE