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FMS 2012 - SMART Storage has been making waves lately in the enterprise SSD space with an entire line of drives for every type of application.
The focus at the Flash Memory Summit was on the Optimus SSD, which sports a dual SAS connection. This allows this SSD to pull off 1GB/s in sequential read speed and 500 MB/s in write speed.
A closer look reveals that the SSD has two SAS connectors connecting into the device, which allows the high power of the SSD to be unleashed. This also allows for several types of enterprise features, such as failover and multipath data access.
In another demonstration the SSD is pulling off 102,000 4k random read IOPS from a single device.
The specifications reveal that the Optimus packs 1.6TB in a 2.5in form factor SSD. This is currently the highest capacity SSD of its size on the market. This allows for large increases in capacity and
performance in very small packages.
Taking a look at the internals of the 1.6TB SSD we can see the proprietary SMART storage controller, and the fact that there are dual PCBs that sandwich together to allow for such high capacity points.
FMS 2012 - Marvell has revealed their new DragonFly NVRAM solution for servers at the Flash Memory Summit.
As we can see this card comes in a small package and sports a PCIe Gen2x8 connection to the host.
Getting down under the cover we can see some of the components that allow the DragonFly to reach its impressive specifications of 200K+ IOPS, 3.2GBps and .22us latency. The DragonFly connects to SSDs via a typical SFF connector, and acts as a front end for the attached storage. The data is cached to the DRAM chip that is located towards the top right of the card. The battery near the bottom is used to write the data cached into ram to the NAND, on the rear of the card, in the event of power failure.
The DRAM chips and the Marvell that controls them are located to the upper left of the card. This is where the data is flushed to in the event of power loss. The device caches both read and write data, and utilizes de-duplication and write coalescence to mitigate performance degradation and endurance of the underlying array that will be connected.
FMS 2012 - Intel demonstrated four Intel 910s in a RAID configuration pulling down over one million IOPS in their demo system.
This is a realistic representation of a full scale implementation of this type of configuration in an enterprise environment.
Our previous review of the single 910 in both 400 and 800GB configurations can be seen by hitting the link.
The Dual 910's in RAID also provided some great results in a follow up article that we published.
Now all we need to do is convince Intel to send us a few more so that we can hit the same One Million+ IOPS!
FMS 2012 - HGST today demonstrated their new 12Gb/s SAS Enterprise SSDs. These are the first 12Gb/s SSDs in existence, and they are in an unbranded case.
We can see the performance improvement between a current tech 6Gb/s SSD, which is pulling down 547 MB/s in sequential read, and the 12Gb/s SSD that is providing 995 MB/s from one device! Nearly 1GB/s of sequential speed from a single SSD is simply unheard of with today's interface.
The 6Gb/s, in the foreground, and the 12Gb/s SSD are both of similar size, so the performance increase does not involve a larger device.
Finally, we round out the HGST visit with a quick look at their existing product line of enterprise-class SSDs and HDDs.
One of the neatest aspects of attending industry shows like the Flash Memory Summit is that you never know just what the guy sitting next to you has in his pocket. While attending the seminar on NVMe (an emerging specification and subject of another article soon), we managed to strike up a conversation with a fellow attendee. After mentioning that we had previously done a write up of the Intel 910, which he had also happened to have read, he produced something that he claims to be much more interesting.
Considering that this device is unreleased and holds 2.2 TB of raw NAND flash, he most certainly did open our eyes. This is the Virident FlashMAX II, which is a PCIe SSD aimed for the datacenter. With read speeds of up to 2.7 GB/s and write speeds up to 1.6GB/s, these cards deliver monstrous performance. 1.5 Million IOPS of random read is simply astounding, especially considering the attention given to solid, sustainable performance over a long period of time. With MLC NAND, and a hefty bit of overprovisioning, Virident is looking to bring sustainable performance to their customers.
Unfortunately their primary competitors can suffer high levels of performance degradation after extended use. The Virident FlashMAX II is designed specifically to avoid these pitfalls, operating at full speed even after years of continuous load.
SMART Storage Systems has announced their newest entry into their Enterprise SSD family, the Optimus Ultra+. The 'Ultra' part of the name comes from two central facets of performance, speed and endurance. This SAS 6/Gb/s SSD sports some impressive numbers, with 100,000 random read IOPS and 60,000 random write IOPS. The SSD also supports dual-port SAS, which allows the throughput to climb to an unheard of 1GB/s.
The real story here is the endurance however. The Optimus Ultra+ is rated for 50 Drive Writes Per Day (DWPD) for five years. This means that the capacity of the drive can be written and deleted 50 times every day for five years.
The Optimus family of SSDs all centers around one philosophy; providing SLC-like endurance with MLC pricing. The attraction of MLC over SLC is simple; SLC commands ridiculously high prices while MLC is becoming garden-variety. Even in the consumer market we are now seeing MLC drop below the dollar per GB threshold. This low price level will always be welcome in any market, but creating Enterprise-class MLC is not an easy task...