Lately a number of PCIe offerings have hit the SSD market. The SSD Guy breaks them into two camps: One-Hop SSDs, in which the commands are translated directly from PCIe to the NAND flash without going through an intermediary protocol, and Two-Hop SSDs, which use off-the-shelf HBAs and SATA SSD controllers to move commands first from PCIe to SATA then from SATA to NAND. There are aslo versions that go through SAS: PCIe to SAS, then SAS to NAND.
The SSD Guy figured that Easter would be a good time to talk about these since everyone already has the Easter Bunny hopping through their minds!
It’s not hard to understand why Continue reading
Today Intel announced a new SATA III SSD, the DC S3700 Series. The new product is fast, supporting 75,000 random 4K read IOPS and 36,000 random 4K write IOPS. Average read latency is 45microseconds (µs) with writes averaging 65µs. Sustained sequential reads are 500 megabytes/sec with sustained sequential writes at 460. The read performance of this SSD, although a SATA device, is twice that of Intel’s 710 PCIe SSD announced in April, and writes are a full 15 times faster. Intel calls this performance: “Scary fast!”
Intel says this device is its best Continue reading
Now that we have seen announcements of hybrid drives from Western Digital and Seagate, Toshiba arrives with a formal announcement of the product that was on display at last month’s Flash Memory Summit. Two 2.5″ Toshiba hybrid drives are starting to sample at 750GB and 1TB capacities. Both have 8GB NAND caches, 6Gb/s SATA 3 interfaces, and 5,400RPM spindle speeds. They are both built using 32nm SLC NAND, Toshiba’s “generation before last” technology, preceding the 24nm and 19nm nodes shipping in high volume today.
More importantly, both are 9.5mm in height, a thickness that renders them difficult to incorporate into the 18mm maximum thickness of the smaller Ultrabooks – a notebook form factor that Intel is heavily promoting.
How is this whole market Continue reading
Last week the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) hosted its 2012 Storage Developer Conference (SDC). There was a strong focus on SSDs at this forum, with 15 papers, one keynote, and a panel devoted to the subject.
Consider that the 2008 SDC was the first such conference in which SSDs were discussed. This year I commented to another participant: “Some day we will look back on this transition and be amazed at how suddenly SSDs became fundamental to the way storage is configured!”
Many of those papers and keynotes made it clear that the PCI Express (PCIe) interface has Continue reading
SSD maker OCZ has been on something of a tear recently, introducing three new solid state storage products in three weeks:
- Two weeks ago the company introduced the Z-Drive R4 CloudServ PCIe SSD, designed for the data center, in single-card capacities ranging from 300GB-16TB. This product can transfer data at multiple gigabytes per second rates to deliver over a million IOPS.
- Last week saw the introduction of the OCZ-SANRAD VXL enterprise storage accelerator, after OCZ’s January acquisition of SANRAD. This product is flash cache acceleration software for VMware ESX and Citrix Xen virtualized environments that allows Continue reading
Today Hitachi announced the company’s second generation Ultrastar SSD400S.B family, which Hitachi claims to be the industry’s first 25nm SLC enterprise-class SSD family.
The new Hitachi SSDs support a SAS 6Gb/s dual port interface. SLC NAND flash was chosen for its high write performance and endurance.
Maximum sequential read speeds of 536MB/s and a sequential write speed of up to 520MB/s with 57K random read IOPS and 25K random write IOPS help to give ultra-fast access to data.
Last night (1/5/12) at a DEMO Enterprise event in San Francisco Fusion-io unveiled a one billion IOPS (I/Os per second) storage system. A billion IOPS!
The machine was built using 64 Fusion-io ioDrive2 Duos connected to eight HP ProLiant DL370 servers.
This came sooner than we anticipated. It was only in July 2008 that the million-IOPS barrier was broken by IBM using 41 Fusion-io devices.
On Monday December 13 SandForce introduced SSD controllers designed specifically for cloud computing applications.
You might wonder what is so different about cloud applications that they need an SSD controller of their own. SandForce makes some interesting points:
- Cloud applications need low latency
- Cloud computing centers, like client SSDs, need a lot of capacity at a very low price Continue reading
There’s a lot of “Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt” – FUD – circulating about SSDs and their penchant for failure. NAND flash wears out after a set number of erase/write cycles, a specification known as the flash’s endurance.
While some caution is warranted, a good understanding of how SSDs really behave will help to allay a lot of this concern. Continue reading