Subject: General Tech | August 10, 2012 - 02:50 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: micron, ssd, PCIe SSD
Micron has really jumped into the SSD business, which makes sense given that they have been creating flash-based storage for quite a while now. They do not feel that simply producing flash memory is enough however and have branched into storage controllers to not only make their SSDs faster but also to bring new functionality to them. The Register recently witnessed a company presentation that discussed their plans for the near future as well as enlightening customers about existing products they may not be familiar with such as their PCIe SSD cards. On the client side (read consumer) they will soon be releasing C400 series SSDs using 29nm to 20nm process moving onto a sub-20nm process soon after that. On the Enterprise side you will see the P400m SATA and P410m SAS arrive, both likely using a 25nm process. Check out the full release and see what else Micron has in store for the competition.
"The semiconductor-maker has flash foundries and delivers both solid state drives (SSDs) and PCIe-connected flash cards – the single level cell P320h for example, which is used by EMC in its VFCache product. A hot-swap version of the P320h has been adopted by Dell for server use."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Nvidia signs a deal with Lenovo for a Windows 8 RT device @ The Inquirer
- TSMC 40nm supply tightens on growing demand from MediaTek @ DigiTimes
- TSMC July sales up 12% @ DigiTimes
Subject: Storage | July 3, 2012 - 12:21 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: ssd, slc, server, sandisk, PCIe SSD, flash, enterprise, caching
Flash storage company Sandisk has recently jumped into the world of enterprise PCI-E caching SSDs – what they are calling Solid State Accelerators. Currently, they are offering a 200GB and 400GB model under the company’s Lightning PCIe series. The SSDs feature a proprietary Sandisk controller driving 24nm SLC NAND flash, a PCI-E 2.0 x4 interface, and maximum power draw of 15 watts.
The Lightning Accelerators use the NAND flash for Sandisk’s own foundry and offer a large performance boost for servers and workstations over hard drives and SATA SSDs. It is capable of 410 MB/s sequential reads or 110,000 IOPS. Further, when using 4KB and 8KB blocks, the drives can reach 23,000 and 17,000 read/write IOPS respectively. Other specifications include an average response time of 245 microseconds, and less than 30 millisecond maximum response times. The Solid State Accelerators also feature sustained read and write latencies as low as 50 microseconds.
Sandisk has built the drives so that they can be configured as boot drives, storage drives, or caching drives. The company supports up to 5 drives in a single system, for a maximum of 2TB of flash storage. In addition, Sandisk is offering up its Flashsoft software that allows the Lightning Accelerators to be used as caching drives on Windows-based systems. Unfortunately, that is an additional cost which is not included in the already pricey SSDs (good thing for corporate expense accounts!).
Speaking of pricing, the 200GB LP206M has an MSRP of $1,350 while the 400GB LP406M has an MSRP of $2,350. Both cards have five year warranties and a MTBF rating of 2 million hours. You can find more information on the Sandisk Website.
It will be interesting to see how this Sandisk accelerator stacks up to the likes of the Intel 910 and FusioIO drives! The FusionIO FX, for example, gives you 420GB of QDP MLC NAND for $2,495, which works out such that Sandisk has a slightly lower cost-per-gigabyte value and SLC flash. We will have to wait for some independant reviews to say which drive is actually faster, however.
Subject: Shows and Expos | May 31, 2012 - 12:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: thunderbolt, ssd, ocz, lightfoot, computex 2012, z-drive R4 CloudServ, SandForce 2581, PCIe SSD
OCZ will be showing off some of the same things they showed off at CES though they are much closer to release. Lightfoot is their external Thunderbolt enclosure which will house SSDs that can utilize the extra bandwith provided by the new external transfer technology. They will also being showing off Enterprise class PCIe SSDs, the brand new Intrepid line of SSDs and software designed to replace SANs in a network environment. Keep an eye out for more details as Computex grows nigh.
SAN JOSE, CA—May 31, 2012—OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ), a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, will showcase the Company's latest client and enterprise storage solutions at Computex 2012 in Taipei, Taiwan June 6 through June 9 at the Taipei International Convention Center.
Continuing to demonstrate leadership in both the enterprise and consumer markets, OCZ will display a comprehensive lineup of its innovative SSD products. For high-end business, server, and OEM clients, OCZ will showcase PCI Express (PCIe) SAN acceleration and replacement solutions, and unveil the impending Intrepid 3 SATA III SSD Series based on the Everest 2 architecture. Live demos at the booth will include both the current industry-leading Z-Drive R4 CloudServ PCIe SSD that delivers over one million IOPS, and the highly anticipated Z-Drive R5 Series based on the co-developed OCZ-Marvell Kilimanjaro platform that raises the bar in performance, reliability, and endurance. OCZ will also showcase the VXL Storage Accelerator software that enables large scale deployment of a virtualized environment for businesses to eliminate the need for costly tier-1 SANs in a wide range of enterprise IT infrastructures.
For client storage, OCZ will showcase the flagship Vertex 4 SATA III SSD, along with the upcoming ‘Lightfoot’ portable SSD designed with the Intel Thunderbolt platform that excels in data transfer speeds and offers high capacity for multimedia professionals.
Subject: Storage | May 11, 2012 - 12:07 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: SandForce SF-2281, PCIe SSD, owc, Mercury Accelsior, Marvell 88SE9230
For a company which used to only be known as a storage provide for Apple, OWC is really hitting its stride with the PCIe SSD market. Their newest Mercury Accelsior PCIe SSD family will come in four sizes, a 120GB for $359.99, $529.99 for the 240GB, $949.99 for the 480GB and the largest is 960GB at $2079.99. If you can't afford the biggest version then you will love the fact that this PCIe SSD is upgradeable with mPCIe SSDs, assumedly specifically designed for the device. These mPCIe SSDs use Toshiba 32Gb 24nm Toggle Mode MLC flash with a SandForce SF-2281 controller and you can think of the cards its self as a RAID card; essentially it uses a Marvell 88SE9230 to put the two SSDs into RAID0. SSD Reviews testing of the 480GB model saw sequential reads and writes hit well over 500MB/s.
Don't expect to boot from this card but the upgradeablilty and ease of installation certainly make this RAID card PCIe SSD combination very attractive.
**UPDATE** After hearing from an OWC rep, it would appear that this does not suffer from Al's least favourite attribute of PCIe SSDs, it is indeed bootable both on Mac and PC without even needing third party drivers. You should probably back up your OS before upgrading the Accelsior though!
"It was only a matter of time before the idea of expandable storage was introduced into the world of PCIe SSDs and, although we have seen a few prototypes in the last year, none have quite made it to market just yet. Our analysis of the OWC Mercury Accelsior 480GB PCIe SSD not only opens the possibility of upgradeable capacity sizes, but also, it just so happens to be only the second consumer targeted PCIe SSD on the market right now and is both Mac and PC ‘plug and play’ compatible."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- OCZ Vertex 4 SSD - Progress in the Firmware (testing with v1.4RC) @ Tweaktown
- OCZ Vertex 4 SSD revisited with FW 1.4RC @ Guru3D
- Zalman F1 Series 120GB SSD Review @ HardwareLOOK
- Kingston SSDNow V+ 200 120GB @ Tweaktown
- Crucial m4 256 GB Review @ HCW
- OCZ Vertex 4 128GB @ Tweaktown
- Kingston SSDNow V+ 200 120GB Solid State Drive @ Pro-Clockers
- Intel 910 Series 800GB PCIe Review - Amazing Performance Results In Both 400GB and 800GB Configurations @ SSD Review
- Corsair Performance Pro Series 256GB @ Overclockers Online
- Our Take On Western Digital's New 1 TB VelociRaptor @ Tweaktown
- Western Digital VelociRaptor 1TB Hard Drive @ Bjorn3D
- Akitio MyCloud Duo NAS @ Tweaktown
- Akitio Taurus Mini Super-S LCM External RAID Storage Review @ TechwareLabs
- SilverStone DS321 Dual-Bay HDD Enclosure Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Verbatim 500GB USB 3.0 Store 'n' Go Portable Hard Drive Review @ Legit Reviews
- Sandberg USB 3.0 HDD Cloner Review @ NikKTech
- IOSafe Rugged Portable @ LanOC Reviews
- LaCie 5big Office+ review @ Hardware.Info
- Verbatim Store ‘n’ Go Traveller: USB 3.0 750GB @ Rbmods
Subject: General Tech, Mobile | April 24, 2012 - 01:37 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: thunderbolt, PCIe SSD, pcie, mlink, apple
California based company mLogic LLC debuted a new “mLink” Thunderbolt enclosure at the NAB 2012 show that will allow users to connect PCI-E based cards to computers using Thunderbolt connections. Unfortunately, enthusiasts wishing to slap a graphics card into the enclosure are out of luck. The incompatibility is due to graphics cards not having Thunderbolt aware drivers and may be something that is rectified in the future but currently not an option.
Right now, there are only a few storage devices and networking NICs that are compatible with the mLink enclosure including Apricorn and OWC PCI-E SSDs, Atto Technology’s Fiber Channel network cards, and Atto Technology’s SAS RAID controller cards. (The full list of compatible devices is located here.) Not terribly exciting, but some users will find it very useful. The design is very streamlined and sleek, though its worth mentioning that it comes at a cost of $400 USD.
Enthusiasts wanting to add more graphics horsepower to their notebooks will have to look elsewhere, but for users that need super fast storage in a sleek industrial design enclosure it is an interesting option. The price will be something that turns many people off of it, however. It is slated to release in June with pre-orders being accepted now. More information along with photos of the device is available here.
It sure looks nice, but is this something people will actually use? Let us know in the comments!
Subject: Storage | April 2, 2012 - 05:10 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: RevoDrive 3 X2 240GB, PCIe SSD, ocz
The thing which most caught The Tech Report's eye when they examined the OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 240GB PCIe SSD was the complete lack of bridge chips. When they inquired as to just how the SuperScale storage controller manages this they didn't get a precise answer, as that would be giving away secrets, but were told it "combines processing and full DMA cores, as well as internal PCIe, SATA and SAS interfaces." Putting that mystery aside, they installed the SSD to see just how four SSDs on one card perform in real world and synthetic tests. The tests will impress you but keep in mind the cost of the card, at $2.83/GB it does not come cheap.
"Using virtualization voodoo, the RevoDrive 3 X2 combines four SandForce-based SSDs on a single PCIe card purportedly capable of transfer rates up to 1500MB/s. We take a closer look to see if the Revo is as impressive as it sounds. "
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- OCZ Releases Arowana SSD Firmware @ SSD Review
- LSI Nytro Product Family Overview - New WarpDrive XD Revealed and more @ Tweaktown
- Plextor M3 Pro 256GB @ Tweaktown
- Super Talent RAIDDrive upStream 220GB PCIe SSD @ SSD Review
- Transcend SSD720 128GB @ Kitguru
- BIWIN S836 Elite SATA 3 120GB @ SSD Review
- OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid 1TB @ Bjorn3D
- Runcore ProV Max 240GB 6Gbps SSD @ SSD Review
- Samsung 830 Series SATA 3 512GB @ SSD Review
- Micron RealSSD P400e 200GB Enterprise SATA III SSD Review @ Legit Reviews
- OCZ Synapse 64GB SSD Cache Drive Review @ Hardware Canucks
- QNAP TS-879U-RP 10GbE NAS Server @ Benchmark Reviews
- Synology DiskStation DS1512+ NAS @ TechSpot
- Western Digital My Book Live Duo (4TB) Review @ TechReviewSource
Subject: Storage | March 12, 2012 - 07:00 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Sandforce SF2281, revodrive hybrid, RevoDrive 3, PCIe SSD, ocz, hybrid ssd
If you are looking for the speed of an SSD but can't afford one big enough to hold your OS and programs there are two main ways to work around this. The first is only available to Intel SandyBridge owners and that is Intel's SRT which allows you to use a mSATA SSD as a cache drive to speed up commonly used programs. The second is to pick up a hybrid SATA drive like the Seagate Momentus XT line, which does essentially the same thing but is compatible with most systems and is self contained. Techgage would like to remind you that there is a third choice, albeit perhaps more expensive than the other two; the OCZ RevoDrive 3 Hybrid PCIe SSD. This drive sports 1TB of HDD space and 128GB of flash memory split between two SandForce 2281 controllers and at a cost of $330 gives you a lot more space than a $330 SSD.
"SSDs are expensive and often don't offer enough capacity to meet user needs. The recent SSD caching craze attempts to alleviate both these issues, but OCZ has done one better. Combining a RevoDrive 3 with a 1TB HDD the RevoDrive Hybrid offers a self-contained SSD caching solution that is guaranteed to work."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- OCZ Demonstrates Vertex 4 SSD At CeBIT 2012 - It gets Tested and Tested Again @ SSD Review
- Romex FancyCache Review - SSD Performance At 13GB/s and 765,000 IOPS In 60 Seconds Flat! @ SSD Review
- SSD Caching – “SSD, but my friends call me cache” @ TechwareLabs
- Patriot Memory Pyro 120GB 2.5” SATA III SSD Drive Review @ Madshrimps
- 128GB SSD Roundup @ Rbmods
- Verbatim 2.5" Sata-III SSD 120GB @ Rbmods
- OCZ Vertex 3 240GB SATA III 2.5" SSD Review @ Madshrimps
- RunCore Pro V Max 240GB SSD Review @ circuitREMIX
- Corsair Force Series GT 180GB SSD Review @ circuitREMIX
- Synology DiskStation DS411 and New DSM 4.0 Operating System @ X-bit Labs
- OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro Dual Mini RAID Data Storage/Backup @ SSD Review
- QNAP TurboNAS TS-419P II 4-Bay NAS Review @ eTeknix
- ICY DOCK EZ DOCK USB 3.0 HDD adaptor @ Bjorn3D
- Lacie 5big Office+ Nas Review @ TechwareLabs
- ToughTech mini-Q Encrypted Portable Drive @ TechwareLabs
- How to Buy an External Hard Drive @ TechReviewSource
- Zalman ZM-HE350u3 3.5" @ Bjorn3D
Subject: Storage | February 14, 2012 - 02:46 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: z-drive R4 CloudServ, SandForce 2581, PCIe SSD, ocz
How does 6.4TB of Synchronous Mode Multi-Level Cell NAND storage sound to you? It is still a PCIe 2.0 device but it is capable of up to 6,000 MB/s which is none too shabby.
SAN JOSE, CA—February 14, 2012—OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ), a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, today announced the Z-Drive R4 CloudServ PCI Express (PCIe) flash storage solution, designed to dramatically accelerate cloud computing applications and significantly reduce operating expenses in the data center. The new Z-Drive R4 CloudServ features monumental data throughput, and raises the bar in performance and capacity.
“The Z-Drive R4 CloudServ PCIe solid state drive delivers game-changing performance and enables clients to process massive data-sets with up to 16TB of storage capacity on a single, easy-to-deploy card,” said Ryan Petersen, CEO of OCZ Technology. “With this new solution, system architects are able to design more efficient and dynamic cloud computing infrastructures while simultaneously reducing system complexity and the high maintenance costs associated with traditional infrastructures.”
With increasing emphasis on cloud computing and the sheer growth in data, PCIe-based flash storage systems have the ability to bypass traditional storage overhead by reducing latencies, increasing throughput, and enabling efficient processing of massive quantities of data. The Z-Drive R4 CloudServ is capable of transferring multiple gigabytes per second and delivering over a million IOPS with a level of concentrated performance that enables system architects to design more productive infrastructures while lowering costs associated with hardware failure, maintenance, structural footprint, and energy consumption.
The latest evolution of the Z-Drive R4, the CloudServ, is specifically designed for the most demanding cloud computing applications with increased capacities and even greater bandwidth capabilities delivering up to 1.4 million IOPS. Melding hardware and software managed solutions with OCZ’s integrated Virtualized Controller Architecture™ (VCA) 2.0 and OCZ’s SANRAD VXL virtual acceleration caching software, the Z-Drive R4 CloudServ can be employed as a high-performing host-based flash cache that works in conjunction with the VXL to dynamically allocate flash resources to accelerate all virtual machines. This maximizes the performance of critical applications and provides a seamless migration from one host to another without the loss of cache data. As these virtual machines are migrated from one host to another, they must retain full access to the flash cache without loss of performance or interruption of service. OCZ’s SANRAD VXL software is the only software that allows for this seamless migration without loss of access to the flash cache.
The Z-Drive R4 CloudServ PCIe SSD will be available in models ranging from 300GB-16TB capacities throughout OCZ's global channel in the coming weeks. As with all OCZ enterprise products, customer-specific configurations and functionality are available upon request.
Subject: Storage | January 12, 2012 - 01:24 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ocz, revodrive hybrid, PCIe SSD
Although Al polished off his review of the OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid just before Christmas it is worth revisiting this unique hybrid of PCIe SSD and HDD. Consisting of a PCIe SSD with 100GB of usable storage and a 1TB 5400RPM HDD which uses the SSD as a cache. The Dataplex software which is needed for the RevoDrive to function properly has a small flaw; in order to function you need to be using the Hybrid drive as your boot drive. That complaint is the exact opposite of Al's problem with the first generation of PCIe SSD which could not be used as a boot drive. Read how the drive performed on RealWorldLabs test bench here.
"Aimed mostly towards professionals and enthusiasts the latest RevoDrive Hybrid 1TB PCI Express Storage Solution by OCZ combines the breathtaking read/write speeds of the RevoDrive3 PCI-E SandForce based SSD with the large capacity of a 1TB 2.5inch hard disk drive, all in one very convenient package."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- OCZ Agility 3 - 120Gb SSD @ Funky Kit
- Corsair Performance Pro 256GB SSD Review @ Neoseeker
- Kingston HyperX 240 GB @ techPowerUp
- Seagate 500GB Momentus XT Solid State Hybrid Hard Drive @ PCSTATS
- Patriot Pyro SE 120GB & 240GB SSD Review @ Neoseeker
- Nero 11 Platinum Software Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Hard Disk Drive Myths Debunked! Rev. 4.9 @ TechARP
- Synology DiskStation DS212+ NAS Server Review @ Real World Labs
- Thecus N5200XXX @ Computing on Demand
- Seagate 2TB Barracuda XT 6Gb/s SATA III @ PCSTATS
Subject: Storage, Shows and Expos | January 9, 2012 - 06:05 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: z-drive r5, z-drive R4 CloudServ RM1616, ssd, PCIe SSD, ocz, indilinx everest 2, chiron 4TB SSD, CES
LAS VEGAS, Jan. 9, 2012 - International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012 - OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ), a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs), today announces the debut of new and exciting SSD solutions. Using the world's most popular technology tradeshow as a platform, OCZ's latest SSDs demonstrate a commitment to advancing flash storage technology into greater realms of performance and versatility, further driving adoption in client and enterprise applications.
"CES represents a great opportunity for us to showcase our latest storage technology, and highlight next generation cloud-optimized solid state solutions that address today's enterprise needs," said Ryan Petersen, CEO of OCZ Technology. "Once again we have been able to leverage our increased R&D strength and our understanding of client needs to change the face of solid state storage and deliver innovative new solutions far ahead of our competitors, demonstrating technology leadership across all product categories."
OCZ will introduce next generation solutions designed to deliver higher performance, reliability, and storage capacity to meet the demands of the enterprise market with industry-leading products. OCZ products to be unveiled at CES include:
Z-Drive R5 – Utilizing the OCZ and Marvell co-developed Kilimanjaro platform, the fifth generation Z-Drive R5 is designed to accelerate "big data" like never before. As the world's first PCIe x16 Gen 3 SSD, which supports up to 16GB/s of total bandwidth, the R5 will be 2012's most advanced SSD, featuring performance that reaches up to an incredible 2.52 million IOPS and 7.2GB/s sequential transfers per card, with unlimited scalability and performance aggregation capability. With optional power fail protection the R5 will be available in a range of form factors including full height, half height, and 2.5-inch PCIe. The R5's industry-leading performance and storage capacities make pure flash storage in mission-critical applications possible.
Indilinx Everest 2 – The SATA 3.0-based third generation Indilinx controller is designed specifically for I/O-intensive workloads in a wide range of applications, supporting sequential speeds of up to 550MB/s, and up to 105,000 random read and 90,000 Random Write IOPS with the newest 2xnm flash technology. The Everest 2 platform supports up to 2TB capacity in a compact 2.5-inch form factor.
Z-Drive R4 CloudServ RM1616 – Making 16TB of storage on a single PCIe card a reality, the new Z-Drive R4 CloudServ RM1616 is the newest addition to the award-winning R4 Series. With performance of up to 6.5GB/s and over 1.4 million IOPS, the Z-Drive R4 CloudServ's level of concentrated performance and capacity enables system architects to design more productive infrastructures while lowering operating costs associated with hard drive technology.
Chiron 4TB SSD – The world's fastest and highest capacity SATA SSD for the enterprise, the Chiron Series provides a staggering 4TB in a compact 3.5-inch form factor. With performance exceeding SATA 3.0 bus capabilities, Chiron delivers speeds above 560MB/s and 100,000 IOPS. Eliminating the need for high capacity HDDs as anything other than backup devices, the Chiron Series enables mass SSD storage and is capable of deploying up to 96TB of storage in a 4U rackmount server chassis.
OCZ's enterprise showcase demonstrations will include, among others, an IBM System x3650 M3 highlighting the performance potential of the new Z-Drive R5 PCIe Gen 3 in a Linux server environment, as well as a HP ProLiant DL370 G6 server equipped with two Z-Drive R4 RM1616s delivering 1,400,000 IOPS per card with Windows Server 2008. In addition, drives based on the next-generation Indilinx Everest 2 platform will be demonstrated, as well as a prototype of "Lightfoot," an external Intel Thunderbolt SSD unveiling a new generation of high-performance portable storage.
PC Perspective's CES 2012 coverage is sponsored by MSI Computer.
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!