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SMART Storage Systems CloudSpeed 500 Enterprise SSD Review (Page 1)

SMART Storage Systems CloudSpeed 500 Enterprise SSD Review

The CloudSpeed 500 leverages SMART Storage Technology's Guardian Technology suite to provide a low-cost SSD that features enhanced endurance and performance, along with host power-fail protection.

By Paul Alcorn | Apr 16, 2013 08:56 am CDT
Rating: 93%Manufacturer: Smart Storage Systems



The award winning CloudSpeed 500 from Smart Storage Systems offers up admirable endurance specifications and provides enterprise-class features at a price point competitive with consumer hardware. This addresses the gap between heavy-workload SSDs and client SSD products.

The 6Gb/s CloudSpeed 500 delivers 500MB/s in sequential read/write speed and 60,000/20,000 random read/write IOPS. The SSD is available in 120, 240, and 480GB capacities. Featuring the proven LSI SandForce SF-2581, an enterprise version of the SF-2281 controller, in tandem with SMART Storage Systems proprietary technologies provides a solid platform for the CloudSpeed 500.

The Guardian Technology Suite, covered in more detail on the following page, allows SMART Storage Systems to take typical consumer-grade MLC NAND and extend its lifetime to 15,000 P/E cycles. This is a 3x-5x improvement over normal MLC NAND. This allows the CloudSpeed 500 to withstand 1.2 full random drive writes per day (DWPD). This important specification underlines one of the key advantages of the CloudSpeed 500 over client SSDs.

Pricing is always a big concern, and many times the exorbitant pricing of some high-end enterprise-class SSDs can lead administrators to deploy client SSDs into servers to save on upfront acquisition costs. By deploying relatively cheap client hardware, and simply replacing the SSDs as they wear out, companies can enjoy large cost savings over some enterprise SSDs.

This 'Rip-and-Replace' model provides initial advantages in the pricing department, but there are significant trade-offs in performance and data protection. Consumer SSDs are not designed for the heavy workloads of enterprise environments, and performance falls rapidly in these scenarios.


The CloudSpeed 500 also includes power capacitors not found in consumer hardware, which allow all data to be committed to NAND in the event of a host power-loss issue. SandForce processors also feature R.A.I.S.E. (Redundant Array of Independent Silicon Elements) technology. This baked-in feature provides data redundancy in the event of uncorrectable errors.

R.A.I.S.E., along with full data path protection, provides a higher level of protection for data not offered by consumer products. In concert with ECC, this results in an UBER (Uncorrectable Bit Error Rate) of less than 1 in 10^18 bits read. This is a tremendous 100X improvement over the JEDEC JESD 218 spec for enterprise-grade SSDs.

SMART Storage Systems brings the features and reliability of a tier-one OEM enterprise SSD into a competitive price point that in the past was unattainable for an SSD with these features. Backing the enhanced endurance, performance, and data protection technologies with a five year warranty gives SMART's customers peace of mind that their storage devices will function reliably in demanding scenarios.

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