IT/Datacenter & Super Computing News - Page 8

The latest and most important IT/Datacenter & Super Computing news - Page 8.

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SATA-IO displays 8TB HGST Ultrastar He8 at Storage Visions 2015

Paul Alcorn | Jan 4, 2015 5:05 PM CST

Storage Visions 2015 - At the SATA-IO booth at Storage Visions an HGST Ultrastar He8 HDD is on display. The new high capacity drives from HGST are utilizing helium, with their HelioSeal technology, to reduce air resistance and vibration. This allows them to cram more platters into the standard 3.5" form factor. The He8 features the same 7stac architecture as its predecessor, the Ultrastar He6 (review here). This architecture utilizes 7 platters and 14 heads.

SATA-IO displays 8TB HGST Ultrastar He8 at Storage Visions 2015 |

The net benefit is 33% more capacity with a decrease of 23% for idle power consumption. The He8 also offers 44% better Watts per TB. The drives also feature Instant Secure Erase for security and Rebuild Assist to speed RAID recovery tasks.

Continue reading: SATA-IO displays 8TB HGST Ultrastar He8 at Storage Visions 2015 (full post)

PMC-Sierra joins OpenPOWER foundation

Paul Alcorn | Dec 18, 2014 2:30 PM CST

PMC-Sierra has joined the OpenPOWER Foundation, which is dedicated to developing advanced server, networking, storage and acceleration technology, along with open source software. The open source movement is radically altering the design of hyperscale and cloud data centers by providing more efficiency at lower cost.

PMC-Sierra joins OpenPOWER foundation 01

The OpenPOWER group makes POWER hardware and software available to open development for the first time, as well as making POWER intellectual property licensable to others, greatly expanding the ecosystem of innovators on the platform. PMC will leverage their deep knowledge of SAS and NVMe controllers to help develop new I/O interfaces by sponsoring a new I/O workgroup, along with IBM, Emulex, QLogic and Mellanox.

"Participating in the I/O workgroup with IBM and integrating our products into the OpenPOWER platform ensures that our customers have access to the latest cloud and big data storage technology," said Kurt Chan, vice president of storage technology and strategy for PMC's Enterprise Storage Division. "As a market leader in SAS and NVMe controllers, working with the industry to define new I/O interfaces and being at the forefront of new developments enables PMC to deliver the most advanced products for open architectures."

Continue reading: PMC-Sierra joins OpenPOWER foundation (full post)

Crossbar touts latest breakthrough in RRAM technology, due in 2016

Paul Alcorn | Dec 18, 2014 11:44 AM CST

Crossbar has recently made some encouraging gains in the path to commercializing 3D RRAM by 2016. 3D Resistive RAM (RRAM) promises to break the barriers associated with the reduced endurance of NAND as the lithography shrinks. While the best-in-class SLC NAND can pull off 100,000 write-erase cycles, 3D RRAM can deliver an exponential gain to a mind-boggling 100 million write cycles. 3D RRAM is also denser, up to 10X per chip compared to NAND, and provides speeds up to 20 times that of flash. As an added bonus, it draws less power. Seems to be too good to be true, right? Basically unlimited endurance, faster performance, lower power consumption, and it's all wrapped up in one amazingly dense 1TB chip the size of a postage stamp? Providing a product with the performance of RAM, but the persistence of NAND, is the Holy Grail. But is it feasible?

Crossbar touts latest breakthrough in RRAM technology, due in 2016 |

Crossbar believes they are on the cusp of delivering this almost too good to be true product. Crossbar outlined some of the latest advancements at the 2014 International Electron Devices Meeting. Crossbar has patented their Field Assisted Superlinear Threshold Selector, which overcomes the limitations of a sneak path current issue. Sneak path current disrupts the reading of data from RRAM's cells. By eliminating the problem Crossbar has made a huge breakthrough that will see wearable products entering the market in 2016, at least by their estimates, and SSDs roughly 18 months after. We would assume they mean late 2016.

Bringing a new memory technology to market is fraught with obstacles. Reliability comes first, but then there has to be a method of producing the product with decent yields on a cost-effective basis. Even the most promising of storage products isn't going to be successful if it cannot be productized at a reasonable cost. SSDs still fall to the venerable HDD in terms of cost-per-GB, even as prices continue to decline. Competing with NAND is going to be tough as RRAM comes out of the gate. NAND is a proven, mature, and refined technology that can deliver cost-competitive products. One positive aspect is that RRAM is completely compatible with standard manufacturing techniques employed in NAND fabrication, which should speed manufacturing and reduce initial product investments.

Continue reading: Crossbar touts latest breakthrough in RRAM technology, due in 2016 (full post)

Toshiba launches 6TB 7,200 RPM MG04 HDD

Paul Alcorn | Dec 18, 2014 10:19 AM CST

Toshiba has announced the release of their latest datacenter HDD, the 6TB MG04 series. The MG04 comes in SAS and SATA flavors and also touts a 30% increase in the sustained data rate. The models also feature Toshiba's persistent write cache technology. This technology persists data to the storage medium by utilizing the rotation of the disk platters during a power loss event to generate enough power to flush the data. This power loss protection technique lends another layer of protection for key business-critical storage systems.

Toshiba launches 6TB 7,200 RPM MG04 HDD |

The MG04 spins at 7,200 RPM to deliver nearline-class seek performance, and the increased storage density delivers 50% better power efficiency, on a watts-per-TB basis, than previous 4TB models. The drives use 4K native and 512e sector lengths, and models are available with ISE (Instant Secure Erase) functionality. The SAS drives also sport a 12Gb/s connection for compatibility with the latest hardware. The competition in the HDD arena is heating up as we move to denser HDD storage solutions, and the continued advances in HDD technology compliment Toshiba's vast flash-based product portfolio.

Toshiba currently had topped out at 5TB with the MG04 series, and the inclusion of the 6TB model places them on equal footing with their main competitors. The new drives will begin sampling to OEM customers in Q1 2015. For the latest competitive performance analysis of the datacenter HDD segment head to our HDD category in the IT/Datacenter section.

Continue reading: Toshiba launches 6TB 7,200 RPM MG04 HDD (full post)

WD purchases Skyera to infuse HGST with all-flash array technology

Paul Alcorn | Dec 15, 2014 10:48 AM CST

WD has announced the all-cash purchase of Skyera, a leading all-flash array vendor. The Skyera acquisition will be folded into HGST, which is fast becoming the flash arm of WD. The purchase of Skyera has larger implications to the world of flash storage as a whole, as it embodies the movement of HGST up the stack to delivering fully-functional storage subsystems.

WD purchases Skyera to infuse HGST with all-flash array technology |

HGST has been making several key moves in recent years as it solidifies its position as a flash power house. HGST recently brought in Virident and sTEC for their broad storage portfolios and IP, and Velobit was also added to increase their capabilities in the flash-based software acceleration space. These acquisitions have cost WD a whopping $1.4 billion, but solidify their position in the expanding flash market.

Skyera has powerful 1U skyHawk products on the market that pack 136TB of flash, and skyEagle is in the works to provide up to 500TB. These high-powered all-flash arrays lead the market in density and pack quite the performance punch. Skyera was co-founded by Radoslav Danilak, who also pioneered SandForce controllers. Radoslav recently stepped down to become the CTO of the company while Frankie Roohparvar stepped in as CEO. Financial details of the deal are not being disclosed, but estimates run from $200 to $500 million.

Continue reading: WD purchases Skyera to infuse HGST with all-flash array technology (full post)

OCZ Storage Solutions Z-Drive 6000 SSD earns NVMe 1.1b certification

Paul Alcorn | Dec 11, 2014 2:44 PM CST

The world of NVMe is expanding at a rapid clip. More devices are becoming certified every week that support the optimized register interface, which radically boosts performance with non-volatile memory devices of all flavors. As outlined in our Defining NVMe Article, NVMe delivers on its promises and has the potential to revolutionize how we address flash storage.

OCZ Storage Solutions Z-Drive 6000 SSD earns NVMe 1.1b certification |

OCZ Storage Solutions, a Toshiba Group Company, joins the fray with the new Z-Drive 6000. The Z-Drive 6000 is a high-performance datacenter SSD that features a PCIe 3.0 connection in a 2.5" enclosure. This is made possible by the SFF-8639 connector, which brings front-bay access and serviceability to PCIe connection. Obtaining the NVMe 1.1b certification from the UNH-IOL interoperability lab guarantees that the Z-Drive 6000 is fully functional and NVMe compliant. Many of the current shipping NVMe products are compliant with older versions of the NVMe specification, and new features with NVMe 1.1b offer enhanced compatibility and capabilities.

OCZ is flush with flash now that they are part of the larger Toshiba conglomerate, and this affords them access to advanced engineering and the ability to offer more competitively priced products. The SSD is powered by the popular PMC Princeton controller, which has recently made a trip through our labs, and leverages OCZ-proprietary firmware optimizations. The Z-Drive 6000 touts whopping capacities up to 6.4TB and rumored performance north of 3GB/s, which should satiate the needs of even the most demanding users. The Z-Drive 6000 is currently shipping to selected customers, and general availability is slated for early 2015.

Continue reading: OCZ Storage Solutions Z-Drive 6000 SSD earns NVMe 1.1b certification (full post)

Avago announces new 12Gb/s SAS 16-port 9300 HBA Series

Paul Alcorn | Dec 10, 2014 11:45 AM CST

Avago has announced the expansion of their successful 9300 HBA series to include two new 12Gb/s SAS 16-port models. The ever-changing datacenter has necessitated high port-count solutions to address DAS and external configurations. The 9300-16i and 9300-16e address these requirements with 16 native ports in internal and external flavors. Avago has accomplished this feat by merging two SAS 3008 controllers onto the same device. Each of these controllers, in tandem with the Fusion MPT 2.5 architecture, deliver plenty of grunt power to handle challenging workloads.

Avago announces new 12Gb/s SAS 16-port 9300 HBA Series 01

In aggregate both controllers deliver nearly 2 million IOPS for the HBA. The HBA's connect to the host via an x8 PCIe 3.0 connection and are backwards compatible with previous SAS and SATA revisions. The Fusion MPT (Message-Passing Technology) architecture leverages in-box drivers for ease of deployment and wide compatibility while delivering maximum host CPU offload capability.

Both adaptors are full-height and feature mini-SAS HD ports that can control up to 1024 non-RAID devices. Power draw weighs in at 27W for the internal and 28.6W for the external versions. There is an auxiliary power connector for power-constrained PCIe ports. For a look at the latest competitive performance analysis of Avago (previously LSI) components head over to our RAID/HBA category in the IT/Datacenter section.

Continue reading: Avago announces new 12Gb/s SAS 16-port 9300 HBA Series (full post)

Seagate 8TB Archive HDD listed at amazing prices

Paul Alcorn | Dec 9, 2014 11:30 AM CST

The pressing need for more storage at an affordable price point has just been addressed by Seagate. Numerous online vendors have begun posting pricing and shipment information for the new Seagate Archive 8TB HDD. This new drive will be available to Amazon customers on Jan 7th, 2015, and comes with a shockingly low price tag of only $267 each. Seagate has claimed that their new Archive series 8TB will offer the industries best cost per GB and watt, and from the current pricing it seems they will deliver.

Seagate 8TB Archive HDD listed at amazing prices |

The SATA 6Gb/s Archive HDDs come in 5, 6, and 8TB capacities and offer 1.33TB of storage per platter. These drives are geared for storage over performance and feature a spindle speed of 5,900 RPM. Another key point with these drives is the SMR technology that delivers astounding density. SMR (Shingled Magnetic Recording) overlaps tracks on the platter to produce more storage capacity. Due to SMR architecture there are a few drawbacks, notably in performance and compatibility. There are two flavors of SMR coming to the forefront, drive-managed and software managed. Software-managed products require an associated API or software to allow proper function, but drive-managed offerings handle all SMR processing internally. The Seagate Archive HDD features a drive-managed format that delivers excellent out-of-the box compatibility. The Seagate DiskWizard software allows installation of the massive drives in Windows even without an UEFI BIOS.

There are secure models available to meet data security requirements, and the Archive series is geared to address online archiving, object storage, big data cold storage, and web-scale archiving requirements. The drives feature 128MB of cache, a maximum sustained data rate of 190 MB/s, and an average of 150MB/s. The two high density 6 and 8TB models have 12 heads and six platters, and the 5TB model packs eight heads and four platters. The drives features all of the usual Seagate datacenter-specific trimmings, and feature a low power draw of 7.5W operating and 5.0 Watts Idle. Sleep and standby power draw is lower than 1 watt, which is perfect for the target audience. Data reliability weighs in at 1 per 10E14 and the drives feature a workload rating of 180 TB per year with an 800,000 hour MTBF.

Continue reading: Seagate 8TB Archive HDD listed at amazing prices (full post)

QLogic joins NVM Express initiative as NVMe Over Fibre spec emerges

Paul Alcorn | Dec 3, 2014 12:04 PM CST

NVM Express, or NVMe, is an optimized interface designed specifically for non-volatile memories, such as flash. As detailed in our Defining NVMe article, NVMe offers unparalleled performance over the PCIe bus. The NVMe specification lays the groundwork for the base technology, but complementary technologies are entering development to further enhance its capabilities. One particularly promising specification is the NVMe Over Fiber standard. This allows for end-to-end NVMe over Infiniband, Ethernet with RDMA, and Intel's Omni Scale Fabric.

QLogic joins NVM Express initiative as NVMe Over Fibre spec emerges 01

Flash has long been confined inside the server in DAS (Direct Attached Storage) configurations. This keeps the SSD as close to the processor as possible, and eliminates network latency. NVMe Over Fibre offers refined performance by removing the SCSI translation layer, which adds latency when communicating over the network. According to recent surveys, network congestion is the most pressing issue for IT professionals. The NVMe Over Fibre standard will refine communication between clusters, and SSDs can be addressed from remote servers as if the PCIe SSD were plugged directly into the server. Qlogic is one of the leading suppliers of server networking products, and their entrance into the NVM Express consortium will likely speed development and adoption of NVMe Over Fibre as well.

SAN and NAS deployments are falling out of favor in the datacenter, and there is a move to VSAN and other server-SAN implementations. Much of this migration to DAS configurations is prompted by latency-inducing network protocols. Unadulterated NVMe SSD performance over the network will surely have administrators salivating as it moves closer to market, and could yet again alter high-performance storage deployments in the datacenter.

Continue reading: QLogic joins NVM Express initiative as NVMe Over Fibre spec emerges (full post)

Toshiba launches HK3E2 and HK3R2 enterprise SSDs

Paul Alcorn | Dec 3, 2014 10:36 AM CST

Toshiba has been aggressively pushing further in to the datacenter SSD market. Toshiba is surfing the wave of flash pouring into the datacenter, and they recently posted a 70.5% quarter over quarter jump in Q2 2014. There are other sharks swimming in the same pool, and competition for slots has been tough as Intel, Micron, and Samsung also have very competitive products. Toshiba has a long history with flash, they actually invented it, but they also have an often-overlooked advantage of being the only fab-enabled SSD manufacturer with HDD manufacturing as well. This provides them a complete portfolio in the two backbones of enterprise storage.

Toshiba launches HK3E2 and HK3R2 enterprise SSDs |

NVMe and PCIe are hot topics as of late, but SATA SSDs are also one of the fastest growing segments in the datacenter. Toshiba has announced two new SSDs to address this market. The HK3E2 is a value-endurance 6Gb/s SATA SSD that offers 3 DWPD (Drive Writes Per Day) of endurance, tailoring it well for mainstream enterprise applications such as exchange mail servers, web servers, database servers, indexing servers and data center storage workloads. Power loss protection is included and the HK3E2 sports speeds of 75,000/30,000 random read/write IOPS. The HK3E2 also features sequential read/write speeds of 500/400 MiB/s.

Toshiba is also providing the HK3R2 series to address read-centric workloads. The HK3R2 features 1 DWPD of endurance and speeds up to 75,000/12,000 random read/write IOPS. It also offers a beefy 500/400 MiB/s sequential write speed, and is designed for read intensive applications and workloads such as read caching, video streaming and data center storage. Both SSDs feature power loss protection and Toshiba's proprietary QSBC (Quadruple Swing-By Code) error control algorithms, which provide enhanced resilience to data failures.

Continue reading: Toshiba launches HK3E2 and HK3R2 enterprise SSDs (full post)

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