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Subject: Storage | October 10, 2013 - 09:21 PM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: western digital, wdc, WD
Today, Western Digital announced a couple of additions to their small business NAS solutions.
These two new devices, marked in blue on the below spec comparison chart, are an updated version of the previous Sentinel DX4000 and RX4100 models. The new units feature Xeon processors running Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials. Unlike previous models, the new units can boot from separate 2.5" HDD's (or SSDs) running single or in a RAID-1 mirrored pair, meaning the system does not have to rely on the primary storage array for OS files. The use of the new Windows Server also enables the use of Storage Spaces in lieu of the on-board RAID solution, should the configuration require it.
These are definitely higher end NAS devices which pack a lot of processing punch. As a result, they are a far cry from an ARM powered home NAS in price as well as in performance. We're following these releases closely, and expect additional releases along these lines from Western Digital in the future. I hope to see an 8 bay (or greater) model materialize as well.
Full press blast after the break:
Subject: Storage | October 4, 2013 - 02:12 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: hybrid hdd, cache, Seagate, 2TB
Benchmarking cached HDDs can be a difficult task as they are specifically designed to cache commonly used data which results in two very different speeds for data access, the 8GB SSD and the actual HDD. The Tech Report recently met this challenge when benchmarking Seagate's first 3.5" desktop cached drive with 8GB of flash and 2TB of platter storage. When contrasting it to some of the higher end HDDs available it became apparent that the more expensive WD Black 4TB was a faster drive but as it does cost more per gigabyte it might not be the best choice for every purpose. Check out the review to see if this hybrid device is a better choice than buying both a small sized SSD and a large HDD for your own usage.
"Seagate's hybrid tech has finally been deployed in a desktop drive. The Desktop SSHD combines an 8GB flash cache with 2TB of mechanical storage. We take a closer look at how that combo holds up against standard hard drives and SSDs."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- WD's Red 4TB @ The Tech Report
- HGST Travelstar 7K1000 1TB SATA III HDD @ NikKTech
- Vantec NexStar HDD Duplicator Review @ Legit Reviews
- Do-It-Yourself Cloud Storage: WD My Cloud 2TB Review @ Techgage
- Seagate Business Storage 1-Bay 3TB NAS @ NikKTech
- RaidSonic ICY BOX IB-WRP201SD 4 In 1 WLAN Storage Station @ NikKTech
- Teratrend SST-TS431U 4-bay USB 3.0 Storage Tower @ Kitguru
- ASUSTOR AS-304T 4-bay NAS Server for Home Office Review @ Madshrimps
- Asustor AS-304T @ Legion Hardware
- Adaptec (by PMC) ASR-8885 12Gb/s PCIe RAID Adapter @ SSD Review
- ADATA XPG SX300 256GB mSATA SSD @ eTeknix
- Samsung XP941 M.2 PCIe SSD @ SSD Review
- OCZ Vertex 450 256 GB SSD @ techPowerUp
- Corsair Force LS Series 240GB SSD Review @ Legit Reviews
- Sandisk Extreme II 240GB @ eTeknix
- Corsair Force Series LS 240GB SSD @ SSD Review
- Corsair Force LS 240GB @ Hardware.info
Subject: Storage | October 2, 2013 - 10:42 PM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: western digital, wdc, WD, My Cloud, cloud storage, cloud
Imagine a device of a similar form factor to the Western Digital My Book, but instead of USB or Thunderbolt connectivity, you had a Gigabit Ethernet connection and a dual core CPU capable of handling large throughputs to your home network. Toss in some back end software and a handfull of remote access apps for various mobile devices, and you have what Western Digital calls the My Cloud:
The concept behind this is to have something similar to DropBox, with some differences. We will be diving further into the My Cloud shortly and will publish a full write-up for your viewing pleasure, but for now it seems to cover every base except for having your shared data available on mobile devices when those devices are offline (with the exception of cached copies, of course).
Full press blast afer the break:
Subject: Storage | September 24, 2013 - 03:23 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ssd, ocz, enterprise ssd, deneva 2, 19nm
SAN JOSE, CA – September 24, 2013 - OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ), a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, today announced the latest addition to the popular Deneva 2 Series which now utilizes 19 nanometer (nm) NAND flash. The new models are 2.5-inch, 6Gbps SATA III-based Multi-Level Cell (MLC) drives that implement the Deneva 2 SSD Series feature-set and are built around a smaller NAND flash process geometry. This cutting-edge drive solution also features a completely new power architecture that was designed from the ground up to optimize server back plane functionality, providing enhanced management of in-rush current and power fluctuation. The result is an advanced SSD series that delivers superior storage performance, enterprise-class endurance, reliability and quality, and excellent total cost of ownership for customers.
“Our Deneva 2 has been a popular SSD series among IT professionals not only as an HDD replacement but to dramatically accelerate I/O access of such popular enterprise applications as OnLine Transaction Processing, database warehousing, read intensive data caching and server boot-ups,” said Daryl Lang, SVP of Product Management for OCZ Technology. “By implementing new features and the latest NAND flash process geometry we are able to deliver an optimal balance of I/O performance and cost-efficiency to our customers.”
The new Deneva 2 SSDs continue to utilize the proven and effective LSI SandForce® SF-2281 processor and delivers exceptional performance with 19nm toggle mode NAND flash. The performance specifications support read bandwidth up to 550 MB/s, write bandwidth up to 520 MB/s, random read throughput (4K blocks) over 45,000 input/output operations per second (IOPS), and random write throughput (4K blocks) over 34,000 IOPS. It provides consistent sustained performance over time so that users can achieve faster file transfers, boot-ups and benefit from a more responsive storage experience. With a priority on reliability and flash-optimized enterprise endurance, the new Deneva 2 includes advanced features such as data fail recovery, intelligent block management, wear leveling and robust error correction. Additionally, power consumption has also been lowered in the new models as well.
The new Deneva 2 SSD Series are now available in three models supporting 120GB capacity (Model D2CSTK251M3T-0120), 240GB capacity (Model D2CSTK251M3T-0240) and 480GB capacity (Model D2CSTK251M3T-0480). For more information, visit www.ocz.com/enterprise.
Subject: Storage | September 14, 2013 - 12:52 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: scorpion deluxe, SandForce SF-2281, sandforce, PCIe SSD, Mushkin
Mushkin, a company primarily known in the US for its RAM modules, announced a new PCI Express-based SSD this week called the Scorpion Deluxe. The new solid state drive is an update to the original Scorpion drive, and while it is not boot-able, it makes for an extremely speedy cache for large databases at decent prices (for a PCI-E SSD, anyway).
The Mushkin Scorpion Deluxe is driven by four SandForce SF-2281 processors and uses a PCI-E 2.0 x8 electrical interface to offer up gobs of bandwidth. The drive comes in several capacities, including 240GB, 480GB, 960GB, and 1,920GB. It is rated at 2,150 MB/s reads and over 1900 MB/s writes (exact rated speed depends on capacity, up to 2000 MB/s on the 2TB model). Also, the drive is specc’d to deliver a bit over 100,000 4K read and write IOPS. There is a 1 million hour MTBF rating and a 3 year warranty with the SSD.
Mushkin is aiming the drive more-so at the enterprise market for use in servers to cache large databases or in workstations working with large files in content creation, modeling, or simulations.
The Scorpion Deluxe drive is available now in the US, and will be up for purchase worldwide on September 16th. Pricing is not too bad, especially at the higher capacity points where the $/GB starts to look good.
|PCI-E SSD Capacity||Pricing (US)||$/GB|
Only $1.07 per GB on the 2TB model? If only I had a corporate expense account! (heh)
Subject: Storage | September 13, 2013 - 04:23 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Thunderbolt 2, SANlink 2, raid, promise, 4k
Promise Technology has announced that it is launching new storage solutions with Intel's new Thunderbolt 2 interface. Shown off at IDF 2013, the storage products include the Pegasus 2 series and SANLink 2 Thunderbolt 2 to 8G Fiber Channel bridge. The Pegasus 2 series is a RAID 5 external storage array that connects to Windows or Mac machines using Thunderbolt 2. The SANLink 2 bridge product allows users to connect a PC using Thunderbolt 2 to Promise Technology's VTrak or VTrak A-Class shared SAN storage.
The storage products are aimed mainly at professional video editors that are working with 4K content. According to Promise Technology, the 20Gbps bi-directional Thunderbolt 2 connection enables video editors to simultaneously transfer and display 4K video content.
Promise Technology CEO James Lee was quoted as saying:
"With the industry now poised for the widespread adoption of 4K video, the Pegasus2 Series with Thunderbolt 2 technology will revolutionize how video creators are managing 4K workflows in addition to delivering unprecedented performance to artists and enthusiasts who love to create captivating content."
Both the Pegasus2 and SANLink2 products with Thunderbolt 2 will be available in Fall 2013 for so-far undisclosed prices. The full press blast is below, for more information.
Subject: Storage | September 6, 2013 - 02:25 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: endurance, ssd, anvils storage utility
The Tech Report have seen some mixed results from their SSD endurance testing using Anvil's Storage Utility. There has not been any mentionable performance degradation for any of the SSDs they have been testing but Kingston's drives have shown some unpredicted behaviour. The HyperX series displayed speed increases, a slight increase in sequential reads and writes as well as random writes and a large increase in random reads. Tune in next time when they reach 100TB.
"We're testing six SSDs to see how many writes they can take before burning out and what happens to performance as the flash degrades. Today, we check in on our subjects after 22TB of writes."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Corsair Force LS 240 GB SSD @ techPowerUp
- Toshiba Q-series SSD 128/256/512 GB review @ Hardware.Info
- Samsung 840 EVO 500GB SSD Review @ Legit Reviews
- A closer look at RAPID DRAM caching on the Samsung 840 EVO SSD @ The Tech Report
- Seagate 600 Pro 400GB SSD Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Kingston HyperX Predator USB3.0 1TB Flash Drive @ eTeknix
- SMART Storage Systems CloudSpeed 1000 and 1000E Server Grade SSD @ SSD Review
- PNY storEDGE 64GB Flash Card @ SSD Review
- ADATA AXNS360E 128GB M.2 MPCIE SSD @ SSD Review
- KingSpec 1TB PCIe SSD Capable of 2.5GB/s Speeds & Simple Plug and Play @ SSD Review
- Western Digital Red 4TB review @ Hardware.Info
- Seagate Constellation ES 1TB Enterprise Hard Drive Review @ PCSTATS
- SanDisk Connect Wireless Media Drive & Flash Drive @ Legion Hardware
- Transcend StoreJet 25A3 @ techPowerUp
- Acronis True Image 2014 Review @ Techgage
- Asustor AS-604T 4-bay NAS @ eTeknix
- Synology DS1513+ NAS @ Kitguru
- Synology DS213j 2-Bay NAS @ eTeknix
- Synology DS213+ NAS Server Review @ Techgage
- Battle of the 4 TB NAS Drives: WD Red and Seagate NAS HDD Face-Off @ AnandTech
- Icy Dock FatCage MB155SP-B SATA Backplane Module @ eTeknix
Subject: Storage | September 4, 2013 - 02:37 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: ssd, PCIe SSD, msata, LSI, kingspec, jmicron
KingSpec recently started shipping a new PCI-E based SSD that achieves more than 2.5GB/s sequential read performance from multiple mSATA SSDs behind a 6Gbps LSI RAID controller. The KingSpec MC2J677M1T is a full height expansion card with a PCI-E 2.0 x8 interface.
The new KingSpec solid state drive is bootable and uses a 6Gbps LSI RAID controller that connects to eight 6Gbps mSATA slots. The drive comes in 1TB and 2TB total capacities and the eight 6Gbps mSATA slots are occupied by eight 128GB or 256GB mSATA SSDs. Each mSATA SSD is powered by a Jmircon SSD controller, NANYA-manufactured DRAM cache, and Intel MLC NAND flash. Further, the LSI RAID controller is actively cooled by a small fan.
As far as performance goes, the 1TB model is rated at 84,000 IOPS and approximately 2GB/s sequential read and write transfer speeds. The SSD Review received a sample of the new drive and provided some preliminary benchmark results in the form of an ATTO benchmark run. At a queue depth of 4, the KingSpec MC2J677M1T achieved 4K reads of 2567 MB/s and 4K writes of 1613 MB/s.
The 1TB KingSpec PCI-E SSD will be available later this year for between $2,000 and $3,000 USD.
When asked for his thoughts, PC Perspective storage editor Allyn Malventano noted that the eight JMicron-driven mSATA SSDs in RAID is just asking for trouble, and the 4K random IO offered by the drive is actually less than some single drive SATA SSDs on the market. Unfortunately, the LSI RAID controller is “a major bottleneck for SSD-level random access.”
Subject: Storage, Mobile | September 3, 2013 - 05:18 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: usb 3.0, flash drive, corsair
FREMONT, California — September 3, 2013 — Corsair®, worldwide designer of high-performance components to the PC hardware market, today announced the immediate availability of three new USB 3.0 flash drive models—Flash Voyager GS, Flash Voyager Mini, and Flash Voyager LS.
Flash Voyager GS
The Flash Voyager GS are large-capacity, high performance USB 3.0 flash drives housed in sleek, scratch-resistant brushed metal enclosures. Available in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB capacities, the drives take full advantage of high-speed USB 3.0 interfaces reaching speeds of up to 285MB per second read and 180MB per second write, while providing full USB 2.0 backward compatibility for older systems. Their brushed metal housings resist scratches and fingerprints and can be attached to a key ring. Like all Corsair flash drives, they are compatible with Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, with no driver installation necessary.
Flash Voyager Mini USB 3.0
The Flash Voyager Mini USB 3.0 are tiny USB flash drives with full-size USB 3.0 performance. Their USB 3.0 interfaces allow for file transfer speeds that are dramatically faster than USB 2.0. For maximum compatibility, the drives fully support USB 2.0. At just 1.25” (32mm) long and equipped with a detachable key ring loop, the Flash Voyager Mini USB 3.0 drives are convenient and easy to take everywhere. The drives are housed in a slim, stylish, and durable brushed metal housing that protects data and resists wear and tear.
Flash Voyager LS
The Flash Voyager LS are high-performance USB 3.0 flash drives with a premium retracting design that protects their USB connectors and eliminates the need for a protective cap. They are small enough to attach to a key ring, and are fully backward compatible with USB 2.0. Their attractive brushed metal design resists scratching and fingerprints. They drives are available in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB capacities.
Subject: Storage | September 3, 2013 - 08:00 AM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: western digital, wdc, WD, red, NAS, hdd
Today Western Digital launched both a 4TB 3.5" Red, as well as a new 2.5" form factor available in both 750GB and 1TB:
Subject: Storage | August 22, 2013 - 03:37 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ssd, endurance, anvils storage utility
The Tech Report is currently testing several SSDs to destruction, or at least trying to. They are using a new tool called Anvil's Storage Utilities which includes a test designed to determine the longevity of the flash storage inside SSDs. They started with factory fresh SSDs, never having a bit written to them before and are currently writing to every address on those drives with a goal of 22TB to be written before they test the speeds of the drives again. Will some fare better than others? Perhaps some will sacrifice capacity to keep their speed up? Stay tuned, even with SATA 6Gbps it takes a while to write that much data!
"We all know that flash memory has a limited tolerance for write cycling, but what does that mean for SSD endurance? We're testing six SSDs to failure to find out."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- 256 GB OCZ Vector @ TechARP
- Intel SSD 530 240GB @ Hardware.info
- Samsung unveils its first 3D V-NAND SSDs for the enterprise @ The Inquirer
- Kingston SSDNow mS200 / RunCore Pro V 120GB mSATA SSDs review: ideal upgrade for laptops @ Hardware.info
- HGST Travelstar 5K1500 2.5-inch Mobile Hard Drive Review @ Madshrimps
- Western Digital Blue Slim 1TB hard Drive Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Patriot Gauntlet 320 Wireless External Hard Drive Review @ TechwareLabs
- HGST Touro Mobile Pro 500GB USB 3.0 External Hard Drive Review @ Legit Reviews
- Seagate Wireless Plus External Storage @ Bjorn3D
- ADATA DashDrive Durable HD710 External Hard Drive @ Benchmark Reviews
- SanDisk Extreme UHS-I microSDXC Card SDSDQX @ Benchmark Reviews
Subject: Storage | August 22, 2013 - 01:11 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: corsair, force ls, ssd, phison, toshiba mlc
Corsair has launched a new line of budget solid state drives (SSDs) under the Force LS branding. The new SSDs come in up to 240GB capacities, and despite being budget drives, still manage to max out the SATA III 6Gbps interface.
The new Force LS SSDs use 19nm Toshiba MLC NAND flash and a Phison SSD controller. Traditionally, Corsair has used LSI SandForce controllers in its Force and Force GT solid state drives. The Force LS line includes 60GB, 120GB, and 240GB SSDs. The drives are 7mm thick 2.5” form factor drives.
As far as performance, the drives support sequential write speeds of 535 MB/s and sequential read speeds of 555 MB/s. Information on IOPS have not been released, but expect it to be lower than the existing Force drives due to their budget nature.
There is no word on specific availability date(s), but the new Force LS drives will be priced at $70 for the 60GB, $110 for the 120GB, and $200 for the 240GB. At the top end, the drives are approximately 83 cents per Gigabyte ($0.83/GB). All Force LS drives come with three year warranties.
Subject: General Tech, Storage, Mobile | August 20, 2013 - 09:41 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: exFAT, Samsung
But Linux distributions still cannot officially use it... sort of?
Samsung added support for exFAT on Linux, in kernel, with one of their tablets. At some point code was leaked on GitHub. At some other point the Software Freedom Conservancy determined certain GPL-dependent modifications were published in binary form alone. Eventually Samsung properly released their source code under the GNU General Public License (GPL).
I am still unclear about how Samsung was allowed to do so, however. Copyright was never the main concern with exFAT but rather the patents Microsoft holds over the file system. The GPL mandates that code it covers must come with a non-exclusive worldwide and royalty-free license for applicable patents except under certain conditions. I would be curious how this license was accomplished unless Microsoft granted Samsung a patent license prior to March 28, 2007 (or some loophole like that).
I understand how people might be sympathetic to Microsoft and others asserting software patents because they are a for-profit business but that does not apply everywhere. You need to be careful when you apply a license to something as upstream as a file system or a kernel as everything downstream relies upon your decision.
Just imagine if you were separated from the contents of your SDXC card because, somehow, this patent found its way into the portfolio of a troll firm?
Current implementations of the file system are in user space until Samsung's in-kernel module. The Software Freedom Conservancy praised Samsung -- not only for their source code contribution -- but also for how open and public their response was.
Subject: Storage | August 14, 2013 - 10:11 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Samsung, charge trap flash, vertical nand, vnand, 128Gb, enterprise ssd
Last week, Samsung announced that it had started producing a new stackable NAND flash memory called V-NAND, or vertical NAND. The new 3D V-NAND would initially be available in 128Gb (Gigabit) chips, but could eventually scale into as much as 1 Tb (Terabit) per chip by stacking additional dies vertically. Doing so allows Samsung some flexibility in scaling to higher capacities without going to increasingly expensive and difficult to manufacturer smaller manufacturing processes, which has been the traditional method of attaining denser flash.
The company has now announced the V-NAND SSD, which is its first Solid State Drive to use the Vertical NAND technology. Aimed at the enterprise server market, the V-NAND SSD will come in 480GB and 960GB capacities. The 2.5” form factor drives are 7mm thick and come equipped with a SATA III 6Gbps controller. On the high end, the 960GB model uses 64 MLC 3D V-NAND 128Gb dies for a total physical capacity of 1TB. However, user-accessible capacity will be only 960GB. Unfortunately, Samsung did not reveal how many physical chips the drives use, so its hard to say how those 64 128Gb dies are distributed (4 high in 16 chips or 8 high in 8 chips, etc).
The 960GB Samsung V-NAND SSD spotted by Engadget.
Samsung claims that the V-NAND SSD offers up to 20% increased performance and a 40% reduction in power consumption versus previous SSDs. Further, the 3D NAND using Samsung’s Charge Trap Flash technology is rated at 35K program erase cycles. Samsung rates the V-NAND memory itself as being twice as fast in writes and between two and ten times as reliable versus traditional 19nm floating gate NAND (the alternative to CTF NAND).
Samsung's 128Gb V-NAND die.
Samsung stated in a press release that it started production of the V-NAND SSD earlier this month. While it is introducing V-NAND into enterprise drives first, the technology will eventually trickle down into consumer drives. I’m interested to see this drive benchmarked for performance and write endurance to see if the 3D flash lives up to its potential.
Subject: Storage | August 12, 2013 - 05:37 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ssd, partition, MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition, 4k
SSDs and modern OSes no longer use the old 512 byte LBA alignment, or at least they don't need to and in the case of SSDs offer larger disk size and faster performance. However many people are not aware of 4k alignment nor how to check if their SSD is aligned nor what to do even if they do know it is not aligned. Hardware.Info put together a short article on the steps to verify if your SSD is aligned as well as covering a free partitioning tool called MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition which will help you align your SSD as well as other tasks common to partitioning software. As with any major changes being made at this low a level, do realize that this could cause data loss, but aligning those sectors is a great IDEMA.
"When you copy the contents of a hard disk from a PC or laptop to an SSD you have to make sure that the placement of the partitions corresponds to the underlying hardware structure. The same is true for the latest generation of hard disks. Today we'll discuss what this so-called '4k alignment' really means and what you can do in order to prevent a decrease in performance."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- ULLtraDIMM: combining SSD and DRAM for the enterprise @ Hardware.info
- Seagate 600 SSD 240GB (ST240HM000) @ NikKTech
- Plextor M5 Pro 256 GB SSD @ techPowerUp
- SanDisk Extreme 2 240GB SSD Review @ Hardware Canucks
- SanDisk Extreme II Solid State Drive SDSSDXP @ Legion Hardware
- Seagate Laptop Thin SSHD 500GB @ NikKTech
- ASUS RAIDR Express 240GB PCI-Express SSD @ Hardware.info
- Silicon Power Blaze B20 USB 3.0 Flash Drive Review @ Madshrimps
- Corsair Voyager Air 500GB @ Legion Hardware
- WD My Passport Ultra 1TB Portable Hard Drive Review @ Techgage
- Patriot Tab 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive @ eTeknix
- Kingston DT Ultimate 3.0 G3 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive 2 Funky Kit
- Seagate Business Storage 2-bay 6TB @ Hardware.info
- Synology DS713+ @ techPowerUp
- Seagate NAS HDD 4TB Review @ Techgage
- QNAP TS-421 and TS-420 @ Legion Hardware
- Teratrend (SilverStone) TS231U 2 Bay USB3.0 RAID Enclosure @ eTeknix
Subject: Storage | August 12, 2013 - 09:00 AM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: ssd, silicon motion, sata, controller
You may very well have never heard of Silicon Motion (SMI), a major priducer of flash memory controllers, even if you've followed the SSD industry for a while. This is primarily because the vast majority of their products have been tailored for the devices that folks tend to not crack open during review, namely USB memory sticks, eMMC devices, and SD / CF cards:
Creating controllers in those arenas will tend to force a company to do a few things very well:
- Handle a very limited number of flash channels with the greatest speed possible, due to packaging requirements for very small devices.
- Operate at the lowest power draw possible as to meet the current draw limits of the host interface.
This has resulted in SMI developing a 6Gb/sec SSD controller, dubbed the SM2246EN, using the above techniques:
The block diagram shows what appears to be a fairly standard 4-channel configuration, though there are fewer steps in the pipeline as compared to SandForce and other controllers, which should help decrease latency and improve efficiency. There is also no compression engine, which means power consumption should be further reduced.
Read on for further details on specs and power consumption, followed by the full press blast.
Subject: Storage | July 31, 2013 - 05:34 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: diablo technologies, DIMM, nand, flash memory, memory channel storage
Ottawa-based Diablo Technologies unveiled a new flash storage technology yesterday that it calls Memory Channel Storage. As the name suggest, the storage technology puts NAND flash into a DIMM form factor and interfaces the persistent storage directly with the processor via the integrated memory controller.
The Memory Channel Storage (MCS) is a drop-in replacement for DDR3 RDIMMs (Registered DIMMs) in servers and storage arrays. Unlike DRAM, MCS is persistent storage backed by NAND flash and it can allow servers to have Terabytes of storage connected to the CPU via the memory interface instead of mere Gigabytes of DRAM acting as either system memory or block storage. The photo provided in the technology report (PDF) shows a 400GB MCS module that can slot into a standard DIMM slot, for example.
Diablo Technologies claims that MCS exhibits lower latencies and higher bandwidth than PCI-E and SATA SSDs. More importantly, the storage latency is predictable and consistent, making it useful for applications such as high frequency stock trading where speed and deterministic latency are paramount. Further, users can get linear increases in throughput with each additional Memory Channel Storage module added to the system. Latencies with MCS are as much as 85% lower with PCI-E SSDs and 96% lower than SAS/SATA SSDs according to Diablo Technologies. NAND flash maintenance such as wear leveling is handled via an on-board logic chip.
Diablo Technologies is also aiming the MCS technology at servers running big data analytics, massive cloud databases, financial applications, server virtualization, and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). MCS can act as super fast local storage or as a local cache for external (such as networked) storage in the form of mechanical hard drives or SSDs.
Some details about Memory Channel Storage are still unclear, but it looks promising. It will not be quite as fast in random access as DRAM but it will be better (more bandwidth, lower latency) than both PCI-E and SATA-connected NAND flash-based SSDs. It would be awesome to see this kind of tech make its way to consumer systems so that I can have a physical RAMDisk with fast persistent storage (at least as far as form factor, MCS uses NAND not DRAM chips).
The full press release can be found here.
Subject: Storage | July 28, 2013 - 11:13 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: ssd, raidr express, raidr, pci-e ssd, ASUS ROG, asus
ASUS has officially launched its PCI-E based ROG RAIDR Express SSD which was first shown off at CES 2013. The company posted details and high resolution photos on its Republic of Gamers blog on Friday.
The new PCI-E-based solid state drive measures 157 x 120 x 20mm and contains 240GB of NAND flash encased in a sleek metal Replublic Of Gamers themed exterior. Specifically, the RAIDR Express uses 19nm Toshiba synchronous MLC NAND flash and two LSI SandForce 2281 SSD controllers. As such, the drive is actually two SSDs that are placed in a RAID 0 configuration for the best performance. ASUS rates the drive at 830 MB/s sequential reads and 810 MB/s sequential writes. The PCI-E SSD is further capable of up to 100,000 4K random IOPS.
ASUS has also included what it is calling a "DuoMode" BIOS switch that allows the drive to be used with either legacy or modern UEFI BIOSes. When the switch is in the EUFI position, PCs with the modern UEFI-equipped motherboards can boot up faster.
Beyond the RAIDR Express SSD itself, ASUS includes the following bundled software packages:
- RAMDisk software
- HybriDisk caching software
- SSD TweakIT utility
ASUS is including RAMDisk software that is able to use as much as 80% of system RAM as a virtual drive that can be used to reduce wear on the SSD by using the RAM drive instead of the SSD for writing temporary files and the like. The above mentioned HybriDisk software allows the RAIDR Express SSD to be used as a cache drive for mechanical hard drives up to 4TB in capacity. Users can use the TweakIT utility to manage and optimize the SSD, and the CrystalDiskMark benchmark is being included to allow gamers to run benchmarks on the RAIDR Express to get an idea of its performance.
Oddly enough, ASUS has yet to release specific pricing or availability. More information along with the full press release can be found on the Republic of Gamers blog, however.
With that said, some sites are reporting that the RAIDR Express will be sold for around 440 Euros, which works out to about $600 USD or $2.5 per Gigabyte. Update: Commentor Roberto has pointed out that the RAIDR Express 240GB is available over in Japan for around 39,980 Yen, or ~$409 USD which is a much more reasonable price. US availability and pricing are still just estimates at this point, however. A bit on the expensive side (if the price is true) for sure, but it is nice to see another player in the PCI-E SSD space and it looks to be a speedy drive aimed at ROG fans and enthusiasts.
Also read: Details on a 120GB ASUS ROG RAIDR Express SSD @ PC Perspective.
Subject: Storage | July 26, 2013 - 06:08 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: TurboWrite, tlc, ssd, slc, Samsung, 840 evo, MEX controller
Along with Al's review of the new EVO line you can get a second opinion from The Tech Report about the performance of the new SSD with a fast cache. The majority of the storage is 19nm TLC NAND but there is an SLC cache sitting between the controller and that long term TLC storage to help with the overall responsiveness of the drive, aka TurboWrite. In the 120 and 250GB models that cache is 3GB while in the larger models you get a 6GB cache. In their real world testing the new EVO drive is incredible at large file copying though Sandforce drives can beat it in small file copy speeds, likely thanks to the compressed write trickery that controller family is so good at. Check out the review here and keep your fingers crossed that MSRP is the acual price these drives sell at.
"Samsung's entry-level 840 EVO SSD combines affordable TLC NAND with a server-style SLC cache. We explain the drive's unique buffering tech and explore how it affects performance."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Samsung 840 EVO SSD @ The SSD Review
- Samsung SSD 840 EVO Review: 120GB, 250GB, 500GB, 750GB & 1TB Models Tested @ AnandTech
- Samsung 840 EVO 250GB, 750GB SSD Review @ Custom PC Review
- Samsung 840 Evo SSD @ Hardware.info
- Samsung unveils 840 EVO solid-state drive family @ The Tech Report
- 240GB OCZ Vertex 450 Solid State Drive @ Benchmark Reviews
- Plextor M5M 128GB mSATA SSD Review @ Legit Reviews
- OCZ Vertex 3.20 240GB SSD @ eTeknix
- OCZ Vector 512GB SSD @ Kitguru
- RunCore Pro IV 1.8 Inch ZIF SSD @ LanOC Reviews
- Silicon-Power Velox V55 240GB @ Legion Hardware
- Seagate 600 Pro SSD 400GB @ Bjorn3D
- Securely Erasing Your SSD with Linux: A How-To @ Techgage
- Seagate Central 3TB review: User-friendly? @ Hardware.info
- Silicon Power Blaze B20 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive @ NikKTech
- USB 3.0 Flash Drive Roundup July 2013 @ Legion Hardware
- Icy Dock FlexCage 2 Bay and 3 Bay Hard Drive Enclosure Review @ HiTech Legion
- Zalman ZM-VE400 USB 3.0 HDD/SSD Enclosure @ Funky Kit
- QNAP TS-421 & QTS 4.0 @ techPowerUp
- Thecus N2520 review: first NAS with Intel Atom CE5315 @ Hardware.info
Subject: Storage | July 26, 2013 - 12:35 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: turbo sshd, sshd, Seagate, nand, enterprise
Earlier this week Seagate took the wraps off of its latest Solid State Hybrid Drive (SSHD). Dubbed the Enterprise Turbo SSHD, this latest model is aimed at the enterprise server market. The drives combine a traditional 10K SAS mechanical hard drive in capacities up to 600GB with up to 32GB of NAND flash.
The 2.5" Enterprise Turbo SSHDs are aimed at servers with big data analytics, virtual desktops, and transaction processing workloads. The NAND flash acts as a cache for the mechanical hard drive, and caching is done by the controller at an I/O level.
According to Seagate, the company has been working with IBM over the past year to put the new SSHD through its paces. As such, the hybrid drives will first be available in the IBM X and BladeCentral servers. The IBM versions will have 16GB of NAND flash and one year warranties according to the documentation available online.
Seagate further claims up to three times random performance increase versus 15K SAS mechanical hard drives. The 600GB 10K SSHD is rated to have up to two times better IOPS than a traditional 10K SAS hard drive without a NAND cache.
The Enterprise Turbo also comes with enterprise-friendly drive self encryption options. The Seagate product page notes that the Enterprise Turbo SSHD will have a five year warranty. Pricing and detailed benchmarks are not yet available though some preliminary performance results can be found here.
The full press release can be found here.
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