IOPS Survey – Still Seeking Participants

Please Take the 5-Minute IOPS SurveyTom Coughlin and I are still seeking IT professional inputs for our 5-minute IOPS survey.

Please take a brief moment to share your thoughts on the importance of I/O in your system. It’s only 5 multiple-choice questions.

Click HERE and let us know what kind of storage performance you need. Even a hunch is good.

Many thanks!

 

An ReRAM SSD Design

Chuo University EmblemA colleague pointed The SSD Guy to an ExtremeTech article about researchers at Japan’s Chuo University who have designed an SSD that uses a resistive RAM (ReRAM) as a buffer and is built using TSV technology.  The design was presented at the IEEE’s 2012 Symposium on VLSI Circuits this month in Hawaii.  A Nikkei article gives additional information.

The basic architecture reminds me of an FRAM + NAND SSD design that a Korean university presented at the Flash Memory Summit a few years ago.  Either approach gets past the problem of using a failure-prone battery, a temperature-sensitive supercap, or a big bulky bank of Continue reading “An ReRAM SSD Design”

SMART Optimus Ultra+ SSD: SLC Performance Using MLC Flash

SMART Guardian vs Normal Flash Management - More good BlocksSMART Storage Systems has introduced a new enterprise-class SSD that the company says: “increases the endurance of cMLC Flash to a level that makes SLC drives obsolete.”  That’s a pretty hefty claim!

The new Optimus Ultra+ SSD is specified at 100K read IOPS and 60K write IOPS, through its 6Gb/s SAS interface.  With capacities ranging from 100-800GB, this SSD supports up to 50 full drive writes per day (DWPD) over its 5-year lifespan, double that of the company’s Optimus Ultra which was introduced in February.  That’s quite something for an MLC-based SSD.

SMART has tapped into its Guardian technology to reap SLC benefits from MLC flash through both enhanced external and internal algorithms.  Like all other SSD makers and SSD controller makers SMART has focused a lot of attention on error correction, DSP, and other means of correcting errors externally to the flash.  The company has also partnered with Continue reading “SMART Optimus Ultra+ SSD: SLC Performance Using MLC Flash”

SK Hynix Jumps into the SSD Market

Packaging for SK Hnix' New SATA III Self Encrypted DriveOnly four days after announcing the company’s acquisition of Link_A_Media SK Hynix has announced its entry into the Client SSD market.  The company’s new 2.5″ SATA III self-encrypting drive (SED) will ship in 128GB and 256 GB capacities and boasts serial read speeds of 510MB/s, writing at 470MB/s. Random 4kB performance is said to be 55k IOPS read and 85k IOPS write.  It’s interesting that the write performance is higher than the read performance – not many SSDs perform this way.

Although this drive is said to be a client SSD, it supports end-to-end data protection, a feature more common to enterprise SSDs.  More specifications are listed on SK Hynix’ SSD website.  The benchmarks on this website are of particular interest, since SK Hynix claims Continue reading “SK Hynix Jumps into the SSD Market”

Link_A_Media’s Roaring SSD Debut

Tom's Hardware Best of Computex 2012 Award for Corsair Neutron Series SSDsIt’s tough to design an SSD controller, and even tougher to make one that can simply compete against the great ones that already ship in volume.  To make a truly better controller would seem to require an astonishing effort.  It appears that a company with a very odd name: Link_A_Media has done just that.

The company’s first commercial design win in Corsair‘s fourth-generation Neutron Series SSDs was announced at COMPUTEX on June 5th.  Corsair’s market focus is high-performance compute hardware aimed at gamers – the company only ships product that can out-perform its competition, and is able to take a higher price thanks to its solid reputation for speed.  Getting a first design win at Corsair is a real feather in Link_A_Media’s cap!

But then, today (June 7), Corsair won two Continue reading “Link_A_Media’s Roaring SSD Debut”

Another Look at SSD Performance

Percona Benchmarks of SSD Performance across a Range of File SIzesLast week The SSD Guy was at a conference for users of the open source MySQL database program.  This is a gathering of foward-thinking mavericks who try new technologies ahead of many others.  This group has been deeply involved with SSDs for at least the past four years.

Vadim Tkachenko, co-founder of Percona (the show’s sponsor) shared a lot of significant new research that he has performed over the past year on SSDs.  I thought the chart in this post’s graphic Continue reading “Another Look at SSD Performance”

OCZ: Three Solid State Storage Products in Three Weeks

OCZ's PCIe Z-DriveSSD 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 “OCZ: Three Solid State Storage Products in Three Weeks”

New White Paper: Enterprise Reliability, Solid State Speed

Kaminario's K2 SystemThe SSD Guy has just posted a new white paper to the Objective Analysis home page.  It’s about Kaminario‘s approach to solid state storage.

Yes, this is a commissioned white paper, but that doesn’t preclude my taking the same unbiased approach my clients have come to expect.  Kaminario has re-thought how SSDs should be used in storage, and that deserves some attention.

It’s only six pages, but even so I will condense the content for this post:  Flash is tricky Continue reading “New White Paper: Enterprise Reliability, Solid State Speed”

UCSD – Future SSDs Will Lack Performance

UCSD Chart Showing Write Latency Increases with Increasing SSD Capacity over TimeAt last week’s USENIX conference UCSD researcher Laura Grupp presented a paper that attracted a lot of attention.  The paper, which had a somewhat misleading title: The Bleak Future of NAND Flash Memory predicts that NAND-based SSDs of the future: “may be too slow and unreliable to be competitive against disks of similar cost in enterprise applications.”

Continue reading “UCSD – Future SSDs Will Lack Performance”

Fast New Intel SSD: The 520

Intel's 520 Press PictureIntel has announced a new SSD for the Enthusiast/Gamer market.  Intel’s fastest drive to date, this SSD, formerly known as “Cherryville” but now called the 520, is the first Intel SSD to use a SandForce/LSI controller and is made using Intel’s own 25nm flash.

Intel worked with SandForce for  a year and a half to produce an SSD that met Intel’s rigorous standards, and made hundreds of changes to SandForce’s firmware.  Users of SandForce controllers can differentiate their SSDs through the addition of features in the SSD controller’s firmware.  Intel did this by tapping into its expertise in end-to-end data protection (something the company learned when working with Hitachi to introduce that company’s Intel-based enterprise SSDs) while harnessing Intel’s deep understanding of its own NAND flash and of the I/O needs of the PC.

End-to-end data protection is not a trivial feature: Continue reading “Fast New Intel SSD: The 520”