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Fusion-io, a manufacturer of various PCI-E based solid state drives, has released a software development kit (SDK) that allows developers to access the NAND flash memory directly. Debuting at the DEMO conference, the SDK gives software developers direct access to the memory and how it operates. As Allyn mentioned on the podcast, the Fusion-io drives use rather dumb controllers and rely on software and the host machines processor to do the heavy lifting.
But because of the way the Fusion-io drives work, and being PCI-E based, they are able to present the NAND flash to software without going through other layers of abstraction such as the SATA interface and internal drive controller processing. Software is then able use the NAND flash as storage for applications that demand high input/output operations per second. And because of the direct access, latency is greatly reduced.
The full press release is below:
Subject: Storage | April 19, 2012 - 06:09 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ssd, sata 6Gbs, raid, kingston, hyperx 240GB
The only thing faster than a SATA 6Gbp/s SSD is a pair of them running in RAID-0, which was the inspiration of this review at Bjorn3D. They took a pair of Kingston HyperX 240GB SSDs and formed a $600 RAID-0 array which sounds expensive but is still cheaper than many 480GB SSDs. In many cases the RAID-0 will outperform the 480GB SSD, though some of the benchmarks produced some unexpected results which may signify improvements that need to be made on the Intel RAID driver. Before you decide on heading down this route there is one thing of which you must be aware, once your SSDs are in RAID the Windows TRIM command will no longer function.
"If you're a gamer, and you'd like to improve your gaming experience with faster loading and less jumpy gameplay, the Kingston HyperX 3K SATA III SSD could be an option for you."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- OCZ Vertex 4 256GB/512GB review @ Hardware.Info
- Corsair Performance Pro 128 GB SSD Review @ Hardware Secrets
- Corsair Accelerator SSD Cache (60GB) Review @ HardwareHeaven
- SanDisk Extreme 120GB Solid State Drive Review @ eTeknix
- Intel 330 SSD; A New Budget Friendly Drive @ Hardware Canucks
- Kingston V+200 90GB SSD Upgrade Bundle Review @Hi Tech Legion
- Memoright MS-701 mSATA SSD @ SSD Review
- Corsair Accelerator 60GB Caching SSD Review @ VR-Zone
- Renice X3 50mm 240GB mSATA SSD @ SSD Review
- SMART Storage Systems XceedIOPS 2 200GB eMLC 6Gbps Enterprise SSD @ SSD Review
- Garbage Collection and TRIM in SSDs Explained - An SSD Primer @ SSD Review
- Areca ARC-1882i RAID Controller @ Tweaktown
- IcyDock MB994SP-4SB-1 Four-bay 2.5-inch SATA Hard Drive Rack @ PC Stats
- ADATA DashDrive Durable HD710 Portable HDD @ kitguru
- Buffalo USB3 Addon cards + Kingston HyperX USB3 64GB @ Rbmods
- Western Digital Velociraptor 1TB review @ Hardware.Info
- Western Digital VelociRaptor 1TB Hard Drive Review @ Legit Reviews
- Western Digital VelociRaptor 1TB @ AnandTech
- Western Digital's VelociRaptor 1TB hard drive @ The Tech Report
Subject: General Tech | April 19, 2012 - 04:23 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: dropbox, storage, free storage, google, google drive
Users of online storage have been spoiled by services like Dropbox, Spider Oak, and Box.com who offer up gobs of free storage space. Before they became prevalent, there was Gmail and rumors of a Google Drive. This Google Drive never really materialized beyond user workarounds to upload files using a program that stored them in Google’s Email service’s approximate 9 GB of space.
Finally, after years of other services entrenching themselves in the market, it seems like Google may be jumping in. If rumors are true, the new online storage service will launch in the middle of next week at the drive.google.com URL. The Google Drive will reportedly offer 5GB of free storage space as well as paid tiers for increased storage levels (pricing unknown). Further, users will be able to access the files via the website and using applications. So far, rumors are pointing to a Windows and Mac OSX application, though it would not be surprising to see an Android app in the future.
I’m excited to see this service finally launch and what Google’s take on online storage will be. My only concern is whether they are jumping into the game at a time when it is too little too late. Sure, everyone and their grandmother likely have at least one Google/Gmail account but many of those people also have Dropbox accounts. The free services that were not really around when the first hints of a Google Drive emerged have not blossomed and dug their roots into the market. Even Apple and Microsoft have beat Google to the punch with cloud storage, so it is going to be an uphill battle for Google requiring something unique in order for it to catch on.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely going to be checking it out, but I believe they are really going to have to knock this out of the park on the first try in order to succeed. Will you be checking it out, and when (if?) you do please report back and let us know what you think of it. How do you think the other free and paid storage services will react to Google entering the market?
Image courtesy pmsyyz via Flickr Creative Commons
Subject: Storage | April 17, 2012 - 01:11 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: ssd, ioFX, fusion-io, enterprise ssd
Popular PCI-E SSD maker Fusion-io recently announced a new product aimed at professional content creators. Based on the company’s ioMemory technology, the new Fusion-io ioFX is a professional SSD designed to speed up video encoding, CAD work, 3D renders, and motion graphics.
The new solid state drive uses the PCI-E bus and 420 GB of fast QDP MLC NAND flash to deliver less than a millisecond of sustained access speed and an impressive 1.5 GB/s of bandwidth. The PCI-E SSD uses a physical x8 connector but is electrically a x4 connection. What I found interesting about the device was the presence of a fan, which our Storage Editor Allyn says is necessary in order to keep the super fast flash chips from overheating. When the SSD needs active cooling, that at least implies this drive is going to scream performance wise!
Another interesting aspect about this new drive is a piece of software called the ioSphere. The software will allow studios to remotely monitor all the Fusion ioMemory products deployed in the studio through a single interface. Unfortunately, there is not much more in the way of detailed performance specifications but I will definitely keep an eye on this for the drool factor alone. Fusion-io is currently listing the ioFX for $2,495 USD, and it will be available later this Spring 2012. More information should be posted to their site as the SSD gets closer to launch here.
Subject: Storage | April 16, 2012 - 01:14 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ssd, Intel, intel 330, sata 6Gps
Intel has released an SSD aimed at the consumer and casual user market, as well as offering a choice which might help future Ultrabook models dip below the $1000 mark while keeping the speed of an SSD. At a price of just under $1.50/GB on the smallest 60GB drive and better pricing on the 120GB and 180GB models, it is possible to upgrade your system to a good sized SSD for less than $250. You don't lose much performance either, the drive beats the old 320 series and can come close to the new 520 series. One thing to note is that those drives both carried 5 year warranties, while the 330 has only a 3 year warranty. Check out the full scoop in Intel's news room.
SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 16, 2012 – Intel Corporation announced today the Intel Solid-State Drive 330 Series (Intel SSD 330 Series), a SATA 6 gigabit-per-second (Gb/s) solid-state drive (SSD) that gives consumers a more affordable entry into the accelerated storage performance of SSDs.
Ideal for upgrading desktop or notebook PCs, the Intel SSD 330 Series offers the price-conscious PC enthusiast a brand-name SSD that blends performance, Intel quality and value. Offered in the most popular capacity points, 60 gigabytes (GB), 120GB and 180GB, the Intel SSD 330 Series boosts overall system performance and responsiveness for a broad range of applications.
“An SSD is still the single best upgrade you can make to your existing PC, and the Intel SSD 330 Series gives users the latest Intel SSD technology at a price to meet their budget,” said James Slattery, product line manager for client SSDs, Intel Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group. “Backed by Intel’s rigorous testing process, the Intel SSD 330 Series offers our users the speed they need at a great price, backed by world-class manufacturing, reliability and tech support.”
Unlike a traditional hard disk drive (HDD) with spinning disks and moveable parts, SSDs offer a more rugged, low-power storage solution that dramatically improves system performance to keep up with today’s I/O-intensive applications. The Intel SSD 330 Series contains Intel 25-nanometer (nm) multi-level cell (MLC) NAND memory. Its SATA 6Gb/s interface doubles the bandwidth of its current SATA 3Gb/s Intel SSD 320 Series, providing up to 500 megabytes-per-second (MB/s) sequential read speeds and up to 450MB/s sequential write speeds for faster data transfers. Random read performance can go up to 22,500 Input-Output Operations Per Second (IOPS) and 33,000 write IOPS to boost overall application and system responsiveness, significantly outperforming a typical consumer hard disk drive.
Intel offers a broad range of SSD choices within four product families. The Intel SSD 300 Family is aimed at entry-level, mainstream client users. The Intel SSD 500 Family offers more fully featured, higher-performing client SSDs for computer and gaming enthusiasts. The Intel SSD 700 and Intel SSD 900 Families are targeted for data center applications.
The Intel SSD 330 Series comes in a standard 2.5-inch/9.5mm form factor as a replacement to a slower-performing HDD. It can be used in a dual-drive desktop PC configuration to speed up boot times and applications speeds, or as a single-drive notebook upgrade.
Available beginning today at worldwide retailers and online e-tailers, the Intel SSD 330 Series is offered at the suggested channel price of $89 for a 60GB drive, $149 for a 120GB drive and $234 for a 180GB drive. It is also backed by a 3-year limited warranty.
Subject: Storage | April 12, 2012 - 02:06 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: owc, Mercury Enterprise Pro 6G, sata 6Gbs, ssd, synchronous flash, LSI, sf-2582
The OWC Mercury Enterprise Pro 6G SSD comes in four sizes, 50GB, 100GB, 200GB and 400GB, with all models sharing the same impressive statistics. Inside you will find Toshiba Enterprise Toggle Synchronous eMLC 24nm NAND and a new Sandforce controller from LSI, the SF-2582. As well there is a proprietary power technology called Paratus to prevent data loss from power interruptions as well as capacitors designed to handle high heat. SSD Review liked the performance, were impressed by the price and absolutely love the 7 year warranty, which is so far unique for SSDs.
"OWC has jumped feet first into the Enterprise space with the new OWC Mercury Enterprise Pro 6G SSD. Leveraging one of the fastest controllers on the planet, the LSI SF-2582 in tandem with Toshibas Enterprise Toggle Synchronous eMLC NAND, this SSD promises the absolute best in long term performance and endurance. OWC is also throwing in an outstanding industry-leading 7 Year Warranty with this product."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB SATA III SSD @ SSD News
- OCZ Octane 512GB SSD Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Crucial Adrenaline Solid State Cache Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Kingston HyperX 3K (240GB) @ AnandTech
- Crucial Adrenaline Solid State Cache Review @ TechwareLabs
- Micron RealSSD C400 128GB mSATA SSD @ SSD News
- Micron C400 mSATA (128GB) @ AnandTech
- Corsair 128 GB Performance Series Pro Solid State Drive @ Pro-Clockers
- Corsair Force Series GT 180GB Solid State Drive @ Tweaktown
- The Plextor M3 (256GB) @ AnandTech
- OCZ Vertex 4 SATA 3 SSD @ SSD News
- Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB SSD @ Kitguru
- Hitachi GST Deskstar 7K4000 4TB HDD Review @ NikKTech
- ioSafe SoloPRO: Disaster Proofing Your Storage Needs @ AnandTech
- Hard Disk Drive Myths Debunked @ TechARP
- Icy Dock 2.5"/3.5" Drive Accessories @ SPCR
- Kingston Wi-Drive @ LanOC Reviews
- Icy Dock MB971SP-B DuoSwap 2.5"/3.5" SATA Hot Swap Drive Caddy Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Icy Dock MB994SP-4SB-1 Full Metal Quad Bay 2.5in HDD & SSD Backplane Cage Review @ Hi Tech Legion
- Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 64GB @ Legion Hardware
Subject: Storage | April 12, 2012 - 10:10 AM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: ssd, pcie, Intel
Intel has officially entered the Enterprise PCIe SSD market with the release of their 910 Series SSD. Available in 400 and 800GB capacities, this half-height PCIe 2.0 8x card boasts over 180,000 4k IOPS and 2GB/sec sequential on reads. Writes are roughly half of that - limited by the 25W PCIe spec power available to the card, but since many server motherboards have no issue providing a bit more power (28W), those numbers can be boosted to ~120,000 4k IOPS and 1.5GB/sec via end-user reconfiguration possible through the Intel management software.
The 910 is not all-Intel in its construction. While the flash is High Endurance Technology IMFT, it is driven by an Intel-tweaked Hitachi SAS controller, which is in turn controlled by an LSI 2008 Falcon SAS HBA. This means the storage is presented to the system as either two or four SCSI LUNs. This choice makes sense as you can attain higher IOPS when you let a high end server decide how to spread that data around. It also allows for more flexibility as each 200GB segment of storage appears as its own unit, meaning databases can be distributed amongst them. Unfortunately, this configuration choice means the 910 will not be bootable, at least not with all LUNs paired together.
Intel is taking endurance seriously with this product. They claim 30x over standard MLC expected lifetime with their High Endurance Technology, and they mean it - The 910 is rated and guaranteed to sustain writing 10x its capacity for each and every day of the 5-year warranty period! That comes to 3EB (yes, EB, or 3,000 TB) for the 800GB model!
Prices start at $1,929 for 400GB and $3,859 for 800GB. Intel is sampling to us shortly, and we will get the full performance review up as soon as humanly possible upon its arrival.
Full press release after the break.
StarTech has always had a rather large line of external USB and eSATA HDD docks, but up until now most have been limited to SATA connectivity. Now they have released a dock that's able to connect to IDE hard drives as well! It pulls off this trick by including a short IDE ribbon cable that can connect to the back of the unit (see pic below).
Subject: Storage | April 11, 2012 - 09:43 PM | Allyn Malventano
Tagged: Vertex 4, ocz, Octane, Marvell, everest
We've covered the OCZ Octane and more recently the new OCZ Vertex 4. We've also seen how they behave under wildly differing firmware revisions. What have we not yet seen? Turns out the hardware powering both the Octane and Vertex 3 controllers was actually from Marvell.
Judging from the performance we saw from the Octane, it's clear that Indilinx is cranking out some great firmware for this hardware, but it's a bit of a surprise to us that the Indilinx arm of OCZ chose to go this route as opposed to spinning their own next gen controller, especially in light of how well the original Indilinx Barefoot was received back in the day.
It turns out that 'Indilinx Infused' is more than just a catch phrase.
As evidenced by some commenters over at the source, some feel cheated that this news did not come to light earlier. My take on it is that an SSD is a package deal - controller hardware *and firmware* make up that package. If a company can deliver both in a reliable and well performing manner, then it's that companies product you are buying, not just the controller.
Subject: Storage | April 7, 2012 - 11:15 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Intel SRT, Intel, caching, 313, 25nm
Intel is continuing the Intel SRT caching technology with two new Single Level Cell (SLC) SSD drives in both 2.5” SATA and mSATA form factors. The new Intel 313 series SSDs come in 20 GB and 24 GB capacities and are available for purchase now. Intel hopes that vendors will integrate the caching drives into their machines to improve performance while offering lots of storage with a mechanical hard drive. They further advertise the drives as "ultrabook ready."
The specifications can be found in the chart below, but they do seem to be a little strange, in that the larger capacity drive is actually slower in 4K random and sequential reads (which does not seem correct). After all, who would pay extra money for a slower caching drive (and a measly 4GB extra capacity) where read speeds are going to be more important than write speeds as far as general desktop performance.
|Intel 311||Intel 313 20 GB||Intel 313 24 GB|
|Random 4K Read IOPS||37,000||36,000||33,000|
|Random 4K Write IOPS||3,300||3,300||4,000|
|Sequential Read||200 MB/s||220 MB/s||160 MB/s|
|Sequential Write||105 MB/s||100 MB/s||115 MB/s|
|Price ($USD)||119.99 (retail)||119.99 (retail)||139.99 (retail)|
Compared to the previous generation "Larsen Creek" Intel 311 series SSD, the new "Hawley Creek" drives offer faster sequential read and write speeds. The 24 GB Intel 313 drive does manage to beat both the 20 GB Haswell and previous generation Intel 311 drive on 4K random writes, but otherwise the new drives are equal to, or slower than, the previous generation in 4K random IOPS (input/output per second). Considering the new drives are retailing for the same or more than the previous generation, the new Intel 313 SSDs really are not looking all that promising, despite the move to a 25nm NAND manufacturing process.
I am personally waiting for reviews to come out on the new Intel 313 drives before making a final decision, but they are nonetheless perplexing. More information is available here (PDF).
*Edit by Allyn*:
The 'odd' differences in performance are due to the channel routing. The 20GB model has the standard Intel 3Gb/sec controller using 5 of the 10 data channels (similar to the old 40GB X25-V). Each of those channels is routed to a 4GB SLC die. This lays out to 5 TSOP packages with 1 die each. The 24GB model also uses the same controller and channel layout, but those 5 channels are routed to 6x 4GB dies. This is an odd configuration, and assuming Intel kept the same PCB layouts, the 2.5" model has provision for additional mounted TSOPs but the mSATA PCB is too tight on room, meaning they would have had to shift only one of the 5 flash packages to a double stacked configuration. More to follow on that once we see these in the flesh.
Subject: Storage | April 4, 2012 - 03:37 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ocz, ssd, sata 6Gbs, Vertex 4, Indilinx, vertex
There are quite a few changes in the 4th version of OCZ's Vertex SSDs, not only the new Indilinx controller but the positioning of it right in the centre of the PCB. You will also notice what looks like an mSATA interface, but The Tech Report is sad to say that it is only a connector for OCZ's internal testing machinery and is not a standard connector. Of course, we may have to see what the modders do with it. The performance is as good as you would expect in most circumstances though there were some tests the new prefetch mechanism had troubles with. OCZ claims that the drive was intended to be partitioned and doing so could help the performance. Also worth applauding is the move to a 5 year warranty, signalling OCZ's increased faith in reliability.
Our own Al Malventano took a look at not only the drive but also the difference between the 1.30 and 1.52 firmware revisions.
"Just a few months after its Indilinx Everest controller debuted in the OCZ Octane, a second-generation Everest chip has taken root in the Vertex 4 SSD. We take a closer look at the latest Vertex to see what's changed and how its performance measures up."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- OCZ Vertex 4 @ AnandTech
- OCZ Technology Vertex 4 (Indilinx Everest 2) 256GB and 512GB SSD @ Tweaktown
- OCZ Vertex 4 512GB @ Kitguru
- OCZ Vertex 4 Indilinx 256GB & 512GB SSD Reviews @ Legit Reviews
- OCZ Vertex 4 Solid State Drive 512GB/256GB Launch Review @ HardwareHeaven
- OCZ Vertex 4 512GB SSD Review @ Hardware Canucks
- OCZ Vertex 4 SSD 256GB and 512GB @ Guru 3D
- ndilinx Everest 2 SSD Controller Platform Overview @ Tweaktown
- SSDs from Mushkin: Chronos deluxe 240 GB and Chronos 240 GB @ X-bit Labs
- Micron RealSSD P400e 6Gbps 200GB Enterprise SSD @ SSD Review
- OCZ Synapse Cache 64GB Solid State Drive Review @ circuitREMIX
- ADATA XPG SX900 256GB SATA 3 SSD @ SSD Review
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
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.