Tuxera – Impact of file system fragmentation

Could your car’s file systems be dragging you down?

We are honored to have been featured in a guest post on file system fragmentation at Western Digital’s blog. The following is a snippet from the original post. Be sure to read the full post here: Fragmentation and Storage Performance in Automotive.

Flash storage technology delivers high-speed performance that can cope with the terabytes of data generated by connected cars. But software also acts on top of that hardware, transferring data into and out of the storage. Over time, this software can slow down the performance of the storage. Our customers and partners often come to us because they suspect their file system could be a root cause of problems such as frame loss, latency issues, and other performance concerns. File systems can impact the read and write performance of the storage, the integrity of the data stored, flash endurance or the lifetime of the memory hardware, and data and storage interoperability.

Specific factors that can affect performance include file size, device partitioning, or the file system implementations themselves. But some recent groundbreaking studies into flash memory performance have shown that fragmentation is also a bottleneck for performance—and it's a factor we've been testing here in our lab as well. Fragmentation happens when a file system lays out files in non-contiguous parts, or fragments. It generally occurs because there’s no space left to write new file content next to older file content.

How can we reduce the impacts of fragmentation?

Data-driven cars of tomorrow need intelligent file system design today. At the Jedec Automotive Electronics Forum on April 10–11, 2018, our CEO Mikko Välimäki will be speaking in more detail about some recent findings on fragmentation, its impacts on user experience in connected cars, and how we can reduce fragmentation before it becomes a problem. If you’re there you can join him for the talk, or you can read more in our guest post at Western Digital’s blog: Fragmentation and Storage Performance in Automotive.


Tuxera Ultra Fast Boot boot-time optimization at CES 2018

We’re revving up boot times at CES 2018

Our team’s kicking off yet another new year in Las Vegas at CES. This is our eighth year at the well-known global show for innovators and breakthrough technologies. To jump-start 2018, we’re excited to unveil our newest embedded development service, Tuxera Ultra Fast Boot. To get a feel for our new service, check out our teaser below:

Boot-time optimization is a critical need in the automotive industry, whether it's for meeting safety and regulatory requirements, or improving system responsiveness and customer satisfaction. Car makers and Tier-1 suppliers—let us get your most important features online rapidly. We'll cut your IVI or cluster boot times by up to 80% or more on Automotive Grade Linux (AGL), GENIVI, Android IVI, or others.


If you missed us at CES, see what embedded development and testing challenges we can take on for you.

EMBEDDED SERVICES


Tuxera – how we support women in tech

How can we improve the participation of women in the tech industry?

In her TechCrunch article, Swati Mylavarapu of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers posed the question, "how can we collectively work to improve women’s participation in the tech industry at each key stage of their careers?"

In honor of International Women's Day, I spoke with Tuxera's own Eva Rio to take a closer look at how our company is working to answer this question. Eva is Service Designer and Marketing Manager at Tuxera, and also one of the lead organizers of the Finnish Android Association (now Google Developers Group Helsinki). Read on for the interview!

Tiffiny: What does Tuxera do to support women in the Finnish tech scene?

Eva: What we do is a combination of initiatives that come from the company as a whole, and from personal contributions from our employees. For example, I am an active member of Girls in Tech and Women Techmakers. Through Girls in Tech, I also mentor women who have recently graduated and are interested in technology. Also, our Head of People Operations, Satu Muilu, has organized coding classes in her neighborhood school, which place special emphasis on coding skills for girls. So just looking at some of our own personal efforts as Tuxera ambassadors, we have support for girls and women in tech from elementary school to university.

Tiffiny: And Tuxera as a company has also been closely involved with Girls in Tech as well as other initiatives, right?

Eva: Yes, that's correct. We've arranged visits and meetups for girls and women that study computer science or are otherwise involved in STEM. For example, we invited TKT-AKAT, the association of women studying computer science at University of Helsinki, to our office to learn more about our inclusive working environment.

We’ve also hosted a Girls in Tech Bootcamp, which was a three-day intensive course in design, business, and software. We contacted several influential people in the Finnish tech industry, along with our own people, to coach women interested in those tracks, and arranged workshops with them.

In general, we have an open offer to help Girls in Tech and other groups and associations for the same cause with whatever support we can. If we have some expertise in an area and they need it, we are always here for them. I think they appreciate that support.

Tiffiny: Do you have anything inspiring you'd like to share for International Women’s Day – perhaps specifically about the Finnish tech industry?

Eva: Speaking about Finland as a whole, I think we are doing a pretty good job of supporting women in tech – especially compared to my previous experiences living in other countries and from speaking to a lot of women of other nationalities who now live here. Let's keep up this high level of support for women and girls of all ages and always strive to improve. We should be an example for other countries to follow – that's what matters.


Tuxera employees – over 70 worldwide

How do you know you have a great place to work?

We've had lots of good vibes at Tuxera HQ. For the third year in a row we've been awarded Great Place to Work. But what's the secret to making a great workplace? Read on to see what our people think. As you can see, we're pretty excited and happy to share how we make it work at Tuxera:

 

Tuxera wins Great Place to Work 2017 – quote from Jukka"Getting this award doesn't come as a surprise to me because each and every day you feel it here. Every day is a lot of fun. I enjoy the creative freedom we have and especially the encouraging "go for it!" attitude. No matter how wacky the idea is, I never hear, "I don't know if it'll work..."

Instead of holding back, people see the opportunities (not the risks) in trying new things. The more out of the box the better. I think it has a lot to do with the personalities we have here. Just a bunch of wacky fun people – a really good premise for creativity."

—Jukka Malkamäki, Graphic Designer, 6 months with Tuxera

 

Tuxera wins Great Place to Work 2017 – quote from Sougata"It's great coming here every day and working with these great colleagues. It's a very collaborative and friendly environment. Working here gives me much more beyond just the technical stuff – I get details from every corner of the world. I've been working in software development for 10 years and Tuxera's culture is very unique."

—Sougata Santra, Senior Software Developer, 5 years with Tuxera

 

 

Tuxera wins Great Place to Work 2017 – quote from Rakesh"I am very happy that we won this award, but it's no surprise to me. I know this a great place to work! I have been here for four years and it has always improved and always been wonderful. Even though we have grown so much, the culture hasn't changed. It's still inspiring to be here every day. We have a great team.

My favorite thing about working at Tuxera is the freedom. I also like that my work here really counts for something. People are using the devices with your software inside, so you always get to see your work out there. It's a great feeling."

—Rakesh Pandit, Software Engineer, 4 years with Tuxera

 

Tuxera wins Great Place to Work 2017 – quote from Severi"I've only been here for three months, but I have already seen that this is a great place to work. It feels nice coming in on Monday and sad leaving on Fridays. My favorite things about Tuxera are the freedom to do things the way you want, the great people, and the new office. There's ping-pong, Super Bomberman and gaming, a nice kitchen, saunas, and a pool. It's a nice place to be all around."

—Severi Tikkala, Sales Executive, 3 months with Tuxera

 

Tuxera wins Great Place to Work 2017 – quote from Aino"I thought this year would be a very challenging category to win because now we're a bigger company and there's usually more challenges as the company grows. So I'm surprised to hear that we have an even better score than in previous years, while at the same time we're jumping up into the next sized category.

The energy is my favorite thing about working here. There's so many different stimuli from the people and the work. There's not just one thing you do, but there are a lot of different things you can concentrate on.

—Aino Tuominen, Administrative Assistant (aka "The MacGyver of Tuxera"), 2 years with Tuxera


See for yourself what it's like to be at a great place to work – check out our open positions!

Join us


Tuxera – Great Place to Work 2016

Tuxera awarded Great Place to Work 2017 amidst rapid employee growth

The company ranks in the top 10 for its category. Tuxera’s headcount grew by 36% in 2016 – pushing it from a small-sized company to a medium one in a span of several months.

Helsinki, Finland – February 10, 2017 – For the third year in the row, Tuxera is awarded Great Place to Work. The company ranks #10 in the medium-sized category. In 2016, Tuxera’s headcount grew by 36% to a current workforce of over 70 employees worldwide. This rapid expansion hurdled the company from small to medium-sized within the span of several months.

Company growth typically brings more bureaucracy, and consequently employee engagement begins to dwindle. That has not been the case for Tuxera, however. “We avoid this pitfall by making it our priority to maintain a fun, flexible, free, and productive work environment,” explains Satu Muilu, Head of People Operations. “Receiving this award is a fantastic honor. But it’s also an excellent measure that we’ve succeeded in maintaining our culture even as we expand,” Satu continues.

Trust, freedom, and community are essential to Tuxera’s culture

As Tuxera’s workforce grows, the organization structure remains relatively flat – meaning no unnecessary management layers. While each company function has a leader, these leads are self-organized from within the teams. Plus, the company fosters an open-door policy for sharing opinions, ideas, and constructive feedback.

Employees enjoy the freedom to choose how, when, and where their work is done. At the same time, the company encourages openness and collaboration between individuals and teams. These practices are complemented by a proactive approach to community-building.

“A workplace needs to lift people up,” says Satu. “As the company grows, we aim to build and maintain a strong community, not just a place to work for individuals. People look for ways to be connected – they want to belong and to feel they’re contributing to the team, the organization, and even for the greater good of the world. We put a great deal of effort into fostering that sense of belonging – both inside Tuxera and on the outside with local and global tech communities.”

For more information, please contact:

PR & Communications Manager

Stanislav Dmitriev

Head of People Operations

Satu Muilu

About Tuxera

Tuxera is the leading provider of storage and networking technologies. From the latest flagship smartphones, to cars, cameras, routers, and drones – Tuxera’s software makes file transfers fast and content easily accessible. The company is an active member of multiple standard organizations, including JEDEC, AGL, SD Association, and many others. Founded in 2008, Tuxera’s headquarters are located in Finland, with regional offices in China, India, Germany, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and the US.


Tuxera at CES 2017 – embedded software

Get amped up for CES 2017

CES 2017 is set for takeoff! We’ve got our own crew in Las Vegas gearing up for the popular consumer electronics fair. But why should a software company be at an event that’s all about the gadgets?

For starters, our AllConnect casting app was named a CES 2017 Innovation Award Honoree. The app will be on display during CES with other honorees in the Innovation Awards Showcase at Tech West. If you can't make it to CES, you can get the app for Android or iOS devices here.

But behind the scenes, CES is an important place for strengthening partnerships and finding new devices that our software can improve. Here are a few of the device categories we’re focusing on this year:

Automotive

CES has become such a big auto show that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles reportedly plans to launch their newest car at CES – not at the Detroit Auto Show. And it’s no wonder why – today’s cars have the computing power of dozens of personal computers onboard.

We’re excited to see what cars and new vehicle tech are unveiled at CES this year. But more importantly, we’re there to meet with car manufacturers and tier-one suppliers. Together, we’re working on ways to make data recording and storage for autonomous and assisted driving solutions better and more reliable in cars you’ll be riding in.

https://twitter.com/Tuxera/status/810825453946728448

Cameras

We’re talking more than just the devices used for personal or professional photos and videos. Cameras are in everything and anything these days – cars, drones, smartphones, toys, fridges – name a device and there’s probably a version with a built-in camera. With cars, drones, and action cams in particular, the cameras need high-performance software that’s ultra-fast for 4K and 8K video. When those devices use low-performance software, you get stuttering images and frame drop. CES is a great place for us to meet up with device manufacturers that need software inside their devices that's fast enough to handle the video recording, without lost frames.

https://twitter.com/Tuxera/status/810828002007351297

Routers

Wait a sec, routers? We know – it’s a bit hard to jump for joy over those blinking boxes you usually hide out of sight. But remember that for all the cool connected gadgets in your home, your router provides the Wi-Fi. Today’s routers often come with support for network storage, backup for your laptops and other important data, and securely share files like your pictures to other devices in your home. According to new research from the Consumer Technology Association (the folks that organize CES each year) sales for accessories supporting emerging products, such as enhanced routers, are on the rise. In the case of routers alone, 2016 saw a 27% growth in sales.

At CES, we’ll meet with router manufacturers that want the fastest and most reliable network storage support, secure file sharing, and backup features – which our software delivers.

https://twitter.com/Tuxera/status/810826887438155776

And finally – what to expect from CES 2017

Of course, we’ll be on the lookout for the latest TVs, laptops, drones, VR/AR headsets, wearables, robots, and more as well. We’ve found plenty of great “what to expect at CES 2017” pieces out there. Now for a roundup of some of our favorites:

Business Insider – All the car tech we can't wait to see at CES 2017

The Verge – CES 2017: WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE BIGGEST TECH TRADE SHOW OF THE YEAR

Tech Crunch – What to expect from CES 2017

CNET – The 7 big trends that will dominate CES 2017

ZDNet – CES 2017: Announcements to expect from this year's show

Digital Review – CES has something for every technology fan


Interested in learning more about our embedded solutions for consumer electronics?

Get in touch


Tuxera – embedded file system software for UFS cards and flash memory

UFS cards mean less wait time, more apps

In July 2016, the industry's first removable Universal Flash Storage (UFS) cards were announced. Much of the excitement centered on the blazing-fast 170 MB/s write speeds for photo and video applications. Not to mention the amount of storage space is astounding – currently up to 256 GB!

But buried in the buzz are some hidden gems for everyday smartphone use (at least for Android phones). For one, if you store photos, videos, or music on UFS cards, your phone will feel faster and snappier as compared to using an SD card. What’s more, UFS cards will also give you more freedom to decide the app power in your smartphone. Let’s look at these two points in a little more detail. 

Less waiting, better user experience

“With UFS cards, you should see big boosts in speed and responsiveness that will add up to a better user experience,” says Mika Kuulusa, Research Manager and flash memory expert at Tuxera’s R&D facility. “Things you used to wait for will now feel more instantaneous, such as scrolling through your photo and video gallery. The thumbnail images will pop up more rapidly on your screen – faster than with SD cards. Also, any app that uses photos, videos, music, or other files stored on the card will feel faster than ever before.”

The reason? It’s mostly in the IOPS, or inputs/outputs per second – which simply means how fast files can be written to or read from the card. Most of what we do on phones requires a lot of simultaneous jumping around between small, randomly scattered bits of data stored on the memory. These random operations are the most time-consuming to handle.

When it comes to random reads, the 256 GB UFS card boasts 40,000 IOPS. That’s below some mid-ranged laptops (around 70,000 IOPS), but still super fast. Essentially, on the card the size of your thumbnail, you get nearly the memory power of a laptop. That means less waiting as your phone finds the randomly scattered bits of data. But it also leads us to another point about UFS cards – more app capacity on your phone.

More space + fast cards = more you can do

In the past, the Android operating system could only run apps from a phone’s internal memory. This limited the number of apps you could install. For higher-end Android phones, that typically wasn’t a problem. But on lower-end Androids, running out of space was certainly a limiting factor. All that changed with the Android Marshmallow update in 2015.

Developers can now make apps that run from removable memory cards too. That said, they’ve been reluctant to do so because memory cards have been too slow – until now. Because UFS cards have the memory performance near to that of laptops, this is now a workable option.

That means more power over what you can do with your phone. If pricing is a constraint, you can now run apps and games from a UFS card on a lower-end Android phone – provided it has a UFS card slot. You can add as much additional space as your budget affords. And for higher-end Android phone users, this could mean more powerful apps and more immersive gaming because developers are no longer constrained by internal memory alone.

At the moment, this all remains a good story. We haven’t seen any removable UFS cards yet on the market, nor any phones with UFS card slots. It seems the world will have to wait until the end of 2017 or early 2018 for UFS cards to hit the stores.

We’re working to get you the most from UFS technology

For our part, Tuxera is a member of the Universal Flash Storage Association (UFSA) and JEDEC, the organizations in charge of developing and setting UFS standards. This gives us the opportunity to influence UFS standards, but also insight into emerging UFS technology.

Although UFS cards have amazing speeds, your phone needs high-performance software to access data on these cards. For nearly a decade, Tuxera has brought file system software to your devices that adds fast, secure, and reliable support for removable memory cards. And we’re now working with the big players in the industry to help devices get even better performance from UFS cards.


If you’re an OEM or ODM developing a device that supports UFS cards, we’ll help you find the right file system software!

Get in touch


Tuxera – Free casting app AllConnect

Cast music, videos, and photos easily with AllConnect

Did you get any new devices this holiday season? The easiest way to cast your photos, movies, and music to and from those new devices is with our award-winning AllConnect app. AllConnect works on Android or iOS phones or tablets to cast to any screen, TV, speakers, or casting device (including AppleTV, Roku, Chromecast, and Amazon FireTV). You can even cast to multiple screens at the same time from just one phone or tablet.

Get AllConnect free from Google Play or App Store, or buy the ad-free version for just USD 2.99 (check your market for prices in your local currency).

google_play-5    app_store-3


Tuxera – Slush 2016 Helsinki Badass Tourism Poster

What we learned at Slush 2016 – a recap from 6 perspectives

Slush had a record-breaking year. And we're not talking the icy slop found on the streets of Helsinki from November until April. We mean the annual two-day international startup and investor event. A record 17,500 guests made it to the conference this year, including 2,336 startups, 1,146 investors, 610 journalists, and 12 Tuxerians in red hoodies.

Tuxera is no longer a startup, but tech and innovation are always central to Slush, which is why we showed up in such force. From what we saw, the trending topics in the European startup scene are: artificial intelligence (AI), virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR), data mining and analysis, mobility (including self-driving cars), and space technology. There was something for everyone there, and each of us went in with a different mission. Read on for more of what we learned at Slush 2016.

A lot going on with AI, AR, and VR

"It was really interesting to see all kinds of artificial intelligence applications popping up. Maybe now all the gargantuan amounts of data gathered will actually be used for something big! Also, be on the lookout. Virtual and augmented reality will approach their hype cycle peaks in early 2017, which means we'll start to see where these technologies will actually fly and where they will not."

Tuomas Niska, PR and Communications Manager

Concern for our environment, our jobs, and people

"Many of the talks and startups that caught my attention were focused on sustainable technology, space tech, and using data to change the way we live and move around. The community is clearly concerned about the impact technology has on our environment, our jobs, and people in general. Several discussions at Slush also touched on political, philosophical, and socioeconomic topics related to technology. People in this sphere have a unique vantage point on how rapidly technology is advancing. Slush showed us that the tech community should play an active role in creating forward-thinking legislation, economic solutions, and education initiatives to keep pace with that progress."

Tiffiny Rossi, Content Manager

Slush 2016 was true to its startup roots

"I was happy to see Slush has come back to its roots and give the spotlight to startups again. Big organizations like Google, Microsoft, and Samsung had smaller spaces than in past years, with exception of Nokia, which was showcasing their innovation projects.

Hot topics on the event floor were AI, VR, and autonomous driving. Data mining and analysis was pretty dominant too – for example, a lot of startups had developed dashboards or analytics platforms to crunch all types of data.

I didn't see a lot in terms of hardware this year, however. One hardware company that attracted attention was Eve Tech. They were the startup behind Eve V, a crowdfunded PC that raised $1 million in just four days."

Eva Rio, Service Design and Marketing Manager

Startups serving up enterprise software

"I agree with Eva. I've been to Slush now four times and I'm happy to see the focus return to startups. They were physically located in the center of the venue. I think that's meaningful in the broader context of what Slush is about – that startups are central to innovation.

This year many startups had enterprise software solutions, primarily for analyzing data and metrics. There were also a lot of interesting uses for VR, especially in travel and gaming. This year, I saw a lot less internet of things (IoT) technology than I would have expected given all the hype. In that sphere, retail and indoor navigation solutions were heavily represented. There was also a lot less shareconomy solutions than in previous years – meaning less "the Uber of X-industry" startups.

Claudio M. Camacho, Head of Marketing

Need an investor? Find the perfect match at Slush

"Slush's online Matchmaking tool is a great way for startups to find and book meetings with investors, companies, and the media. I've been to many startup events around the world, and there's nothing like this anywhere. My advice for startups: start booking your meetings early on. The time slots fill up fast."

Shane Allen, Business Manager and Product Owner

All brands big and small should keep it real

There were also a few sessions on design and brand building for startups, which our graphic designer, Jukka Malkamäki attended. "A common theme in these talks was authenticity. A brand needs to feel real to its audience. Andrew Stalbow, co-founder of Seriously presented this case most convincingly. He cited research on how young people feel YouTubers are bigger stars than Hollywood actors. These video bloggers share a lot about their lives and actively engage with their audiences – they act authentically. This is a stark contrast to the glamor of Hollywood, which seems distant and fake. Andrew also had some good advice for all brands big and small about keeping it real: Go beyond performance marketing. Don't forget creativity – and don't take yourself too seriously."


There's lots of innovation waiting to be found at tech events all over the world. This year we also went to IFA, the largest consumer electronics fair in Europe. See what we learned there in our IFA16 wrap-up.


Tuxera Company Week – an annual meetup of all employees across the globe

What's a "company week" and why it's important

Our people power has grown by 38% over the past year, with offices spread across the globe. In tech companies like ours, where the workforce is distributed, how do you keep everyone working together toward the same goal? While countless solutions exist to make remote teams work better together, technology is only part of the answer. At Tuxera, we feel face-to-face company-wide meetings are a crucial element to our success and growth.

Last week we held our sixth annual company-wide meeting – which we call Tuxera Week. This event brings everyone together from all our teams around the globe to discuss the state of our company, trends in our markets, what our customers are talking about, our products and their development, and our processes.

A time for reflection, revelations, and redirection

"Tuxera Week is a chance to step away from our daily activities and reflect on what's happened over the course of the year. It's also a time to establish plans for the future, so everyone's working to achieve the same goal," says Mikko Välimäki, our CEO.

This year we had info sessions on patent strategy, people operations, and marketing strategy. Over the course of the week, we had some hands-on workshops on brand ambassadorship and design thinking. Our sales representatives from the USA and Asia shared what their customers are talking about and how we can best serve their needs. The development, quality assurance, R&D, and product teams discussed roadmaps, new products and tools, new ways of working, and shared interesting findings from their work. Top management spoke about the state of the company and our people, and inspired us with future goals to strive for.

We also did some team-building activities to get to know and understand each other a bit better. An escape room adventure brought us together to solve challenges. Our ping-pong tournament made people sweat all the way until the finals! We organized a retro-gaming tournament featuring the company's favorite game – Super Bomberman 3. And an evening together for dinner spurred friendly conversations and lots of laughter.

An old idea with some new twists

"Other tech companies do similar things, but from what I've heard, they tend to be more team-based, such as an annual sales meeting or annual R&D meeting. During Tuxera Week, people share knowledge across teams. Anyone can attend each session no matter what team they're on or what function they're doing. One key factor in our success is that no one gets forced into a box – you're able to help in other areas as well," explains Mikko.

Satu Muilu, Head of People Operations, adds, "Many technology companies do annual events where they concentrate on, for example, people topics only. A lot of the organization of these events is a top-down effort from HR. Here at Tuxera, employees equally from all functions take ownership and organize sessions for sharing their expertise with colleagues. We even had new employees who joined Tuxera only a week before take the stage and share their knowledge – and they did it on their own initiative."