There is no doubt that the most innovative SSD to come out of 2010 was the Viding Modular Solutions SATADIMM. Based on another 2010 standout, the SandForce SF-1000 Series controller, the SATADIMM is not only a great example of SSD technology revolutionizing the storage market, but also how thoughtful manufacturers can shape future standards.
Viking Modular Solutions isn't a high volume manufacturer and you aren't going to find many of their products in the retail market. Viking is far from a one hit wonder, though. The company was started in 1988 and since their first product has been manufacturing high quality parts for the enterprise market space and for some of the world's largest OEM manufacturers.
Vikings current product line-up consists of many memory products. You can find everything from standard 2.5" SSDs and memory DIMMs to the custom SATA Cube and SATADIMM. Today we are looking at the Viking Modular Solutions SATADIMM, a SandForce SF-1000 Series based SSD that is designed for the enterprise market, but is unlike the current crop of 2.5" SSDs that are in the channel now. To be more specific, the SATADIMM is a unique implementation that gives users the ability to run up to 400GB of capacity in a single DDR3 DIMM (memory) slot.
To know the innovative value of the SATADIMM is to know the current state of the server market. 1U servers are 1.75 inches tall. This size has very limited space for disk drives; only five 2.5" drives can fit across the front in drive sleds in a 1U chassis and that number drops to four when using 3.5" drives. With server motherboards now offering an increased number of DIMM sockets (The Tyan S7016 has 18!), Viking engineered a way to make better use of unused DIMM sockets while giving more flexibility to users looking for more high speed storage capacity.
Once you add in virtualization the SATADIMM makes even more sense. Just imagine using an array of SATADIMMs for database tasks and four 3.5" SAS drives handling long term storage duties (storage server) all in the same 1U form factor server. This not only saves on rack space storage costs, but also on power usage fees.
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