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CES 2015 -Samsung had several enterprise SSDs on display in their meeting rooms, highlighting the wide range of storage options they provide. Samsung has all the connectivity bases covered for SATA, SAS, and PCIe.
NVMe SSDs always attracts my immediate attention. NVMe is a hot topic, as outlined in our Defining NVMe Article. Pairing the refined and efficient interface with exciting new NAND technologies is exciting, and the SM1715 comes with massive capacities of 1.6 and 3.2TB. The SM1715 comes in the familiar HHHL form factor, and cramming all of that capacity into such a small space is made possible by Samsung's 3D V-NAND. Readers can find deeper analysis of V-NAND in The V-NAND Paradigm Shift Whitepaper. The SM1715's obligatory feeds and speeds are 750,000/185,000 random read/write IOPS and a sequential read/write speed of 3,000/2,200 MB/s, but NVMe advantages of reduced CPU overhead, in-box driver support in leading operating systems, and refined latency performance are also a big attraction.
M.2 offers the same NVMe goodness in a slimmer form factor , which is generating incredible interest for hyperscale deployments. The Samsung SM953 packs 480GB of 1x nm planar MLC NAND flash, but this inaugural design will likely be augmented with 3D V-NAND in the future. The UBX controller delivers sequential read/write speeds of 1,750/750 MB/s, and random read speed weighs in at 250,000 IOPS. Random write speeds haven't been disclosed as of yet, but the SM953 also features power loss protection. The race is on for the first datacenter-class M.2 SSD to hit the market, and look to these pages soon for an evaluation of the first one to hit our labs.
CES 2015 -Phison is poised to make waves with their new PS5007-E7 controller. This new controller will power enterprise NVMe SSDs in both the M.2 and 2.5" form factors, with the latter sporting the new SFF-8639 connector. The controller will provide plenty of bandwidth with a PCIe 3.0 x4 connection. The new controllers support capacities from 16GB all the way up to 2TB. Sequential reads are rated for 2,800 MB/s, and sequential writes come in at 1,500 MB/s. The controller also features random read/write speeds of 350,000/300,000 IOPS.
The controller supports both AHCI 1.3 and NVMe 1.1 (covered in our Defining NVMe article). Current designs do not include power capacitors, but power loss protection will be included in the final designs. It is also only rational that an NVMe controller with this type of grunt power will eventually make its way to a standard PCIe form factor product, but we did not receive official confirmation of that possibility. The M.2 form factor is starting to pop up in roadmaps of more manufacturers for enterprise applications, so there is definitely an emerging customer base for these products as well.
CES 2015 -OCZ Storage Solutions displayed the Z-Drive 6000 NVMe SSD in their suite at CES 2015. The Z-Drive 6000 sports speeds of 3,000 MB/s for sequential read and 2,000 MB/s for sequential write workloads. Random reads weigh in at an outstanding 700,000 IOPS, and random writes are equally impressive at 175,000 IOPS. The Z-Drive 6000 will provide 1-3 DWPD, which is becoming the standard for most datacenter SSDs, largely due to increased density. The Z-Drive 6000 utilizes the NVMe interface, covered in detail in our Defining NVMe article.
The Z-Drive 6000 comes in capacities of 800GB, 1.6TB and 3.2TB in the small 2.5" 15mm form factor. The Z-Drive leverages the proven PMC-Sierra Princeton controller running OCZ-proprietary firmware. The Z-Drive 6000 is certified for NVMe specification 1.1b on the UNH-IOL integrator list. The drive also features all the normal enterprise trimmings, such as encryption and internal data redundancy.
CES 2015 -Samsung has the advantage, for the time being, of being the only manufacturer shipping 3D NAND products. V-NAND is 3D NAND that achieves better density, performance, endurance, and power consumption, via vertical stacking of the NAND cells and CTF technology. This runs counter to the established norm of increasing density through NAND shrinks, and with good reason. Shrinks provide more density, but actually reduce endurance.
We have a more detailed analysis of V-NAND in The V-NAND Paradigm Shift article. Samsung has the 10nm class MLC NAND 16Gb and the 32-layer 128Gb TLC 3D V-NAND on display. The TLC (or 3bit) versions of V-NAND boost capacity, and also provide increased endurance in comparison to standard planar TLC NAND. Planar TLC has already made its way into the client and enterprise space despite the lower endurance, and 3D TLC V-NAND is on the way to the datacenter as well.
CES 2015 -HDDs are evolving to address new challenges in the datacenter, and the Seagate Kinetic line offers a radical new way of improving performance and reducing TCO. Hyperscale customers are constantly looking for refined systems to lower operating costs, and new data storage methods to address the massive influx of data.
Kinetic drives interact with an open-source Seagate-developed API that eschews the normal filesystem implementations in favor of the more robust Key/Value Object storage. The Kinetic platform also dramatically reduces host overhead and removes CPU processing from the majority of tasks.
Storage Visions 2015 -Mike Chen from Marvell stopped by the TweakTown booth at Storage Visions 2015 to display the Altaplus controller along with a new SSD that has an integrated controller on the NAND package. NVMe has several performance advantages, but also enables low power operation modes particularly well-suited for mobile applications. Marvell is delivering both PCIe 2.0 and 3.0 SSD controllers that feature robust LDPC error correction technology.
There are multiple lengths in the M.2 standard, and here we can see the difference in size between the different solutions.
Storage Visions 2015 -Arthur Sainio from Smart Modular Technologies and Mario Martinez from Netlist stopped by the TweakTown booth to discuss emerging NVDIMM technologies. SNIA's NVDIMM Special Interest Group (NVDIMM SIG) works hand in hand with JEDEC, who develops the NVDIMM Specification, to promote the new technology.
Flash has revolutionized datacenter storage, but NVDIMM technology takes performance to the next level. NVDIMM's leverage DRAM in conjunction with flash storage and power hold-up technologies to allow RAM to be used as a persistent storage medium. This opens up new opportunities to accelerate application performance.
Storage Visions 2015 -Howard Marks, a longtime contributor to Network Computing and Chief Scientist at DeepStorage.net, discusses the challenges facing the deployment of hyperconverged systems. Hyperconvergance has generated massive interest as datacenter operates look to deploy the most refined solutions to manage storage and compute in a holistic manner.
Hyperconverged solutions are still evolving, and while they offer tremendous value, there are pitfalls for the uninformed. Howard breaks down some of those challenges and discusses competing platforms.
Storage Visions 2015 -Jay Yogeshwar from Hitachi Data Systems discusses their integrated storage systems that can address both local and cloud storage. The Hitachi Content Platform provides a complete solution for merged data storage subsystems.
For media professionals there are many benefits to moving to cloud storage platforms. This enables collaborative workflows, especially when users are at different locations. The system leverages object storage to allow storage of hundreds of billions of objects.
Storage Visions 2015 -Cliff Sun from SanDisk stopped
SanDisk works closely with the IT team to ensure that upgrades are successfully migrated in a safe and secure manner. The IT department schedules the machines for pickup, and SanDisk performs the actual data migration and hardware installation to ensure a worry-free transition to a faster, more reliable, and lower cost SSD solution.