OCZ updates their enterprise lineup with two new Intrepid 3000 Series models

Subject: Storage | December 12, 2013 - 04:44 PM |
Tagged: ssd, ocz, intrepid, 3800, 3600, 3000

OCZ hasn't exactly been having a smooth run lately. Despite, or perhaps in spite of talks of bankruptcy and buyouts, they have launched an update to their enterprise lineup:

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The new Intrepid 3000 Series is built on a Marvell 88SS9187 controller running custom firmware developed in-house by OCZ. This combination achieves a claimed 91,000 random 4K read IOPS and a steady 40,000 random 4K write IOPS. These specs are significantly higher than OCZ's previous generation enterprise SSD, the SandForce-driven Deveva 2. This combination has also enabled greater data endurance and protection via BCH error correction of up to 85 bits per 2Kb. The controller and new firmware also treat the flash as a RAID to further increase redundancy.

The Intrepid will be available in two models, segmented by the endurance rating of the installed 19nm Toshiba flash:

  • Intrepid 3600:
    • 19nm MLC
    • Rated for 5 years at 1 full drive write per day
  • Intrepid 3800:
    • 19nm eMLC
    • Rated for 5 years at 5 full drive writes per day

Both models will be available in 100, 200, 400, and 800GB capacities beginning Q1 2014.

Full press release after the break:

Leaked Intel Slides Show Possible 2TB SSDs in Q2 2014?

Subject: General Tech, Storage | December 5, 2013 - 10:23 PM |
Tagged: Intel, ssd

Computer storage website, Myce, got a hold of a few slides from Intel's SSD division. The semiconductor giant is expected to have (at least) nine active product lines with new SKUs apparently coexisting with certain older models. Two of the PCIe-based product lines, the P3700 series and the P3500 series, are expected to be available in capacities of up to 2TB. They will apparently be available in 2.5" form factor as well.

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Image Credit: Myce

Intel has not produced the most mindblowing components over the last 3-4 years but, to my knowledge, they have been effective at wooing the enterprise customers. 2.8 GB/s reads and 1.7 GB/s writes at 450,000 IOPS for reading (150,000 IOPS for writes) seem pretty good, though. Combined with Intel's 5-year warranty and it will probably find its way into a few servers.

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Each of the new products will be fabricated on the 20nm process (the older 910 Series and DC S3700 Series, both from 2012, will remain 25nm). Of course Intel has access to smaller processes at this point but, since these are enterprise products, it makes sense for them to use the more tried and true methods for the time being.

If you are interested in enterprise SSDs, keep an eye out in a couple of quarters. Maybe we will even see some stuff coming out of CES in a month.

Also check out Myce for the rest of the leaked slides.

Source: Myce

HGST's SASsy 12Gps SSD, brought to you by Intel

Subject: Storage | December 5, 2013 - 05:08 PM |
Tagged: hgst, SAS, ssd, SSD800MM, enterprise ssd

For Enterprise level performance nothing beats SAS as it can sustain transfer speeds of up to 12Gbps if your storage media is fast enough.  The partnership of Intel and HGST bring you just such a drive, rated at 700MB/s and 1150MB/s for sequential reads and writes and IOPS of 145K and 70K for random reads and writes respectively.  If that isn't enough to make you jealous, The SSD Review also had a chance to test this SSD as part of an eight disk RAID.

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"If you have been following The SSD Review in 2013, you are probably familiar with our coverage of 12Gbps SAS. Throughout the year we have covered HBAs, RAID Adapters, Enclosures and SSDs. We have been incredibly busy reviewing new products, but one product in particular has stood out. In all of our 12Gbps SAS reviews we have sung the praises of the HGST SSD800MM. Since the SSD800MM was more of a means to an end when reviewing the LSI SAS 9300-8e, we never really gave it its proper due. With this update, we wanted to put this SSD into perspective after nearly a year’s worth of 12Gbps SAS testing."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

(TechReport) SSD Endurance Gets Interesting at 300TB

Subject: General Tech, Storage | November 26, 2013 - 03:46 AM |
Tagged: ssd, endurance

Update 11/26/2013 @ 11:20pm Allyn weighed in, particularly about the Samsung drives. One thing that he notes (as does Tech Report in the original article) is that Samsung might just be more severe in its reporting of errors. For instance, he believes that it is just about impossible for SSDs to write 300TB of data without ever seeing a flash read error. Regardless of what they report, each of these drives keep on ticking. It is "significantly beyond the expectations of a consumer (non-Prosumer) SSD".

The Tech Report has been testing a batch of SSDs for their life expectancy over several months now. Results have been fairly interesting: drives were relatively stable even up to 200TB of cumulative writes; some drives even got faster. Now they have passed the 300TB threshold and we are seeing certain drives hit some harsh realities. As Scott Wasson said in a tweet:

 

 

In all, though, even the TLC offerings have surpassed reasonable expectations. Consumer drives are designed for consumer machines and will likely take decades to reach the hundreds-of-terabytes order of magnitude for today's usage.

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Image Credit: The Tech Report

It makes me wonder exactly how over-provisioned enterprise hardware is if these, consumer, parts have such high reliability.

Source: Tech Report
Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Western Digital

Introduction, Specifications and Packaging

Introduction:

If you're into the laptop storage upgrade scene, you hear the same sort of arguments all the time. "Do I go with a HDD for a large capacity and low cost/GB, but suffer performance"? "I want an SSD, but can't afford the capacity I need"! The ideal for this scenario is to combine both - go with a small capacity SSD for your operating system and apps, while going with a larger HDD for bulk storage at a lower cost/GB. The catch here is that most mobile platforms only come with a single 2.5" 9.5mm storage bay, and you just can't physically fit a full SSD and a full HDD into that space, can you? Well today Western Digital has answered that challenge with the Black2 Dual Drive:

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Yup, we're not kidding. This is a 120GB SSD *and* a 1TB HDD in a single package. Not a hybrid. Two drives, and it's nothing short of a work of art.

Continue reading our review of the Western Digital Black2 Dual Drive!!

Meet the new LSI Sandforce controller

Subject: Storage | November 22, 2013 - 01:33 PM |
Tagged: sandforce sf3700, LSI, Codename Griffin

That image may bear a remarkable resemblance to a DIMM but it is indeed an SSD using the PCIe M.2 connector.  The models that The SSD Review saw came in both M.2 and SATA versions with read and write speeds of up to 1.8GB/s over a PCIe 4x connection which is more than a little impressive.  They've taught this new controller another trick as well, DuraWrite Virtual Capacity could triple the storage available on an SSD virtually, a 128GB drive could store up to 384GB.  Hopefully we will get a more in depth description of how DVC will work in the near future.

M.2-Differences.jpg

1 notch PCIe X4 = 2000MB/s
2 notch PCIe x2/SATA = max 1000MB/s or 550MB/s

"Since first discovery of the next gen LSI SandForce FSP , we have seen this controller shed its ‘ Codename Griffin’ skin and receive official validation as the new LSI SandForce SF-3700 Series flash controller, indeed capable of top SSD performance speeds of 1.8GB/s. There are a ton of questions that remain, however. Why hasn’t it been released? Why haven’t we seen thorough performance benchmarks? Are there heat issues with the controller? Is it possible, like folklore describing the Griffin with its head of an eagle and body of a lion, that the SF3700 family is myth and something that we may just never see? Let’s tackle these questions one by one, all the while showing you some early examples of what various LSI SandForce partners have to offer."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage

Components Deals: Amazon Gold Box has Core i7-4770K for $299, Intel 240GB 530 SSD for $149

Subject: General Tech, Processors, Storage | November 19, 2013 - 01:15 PM |
Tagged: i7-4770k, gold box, deals, amazon, 530 series

I don't often post about the Amazon Gold Box deals, but today the company has some great offerings specific to PC enthusiasts and DIY builders that you might want to take advantage of.  Please keep in mind though that these deals are only good today, November 19th!!

The flagship offering is the Intel Core i7-4770K, the company's highest end LGA1150 Haswell processor, is on sale for $299; $60 off the normal MSRP. That is the best price I have seen on that flagship CPU with the exception of in-store offerings from MicroCenters. 

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For those of you on a tighter budget, Amazon has the Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge processor on sale for $199

Another great price can be had on the Intel 530 Series 240GB SSD that is going for $149; well under the MSRP price. 

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You can also find good deals on a pair of Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 cards including the OC model with boost for $239 or the Vapor-X model for $289, both after rebates. 

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Here are some other interesting deals, all found on the Gold Box deal page:

And just remember: these deals are only good today, November 19th!!

Source: Amazon

... And It's Gone. SATA Express Canceled from Intel 9-Series

Subject: General Tech, Chipsets, Storage | November 12, 2013 - 04:37 PM |
Tagged: Intel, 9-series, SATA Express

Intel is preparing to launch several processors next year. For back-to-school, Haswell will return with new SKUs and a new 9-series chipset; in the holiday season, Haswell-E will arrive for high-end (high wattage) enthusiasts on the X99 chipset; and, just before 2015, Broadwell-K will be available for the mainstream 9-series desktop.

SATA Express will not be accompanying them.

SATA Express.jpg

The specification, which more than triples SATA 6Gbps's "up-to 600MB/s" bandwidth rating, will not be validated for Intel 9 Series chipsets. Intel was originally rumored to be its launch partner. The host connector accepts connections from both SATA (up to two per host connector) and PCIe-based (one device, up to two lanes) hard drives. Two PCIe lanes provides 2GB/s of bandwidth.

It seems like the real benefit is to allow internal drives be connected with PCIe speeds through a ribbon-cable. Currently Intel has not given a reason to pass on the standard.

Source: VR-Zone
Subject: Storage
Manufacturer: Western Digital

Introduction and Features

Introduction:

Today Western Digital launched an important addition to their Personal Cloud Storage NAS family - the My Cloud EX4:

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The My Cloud EX4 is Western Digital's answer to the increased demand for larger personal storage devices. When folks look for places to consolidate all of their bulk files, media, system backups, etc, they tend to extend past what is possible with a single hard drive. Here is Western Digital's projection on where personal storage is headed:

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Where the My Cloud was a single drive solution, the My Cloud EX4 extends that capability to span up to four 3.5" drives. When it comes to devices that span across several drives, the number 4 is a bit of a sweet spot, as it enables several RAID configurations:

WD EX4-RAID options.png

Everything but online capacity expansion (where the user can swap drives one at a time to a larger capacitiy) is suppoted. While WD has stated that feature will be available in a future update, I find it a bit risky to intentionally and repeatedly fail an array by pulling drives and forcing rebuilds. It just makes more sense to back up the data and re-create a fresh array with the new larger drives installed.

Ok, so we've got the groundwork down with a 4-bay NAS device. What remains to be seen is how Western Digital has implemented the feature set. There is a lot to get through here, so let's get to it.

Read on for more on Western Digital's new My Cloud EX4!

OCZ shrinks their flash and is proud to show it off

Subject: Storage | November 8, 2013 - 06:08 PM |
Tagged: Vector 150, toshiba mlc, ssd, ocz, 19nm, Indilinx, barefoot 3

OCZ's newest contribution to the SSD market is the Vector 150 with 19nm flash and a tiny footprint perfect for today's ultra-mobile devices.  One of the most welcome advances in this family is increased over-provisioning of flash storage which allows increased lifespan by letting the drive retire more flash as it slowly becomes unusable without shrinking the size of the drive.  As far as the performance goes it beats out almost all previous drives we have seen and while The Tech Report is a little worried about the lifetime of the Barefoot controller the 5 year warranty mitigates that concern somewhat.

You can also see how well it survived Al's torture testing here.

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"There's a new SSD in town. OCZ's Vector 150 combines the Indilinx Barefoot 3 controller with 19-nm Toshiba NAND and additional spare area. We take a closer look at how it measures up."

Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:

Storage