Patriot's new SSD is on fire

Subject: Storage | July 14, 2011 - 12:56 PM |
Tagged: patriot, 32nm NAND, Sandforce SF2281, sata 6Gps, ssd

Patriot's original foray into the SSD market was overshadowed by many other manufacturers releasing SSDs and did not get much stage time compared to Intel or OCZ for instance.   This may change now that the community has realized it is the controller that makes the SSD, not the manufacturer.  Their new 120GB Wildfire is a true SATA 6Gps drive and it features the high performing Sandforce SF-2281 controller.  That isn't the only trick they have up their sleeves, though it means the drive costs more, they chose 32nm NAND over 25nm NAND which results in faster performance and possibly longer life which is in line with the three year warranty Patriot offers.  Check out the actual performance over at Neoseeker.

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"The Patriot WildFire is a 120GB SSD using the latest Sandforce SF-2281 controller, and 32nm MLC NAND memory. Together these components promise enterprise-level performance in a package priced for hardware enthusiasts. Hit our review to see if the WildFire can live up to its name, or if it ends up burning out prematurely."

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Source: Neoseeker

OCZ Technology Introduces Next Generation RevoDrive PCI-Express Solid State Drives

Subject: Storage | July 13, 2011 - 01:32 PM |
Tagged: VCA, ssd, revo 3, PCIe SSD, ocz

SAN JOSE, CA—July 13, 2011—OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ), a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, today launched the RevoDrive 3 and RevoDrive 3 X2 lineup of SSDs. Designed to deliver maximum throughput in multithreaded applications, the new RevoDrive 3 incorporates an advanced data management feature-set based on OCZ’s proprietary Virtualized Controller Architecture (VCA) technology, providing both the performance and features required by the intensive workloads common in high performance computing and workstation environments.

The RevoDrive 3 provides unique benefits to users by incorporating features from the VCA 2.0 flash virtualization software that allow certain direct memory access (DMA) and data management functions. Included in this feature-set are OCZ’s exclusive command queuing and queue balancing algorithms, which can be handled by the onboard processing core for higher performance and reduced burden on the host resources. VCA 2.0 is also the only virtualization layer in the industry with TRIM and SCSI unmap support to enhance sustained performance and provide greater endurance by significantly reducing the overhead associated with garbage collection. Furthermore, VCA also offers consolidated SMART support and provides system administrators with advanced features for monitoring, analyzing, and reporting device attributes.

“OCZ RevoDrive 3 PCIe SSDs use our VCA 2.0 technology to deliver superior performance and functionality for everything from scientific computing to high availability clustering,” said Daryl Lang, Vice President of Product Management of OCZ Technology. “This exciting new workstation-class storage product accelerates application performance and takes full advantage of today’s multithreaded processors and software, providing customers with greater throughput in an easy-to-deploy, single card solution.”

With its all-new architecture, the RevoDrive 3 shatters its predecessor’s performance record and is faster than comparable solutions that are up to ten times the price. Available in two different models, the Revo3 delivers up to 1.5GB/s of bandwidth and up to 230,000 IOPS (4K random write) under HPC or workstation workloads with a single-card solution. Additionally, the Revo3 X2 960GB offers ample capacity for users in media development and management looking for more storage room.

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ADATA digs their toes into the sand and then jumps into SSDs

Subject: Storage | July 5, 2011 - 02:50 PM |
Tagged: sandforce, SF-2281 controller, sata 6Gps, ssd

With SSDs it seems that the brand on the shell tells you very little about the performance of the drive its self and picking up an off brand SSD can net you a great deal, as long as you know what is inside.  Since ADATA chose the SandForce SF-2281 SATA 6GB/s controller, the same as we've seen in Al's review of the OCZ Agility 3 drive which fared very well in our testing.  The reported prices run from $155 for a 60GB to $520 for the 240GB which is in line with OCZ's Vertex 3 series and is too bad in a way.  In almost every test Benchmark Reviews tried, the ADATA offering fell slightly behind both flavours of the OCZ Vertex 3, which you would hope would bring the price down.  However in the market right now SSD makers can pretty much charge whatever they want as enthusiasts will pay the price; that makes it very nice to see the market opening up with a wide variety of vendors putting out top notch SSDs.

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"ADATA knows that SandForce-driven SSDs are a win-win combination of performance and speed. In this article, Benchmark Reviews tests the ADATA S511 solid state drive. Based on the popular new SandForce SF-2281 SATA 6GB/s controller and fast IMFT-branded NAND flash components, ADATA claims the AS511S3 is capable of 550 MB/s read and 510 MB/s write speed with 4K random write speeds as high as 60,000 IOPS in real world testing. We test these claims, and compare performance to competing storage solid-state solutions in this review to find out which SSD is best."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

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OCZ Elevates Enterprise Solid-State Storage with 2nd Gen. of Proprietary Controller Architecture

Subject: Storage | July 5, 2011 - 10:54 AM |
Tagged: ocz, superscale, VCA, ssd

SAN JOSE, CA—July 5, 2011—OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ),a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, today announced the release of the second generation of its proprietary Virtualized Controller Architecture (VCA). Leveraged in OCZ’s PCI-Express (PCIe) and SAS SSD solutions for workstation, enterprise, and OEM clients, VCA 2.0 supports a rich enterprise feature-set enabling unprecedented flexibility, increased performance, and the reliability required for high throughput storage systems.

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“OCZ’s proprietary VCA technology is the next step in the evolution of virtualization layers for solid state storage. VCA 2.0 enables industry-leading configurable performance aggregation along with a rich enterprise feature set not found on competitive products,” said Ryan Petersen, CEO of OCZ Technology Group. “With its scalable performance, TRIM and SCSI unmap support, and enhanced management tools, VCA 2.0 provides superior reliability and superior performance, in a plethora of OCZ’s easy-to-deploy storage solutions.”

Building on the company’s first generation VCA technology, which was originally deployed in OCZ’s Z-Drive R3 PCIe and Talos SAS SSDs, VCA 2.0 provides even greater enterprise flash management features. In OCZ’s enterprise PCIe devices, VCA 2.0 supports the creation of a virtual pool of logical units (LUNs) and features best-in-class configurable performance aggregation, simplifying data management without impacting performance, to provide clients with an easily deployable total solution. VCA 2.0 is the only virtualization layer in the industry with TRIM and SCSI unmap support, which enhances the sustained performance by significantly reducing the overhead associated with garbage collection.

Additionally, VCA 2.0’s user-selectable data recovery and non-stop modes allow for unprecedented data protection, while consolidated SMART support provides system administrators with advanced features for monitoring, analyzing, and reporting device attributes. Unlike other flash virtualization layers, VCA 2.0 also supports complete power fail protection. In the event of unexpected system power loss, OCZ’s enterprise power fail protection completes all in-progress transactions, protecting the integrity of all active data.

When combined with OCZ’s SuperScale storage controller, VCA 2.0 provides unique benefits to users by allowing certain direct memory access (DMA) and data management functions, including OCZ’s unique command queuing and queue balance algorithms, to be handled by the onboard processing core. This results in higher performance and reduces the burden on the host CPU.

VCA 2.0 technology will become available with the launch of OCZ’s upcoming workstation and enterprise-class PCIe SSDs, including the RevoDrive 3 and Z-Drive R4. IT and datacenter administrators looking to learn more about the technology, or OCZ’s SSD offerings should visit http://ocztechnology.com.

Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: OCZ Technology
Tagged: ssd, PCIe SSD, pcie, ocz

Introduction

Introduction:

Back in June of last year, OCZ released the RevoDrive, followed up rather quickly by the RevoDrive x2. Both models represented a new way of economically bundling multiple SSD controllers behind an integrated RAID solution. This broke the mold for storage, as the vast majority of end users were stuck with the common 2.5" form factor SATA SSD (as well as trying to figure out where to put one inside their desktop case full of 3.5" drive bays). Since all desktops had PCIe slots, the Revo concept just seemed to make sense.

Now on the 1-year mark since the original Revo, we have the RevoDrive 3. OCZ has opted to skip the staggering of releases and is also releasing the 4-channel version, the RevoDrive 3 x2. Today we will be looking at the latter, in 480GB form factor. Here's a look at the new silicon:

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Continue to the full review for all the details!

OWC grabs the SandForce SF-2200 controller and heads for the lead of the SSD pack

Subject: Storage | June 23, 2011 - 01:47 PM |
Tagged: ssd, owc, sata 6Gps, sandforce

OWC has been around for a while, but since they were making drives for Apple they were not a common name for enthusiasts.  They've since broken free and are selling their SSD line to any and all.  The first generation was good, not outstanding but not a the back of the pack performance wise.  Their new Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G 240GB is poised to take the lead though, as Legit Reviews compared it to the outstanding OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 240 GB SSD.  In this apples to apples review we see the OWC hit reads of 559MB/s and writes of 527MB/s and it took top spot in quite a few benchmarks.

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"The SandForce SF-2200 controller does all the heavy lifting, pushing out listed reads of 559MB/s and writes of 527MB/s. This is almost exactly what we saw on the benchmarks in terms of max performance so OWC was true to their specifications. Fresh off of testing the OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 240 GB drive we felt others would have a tough time topping its performance but OWC came through with a drive that eked out better scores more often than not. OWC is going to garner a lot of attention if they keep putting out products like the 240 GB Mercury EXTREME Pro 6g SSD as we found it to be the best overall performing SATA III drive we have tested to date..."

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OCZ Technology Introduces Deneva 2 Series Of SSDs For The Enterprise

Subject: Storage | June 21, 2011 - 10:54 AM |
Tagged: ssd, sata 6Gps, sandforce, enterprise, deneva 2

SAN JOSE, CA—June 21, 2011—OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ), a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, today launched the Deneva 2 SSD line for enterprise clients. Taking full advantage of the cutting-edge SATA 6Gb/s interface, Deneva 2 SSDs are designed for a wide range of enterprise applications including servers, cloud computing, and data centers. The Deneva 2 series delivers maximum performance while meeting the stringent reliability, security, performance and economical needs of enterprise storage environments.

"Data centers are one application where the speed benefits of a fast SSD visibly fall straight to a company's bottom line," said SSD analyst Jim Handy of Objective Analysis. "This has driven the enterprise to be the fastest-growing market for SSDs - Objective Analysis forecasts for enterprise SSD unit shipments to grow at an average annual rate of 83 percent, nearly doubling every year."

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As the demand for increased storage efficiency, maximized data throughput, and a smaller operating footprint broadens across various industries, more and more companies are turning to the benefits of SSDs to significantly optimize their storage infrastructures. With these requirements in mind, OCZ has been a pioneer in the design and development of SSDs for the enterprise environment, pushing the envelope to develop solutions that combine industry-leading performance with a robust feature-set. Deneva 2, the company’s latest offering, features several enterprise-critical options not available in OCZ's consumer product lines, including power loss data protection, best-in-class endurance (e.g., minimal write amplification, intelligent block management and wear-leveling), and advanced encryption and ECC.

“Processing data is critical to any business looking to compete in a rapidly changing, global marketplace. However, many enterprise organizations are limited by outdated storage solutions, which limits their ability to process the necessary data they require to operate their businesses,” said Ryan Petersen, CEO at OCZ Technology Group. “Deneva 2 SSDs are optimized for high-volume storage applications, offer industry-leading reliability, and leverage the latest NAND and controller technology to deliver superior performance. This combination means that enterprises can overcome previous roadblocks, and use their data in real-time.”

Based on SandForce® SF-2000 SSD processors, the Deneva 2 series delivers up to 80,000 4KB random write IOPS and 550MB/s of potential bandwidth. Along with world-renowned performance, Deneva 2 SSDs are specifically designed to deliver superior reliability and are manufactured with the latest flash components specific to the customer’s needs. In addition, the series includes enterprise-grade multi-level cell (eMLC) NAND flash technology, which offers improved endurance for write-intensive applications. Deneva 2 SSDs can also be customized, come in a wide variety of interface options including PCIe, and are available in 2.5, 3.5, and 1.8 inch form factors for use in very high density computing environments, including blade servers.

OCZ Deneva 2 solutions overcome the performance, durability, and maintenance obstacles inherent to mechanical HDD storage. OCZ's ability to provide a tailored solution ensures ultimate compatibility, reliability, and cost-savings, resulting in products that are optimized to specifically address the unique needs of enterprise clients.

Does Intel's SRT need an Intel SSD to work properly?

Subject: Storage | June 20, 2011 - 12:25 PM |
Tagged: ssd, srt, Intel, kingston, cache

It is a common question with the release of the Z68 series of boards, as people wonder if they really need to shell out the money for an Intel SSD in order to take advantage of Intel Smart Response Technology, which lets you use an SSD of 60GB or less as a cache drive.  Techgage took it upon themselves to investigate and compared the performance improvements to a HDD when using an Intel 20GB 311 SATA II SSD and a Kingston 64GB SDnow 100V+ SATA II SSD.  As happens all to often lately the answer is not clear cut; the best cache drive depends heavily on the file sizes you commonly deal with.

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"When we tested out Intel's 'Smart Response Technology' last month, we liked what we saw. But at $110 for a 20GB SLC SSD, we wondered if a larger, more cost-effective option could still make the best use of the technology. With that, we're pitting Kingston's SSDNow V+100 64GB drive, at $150, against Intel's, to see if we retain SRT's effectiveness."

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Source: Techgage

Intel Enterprise SSDs Specifications

Subject: General Tech, Storage | June 16, 2011 - 03:02 PM |
Tagged: ssd, Intel, enterprise

Intel is currently in the process of releasing their 2011 lineup of solid state hard drives. A lot of news and products came out regarding their consumer 300-series and enthusiast 500-series line however it has been pretty silent regarding their enterprise 700-series products. That has changed recently with the release of specifications as a result of Anandtech’s coverage of the German hardware website ComputerBase.de.

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And how does it compare to OCZ?

Intel will be releasing two enterprise SSDs: the SATA 3 Gbps based 710 SSD codename Lyndonville and the PCI express 2.0 based 720 SSD codename Ramsdale. The SATA based 710 will feature 25nm MLC-HET flash at capacities of 100, 200, and 300 GB. The 710 will have read and write speeds of 270/210 MB/s with 35,000/3300 read and write IOPS at 4KB and a 64MB cache. The PCIe based 720 will feature 34nm SLC flash at capacities of 200 and 400 GB. The 720 will be substantially faster than the 710 with read and write speeds of 2200/1800 MB/s with 180,000/56,000 read and write IOPS at 4KB and a 512MB cache. On the security front the 710 will be encrypted with 128 bit AES encryption where the 720 will be encrypted with 256 bit AES.

While there has been no hint toward pricing of these drives Intel is still expected to make a second quarter release date for their SATA based 710 SSD. If you are looking for a PCI express SSD you will need to be a bit more patient as they are still expected to be released in the fourth quarter. It will be interesting to see how the Intel vs OCZ fight will play out in 2012 for dominance in the PCIe-based SSD space.

Source: Anandtech

Revisiting the OCZ Agility 3 and its asynchronous flash

Subject: Storage | June 15, 2011 - 06:01 PM |
Tagged: ocz, agility 3, ssd, sandforce, sata 6Gps

It has been a few weeks since Al took a look at OCZ's 240GB Agility 3 drive, so it seems worth revisiting.  As you can see at OCIA, the drive is fast even with slightly cheaper memory inside and can compete with the theoretically more expensive Vertex drive.  Unfortunately just like Al saw, the street price does not reflect the internal parts, saving $10 over the Vertex model is not a great deal.

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"The SSD technology of today is worlds better than what we had in 2009. Better understanding of the technology, mature controllers, Windows 7, SATA 6Gb/sec and even the PCI-e bus have all advanced things to a point where SSDs are coming close to mainstream adoption. Pricing is also much more attractive as evident by the drive we are looking at today, OCZ's Agility 3 240GB unit. The Agility 3 is one of three new SATA 6Gb/sec SSDs and is classified as a high-performance drive alongside the higher-end Vertex 3."

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