Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: OCZ Technology

Introduction, Specifications and Packaging

Introduction:

It has been a while since OCZ introduced their Vector SSD, and it was in need of a refresh to bring its pricing more in-line with the competition, which had been equipping their products with physically smaller flash dies (therefore reducing cost). Today, OCZ launched a refresh to their Vector - now dubbed the Vector 150:

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The OCZ strategy changed up a while back. They removed a lot of redundancy and confusing product lines, consolidating everything into a few simple solutions. Here's a snapsot of that strategy, showing the prior and newer iterations of three simple solutions:

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The Vector 150 we look at today falls right into the middle here. I just love the 'ENTHUSIST' icon they went with:

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Read on for our full review of the new OCZ Vector 150!

The continuing Tech Report SSD torture test

Subject: Storage | November 4, 2013 - 11:53 AM |
Tagged: ssd, endurance

The Tech Report have hit the 200TB mark on their testing of ~250GB SSDs from Corsair, Intel, Samsung and Kingston and the drives are starting to feel it.  At the 100TB mark Intel and Samsung drives started to lose blocks of storage and at 200TB all but two drives have shown evidence of degradation.  The non-Pro Samsung 840 has suffered the most but its performance is very similar to what it was in the beginning while the Corsair and the Kingston drive receiving only compressed data report themselves in perfect health.  Check out the exact performance deltas in their article.

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"We're in the process of hammering six SSDs with an unrelenting torrent of writes to see what happens as the flash wears out. Today, we check in on the drives after 200TB of writes."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Seagate's supersized NASty specialized spinning disks

Subject: Storage | October 23, 2013 - 01:23 PM |
Tagged: NAS, Seagate, 4TB, hdd

Seagate's aptly named NAS HDD looks very much like their 4TB Desktop model but internally it has enhanced vibration reduction as well as parts that are more resistant to vibration which should create a quieter and longer lasting drive.  It also shares 5900 RPM and a 64MB cache but Seagate claims slightly higher seek times, 8.5ms read and 9.5ms write and time-limited error recovery which makes these drives far less dangerous to use in a RAID than the desktop model in scenarios such as Al has mentioned numerous times.  The Tech Report's testing put it against Seagate's Desktop version as well as the WD Red that is also optimized for use in NAS devices, read on to see which gets recommended.

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"Seagate's NAS HDD 4TB is optimized for network-attached storage and desktop RAID implementations. It promises better reliability than typical desktop drives, too. We take a closer look to see how the NAS HDD compares to its WD Red counterpart."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Western Digital announces new Sentinel DS5100 and DS6100 small business NAS devices

Subject: Storage | October 10, 2013 - 06:21 PM |
Tagged: western digital, wdc, WD

Today, Western Digital announced a couple of additions to their small business NAS solutions.

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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.

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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:

Can Seagate's cached HDD compete with an SSD + HDD setup?

Subject: Storage | October 4, 2013 - 11:12 AM |
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.

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"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:

Storage

Western Digital launches My Cloud storage device

Subject: Storage | October 2, 2013 - 07:42 PM |
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:

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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:

OCZ Introduces new 19nm Enterprise SATA III SSDs to Its Popular Deneva 2 Series

Subject: Storage | September 24, 2013 - 12:23 PM |
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.

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“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.

Mushkin Launches Scorpion Delux PCI-E SSD

Subject: Storage | September 14, 2013 - 09:52 AM |
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 (edit from Allyn - it is bootable), 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 Scorpion Deluxe PCI-E SSD With Four SandForce SF-2281 SSD Controllers.jpg

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
240GB $559.99 $2.33/GB
480GB $794.42 $1.66/GB
960GB $1276.50 $1.33/GB
1920GB $2052.15 $1.07/GB

Only $1.07 per GB on the 2TB model? If only I had a corporate expense account! (heh)

IDF 2013: Promise Technology Shows Off Thunderbolt 2 Equipped Storage

Subject: Storage | September 13, 2013 - 01:23 PM |
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.

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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.

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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.

22 Terabytes of hammering on the Anvil

Subject: Storage | September 6, 2013 - 11:25 AM |
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.

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"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:

Storage