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 (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 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.
Last July, I went on a bit of a mini-rant about how using a bunch of drives not meant to be in a RAID could potentially lead to loss of the entire array from only a few bad sectors spread across several disks. Western Digital solved this problem by their introduction of the WD Red series. That series capped out at 3TB, and users were pushing for larger storage capacities for their NAS devices. In addition to the need for larger disks came the need for *smaller* disks as well, as there are some manufacturers that wish to create NAS / HTPC type devices that house multiple 2.5" HDD's. One such device is the Drobo Mini - a 4x2.5" device which has not really had a 'proper' NAS storage element available - until now:
Today Western Digital has announced a twofold expansion to their Red Series. First is a 4TB capacity in their 3.5" series, and second is a 2.5" iteration of the Red, available in both 750GB and 1TB capacities.
As a recap of what can potentially happen if you have a large RAID with 'normal' consumer grade HDD's (and by consumer grade I mean those without any form of Time Limited Error Recovery, or TLER for short):
- Array starts off operating as normal, but drive 3 has a bad sector that cropped up a few months back. This has gone unnoticed because the bad sector was part of a rarely accessed file.
- During operation, drive 1 encounters a new bad sector.
- Since drive 1 is a consumer drive it goes into a retry loop, repeatedly attempting to read and correct the bad sector.
- The RAID controller exceeds its timeout threshold waiting on drive 1 and marks it offline.
- Array is now in degraded status with drive 1 marked as failed.
- User replaces drive 1. RAID controller initiates rebuild using parity data from the other drives.
- During rebuild, RAID controller encounters the bad sector on drive 3.
- Since drive 3 is a consumer drive it goes into a retry loop, repeatedly attempting to read and correct the bad sector.
- The RAID controller exceeds its timeout threshold waiting on drive 3 and marks it offline.
- Rebuild fails.
- Blamo, your data is now (mostly) inaccessible.
I went into much further detail on this back in the intro to the WD 3TB Red piece, but the short of it is that you absolutely should use a HDD intended for RAID when building one, and Western Digital is removing that last excuse for not doing so by introducing a flagship 4TB capacity to the Red Series.