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:

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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:

 

SANDISK LAUNCHES PCI EXPRESS-BASED PRODUCTS THAT DELIVER FAST, PREDICTABLE AND BALANCED PERFORMANCE FOR ENTERPRISE APPLICATIONS
 
COMPUTEX, TAIPEI, Taiwan, June 5, 2012—SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK), a global leader in flash memory storage solutions, today introduced Lightning® PCI Express (PCIe) Solid State Accelerator (SSA) cards designed to boost the performance of workstations and servers used in data centers, server farms and cloud computing environments.

The new SanDisk® Lightning PCIe SSA products can be added to workstations and servers to provide balanced, predictable performance for enterprise applications, delivering the ideal combination of speed, reliability and cost-savings. The cards provide rapid access to the most frequently used data and applications in order to more effectively manage heavy workloads. They are part of SanDisk’s growing portfolio of solid state drive (SSD) solutions for the enterprise.

The new PCIe products from SanDisk address a wide variety of uses – from financial institutions analyzing and processing massive amounts of information around the clock; to social media and website providers whose customers demand a nearly instant response with every click of a mouse; to media content creators editing high-definition videos.
 
“SanDisk PCIe SSAs deliver balanced performance, speeding access to critical data in a simple and cost-effective way," said Greg Goelz, vice president and general manager, Enterprise Storage Solutions, SanDisk. "Enterprise businesses can now leverage a PCIe acceleration solution that combines SanDisk's leading NAND flash memory technology and its innovative controller design to offer the enterprise-grade reliability and scalability that our customers depend on.”
 
Lightning PCIe SSAs offer SanDisk’s proven enterprise SSD technology and feature an advanced controller using a parallel processing architecture to manage essential data protection and input/output (I/O) functions. This results in balanced performance as data is accessed, with little impact on central processor (CPU) loading and no need for additional, costly DRAM memory.
 
In addition to their enterprise-class reliability, the Lightning PCIe SSAs feature low power requirements and include an industry-standard driver that requires no additional software or system modification. The cards can easily be added to almost any computing system to deliver a simple, quick solution for performance acceleration.
Several innovative companies have already sampled SanDisk’s PCIe cards and experienced the benefits they can deliver. “The new Lightning Enterprise PCIe solid state accelerators from SanDisk provide us with the application acceleration we need to create more efficient workflows for a fraction of the cost of previously deployed solutions,” said Ramy Katrib, Founder and CEO of DigitalFilm Tree. DigitalFilm Tree is an industry leader in defining and applying emerging “data centric” technologies to creative workflows.
 
A caching option is available for Windows operating systems by using SanDisk FlashSoft™ data caching software, which can be purchased separately. Data centers can support large server workloads by combining the Lightning PCIe SSA as an additional storage tier in conjunction with SanDisk FlashSoft data caching software.

Based on the next-generation PCIe 2.0 interface, Lightning PCIe SSAs are easily installed into any four lane (x4) or greater PCIe slot, delivering enterprise-class performance and reliability for demanding data center and cloud computing applications that are needed around-the-clock. Incorporating an advanced SanDisk controller, they offer low power requirements, a two million hour MTBF (mean time between failures) rate and an industry-leading five year warranty.
 
SanDisk Lightning PCIe SSAs are available in 200 gigabyte (GB)1 and 400GB capacities. Up to five cards may be installed into a single system to provide up to two terabytes (TB)1 of capacity.
 
Additional Detail and Features
  • Fast Response Times: Lightning PCIe products offer 245 microsecond average response times and sub-30 millisecond maximum response times reflecting dramatic performance gains in real-world applications running heavy workloads.
  • Low Latency: The new PCIe cards from SanDisk deliver as low as 50 microsecond sustained read and write latency.
  • Industry Standard Driver: Industry-standard drivers are integrated for use with major Microsoft Windows®, Linux and VMWare® ESX environments. No additional system reconfiguration or software is needed.
  • Low Power: The SanDisk PCIe SSAs require just 15 watts of power, eliminating special cooling requirements and resulting in additional savings.
  • Bootable OS Drive Option: Lightning Enterprise PCIe SSAs are bootable devices which support multiple Logical Unit Numbers (LUNs).
  • Enterprise-Grade Reliability Features: Lightning PCIe SSAs include “background patrol read” to check blocks of data on storage devices, capacitor backed cache (CBC) to protect against data loss without battery back-up or supercapacitors, and an industry leading five-year limited warranty.
Pricing and Availability:
SanDisk Lightning PCIe Enterprise SSAs will be available for purchase in 200GB (LP 206M) and 400GB (LP406M) capacities for $1,350 and $2,350 MSRP (USD) respectively at select authorized retailers in North America, including Avnet, CDW, Newegg.com and TigerDirect.com. For more information, please visit www.sandisk.com/enterprise-storage-solutions.

 

 

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