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The WarpDrive has been a really good product for LSI and datacenter owners. The product has been so successful the successor has already been announced and production is ramping up quickly for a Q4 or early Q1 launch. That information has been public for the last month or so, released at IDF.
LSI is already working on an even newer product, one that they don't really want to talk too much about. So without an official name I'm going to designate this one WarpCache.
The LSI MegaRAID controllers have two distinct add-ons. We've covered them both in the past, FastPath, an IOPS accelerator and CacheCade, an HDD cache system fed by solid state drives. By placing an SSD or an array of SSDs in front of the HDDs to hold hot data the data can be read at the pace of SSDs. This also reduces wear on the traditional platter based drives.
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LSI's first WarpDrive product featured 300GB of extreme SLC flash attached to several SandForce SF-1500 controllers. This product is designed for data center use and allows 42U racks of servers with traditional HDDs to be shrunk down to half rack sizes. The saving in power reduction alone is quite significant but once you factor in the reduction in overall footprint things really get interesting.
Announced just a few weeks ago at IDF, the second generation WarpDrive is just about ready to hit the market. WarpDrive 2 can now be scaled up to 1.6TB, a massive increase from the 300GB first edition. We're told that production is now ramping up and to expect some big announcements soon.
Newegg are currently running a special on OCZ SSD drives, all you need is the coupon code "BLKNOVSSD". The specials are pretty good and include both the Vertex 3 and Agility 3 drives from OCZ. The specials include all three drive sizes, 60, 120 and 240GB.
Vertex 3 in 60, 120 and 240GB have original prices of $109, $190 and $475, respectively. With the 15-percent off and mail-in rebate, this brings the pricing down to $73, $142 and $374 for the 60, 120, and 240GB drives, respectively. For the Agility 3 drives, we see the same discount apply, 60, 120, 240GB drives with original prices of $107, $171 and $360, respectively, taken down to $71, $125, and $276, respectively, after the 15-percent off and mail-in rebate.
These are some seriously nice prices for the SSD drives from OCZ and would make quite the Christmas present if Mrs TweakTown reader is watching. Get one and stuff it into your partners' stocking for some Christmas morning SSD surprise!
Toshiba 24nm MLC flash isn't exactly breaking news, SandForce had this drive on display at IDF 2011. We did learn today that Toshiba's 24nm flash should cost less than IMFT 25nm flash so all of those SandForce SF-2281 controlled drives could become a little cheaper in 2012.
We still are scratching our heads on what performance will be like but Toshiba's 3Xnm flash with the 2281 is the current speed king on the market today. Drives like the OCZ Technology MaxIOPS, Patriot Wildfire and OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G are just a few examples that use Toshiba flash already.
If you think back how long it took for ATA 33 to make it to ATA 100 you'd be amazed at how quickly LSI is developing SAS 12Gb/s. Less than two years ago LSI released their first SAS 6Gb/s and a year ago they launched their second generation SAS 6Gb/s. Today LSI is showing off early SAS 12Gb/s and it's looking pretty good.
It'll be quite sometime before we see SAS or SATA drives running 12Gb/s but that isn't going to stop LSI from making use of the bandwidth. At AIS 2011 we saw first hand that LSI plans to use the bandwidth to increase performance on external arrays of disks. SAN and DAS will see higher bandwidth in early 2012.
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Corsair has just further expanded its line of SSDs with the new Performance Pro series. These drives rely on Marvell's latest 6 Gb/s SSD controller and come in 128 and 256GB capacities. The drives are of course 2.5-inch sized, sporting a naked metal casing.
The drives use MLC (multi-level cell) based NAND Flash memory chips and include TRIM support. Performance figures quoted by Corsair in todays announcement on the new drives are up to 515MB/sec read and 440MB/sec write rates.
We are pleased to provide a fast SATA 3 SSD that's designed specifically for real-world performance," said Thi La, Vice President of Memory Products at Corsair. "High-performance PC users work heavily with media files, and unlike some other SSDs, the Performance Pro can save, load and move music, photos and movies without significantly reduced performance. It offers consistent, reliable speed regardless of whether you're running Windows, OS X or Linux, and whether you're using a single drive or a RAID configuration.
Kingston have just announced a new range of Solid State Drives that are set to target consumers in the entry-level, budget segment. They come in the form of the SSDNow V series, with the SSDNow V200 bringing value and performance to consumers who are looking for an inexpensive upgrade option to boost their computer (desktop or notebook) performance.
The SSDNow V200 features the SATA 6Gbps interface and is nearly twice as fast as the previous V100 SSD drives. It's also priced lower than the SSDNow V100 drive, which makes it one of the best price/performance SSD solutions on the market.
RunCore is back in the limelight with an upgrade to their existing enterprise-grade SSDs - the Kylin II series. Where the Kylin II originally came out using the SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) interface, RunCore is now bringing Kylin II to market with the much more popular SATA 6.0 Gbps interface and a second-gen SandForce controller.
The new 2.5-inch sized Kylin II drives have an MTBF of 2 million hours and come in either SLC (single level cell) or MLC (multi level cell) form. RunCore states that they are capable of 4KB random read/write performance of 45,000/60,000 IOPS, whilst they give sequential read and write rates of up to 540MB/sec and 500MB/sec, respectively.
The updated line of Kylin II series drives from RunCore include both MLC and SLC versions of the 50GB, 100GB, 200GB, 300GB, and 400GB models.
While their upright standing "QUickPort" range of HDD/SSD docking stations tend to be more popular, there is another similar type of docking station Sharkoon has on the market dubbed the "QuickDesk" which primarily differs in that the drives are inserted into it laying flat, as opposed to standing up.
In keeping with the times, a new version of the QuickDesk has just been launched today - the QuickDesk Pro complete with USB 3.0 connectivity and stacking feet.
Both 2.5 and 3.5-inch sized drives can be inserted horizontally into the front, open end of the QuickDesk Pro. For 2.5-inch sized drives, a rail fixed to the floor folds up to secure the drives in place. An ejection lever makes it simple to detach the drive from the QuickDesk.