Tuxera Reliance Nitro™ and FlashFX Tera™ bring power fail-safe reliability and simulated product lifespan to NAND flash in excess of 30 years.

Assured data integrity and product longevity

The leader in technologies* enabling resourceful energy and water use needed to ensure its new line of smartmeters would securely and consistently store data. This new edge intelligence platform supports sensing technologies and dynamic applications at the device level. It delivers distributed computing power, control, and analytics for automated decision-making at the edge of the network. By bringing intelligence to field devices, the company is helping create a breakthrough sensing ecosystem to enable growth in global markets ranging from smart grid to the Internet of Things (IoT). The smartmeter platform enables easy integration of third-party devices, creating numerous possibilities for realizing the promise of the IoT, empowering smarter utilities and smarter cities worldwide. It embeds an operating system and processor into field devices and sensors, enabling real-time decision-making at the device level. Action at the edge reduces network traffic, eases the burden of transmitting high volumes of data back to the utility for analysis, and minimizes human intervention to perform tasks that can now be automated. A key differentiator in this company’s product offering is to outlast the useful life expected by its customers or mandated by government agencies.

* Company name cannot be disclosed due to NDA restrictions.

Equipment featured here may not be actual product discussed.

The challenge

Decision-making at the edge of the network relies on uncompromised data integrity. Bad data means bad decisions. The connectivity of the IoT means more data, gathered from more places that will increasingly become a core enabler for business process and revenue generation. Customers are looking for assurance that the data they rely on is revenue-grade and that the intelligence gathering devices they’ve invested in will continue to perform over decades of use. “With this new smartmeter platform we are able to offer our customers fast, consistent access to data that allows them to improve business operations and profitability,” said the company’s Director of Firmware Engineering. According to this customer, Tuxera’s “products proved far superior to the open source alternatives for NAND flash that we tried and we are confident they will provide the level of protection demanded by our customers.”

The results

Originally, the engineering team turned to us to address data reliability and boot time concerns with the open source alternatives found in standard Linux distributions. The ability of Reliance Nitro to incorporate an encryption module that was sufficient to ensure the security of customer data was also a key consideration. After incorporating Reliance Nitro file system and FlashFX Tera flash manager, the team conducted an extensive product lifespan simulation test with the goal of demonstrating both power failsafe reliability and greater than 20 year endurance.

“We successfully completed our lifespan testing simulating more than 20 years of our product use with over 1.2 billion SQLite3 database write transactions,“ said the company’s Senior R/D Manager. “The excellent support [they] provided us during the selection process helped cement our decision to use [their] products.” Although the lifespan testing that the company conducted gave them confidence in meeting the minimum lifespan requirement, the team continued to work with our engineers to ensure its configurations were optimized for the selected NAND flash part. This collaboration resulted in the extension of lifespan to between 28 and 32 years, giving the company confidence that its technology will continue to perform in the field and meet customers’ expectations for delivering revenue grade data. The flexibility of our solution to be configured easily to minimize data at risk while maximizing media life surpassed the capabilities of open source alternatives. Our comprehensive suite of test tools included with the product helped the company gain insights into how the product was behaving.

On several occasions during development and testing, the company was able to tap in to our expertise with flash memory to further improve the endurance of the media. “This company has one of the most comprehensive longevity test programs of any of our customers – all of whom have a high degree of concern for data reliability,” said Tony Questad, Director of Engineering for Tuxera US. “It’s rewarding when our products can be proven by independent evaluation to exceed the capabilities we design them for.” The company’s hardware design, incorporating Tuxera’s software, will allow its utility partners around the world to solve problems on a global scale. Products with a longer lifetime will reduce waste, and the intelligent decisions made will reduce resource consumption and provide for sustainable growth.

* This customer success story has been updated July 8, 2020. Datalight was originally mentioned as the software provider in this story. As of 2019, Datalight Inc. became a wholly owned subsidiary of Tuxera Inc. Tuxera now owns all of Datalight’s former products, including the ones mentioned in this project. Tuxera is dedicated to providing superior technical know-how in data storage challenges and responsive customer support.

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