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SanDisk Optimus Eco SSD RAID Enterprise Performance Analysis (Page 1)

SanDisk Optimus Eco SSD RAID Enterprise Performance Analysis

SanDisk's Optimus Eco is a widely deployed enterprise SAS SSD that delivers tremendous performance. We test eight of them in various DAS configurations.

By Paul Alcorn on Oct 17, 2014 09:03 am CDT



Boosting existing infrastructure is one of the most common applications for enterprise SSDs. The average CPU utilization in the datacenter is rising primarily through the benefits of virtualized environments, but the overwhelming majority of servers are still far below 100%. Increasing CPU usage maximizes application license usage, and many licenses are limited to the server, CPU, or even CPU core. Boosting server utilization relieves the requirement for more servers, and thus more licenses, to complete the task. Slipping in a few SSDs can deliver tremendous performance advantages, and allow fewer servers to handle more work. Additionally, utilizing SSDs has the added benefit of reducing power consumption, cooling requirements, and they require less space.

Virtualization can deliver more ROI from the server, but typically just serves to move the bottleneck to the storage subsystem. Virtualized architectures can also stress existing networking systems for servers that utilize networked storage. This simply moves the bottleneck to another source, well before the administrator realizes full CPU utilization. Performance-hungry applications require streamlined architectures, and benefit from nimble storage arrays.

Moving working sets from disk, NAS, or SAN, to server-side flash provides immediate performance benefits, and the current generation of SSDs is refined and able to deliver more than enough performance for any DAS deployment. The proven reliability and intense performance of today's SSDs has changed the question from whether or not to deploy SSDs, to how and where to deploy them.

The vagaries of SSD RAID scaling in RAID can be tricky, and SSD performance variability can adversely affect the benefits of stacking several SSDs onto a HBA or RAID controller. Inconsistent performance and errant I/O's slow down the RAID controller and reduce the speed of the array to the speed of the slowest I/O. Long before other competitors in the enterprise SSD market began preaching about performance consistency, the Optimus series from SanDisk was delivering market-leading consistency.


The 6Gb/s SAS SanDisk Optimus ECO is a good example of a venerable OEM-class drive that works well in RAID arrays due to enhanced performance consistency. Our original look at a single Optimus ECO left us impressed with its performance consistency. Reliability and high-availability are steadfast requirements in most environments, and the dual-port SAS connection provides multipath, failover, and wideport capabilities.

The proprietary Guardian Technology Platform consists of several key components that enhance reliability and endurance. FlashGuard utilizes adaptive DSP (Digital Signal Processing) in concert with advanced ECC algorithms to combat data errors, thus extending the endurance of the underlying NAND. DataGuard provides full data path protection and F.R.A.M.E. (Flexible Redundant of Memory Elements) functionality. F.R.A.M.E. is a cross-die, data redundancy feature, similar to parity, which allows for data reconstruction in the event of a catastrophic event such as a flash page, or even an entire NAND block failure. EverGuard is a third-generation host power-loss protection approach that protects against unexpected power events. Discrete ploy-Tantalum capacitors supply power to flush all data to NAND during power loss.

For our testing we utilize the 12Gb/s LSI MegaRAID 9361-8i that we recently evaluated. We test RAID 0 and RAID 10 configurations, and it is important to note that we test with default RAID settings with Direct I/O and Write Through enabled. This limits RAID controller interference while we focus on the performance of the SSDs themselves, but caching can help boost performance in some scenarios.

The Optimus Eco covers the bases with excellent data integrity features, power-loss protection, extended endurance, and a five-year warranty. Let's take a closer look at how much performance eight of these leading, enterprise-class SSDs can deliver in DAS configurations.

PRICING: You can find the SanDisk Optimus ECO for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

United States: The 400GB SanDisk Optimus ECO retails for $839.38 at Amazon, and the 800GB SanDisk Optimus ECO retails for $2,335.30 at Amazon.

Canada: The 800GB SanDisk Optimus ECO retails for CDN$2,763.66 at Amazon Canada.

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Paul Alcorn


The quest for benchmark world records led Paul further and further down the overclocking rabbit hole. SSDs and RAID controllers were a big part of that equation, allowing him to push performance to the bleeding edge. Finding the fastest and most extreme storage solutions led to experience with a myriad of high-end enterprise devices. Soon testing SSDs and Enterprise RAID controllers at the limits of their performance became Paul's real passion, one that is carried out through writing articles and reviews.

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