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Storage Posts - Page 1

Synology introduces its new DiskStation 1-bay NAS server

Featuring a dual-core processor and a compact design, Synology's new DiskStation DS115 is designed for use in any come environment or small business. Giving you the ability to centralize your data storage without a full server in use, this NAS box features border-less file sharing, cloud synchronization, multimedia streaming, home surveillance and more.

 

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With the ability to transfer files at speeds exceeding 111 MB/s read and 104 MB/s write, this product claims to give you a 36% increase in writing speeds when compared to its predecessor. Synology's built-in floating-port unit comes with a USB 3.0 port, giving you the ability to connect it to external hard drives or other similar devices.

 

Said to consume only 5.44W during hibernation and 10.21W when in full use, the DiskStation DS115 is a nice addition to any growing file storage needs.

Storj creates a network to allow users to rent out spare HDD storage

Storj is working to provide decentralized cloud storage in a gambit to provide a network free from censorship and monitoring. The key to this concept is for a peer-to-peer network to allow users to store their data on other people's computers in a distributed manner. This isn't exactly breaking the mold. Peer-to-peer cloud storage networks, such as Symform, have been around for years. However, Symform requires users to donate their own capacity in order to join the network, while Storj is offering to just buy spare capacity from anyone.

 

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Storj has already raised roughly $215,000 through crowdfunding, but the donations were in Bitcoins, so that amount is subject to price variations. Renting out free drive space is purportedly easy, the person renting space simply installs software that receives files that have been split into easily digestible encrypted chunks. Data is then stored from other computers on the network, and is distributed in a parity-like scheme across multiple locations to provide access even if one user drops off the network.

 

Unfortunately, there are a slew of reasons to be skeptical of just renting out your free drive space. First, in order to receive payment the the HDD landlord has to cash out the payments in Storjcoin X, a digital currency similar to Bitcoin. Storjcoin's can be traded for cold hard cash, but noting the growing pains of several other digital currencies, HDD landlords may find it hard to get a reliable amount when converting the coins to cash. And thats just the tip of the storage iceberg.

Continue reading 'Storj creates a network to allow users to rent out spare HDD storage' (full post)

OCZ's Vector 180 Moves Closer to Launch

CES 2015 - I'm not sure how much we can talk about the Vector 180 SSD since we're under NDA until *cough* mid January or thereabouts.

 

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From what we can tell the Vector 180 looks ready for prime time action. Armed with the Barefoot 3 M00, the same used in the original Vector and Vector 150. The new 180 model differs from the previous models in two ways. The first is the NAND flash. Now armed with Toshiba A19 MLC NAND. The A19 is Toshiba's second generation 19nm flash that has a smaller die size (19mm x 19.5mm vs. first generation 19mm x 26mm). The smaller die size means Toshiba can produce more die per wafer, a move that reduces cost.

 

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The new Vector 180 also increase the capacity size to 1TB of raw flash, 960GB after OP. The 128GB capacity size was also removed, still leaving OCZ with three capacity sizes, 240GB and 480GB rounding out the selection.

 

On the surface the Vector 180 looks like previous Vector models...

Continue reading 'OCZ's Vector 180 Moves Closer to Launch' (full post)

OCZ Shows JetExpress PCIe SSD at CES 2015

CES 2015 - OCZ Storage Solutions had two upcoming products in the suite at CES 2015 that we want to talk about today.

 

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The first is known as JetExpress, a native PCIe 3.0 x4 solution that may appear in three form factors, M.2 (as shown), SFF-8639 and even a 2.5" AHCI SATA model. Given the AHCI SATA connection, the controller will be able to detect connection rates and negotiate with the system based on the connection method.

 

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The model number on the controller tells us quite a bit. JX should stand for JetExpress, 1600 could be a connection rate or performance specification such as 1600 MB/s for the first model. M00 was used on early versions of the Barefoot 3 to the first version (OCZ also has an M10 second generation model for lower power consumption and slightly less performance).

Continue reading 'OCZ Shows JetExpress PCIe SSD at CES 2015' (full post)

Plextor Officially Announces M6e Black Edition at CES 2015

CES 2015 - Plextor officially announced the M6e Black Edition at CES, a product we broke an exclusive story on just a few weeks ago. The M6e Black Edition is a gamer focused version of the original M6e PCIe 2.0 x2 SSD released one year ago at CES 2014.

 

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The new model will ship in three capacity sizes, as shown from our suite high up in the MGM Grand on the beautiful Las Vegas Strip.

 

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Enhancements include a new black and red aluminum cover that doubles as a heat sink, allowing the new drive to perform well in systems without a lot of air cooling.

Continue reading 'Plextor Officially Announces M6e Black Edition at CES 2015' (full post)

Plextor M7e Shown at CES 2015 - June Release for the High Speed Crowd

CES 2015 - Despite the new M6e Black Edition with PlexTurbo 2.0 software just hitting the market, Plextor was prepared to talk about a future M7e SSD that doubles the available bandwidth of the just announced M6e Black Edition.

 

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The new M7e moves the PCIe AHCI SSD to PCIe 2.0 x4. This doubles the theoretical bandwidth from the M6e and M6e Black Edition. Users will need to balance the fact that the M6e Black Edition is available now with the performance increase offered by the new model available in six months or so.

 

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The new M7e is build with the Marvell Altaplus controller we first broke cover on in an exclusive report at CES 2014.

Continue reading 'Plextor M7e Shown at CES 2015 - June Release for the High Speed Crowd' (full post)

Crucial Releases Storage Executive - The First Crucial SSD Toolbox

CES 2015 - Crucial announced a new 'SSD Toolbox' type software at CES 2015. Officially, the new software is called Crucial Storage Executive. The software installs on your system and then is browser based for quick and easy management. It works with all SSDs back to the M500 model.

 

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The interface looks really good and scales to the resolution of your browser window. This is just the above the fold image on a 1920x1080 display with the browser set to 50% size.

 

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The menu system was thought out well and shows you information on every drive in your system, not just the Crucial SSDs.

Continue reading 'Crucial Releases Storage Executive - The First Crucial SSD Toolbox' (full post)

ADATA Shows Premier Pro SP320 SSD with 3bit per Cell NAND at CES 2015

CES 2015 - Two themes stuck out this year in the consumer SSD world at CES 2015, Silicon Motion and 3bit per cell NAND flash.

 

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At the ADATA suite we found these two topics merging together in the new ADATA SP320 SSD, the first retail branded product with a SMI SM2256 controller. Paired with the new Silicon Motion controller is 3bit per cell (TLC) NAND. ADATA didn't tell us what flavor of TLC rests under the cover. At this time the pool is fairly shallow but in the coming months several NAND flash fabs will deepen the pool.

 

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The SP320 will ship in four capacity sizes, read up to 560 MB/s and write up to 510 MB/s, both sequential . No word on the random performance or price but we expect both to be low considering the low cost consumer placement of this product.

 

In 2015 the trend is to focus on higher SSD adaption rates, trying to displace HDDs and that can only be achieved by giving consumers larger capacity at better prices than what we have now. The SP320 puts ADATA on the right track to make that happen.

Continue reading 'ADATA Shows Premier Pro SP320 SSD with 3bit per Cell NAND at CES 2015' (full post)

ADATA displays Seagate's SandForce SF3700 - We run exclusive tests

CES 2015 -ADATA had a working reference Seagate SandForce SF3700 SSD on display at CES 2015. The SF3700 has run over the expected release date, but with manufacturers highlighting the SF3700 in working demo's we know the controller is coming closer to market. Speculation is that shipping products will be ready around June, which is around the Computex trade show.

 

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The demonstration was powered by a SandForce SSD placed on a PCB adapter board which allows an M.2 SSD to work over a standard PCIe slot. The SF3700 controller on display, commonly referred to by the code-name Griffen, communicates over a PCIe 2.0 x4 connection, though a x2 variant is also under development. The Griffen controller can communicate via either the AHCI or the NVMe protocol across the PCIe connection.

 

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An important distinction between earlier demo's is the fact that the working demo was running without a heat sink. This points to continued optimization of the power consumption metrics, which relate directly to heat generation. The SF3700 has several key technologies, such as DEVSLP functionality, to allow it to operate within a very low power and thermal envelope.

 

The Jaguar codename on the demo board refers to a reference PCB design offered by SandForce, not the actual Griffen controller. The board contains 512GB of Toshiba A19nm flash. The SF3700 controller itself still bears LSI branding, a holdover from SandForce's parent company before the Seagate acquisition.

 

Read on for the performance results...

Continue reading 'ADATA displays Seagate's SandForce SF3700 - We run exclusive tests' (full post)

Silicon Motion Testing Exotic 3bit per Cell Flash at CES 2015

CES 2015 - Today we spoke with Silicon Motion (SMI) on several topics, but later learned more details that helped to piece a puzzle together. Analyst reports show that 3bit per cell (TLC) will quickly overtake 2bit per cell (MLC) NAND in the future. Samsung dominates the 3bit per cell area, but SanDisk has also started shipping products with the technology. Toshiba will soon follow suit, the company actually produces TLC wafers with SanDisk in the Flash Forward joint venture. It's been stated that Micron will have TLC ready for consumer SSD devices as early as Q2 2015, and the technology is already utilized in other product types from Micron/Lexar/Crucial, such as SD cards.

 

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Silicon Motion's upcoming SM2256 controller was designed exclusively to usher in the TLC era, and today we saw the controller working inside this laptop with Samsung TLC flash. At this time only two companies selling to the channel use Samsung NAND flash - Samsung and Seagate.

 

Samsung already has two existing low cost consumer SSD products on the market with 3bit per cell flash, the 840 EVO and 850 EVO. This leaves us to wonder why Silicon Motion would spend valuable engineering resources with Samsung TLC NAND. Enter Seagate and the the company's strategic alliance with Samsung for guaranteed Samsung flash, as seen with the Seagate 1200 SSD. Did we inadvertently just capture a quick look at what may be an early test of a Seagate consumer SSD that uses a Silicon Motion controller today?

 

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A rumor floating around CES 2015 is that Intel will soon announce a low cost consumer SSD that also uses a Silicon Motion controller. Intel didn't invest with Micron in 16nm lithography manufacturing, choosing instead to bring in SK Hynix flash as a stopgap until the IMFT (Intel Micron Flash Technology) 3D NAND transition takes place sometime in mid to late 2015. Today we observed a Silicon Motion SM2256 controller paired with SK Hynix TLC NAND flash. SK Hynix acquired Link_A_Media Devices more than two years ago, but from a finished product point of view, the LAMD products have stalled.

 

In summary, not only do we feel we've caught a glimpse of a Seagate product, but also a potential product for Intel as well.

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