Sandisk Launches PCIe Solid State Accelerators (SSAs)

Subject: Storage | July 3, 2012 - 12:21 AM |
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.

 

SandiskSSA.jpg

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.

 

Source: Sandisk

Podcast #208 - AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHZ Edition, Intel Core i5-3470, our Blindfolded APU build and more!

Subject: General Tech | June 28, 2012 - 05:18 PM |
Tagged: Vertex 4, thunderbolt, ssd, podcast, nvidia, i5-3470, hd7970, blindfolded, APU, 7970 ghz edition

PC Perspective Podcast #208 - 06/28/2012

Join us this week as we talk about the AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHZ Edition, Intel Core i5-3470, our Blindfolded APU build and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath and Allyn Malvantano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!

Program length: 1:05:24

Program Schedule:

  1. Introduction
  2. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  3. http://pcper.com/podcast
  4. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  5. 0:01:42 AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition
  6. 0:09:10 Live Review Recap: AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition
  7. 0:10:30 Silverstone Crown Series CW02 case review
  8. 0:13:50 Intel Core i5-3470 IVB Review
  9. 0:21:11 This Podcast is brought to you by MSI!
  10. 0:22:05 Live Video Recap: AMD Llano APU Blindfolded Build
  11. 0:25:50 ASUS ROG Matrix HD 7970 coming soon
  12. 0:30:00 Sandia Cooler Prototype
  13. 0:39:50 Dell Ubuntu Notebooks
  14. 0:43:40 Can a 12-core ARM cluster hit critical mass?
  15. 0:48:20 Google announces Nexus 7 tablet powered by Tegra 3
  16. 0:55:55 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
    1. Ryan: Thunderbolt on Windows Article coming tomorrow!!
    2. Jeremy: Core i7 3770K is a compute per watt monster
    3. Josh: Good PS for general use and excellent price
    4. Allyn: OCZ Vertex 4 FW 1.4.1.3
  17. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  18. http://pcper.com/podcast
  19. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  20. Closing

Drobo releases new Thunderbolt + USB 3.0 '5D' and 'Mini' - both mSATA SSD accelerated

Subject: Storage | June 21, 2012 - 09:06 AM |
Tagged: ssd, msata, drobo

I have a warm spot in my heart for Drobo products ever since I spent months trying to break one (unsuccessfully). With that I am now pleased to report on their announcement of two new products.

Drobo 5D - Right Front-.jpg

First is the Drobo 5D, which is basically a 5-bay Drobo S on steroids. It updates the interface to USB 3.0 + Thunderbolt and speeds up IOPS and multi-stream performance by way of an mSATA SSD. The SSD does not take up a drive bay as it is installed beneath a trap door un the bottom of the 5D:

Drobo 5D SSD Bay.png

Next up is the Drobo Mini. This little guy carries the same connectivity as the 5D, but is *much* smaller:

Drobo Mini Hand.png

The drop in size comes from a change in the form factor of installed storage. It takes up to 4 2.5" form factor drives. Performance should be similar to that of the 5D, primarily based on it also sporting that integrated mSATA port. I suspect the mini will go over very well with the mobile / MacBook / Ultrabook crowd, as being able to carry a small box with large redundant storage is a great idea for mobile workstations.

Drobo Mini Drive Insert.jpg

More to follow as availability will be announced in July. Pricing is expected to be below $650 (thunderbolt cable *included*). Press blast after the break.

New Link_A_Media Devices controller scores Corsair Neutron 'Best of Computex 2012' Award

Subject: Storage | June 12, 2012 - 08:50 PM |
Tagged: ssd, neutron, LAMD, corsair, computex

Last week during Computex, Corsair jointly announced a new SSD to their lineup. Their partnership was with Link_A_Media Devices (LAMD), and the new Corsair Neutron Series scooped up Tom Hardware's "Best of Computex 2012" award:

LAMD_Corsair_photo.jpg

The LAMD press blast for this event included some additional technical specs:

 

Key Features
  • SATA 6G host interface
  • 8 NAND channels, up to 4CE per channel
  • Support for 2y-nm and 1x-nm NAND Flash from all major Flash vendors
  • ONFi 2.3, Toggle Mode 1 and Legacy NAND interfaces
  • Proprietary endurance improving eBoostTM technology
  • End-to-end user data path protection
  • Strong BCH ECC capability with area/power efficient decoder architecture
  • Enterprise-class proven firmware for NAND management and data transport operations
  • Variable NAND over-provisioning
  • Efficient garbage collection and global wear leveling
  • RAID/Chipkill technology
  • Proven unsolicited power loss management
  • Low power design
  • S.M.A.R.T. support
  • Microsoft® Windows® 7 TRIM support
 
Performance (using MLC NAND)
  • Sequential Read: 550 MB/s
  • Sequential Write: 550 MB/s
  • Random Read (4KB): 90K IOPS
  • Random Write (4KB): 90K IOPS

 

What caught my eye was the "Enterprise-class proven firmware" part. If this is LAMD's first entry to market, how can they possibly have 'proven' anything, especially in the enterprise sector? If it wasn't for the lack of compression, I'd be inclined to think this was some sort of re-brand of SandForce tech. Clearly this is something to remain curious about as more information is disclosed.

 

Full press blast after the break.

Deals for June 8th - OCZ Vertex 3 240GB SSD for $194

Subject: General Tech | June 8, 2012 - 02:58 PM |
Tagged: vertex 3, ssd, ocz, deal of the day

Today's deal is one that might interest a lot of PC Perspective readers - an OCZ Vertex 3 SSD for about $0.80/GB!  

deal0608.jpg

If you are one of the 95% of PC Perspective readers interested in upgrading your storage system or you have another computer sitting around that could use the benefits of an SSD inside, this is a great opportunity to get one at a nice price.

You can check out our review of the OCZ Vertex 3 SSD right here, if you need a bit of a refresher.  

Head on over to LogicBuy to get this OCZ Vertex 3 240GB SSD for $194!!

Source: LogicBuy

SanDisk releases new 'Lightning' bootable, lower-cost competitor to the Intel 910 Series PCIe SSD

Subject: Storage | June 5, 2012 - 01:07 AM |
Tagged: ssd, sandisk, pcie, enterprise, computex

Just over a month back we took a look at the Intel SSD 910 Series PCIe SSD. While the specs and performance were excellent, there were some factors preventing use in workstation systems - namely the prohibitive cost and lack of a Boot ROM. With that, it seems SanDisk has made an attempt to answer that call. Today at Computex they announced a new PCIe Enterprise SSD, the PCIe Lightning:

image001.jpg

This is a much simpler layout, with flash right alongside the controller - an option not possible with the multi-PCB Intel 910 Series as it contained much more flash on its daughter boards. With this simpler layout comes lower cost but unfortunately lower maximum capacities. Less complexity also means lower maximum specs, but they still look quite good given the price point this card will be filling:

  • Price: $1350 (200GB) / $2350 (400GB)
  • 4k 70/30 R/W split: 23,000 IOPS
  • Sequential Throughput: 425 MB/sec
  • Warranty: 5 Year
  • Endurance: 10 full-drive writes per day for warranty duration

I'm glad to see some good PCIe SSD competition cropping up - especially the bootable kind.

Full release after the break:

 

Corsair Announces 'Neutron' SSD Series Driven by LAMD Controller

Subject: Storage | June 4, 2012 - 06:31 PM |
Tagged: neutron, ssd, LAMD, corsair, computex

Today at Computex, Corsair announced a new line of SSDs. This 4th generation line will sport a new controller made by Link_A_Media Devices (LAMD). Their announcement boasts a System On a Chip (SoC) design, but that's the way most modern SSD controllers are architected. The new controller has the following claimed specs:

Neutron (Standard):

  • 90,000 read / 85,000 write IOPS (assumed 4k random)
  • 555MB/s read / 370MB/s write (sequential)

Neutron GTX:

  • 90,000 read/write IOPS (assumed 4k random)
  • 555MB/s read / 500MB/s write (sequential)

Here's a few quick pics:

SSDv2_NTRN_A.png

SSDv2_NTRN_GTX_A.png

The drives meet all of the typical SSD wickets, such as TRIM support and a generous 5-year warranty. The specs do look very good, but the proof is in the benches, which we hope to see shortly.

Full press blast follows after the break:

Podcast #204 - ioSafe soloPRO and Synology DiskStation 212+, NVIDIA news, the OCZ Agility 4 and more!

Subject: General Tech | May 31, 2012 - 03:53 PM |
Tagged: video, synology, ssd, podcast, ocz, nvidia, iosafe, diskstation, agility4

PC Perspective Podcast #204 - 05/31/2012

Join us this week as we talk about the ioSafe soloPRO and Synology DiskStation 212+, NVIDIA news, the OCZ Agility 4 and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Allyn Malvantano

Program length: 1:10:29

Program Schedule:

  1. 0:00:30 Introduction
  2. 0:00:50 Random Sound Card Discussion
  3. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  4. http://pcper.com/podcast
  5. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  6. 0:06:30 Take the PC Perspective Survey, win prizes!!
  7. 0:08:40 ioSafe SoloPRO and Synology DiskStation 212+ Review - Disaster-proof Networked Storage
  8. 0:18:38 Tegra 3 to see 30 devices this year, LTE support
  9. 0:20:25 NVIDIA claims GTX 680 sales outpacing GTX 580 sales
  10. 0:27:30 NVIDIA shows ASUS Zenbook Prime UX32VD
  11. 0:29:50 HP has 27,000 too many employees
  12. 0:32:00 Dell leaks Latitude 10 Windows 8 tablet
  13. 0:34:40 Dell promotes their "Copper" ARM-based servers
  14. 0:39:30 OCZ Launches Agility 4 based on Indilinx Everest 2
  15. 0:51:20 Intel shows you how to make a processor
  16. 0:54:00 Time for a GPU Stock Update?
  17. 0:57:00 Crysis 2 back on Steam? EA and Valve make up?
  18. 0:59:00 Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
    1. Ryan: Corsair Vengeance 2000 Wireless headset $149
    2. Jeremy: The best way to blow $10,000
    3. Josh: Faster Internets... Worth it!  http://west.optimum.com/services/high-speed_internet/optimum_online_boost/
    4. Allyn: is lame
  19. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  20. http://pcper.com/podcast   
  21. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  22. Closing

OCZ to Showcase Game-Changing Solid-State Solutions at Computex 2012

Subject: Shows and Expos | May 31, 2012 - 12:21 PM |
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.

ocz_z-drive_r4_cloudserv_01.jpg

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.

OCZ launches Agility 4 SSD based on Indilinx Everest 2

Subject: General Tech, Storage | May 29, 2012 - 08:45 PM |
Tagged: ssd, ocz, Agility 4

OCZ Technology Group launched their latest entry in the Agility 4 line of Solid State Drives. The drive will make use of the Indilinx Everest 2 controller over a SATA 6Gbps interface. It is rated to provide 400MB/s reads with up to 85,000 write IOs per second. Unlike its 5-year Vertex 4 brethren the Agility 4 will be backed by a 3-year warranty.

Just a couple of months ago Al posted his review of the OCZ Vertex 4 solid state drive which he found to be aggressively priced and with good potential depending on firmware support.

OCZ has just released the Agility 4 to complement their new product line with a slightly cheaper and slightly lower performance option compared to the Vertex. Both drives are based on the same Indilinx Everest 2 controller with transfer rates being the main divisor between the two products. Retail price of the Agility 4 is placed much more aggressively and flirts even closer with the $1 per gigabyte line than the Vertex 4.

OCZAgility4.png

Almost time to get change our metric to cents per gigabyte. ... Yay!

The Agility 4 is rated to perform with consistent read bandwidths of 400MB/s which is below the Vertex 4’s rated 535 MB/s sequential reads throughput. The write IOPS is rated at 85,000 random transactions per second and exactly matches that metric with the Vertex 4.

OCZ is covering the Agility 4 with a 3-year manufacturer warranty. It is on back-order from NCIX with an expected retail value of $259.20 for the 256GB version which might as well be called a dollar per gigabyte. Newegg has yet to list the product or its expected value.

Source: OCZ