Kingston provides the SSDNow E100 as its enterprise offering with 32nm Toshiba eMLC Toggle NAND powered by the LSI SandForce SF-2582 controller. With an impressive set of enterprise features geared for the datacenter, we test the SSDNow E100 against the current top enterprise SSD's.
Kingston's humble roots began with just one memory product back in 1987. With time, and a focus on quality and reliability, they have expanded into the world's largest independent manufacturer of memory products. Kingston's stellar reputation for quality products and service after the sale has secured them a large customer base in both the client and enterprise markets.
The Kingston SSDNow E100 is designed for entry-level enterprise applications and touts high endurance and admirable performance characteristics as its hallmarks. The reliable LSI SandForce SF-2500 enterprise-class controller in tandem with 32nm Toshiba eMLC Toggle NAND powers the SSDNow E100. This combination delivers 500MB/s in sequential read speed, and a tiered write speed depending upon the capacity utilized. The SSDNow E100 comes in capacities of 100GB, 200GB and 400GB; the largest provides 260MB/s in sequential write and the two smaller capacities sport a slightly lower 255MB/s write speed.
The Toshiba eMLC Toggle NAND is an important component that brings 30,000 P/E cycles into play. This durable NAND brings a tremendous amount of endurance to the table. Laying the solid foundation with high-endurance NAND is a great start, but any SSD is only as good as the controller.
The LSI SandForce controllers leverage DuraClass technology to extend the life of the SSD and provide enhanced speed. DuraWrite focuses around the use of compression logic that shrinks the amount of data written to the NAND. This provides a two-fold advantage, with less data written to the NAND users gain an appreciable boost in speed, and an accompanying increase of endurance, due to less NAND wear. Compressing the data also leaves extra free space on the NAND for the controller to use for its own purposes, helping to significantly lower write amplification. Many workloads in enterprise scenarios, such as database and OLTP applications, are composed of easily compressible data. This gives SandForce powered SSD's a tangible advantage in these environments.
Performance is not the most admirable trait in most deployments, reliability trumps all else. R.A.I.S.E. (Redundant Array of Silicon Elements) functionality is baked into all SandForce SSD's to protect the data on the NAND.
R.A.I.S.E is a NAND level redundancy scheme that uses one NAND die to provide parity data. Some manufacturers disable RAISE, and its accompanying data protection, in favor of gaining more capacity. There are also some current top-tier enterprise SSD's that do not provide data redundancy at the drive level. This extra level of data protection is critical in the majority of enterprise deployments.
The Kingston E100 rounds out its data protection features with end-to-end CRC protection and ECC recovery up to 55 bits correctable per 512-byte sector. This functionality is paired with a robust set of Tantalum capacitors that function well in high heat environments. This array of capacitors provide enough power to write any data in transit down to the NAND in the event of a host-power loss issue, and eliminates a single point of failure in the power hold-up solution.
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