Subject: Storage | September 6, 2011 - 03:00 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: vertex 3, ssd, SF-2281 controller, sata 6Gps, ocz, linux
The majority of reviews of solid state drives have been focussed on the performance of the drives under Windows, thankfully Phoronix can be counted on to differ from that and present a reveiw of an SSD under Linux. This particular time it is the OCZ Vertex 3 240GB SSD under Ubuntu 11.10 with the Linux 3.0 kernel and an EXT4 file-system. The OS had no problems recognizing the drive and it is obvious that Linux has no problems fully utilizing the SATA 6Gb/s interface as the drive blows the competition out of the water. The only problem is that the price of the drive remains prohibitive no matter what OS you use, but your money will not be wasted.
"It's been a while since last providing a Phoronix review of a solid-state drive from OCZ Technology, but now with Serial ATA 3.0 support becoming more prevalent on modern Intel and AMD motherboards, they have been releasing a number of updated products to take advantage of SATA 3.0. In the review we have our hands on an OCZ Vertex 3 240GB SSD as we see how this SATA III SSD performs under Ubuntu Linux."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- OCZ Agility 3 240GB Solid State Drive Review @ eTeknix
- Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 120GB SSD Review @ Hardware Canucks
- OCZ Agility 3 120GB Review @ HardwareLOOK
- OCZ Vertex 3 240 GB @ techPowerUp
- ADATA S511 240GB Solid State Drive @ Tweaknews
- Kingston HyperX 240GB SSD @ Techgage
- Patriot Wildfire 120GB Solid State Drive @ Pro-Clocker
- The Crucial m4 SSD Update: Faster with FW0009 @ AnandTech
- Kingston HyperX SandForce SSD Bundle Kit @ TechwareLabs
- OCZ Technology RevoDrive 3 X2 PCI-E 480GB SSD @ Tweaktown
- Western Digital AV-GP (WD30EURS) 3 TB @ TechARP
- Samsung EcoGreen F4 (HD204UI) 2 TB @ TechARP
- File Server Builder's Guide @ AnandTech
- Enermax Brick 2.5 inch USB 3.0 External HDD Enclosure Review @ Real World Labs
- Super Talent USB 3.0 Express RC8 50GB (SF-1200) SSD Flash Drive Review @ The SSD Review
- Using QNAP's RTRR with Windows Server @ Computing on Demand
- SilverStone SST-DC01B Network Data Center Review @ Legit Reviews
- Zalman ZM-MH200 U3 USB 3.0 Dual HDD Docking Station Review @ Real World Labs
- HornetTek Slipper USB 3.0 Hard Drive Dock @ TechwareLabs
- Lexar Echo MX 32GB Backup Thumb Drive Review @ Techgage
- Akasa Flexstor DiskLink USB 3.0 Adapter Review @ eTeknix
- HighPoint's RocketU 1144A PCIe x4 USB 3.0 Controller: A Big Back-end @ AnandTech
Subject: Storage | August 31, 2011 - 01:29 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: revodrive, PCIe SSD, ocz, hybrid ssd
SAN JOSE, CA - Aug. 31, 2011 - OCZ Technology Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:OCZ), a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, today announced the release of the RevoDrive Hybrid PCI Express (PCIe) storage solution. Designed to dramatically accelerate applications and system responsiveness, the RevoDrive Hybrid's superior combination of SSD and hard disk drive (HDD) technology is a revolutionary step forward for high-performance, economical storage.
The RevoDrive Hybrid integrates the benefits of both SSD and HDD technology into a single solution to offer both enhanced responsiveness and ample storage capacity. The drive comes bundled with Dataplex caching software which dynamically manages the use of the 100GB SSD with the 1TB HDD for superior overall storage performance. This combination creates an environment where the most frequently used "hot" data stays on the ultra-fast SSD, while the "cold" data remains on the larger capacity HDD. Advanced caching algorithms learn user behavior and adapt storage policies to ensure optimal performance for each individual user, maximizing productivity for the most demanded programs and applications. In addition, the drive not only eliminates the SATA bottleneck unleashing ground-breaking bandwidth up to 910MB/s, but also features up to 120,000 IOPS (4K random write) for high transactional workloads delivering true SSD-level performance. Finally, the RevoDrive Hybrid provides unique benefits to users by incorporating features of OCZ's proprietary Virtualized Controller Architecture (VCA) 2.0.
"The RevoDrive Hybrid leverages the best attributes of both solid state drives and traditional hard drive technology to deliver dynamic data-tiering on a single easy to deploy PCIe storage drive," said Ryan Petersen, CEO of OCZ Technology Group. "Leveraging Dataplex software to efficiently manage frequently accessed data delivers superior performance and capacity, making the RevoDrive Hybrid the ideal solution for high performance computing and media content creation."
Click on the picture for a slightly larger version.
The all-new OCZ RevoDrive Hybrid 1TB comes backed by a three-year warranty and will be available worldwide for an MSRP of $499.99, delivering the industry's best price per GB for SSD-level performance.
Subject: Storage | August 31, 2011 - 12:27 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: ssd, storage, corsair, sandforce, SATA3
Today Corsair announced two new high capacity SSDs that have joined the company’s Force GT solid state drive lineup. The new drives come in 180 GB and 240GB flavors, a nice increase from the current 60 GB and 120 GB drives.
The new Force GT SSDs utilize the SATA 3 (6Gbps) interface, and are powered by the SandForce SF-2280 controller. In addition, the drives are powered by ONFI synchronous flash memory. The hardware results in random IOPS of 85K, read speeds of 555 MB/s, and write speeds of 525 MB/s. Thi La, the VP of Memory Products for Corsair stated the new 180 GB and 240 GB SSDs are best suited for enthusiasts systems that require large amounts of high performance storage.
The Force GT drives will come with a 3.5” adapter for cases that do not have 2.5” drive bays. The SSDs are available for purchase now, and carry an MSRP of $379 USD for the 180 GB model and $489 USD for the 240 GB SSD.
Crucial, a relatively new but successful entrant to the SSD space recently released a new firmware for its M4 lineup that promises faster boot up times and improved write performance. Specifically, the new firmware is version 0009, and users can directly update their m4 SSDs from either revision 0001 or 0002. The update is installed by downloading and burning a bootable CD.
According to Tom’s Hardware, the company is promising up to a 20 % performance improvement in sequential read speeds. Further, the official firmware change log includes improvements in throughput performance, write latency, and compatibility with the latest chipsets. In synthetic application testing, Crucial noted an increase in the PCMark Vantage benchmark score using the new firmware update. The company has also improved compatibility between SATA 2 (3Gb/s) chipsets and the SATA 3 (6Gb/s) solid state drives. Lastly, the new firmware reduces the chances for a failed cold boot up (starting the computer from a completely powered down state) of the SSD on certain systems.
Its is certainly nice to see firmware fixes that both squash bugs and offer up some free performance improvements. You can find the firmware download for your specific m4 solid state drive in addition to update instructions here. Let us know what you think of the new firmware.
Subject: Storage | August 29, 2011 - 05:19 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: plextor, PX-LB950UE, bluray, external drive
That isn't the case anymore as you can pick up the Plextor PX-LB950UE for $220 and plug it in externally to burn single or dual layer Blu-ray disks, as well as DVDs. With both USB 3.0 and eSATA connections you should have no trouble with compatibility and you will want the fast transfer rates due to the volume of data that Blu-ray can handle. Unfortunately PCStats could not get the Plextor to play back the movie that they were using for testing, no matter what software they tried to use to play it. A diagnostic showed nothing wrong with the disk nor with the player and a Google search showed that many people have similar problems with a wide variety of disks and players. They did have a very early version of the firmware; perhaps an updated version will resolve that particular problem. Certainly something to keep in mind before picking up this external drive.
"In recent weeks the talk of the town has been a sleek black external 12x Blu-ray WRITER from the folks at Plextor. The Plextor PX-LB950UE connects via USB 3.0 or eSATA cables and is capable of burning single layer Blu-ray Disk (BD) media at 12x, double layer BD media at 8x and DVD-R media at 16x speeds. In addition, it supports the playback of Blu-ray 3D movie titles. The bonus to going the Blu-ray writer route, is that BD-R media is even more useful than DVD media for archiving MASSIVE amounts of data."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Battle of the SATA 3.0 Controllers @ Techgage
- Apacer Handy Steno AH130 USB 2.0 Flash Drive Review @ Madshrimps
- HornetTek Slipper U3 External Dock @ Bjorn3D
- Thermaltake Max 5G USB 3.0 HDD Enclosure Review @ Tweaknews
- Synology DS110J NAS @ XSReviews
- ineo 3.5? USB3.0 External Enclosure Review @ TechwareLabs
- Corsair Force 3 vs. Force GT 120 GB Solid State Drive Review @ Hardware Secrets
- OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G 240GB SSD w/ SF-2282 & Toshiba Toggle @ Tweaktown
- Corsair Force Series 3 - 240GB SSD @ HardwareHeaven
- Plextor PX-M2 128GB SSD @ Hardwareoverclock
- Crucial M4 256GB SSD Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Crucial M4 SSD Firmware Update (0009) Posted - Tests Display Definite Performance Increase @ The SSD Review
- Runcore T50 mSATA SATA 3 (SF-2281) EXCLUSIVE Review - The Worlds First 6Gbps mSATA SSD Hits The Streets @ The SSD Review
IBM knows how to go big or go home, and their Almaden, California research lab’s current storage project exemplifies that quite nicely. With a data repository that dwarfs anything we have today, IBM is designing a 120 Petabyte storage container. Comprised of 200,000 hard drives, the new storage device is expected to house approximately 1 trillion files or 24 billion 5MB MP3 files. To put that in perspective, Apple has sold 10 billion songs as of February 24, 2010; therefore, you could store every song sold since the Itunes Store’s inception twice and still have room for more!
More specifically, the Almaden engineers have designed new hardware and software techniques to combine all 200,000 hard drives into horizontal drawers that are then all placed into rack mounts. In order to properly cool the drives, IBM had to make the drawers “significantly wider than usual” to cram as many disks as possible into a vertical rack in addition to cooling the disks with circulating water. On the software side of things, IBM has refined their disk parity and mirroring algorithms such that a computer can continue working at near-full speed in the event a drive fails. If a single disk fails, the system begins to pull data from other drives that held copies of the data to write to the replacement disk, allowing the supercomputer to keep processing data. The algorithms control the speed of data rebuilding, and are able to adapt in the event multiple drives begin failing.
In addition to physically spreading data across the drives, IBM is also using a new file system to keep track of all the files across the array. Known as the General Parallel File System (GPFS), it stripes files across multiple disks so that many parts of a files can be written to and read from simultaneously, resulting in massive speed increasing when reading. In addition, the file system uses a new method of indexing that enables it to keep track of billions of files without needing to scan through every one. GPFS has already blown past the previous indexing record of one billion files in three hours with an impressive indexing of 10 billion files in 43 minutes.
The director of storage research for IBM, Bruce Hillsberg stated to Technology Review that the results of their algorithms enables a storage system that should not lose any data for a million years without compromising performance. Hillsberg further indicated that while this 120 Petabyte storage array was on the “lunatic fringe” today, storage is becoming more and more important for cloud computing, and just keeping track of the file names, type, and attributes will use approximately 2 Terabytes of storage.
The array is currently being built for a yet-to-be-announced client, and will likely be used for High Performance Computing (HPC) projects to store massive amounts of modeling and simulation data. Project that could benefit from increased storage include global weather patterns, seismic graphing, Lard Hadron Collider (LHC), and molecular data simulations
Storage research has an amazing pacing, and seems to constantly advance despite pesky details like heat, fault tolerance, aerial density walls, and storage mediums. While this 120 Petabyte array comprised of 200,000 hard drives is out of reach for just about everyone without federal funding or a Fortune 500 company's expense account, the technology itself is definitely interesting and will trickle down advancements to the consumer drives.
Image Copyright comedy_nose via Flickr Creative Commons
Subject: Storage | August 24, 2011 - 11:40 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: usb 3.0, USAP, NEC/Renesas, fresco logic, etron, asmedia, amd
VR-Zone gathered every USB 3.0 controller they could get their hands on, including AMD's A75 chipset, the ASMedia ASM1042, the Etron EJ168A, the Fresco Logic FL1009, the NEC/Renesas µD720200, the Renesas µD720201 and the VLI VL800 ... everyone but TI essentially. The NEC/Renesas is a bit different from the other controllers as it has implemented a not quite finished standard called USB Attached SCSI Protocol or UASP, something none of the other controller support. That introduced some interesting results as not all USB 3.0 drives can support the protocol. Another fly in the ointment were the cables, it seems that not all USB 3.0 cables are equal and some will cause you great frustration. By the end of the review you will have a lot of data on how the controllers perform and the hit your CPU will take, but with no clear winner it is hard to hand out a performance crown.
"Believe us when we say that this is one of the most epic reviews we've ever put together. Not because it was the hardest roundup we've ever done, but it's by far the most time consuming one and it doesn't even have anything to do with the benchmarks we ran. We thought it'd be a good idea to do a comparative review of the various USB 3.0 host controllers out there, as by now we've finally reached a stage where there's some competition in the market with at least three major players and a couple of smaller ones. VR-Zone is also proud to have a world exclusive first review of the upcoming Renesas D720201 host controller which is launching later this year as part of this roundup."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- OCZ RevoDrive3 X2 SuperScale PCI-E SSD @ Benchmark Reviews
- Kingston HyperX 240GB SSD Review @ Hardware Canucks
- Patriot Memory Supersonic 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Review @ Real World Labs
- Future Storage 240GB SATA 3 SSD Review - SandForce Makes Strides Worldwide @ The SSD Review
- Plextor Portable 500GB Hard Disk Drive @ Tech-Reviews
- Performance Testing Eight Patriot WildFires SF-2281 6Gbps SSDs on a LSI 9265-8i MegaRAID Card @ The SSD Review
- Drobo FS @ Computing on Demand
- SilverStone DC01: An Entry Into The Linux NAS Market @ Phoronix
- Zalman ZM-VE200 External HDD Case + Virtual Drive Review @ Real World Labs
- QNAP TS-659 Pro II NAS @ Legion Hardware
Subject: Storage | August 24, 2011 - 10:03 AM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: drobo, SAS, BeyondRAID
SAN JOSE, Calif. – August 24, 2011 – Drobo, makers of award-winning data storage products for businesses and professionals, today introduced a new Drobo for business solution, the Drobo B1200i, which features technological breakthroughs and an unprecedented combination of automation, affordability and application awareness for the small and medium business (SMB) market.
The new 12-bay Drobo provides business customers with a unique storage solution for VMware, Microsoft Exchange and other business applications – offering advanced and sophisticated capabilities for customers without large enterprise budgets or deep storage expertise. The new Drobo takes an application-driven approach to storage, cutting cost and complexity while automating modern data protection, capacity planning and application performance.
The new Drobo B1200i builds on Drobo’s track record of providing “Small Box, Big Storage” by delivering a solution that is uniquely:
- Automated BeyondRAID™ technology optimizes advanced data protection without the need for specific storage expertise or configuration
- Automated thin provisioning and reclamation delivers enterprise-class expandability and storage utilization features in a simplified, automated manner
- New, automated data-aware tiering solves performance tuning issues that have traditionally taken storage administrators weeks or months to address
- Adjusts in real-time to changes in application workload, without the need for user or admin intervention and tuning
- Uniquely utilizes SSD technology in the same pool as conventional disk drives to accelerate the most demanding operations – automatically, based on application workload Affordable
- Available at prices starting under $10,000 for 12 TB of SAS storage
- The most efficient and cost-effective way to utilize SSD technology – unlike traditional tiering or SSD solutions, Drobo allows customers to incrementally add SSD drives in the same box and in the same storage pool as traditional media – resulting in optimal price-performance
- Designed, like all Drobos, to be the easiest to use and most automated product in the market, resulting in reduced configuration and tuning time, and lower operating costs
- B1200i Overview: http://info.drobo.com/resources/b1200i
- The Automated Tiering Experience: http://www.drobo.com/resources/tiering.php
- Drobo for Business: http://www.drobo.com/products/drobosanbusiness.php
The new Drobo 12-Bay iSCSI SAN storage for business model B1200i is available now for purchase at http://www.Drobo.com and through select partners and resellers.
Subject: Storage | August 19, 2011 - 12:03 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: kingston, ssd, sandforce, SF-2281 controller
Kingston has moved on to the new SandForce 2281 controller and synchronous flash memory with their new series of HyperX SSDs. Like previous models, cables and brackets and sometimes even ghosting software are included in the packaging in addition to a 3 year warranty. The drive comes in two varieties of package, one is intended for those planning a complete reinstall of Windows when they add the SSD to their system. The other is an upgrade kit, which has everything you need to move your OS onto the SSD, up to and including a USB casing to ease the transfer. [H]ard|OCP has the scoop here.
"Kingston's move into the SandForce SSD market is great news for the consumer. With its new HyperX branded solid state drives in hand, we take a look at these amazingly fast SSDs and examine if an SSD from Kingston should be on your short list for your next storage purchase."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- Kingston HyperX 120GB SATA 3 SSD Review @ t-break
- Samsung 470 128GB SSD @ XSReviews
- Plextor PX-128 M2S 128 GB SSD @ XSReviews
- Crucial M4 128GB SSD @ OC3D
- Kingston HyperX 240GB SATA III SSD @ Bjorn3D
- Hard Disk Drive Myths Debunked! @ TechARP
- Western Digital Scorpio Blue 1TB Mobile Hard Drive Review @ Techgage
- WD Scorpio Blue 1TB Notebook Hard Drive Review @ Legit Reviews
- Seagate Barracuda XT 3TB SATA 3 HDD Review @ Real World Labs
- Icy Dock MB982SPR-2S Dual 2.5" to 3.5" SATA HDD / SSD Converter Review @ eTeknix
- Flash Drives and Controllers: USB 3.0 vs. USB 2.0 @ X-bit Labs
- Silverstone RVS02 USB 3.0 2.5" HDD Enclosure @ Pro-Clockers
Subject: Storage | August 19, 2011 - 02:35 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: ssd, ONFI, Force Series 3, corsair, asynchronous NAND, 90GB
Corsair recently added two new solid state drives to its SSD lineup. The new drives weight in at 90 GB, and make an interesting choice for those that need a bit more space than Corsair’s 60 GB drives provide but not enough to justify a higher priced 120 GB drive. Of the two drives, one will be labeled a Force Series 3 drive, and the other will be a Force Series GT SSD. Tweaktown quoted Corsair in stating:
“We're happy to add the world's first 90GB SSD to our product lineup. With 50% more storage capacity than our 60GB models and at pricing significantly lower than our 120GB models, they help make the Force Series 3 and Force Series GT among the most robust and flexible SSD lines on the market.”
The new 2.5” drives are powered by Sandforce 2281 controllers, and the SATA 3 (6Gb/s) interface. Using the benchmarking utility IOMeter 08, Corsair measured the IOPS (input/output operations per second) of the two drives to be 85,000. The Force Series 3 90GB SSD uses asynchronous NAND, and is capable of sequential read and write speeds of 550MB/s and 500MB/s respectively. On the other hand, the Force Series GT 90GB SSD uses ONFI synchronous flash, and features a slight performance edge with sequential reads of 555MB/s and sequential writes of 505MB/s.
The 90GB SSDs supports SMART monitoring, the TRIM command, and have a MTBF (mean time before failure) of 2 million hours. Further, the drives carry a three year warranty. The drives are available now from authorized retailers with an MSRP of $159 for the Force Series 3 drive and $199 for the Force Series GT SSD.