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LSI Nytro WarpDrive 800GB BLP4-800 PCIe Enterprise SSD Review - Final Thoughts

LSI's second-generation WarpDrive BLP4-800 SSD offering includes four SandForce processors and eMLC flash for superb enterprise performance and endurance. (NASDAQ:LSI)

| PCIe SSDs in IT/Datacenter | Posted: Nov 12, 2012 4:49 pm
TweakTown Rating: 96%      Manufacturer: LSI

Final Thoughts

 

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During the course of our evaluation of the LSI Nytro WarpDrive we also validated a new testing regimen that takes an extended amount of time to complete. This round of tests can take up to four days. We repeated these tests multiple times with different settings in order to dial in the correct settings, which will be applied to all flash products that come through my lab. After almost a month of continual testing, we feel that we have a solid test regimen. During this test period, the LSI WarpDrive BLP4-800 was under load almost constantly.

 

One thing that was impressive was the consistency of performance that we were able to elicit from the WarpDrive over this extended test period. Even with the three compression levels of data that we were testing, the results were consistent and repeatable. The performance of the LSI Nytro WarpDrive was simply exemplary, with rock-solid steady state performance.

 

This type of consistent, repeatable, and reliable performance is the hallmark of any enterprise-class storage solution. Installation was simple, and drive management was easy to understand. We would like to see some enhanced SMART data included in the user interface, but the simplicity of the WarpDrive Management Tool speaks to just how easy it is to use and manage this Application Accelerator.

 

SandForce processors have made their way into the enterprise space in various incarnations, from PCIe solutions to standard 2.5" devices. Their deployment into this segment has proven them durable and reliable, with admirable data protection characteristics. The Nytro WarpDrive also includes a three year warranty to alleviate users concerns.

 

Many have questioned the practicality of utilizing compression in certain scenarios. In many typical Enterprise workloads, the results are clear. With many workloads being either highly compressible or partially compressible, the WarpDrive exhibits strong acceleration characteristics.

 

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By offering a number of products in their Nytro line, LSI is serving the needs of several customer bases simultaneously, regardless of their present infrastructure. Server-side solid-state drive deployment is exploding into the datacenter at a growth rate of 55% per year, and is projected to reach nearly 10 million units per year over the next several years according to Gartner Research. LSI is getting an early foothold into this emerging market, so look for them to continue their growth into this market.

 

The expansion of virtualization has exposed the storage limitations that have lain hidden in the past. There is a strong need for devices such as these to provide the performance that allows administrators to increase density and realize higher CPU utilization from existing infrastructure. With validating sales wins such as the EMC VFCache product and collaboration with Proximal Data and Cisco, the WarpDrive has already begun its penetration into the server market.

 

The WarpDrive as a primary storage solution is simply outstanding, and we are looking forward to testing its performance with the Nytro XD caching software. We have absolutely no reservations giving the BLP4-800 LSI Nytro WarpDrive the TweakTown Editor's Choice Award.

 

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