IT/Datacenter & Super Computing News - Page 8

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

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Seagate displays Kinetic Ethernet-connected HDDs at CES 2015

Paul Alcorn | Jan 7, 2015 10:18 AM CST

CES 2015 -HDDs are evolving to address new challenges in the datacenter, and the Seagate Kinetic line offers a radical new way of improving performance and reducing TCO. Hyperscale customers are constantly looking for refined systems to lower operating costs, and new data storage methods to address the massive influx of data.

Kinetic drives interact with an open-source Seagate-developed API that eschews normal filesystem implementations in favor of more robust Key/Value Object storage. The Kinetic platform also dramatically reduces host overhead and removes CPU processing from the majority of tasks.

The Kinetic drives are physically similar to normal HDDs, but connect via a dual Ethernet connection. This provides multipath and fail-over capabilities. The drives can also perform disk-to-disk data migration and other tasks independently.

Continue reading: Seagate displays Kinetic Ethernet-connected HDDs at CES 2015 (full post)

Marvell displays their new, and incredibly small, NVMe SSD controllers

Paul Alcorn | Jan 7, 2015 9:30 AM CST

Storage Visions 2015 -Mike Chen from Marvell stopped by the TweakTown booth at Storage Visions 2015 to display the Altaplus controller along with a new SSD that has an integrated controller on the NAND package. NVMe has several performance advantages, but also enables low power operation modes particularly well-suited for mobile applications. Marvell is delivering both PCIe 2.0 and 3.0 SSD controllers that feature robust LDPC error correction technology.

Marvell displays their new, and incredibly small, NVMe SSD controllers

There are multiple lengths in the M.2 standard, and here we can see the difference in size between the different solutions.

Using a standard SD card for scale we can observe the amazingly small size of this NAND package. What makes this solution unique is the fact that it is actually a fully functional SSD. The controller is embedded into the NAND chip, which allows for ultra-dense configurations. This small SSD contains 128GB of Toshiba flash.

Continue reading: Marvell displays their new, and incredibly small, NVMe SSD controllers (full post)

Mangstor reveals the 2.7TB MX6000, the world's fastest NVMe PCIe SSD

Paul Alcorn | Jan 4, 2015 6:24 PM CST

Mangstor has a blazing fast enterprise PCIe SSD hiding in plain sight. The MX6000 comes in both HHHL and FHHL form factors, and features 2TB and 2.7TB of eMLC NAND, respectively. With 1 million random read IOPS and 600,000 random write IOPS the MX6000 lays claim to the title of the fastest PCIe SSD in the world. Thee MX6000 also provides protection from host power loss with a unique solution.

Mangstor reveals the 2.7TB MX6000, the world's fastest NVMe PCIe SSD

Typical SSDs have a volatile DRAM cache, which requires power-fail circuitry and capacitors to protect the cache. The MX6000 utilizes a next-generation 64MB MRAM cache from Everspin, which provides built-in write persistence for all data, simplifying design and firmware. The MX6000 boasts a beast of an FPGA with 100 cores running at 500MHz to manage the flash. The card utilizes eMLC to provide a robust 8-10 DWPD threshold that will satisfy the most demanding workloads.

Mangstor is already providing PCIe SSDs to OEMs, but they are also expanding to SME/SMB environments and the branded market. Look to these pages soon for competitive performance analysis of the product alongside other leading solutions in the PCIe SSD category of our IT/Datacenter section.

Continue reading: Mangstor reveals the 2.7TB MX6000, the world's fastest NVMe PCIe SSD (full post)

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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, 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)