The CoreRise Comay BladeDrive E28 PCIe SSD comes in a full-height 3/4-length form factor. The BladeDrive is a sequential access dynamo, with top speeds of 3,400 MB/s sequential read and 3,200 MB/s sequential write. 4k random read weighs in at an impressive 520,000 IOPS, and 4k random write speed is 440,000 IOPS. Perhaps most impressive are the massive capacity points available. The model we are testing today comes with 1,600GB of storage, and models are available with 800GB and 3,200GB.
Comay is the SSD division for the China-based company CoreRise. Comay is one of the world's largest manufacturers of SSDs and features an extensive line of SSDs for enterprise, industrial, military, and client environments. Comay invests considerable resources into R&D, and their broad background and manufacturing capability leads to many unique features and builds on their SSD products.
Comay's BladeDrive is their first foray into the PCIe SSD market. Comay's experience with multiple custom LSI SandForce SSDs went into the design and build of the BladeDrive E28. The BladeDrive crams eight of the LSI SF-2581 controllers onto the drive. The SF-2581 is an enterprise grade controller with extensive history in the datacenter, and the BladeDrive marks the debut of Comay's first RAID controller. The SBC208 is an 8-channel proprietary controller Comay designed internally, and it is used exclusively in their BladeDrive PCIe SSDs.
Comay utilizes their Cap-X system for power fail protection. Two large capacitors provide enough power to flush the data to the NAND in the event of power loss. LSI SandForce controllers do not utilize DRAM, which is a significant advantage in power loss situations.
Power consumption can be prohibitive with some large capacity PCIe SSDs. The Comay BladeDrive consumes a maximum of 35W under load, which is over the 25W technical limit on some motherboards. Many motherboards can easily handle 35W from the PCIe slot, and unlike other solutions, the BladeDrive E28 doesn't require external power. This reduces cabling and clutter.
Data protection is handled with AES-128, and the BladeDrive also supports SCSI UNMAP commands. This provides TRIM functionality in situations where the host operating system can pass the command. LSI SandForce RAISE technology (Redundant Array of Independent Silicon Elements) provides RAID-5 like data protection, and BCH ECC is rated to 55 bits per sector.
Making a jump into the PCIe space can be a bit daunting; there are several entrenched players in this space with a long history of delivering reliable solutions. Today, we are placing the BladeDrive against the Micron P420m and the Micron P320h. The P420m is a value-oriented PCIe SSD that utilizes 25nm MLC NAND, while the P320h sets the bar for high performance with its SLC NAND. This varied test pool will help ascertain the position of the BladeDrive in the PCIe SSD market.
A considerable strength of the BladeDrive comes in its capacity. There simply are not many PCIe SSDs that offer 3,200GB of flash capacity on one device. The BladeDrive also provides endurance ratings of 3, 6, and 12 PiB. The endurance threshold is competitive with other MLC PCIe SSDs on the market.
The design utilizes SSD and RAID controllers to handle all processing. This is in contrast to some solutions that use the host system resources for SSD management. When scaling beyond one PCIe SSD per system, the offloaded architecture allows for cleaner performance scaling and does not subject the host system to undue resource consumption. Comay provides multi-drive performance specifications that indicate near-linear performance scaling.
Comay also includes an easy-to-use GUI for management and SMART data monitoring. The BladeDrive E28 features an MTBF of 2,000,000 hours and a 3-year limited warranty. Let's take a look at the impressive collection of flash on the next page.