Subject: Storage | April 2, 2012 - 05:10 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: RevoDrive 3 X2 240GB, PCIe SSD, ocz
The thing which most caught The Tech Report's eye when they examined the OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 240GB PCIe SSD was the complete lack of bridge chips. When they inquired as to just how the SuperScale storage controller manages this they didn't get a precise answer, as that would be giving away secrets, but were told it "combines processing and full DMA cores, as well as internal PCIe, SATA and SAS interfaces." Putting that mystery aside, they installed the SSD to see just how four SSDs on one card perform in real world and synthetic tests. The tests will impress you but keep in mind the cost of the card, at $2.83/GB it does not come cheap.
"Using virtualization voodoo, the RevoDrive 3 X2 combines four SandForce-based SSDs on a single PCIe card purportedly capable of transfer rates up to 1500MB/s. We take a closer look to see if the Revo is as impressive as it sounds. "
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- OCZ Releases Arowana SSD Firmware @ SSD Review
- LSI Nytro Product Family Overview - New WarpDrive XD Revealed and more @ Tweaktown
- Plextor M3 Pro 256GB @ Tweaktown
- Super Talent RAIDDrive upStream 220GB PCIe SSD @ SSD Review
- Transcend SSD720 128GB @ Kitguru
- BIWIN S836 Elite SATA 3 120GB @ SSD Review
- OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid 1TB @ Bjorn3D
- Runcore ProV Max 240GB 6Gbps SSD @ SSD Review
- Samsung 830 Series SATA 3 512GB @ SSD Review
- Micron RealSSD P400e 200GB Enterprise SATA III SSD Review @ Legit Reviews
- OCZ Synapse 64GB SSD Cache Drive Review @ Hardware Canucks
- QNAP TS-879U-RP 10GbE NAS Server @ Benchmark Reviews
- Synology DiskStation DS1512+ NAS @ TechSpot
- Western Digital My Book Live Duo (4TB) Review @ TechReviewSource
Introduction, Specifications, and Packaging
Samsung has been in the SSD business for a good long while now. My first "serious" SSD setup consisted of a pair of 32GB G.Skill 'FlashSSD's in a RAID. A few months later I upgraded to an Intel X25-M, starting working for PCPer, and have since seen a slew of different controller types come and go. Of those, Samsung and Intel both come to mind as the most reliable controllers out there. Of those two, Samsung has always been the primary choice of PC OEMs. It may have been because the Samsung controllers have always leaned towards the slow-but-steady approach. Other fire breathing controllers would be quick out of the gate but slow over time as fragmentation effects set in, while Samsung controllers would take the hit on random IOPS, but they maintained that lower level even after repeated and sustained abuse. They were not the fastest, but as a testament to their consistency, I continue to use one of the two aforementioned G.Skill drives in the PCPer Storage Testbed to this day.
Subject: Storage | March 26, 2012 - 02:26 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ssd, Toshiba 400GB SAS SSD, SAS
The main concern for enterprises is reliability, perhaps the main reason that most companies have not immediately jumped onto SSD storage as their primary solution. The cost is another barrier but for high volume database usage as well as disk intensive tasks like transforming video the speed advantage can pay for the initial investment in very little time, as long as the medium is reliable. Where an SSD failure on your home machine is frustrating, it can cost a business a lot of money. This is changing as we are starting to see more companies offering Enterprise class SSDs, usually SAS SSDs which can help ameliorate the possibility of downtime due to a failed drive. The Toshiba MK4001GRZB 400GB SAS 6Gb/s Enterprise SLC SSD is one such drive and when the SSD Review had a chance to test this $7000 drive they jumped at the chance. Check out the review to see its speed in action and keep in mind the stellar warranty which Toshiba offers, unlimited writes for the life of the 5-year warranty, when you are considering the drive for business use.
"Our SSD review today will be on the Toshiba MK4001GRZB 400GB SAS 6Gb/s Enterprise SLC SSD and will be the first to experience our new Enterprise Test Protocol. This SSD brings with it some of the best sustainable performance in the realm, and also has recently taken the Grand Prize for Excellence in Energy Efficiency and Conservation from the Japan Energy Conservation Center, so it is definitely a top candidate to initiate our new Enterprise Test Protocol."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Patriot Pyro SE 240 GB Solid State Drive @ X-bit Labs
- OCZ Octane 512GB @ Legion Hardware
- OCZ Synapse Cache SSD Review @ HCW
- OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 - 240GB PCIe SSD @ Funky Kit
- Plextor M3 256GB SATA 6Gb/s @ SSD Review
- Crucial Adrenaline SSD Review: Solid State Cache for Your Hard Drive @ Techspot
- Crucial M4 Adrenaline 50GB Cache SSD @ SSD Review
- Kingston SSDNow V+200 120GB SSD Review @ Legit Reviews
- MyDigitalSSD 32GB Super Cache mSATA SSD @ SSD Review
- OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 240GB SSD Review @ circuitREMIX
- SanDisk Extreme 120GB @ OC3D
- Plextor M3 128GB SSD Review @ HardwareLOOK
- OCZ Octane 512GB SSD Review @ Neoseeker
- SanDisk Extreme 240GB SATA 3 SSD @ SSD Review
- 24nm Flash SSD Faceoff - SanDisk Extreme Retake and Plextor M3 Pro @ Tweaktown
- Kingston SSDNow V+200 90GB @ Kitguru
- Patriot Wildfire (SandForce SF-2281) 4x SSD RAID @ Tweaktown
- Plextor M3 Pro 128GB @ Tweaktown
- ADATA S107 Superior USB flash drive @ Guru 3D
- 10 Things to Consider Before Setting Up RAID @ TechwareLabs
- Icy Dock MB082SP EZ-FIT Pro Dual 2.5” to 3.5” Hard drive & SSD Bracket Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Synology DiskStation DS112j NAS Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Icy Box IB-MP3011Plus Review @ HardwareLOOK
- QNAP TurboNAS TS-419P II 4-Bay NAS Review @ eTeknix
- Synology DiskStation DS412+ 4-bay All-in-1 NAS Server for SMB Users Review @ Madshrimps
- Thecus N4200 Pro 4-Bay NAS Review @ eTeknix
Centon Electronics today announced an expansion of their solid state drive lineup with new SATA III offerings. The 2.5” SATA III drives utilize 20nm class MLC (multi level cell) flash memory and a SandForce 2281 SSD controller. They claim that the drives will take full advantage of the extra bandwidth provided by SATA III with read and write speeds of 400 MB per second and 300 MB per second respectively.
According to a chart on Centon’s website, the new SATA III SSDs are part of a new VVS1 series and they come in 60 GB (though this is listed as VS1 series), 120 GB, and 240 GB capacities. The drives support RAID and are rated for a mean time before failure (MTBF) of 2 million+ hours. They further carry a two year warranty. The 240 GB and 120 GB SATA III SSDs are rated at the 400 MB/s and 300 MB/s read and write speeds, but the 60 GB SATA III SSD is only rated at a max of 300 MB/s read and 200 MB/s write. More information can be found on the company's website.Currently, there is no word on pricing or availability. Also, don't forget about our SSD Decoder for all your SSD research!
Subject: Storage | March 22, 2012 - 07:28 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: super talent, ssd, pcie
Super Talent, a Silicon Valley based company most well known for their RAM and SSD products, today launched a new Solid State Drive (SSD) that eschews the SATA interface for a PCIe x8 connector. The new RAIDDrive upStream upstream joins the RAIDDrive family of PCIe SSDs and utilizes MLC (multi-level cell) NAND flash to deliver between 220 GB and 960 GB of fast storage.
According to the company, their new RAIDDrive SSD is comprised of four Sandforce based SSDs in a RAID array using an LSI RAID controller to deliver up to 1 GB/s of performance. Specifically, access time of the upStream SSD is 0.1ms, and has a maximum read and write speed of 1.0 GB per second and 900 MB/s respectively. The 460 GB upStream drive was benchmarked (granted, by Super Talent) using HD Tune which showed an average sequential read speed of 832.9 MB/s and an average sequential write speed of 719.0 MB/s. As far as random 4 KB IOPS, the drive hit 3606 read IOPS and 5159 write 4KB IOPS.
Super Talent has further benchmarks and information on the new RAIDDrive upStream SSDs in this product data sheet (PDF). Unfortunately, there is no official word on pricing or availability yet, though Engadget has said the Super Talent upStream drives should be hitting store shelves in April.
If I had to guess; however, this drive is going to be expensive. Drives like these are a boon for businesses doing work that requires large amount of throughput (CAD work, animation, working and serving large databases, et al), but are still largely priced out of the market of most PC builders. Here's hoping that high performance PCIe SSDs trickle down to computer enthusiasts as fast as possible!
Biwin is a flash storage manufacturer founded in 1995 that holds headquarters in Shenzhen, China and specializing in USB, memory card, and SSD flash storage. They have 20 SMT assembly lines, ISO9001:2000 factories, and employ more than 50 skilled engineers. Recently, the company founded a subsidiary, Biwin America with headquarters in San Jose, California. The new company will further expand the company's SSD offerings by developing and producing advanced solid state drives for the Enterprise, Embedded, and Consumer markets.
Vice President of Worldwide Marketing for the newly founded Biwin America stated that the company "will be dedicated to developing flash storage solutions that deliver superior performance and reliability." He further noted that the team is very excited to bring new SSDs to the market.
A Biwin SATA 3 SSD
Biwin features 20 SMT (surface-mount technology) lines, die sorting, die packaging, and "sophisticated test and QC processes." They are bringing their experience with flash storage to bear on the US market as they prepare new and expanded SSD products that it will sell direct to OEMs as well as to consumers through authorized distributors.
More information on the company can be found here.
Subject: Storage | March 20, 2012 - 01:27 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: storage, Seagate, hard drives, HAMR, density, 1 Tb/in^2
In April 2006 Seagate began shipping the first 3.5" desktop hard drive using Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (PMR) technology and since then PMR has become essential in allowing all of the hard drive manufacturers to create the 2 TB+ drives available today. As we approach the limits of what drive manufacturers are able to do using PMR alone; however, they are starting to look at additional technologies to boost the storage density. One such technology on the horizon is Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording, or HAMR. According to a recent press release, Seagate is not only experimenting with HAMR but is the first drive manufacturer to use HAMR to reach 1 Terabit per square in of areal density.
HAMR works by using a laser to heat up the storage medium before the compounds used to store data have their orientation aligned by the write heads of the drive. As bits get smaller and smaller, traditional magnetic recording methods are not strong enough to permanently change the magnetic orientation of the bits, which means that there is an inherent, if theoretical, minimum bit size and corresponding maximum storage density possible with current Perpendicular Magnetic Recording. HAMR further allows drive makers to get around that limitation by heating the physical bits to the point that traditional magnetic write heads can change the orientation.
Via Bit-Tech. The laser heats up the platter before being written to.
The current 1 Terabit per square inch achieved using HAMR is also the theoretical maximum storage density for PMR alone (as mentioned above), which is promising as it implies HAMR still has a lot of working room to improve and has matched the maximum proposed for PMR.
Seagate expects to use HAMR to produce 60 TB+ 3.5" and 20 TB+ 2.5" hard drives within the next ten years. To put this areal density in perspective, current 3 TB desktop drives feature approximately 620 Gigabits per square inch while current 750 GB laptop (2.5") drives feature about 500 Gigabits per square inch. Interestingly, when comparing the 1 Tb/in^2 mechanical drive density to flash (ie SSD) storage at equivalent densities, it works out such that a single bit equals 1nm of flash storage!
Unfortunately, we won't be seeing 60 TB drives any time soon. Rather, Seagate expects 6 TB desktop drives and 2 TB laptop drives to be the most immediate benefits of the heat assisted recording technology. Still, as my 2 TB drive is filling up more quickly than I ever imagined (thanks to working with HD video and making regular backups of data), I welcome as much increased storage as I can get!
Marvell, a storage technology company founded in 1995, today announced a new SSD controller in the form of the 88SS9187 that supports many of the latest storage technologies and is set to debut in several products this year.
The new 88SS9187 SSD controller is reportedly powered by a powerful embedded processor and supports the SATA 3.1 (6Gbps) interface as well as a NAND flash interface that is capable of up to 200 MB/s per channel. Also, the Marvell controller can support on-chip RAID functionality as well as Adaptive Read and Write Scheme technology in the ECC (error correction code) engine.
Marvell also claims that the 88SS9187 controller supports the DDR3 DRAM interface for "up to 1 G byte memory," and approximately 500 MB/s of sequential write performance under dirty drive conditions. The claim that the new controller will provide Random read and write IOPS with minimum over provisioning and performance degradations (where provisioning is used to provide a buffer for wear leveling algorithms and extra space for the drive controller to work with to increase performance). The Vice President of Marketing for Marvell's Storage Business Group Alan Armstrong, stated that the new 88SS9187 controller will enable SSD manufacturers "to fully customize their products to meet specific customer demands and distinguish their products based on price, performance, power and functionality."
They plan for the new controller to have an impact in both the consumer and enterprise markets and have announced that additional partners will integrate the 88SS9187 controller into their SSDs later this year. For now though, they have only stated that a "significant number" of popular SSD manufacturers will have drives ready in the immediate future. More information is available here.
Subject: Storage | March 12, 2012 - 07:00 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Sandforce SF2281, revodrive hybrid, RevoDrive 3, PCIe SSD, ocz, hybrid ssd
If you are looking for the speed of an SSD but can't afford one big enough to hold your OS and programs there are two main ways to work around this. The first is only available to Intel SandyBridge owners and that is Intel's SRT which allows you to use a mSATA SSD as a cache drive to speed up commonly used programs. The second is to pick up a hybrid SATA drive like the Seagate Momentus XT line, which does essentially the same thing but is compatible with most systems and is self contained. Techgage would like to remind you that there is a third choice, albeit perhaps more expensive than the other two; the OCZ RevoDrive 3 Hybrid PCIe SSD. This drive sports 1TB of HDD space and 128GB of flash memory split between two SandForce 2281 controllers and at a cost of $330 gives you a lot more space than a $330 SSD.
"SSDs are expensive and often don't offer enough capacity to meet user needs. The recent SSD caching craze attempts to alleviate both these issues, but OCZ has done one better. Combining a RevoDrive 3 with a 1TB HDD the RevoDrive Hybrid offers a self-contained SSD caching solution that is guaranteed to work."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- OCZ Demonstrates Vertex 4 SSD At CeBIT 2012 - It gets Tested and Tested Again @ SSD Review
- Romex FancyCache Review - SSD Performance At 13GB/s and 765,000 IOPS In 60 Seconds Flat! @ SSD Review
- SSD Caching – “SSD, but my friends call me cache” @ TechwareLabs
- Patriot Memory Pyro 120GB 2.5” SATA III SSD Drive Review @ Madshrimps
- 128GB SSD Roundup @ Rbmods
- Verbatim 2.5" Sata-III SSD 120GB @ Rbmods
- OCZ Vertex 3 240GB SATA III 2.5" SSD Review @ Madshrimps
- RunCore Pro V Max 240GB SSD Review @ circuitREMIX
- Corsair Force Series GT 180GB SSD Review @ circuitREMIX
- Synology DiskStation DS411 and New DSM 4.0 Operating System @ X-bit Labs
- OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro Dual Mini RAID Data Storage/Backup @ SSD Review
- QNAP TurboNAS TS-419P II 4-Bay NAS Review @ eTeknix
- ICY DOCK EZ DOCK USB 3.0 HDD adaptor @ Bjorn3D
- Lacie 5big Office+ Nas Review @ TechwareLabs
- ToughTech mini-Q Encrypted Portable Drive @ TechwareLabs
- How to Buy an External Hard Drive @ TechReviewSource
- Zalman ZM-HE350u3 3.5" @ Bjorn3D
Subject: Storage | March 8, 2012 - 11:58 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
If you have money and a need for a lot of very fast storage then OCZ's announcement of the Talos SAS SSD Series for the Drobo B1200i is going to make your day. Drobo has posted information on the new model of Drobo, the first to take advantage of SSDs, sports 12 drive bays capable of running 3.5" SAS-1/SAS-2 or any SATA drives at their current full speed. The full specs of the Drobo are available here but unfortunately it is unclear which Talos series drive will be included for those that order the B1200i. The press release specifically mentions 200GB capacity which would suggest that these $959 Talos drives are likely populating the bays of the highest end model.
SAN JOSE, CA – March 8, 2012 - OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ), a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, today announced that Drobo will utilize the OCZ Talos SAS SSD Series for integration into its B1200i iSCSI SAN solutions for business environments. Drobo, makers of award-winning data storage products for businesses and professionals, has chosen to provide customers with even faster and more robust storage systems by complementing the sophisticated feature set of the B1200i with the superior performance, energy efficiency, and maximum endurance of Talos SSDs.
Ideal for small-and-medium businesses (SMBs), the Drobo B1200i provides reliable, high-performance, and self-optimizing storage for server virtualization, email, and data protection and features seamless integration with existing infrastructures as an iSCSI SAN device. With innovative automated data-aware tiering, the B1200i delivers a level of automation and technical sophistication that is easier to use and less costly to deploy than typical enterprise solutions. The B1200i is the first Drobo product to leverage the benefits of SSDs for increased bandwidth, lower power consumption, and instantaneous access times. “Drobo is a leader in data storage products for both professionals and businesses and we are thrilled that they have qualified and selected our enterprise-class Talos SAS SSDs for their business oriented solutions,” said Ryan Petersen, CEO of OCZ Technology. “This collaboration is a perfect example of how our SSD technology can act within a complete solution to deliver superior application-optimized storage for small- and medium-business IT.”
“Just like larger organizations, SMBs should be able to afford and enjoy the benefits of SSD technology and performance,” said Tom Buiocchi, CEO of Drobo. “For the best capacity and performance, our unique automated data-aware tiering allows customers to easily and affordably add SSDs to the same Drobo environment that already has high-capacity traditional disk drives.”
Drobo will offer the B1200i Series with OCZ Talos 3.50-inch SAS 6Gb/s SSDs in 200GB capacities. For SMBs seeking an easy to deploy yet state-of-the-art storage system, Drobo with Talos SSDs offer incredible reliability, unparalleled responsiveness, and optimized energy efficiency when compared to traditional storage systems that only leverage mechanical hard drives. The new Drobo B1200i with OCZ SSDs will be available through Drobo’s worldwide network of authorized distributors and resellers.