Solid State Drives (SSDs) have the potential to break the mold for data storage, but so far their development has been focused on portable computing. If the market’s going to expand, there’s going to have to be a suitable desktop option. One possibility, which takes advantage of a desktop’s better throughput, is a SSD on a PCIe card, such as Fusion-io’s ioDrive. An announced partnership between Seagate and LSI suggests more of the same is on its way.
PCIe has the advantage of being a bit quicker and easier to integrate into the enterprise computing environment. According to the announcement: “LSI is expected to deliver board-level products that integrate LSI™ SAS and PCIe technology with Seagate solid-state drive (SSD) technology.”
Jeff Janukowicz, a research manager for the market research firm IDC, says, “Solid-state drives remain in the spotlight as a technology and an area of growth in the storage market.” According to IDC, SSD revenues in enterprise computing will reach $2 billion by 2013, with PCIe-based solutions responsible for a significant chunk.
Unfortunately, the announcement only revealed the collaboration of LSI and Seagate. There was no mention of any particular products, when them might be available, or what they might cost.
Engineers working together from Fusion-io and Hewlett Packard were able to achieve about 1 million IOPS (input/output per second) and 8GB/s sustained throughput in a custom-built HP ProLiant DL785 G5 server with four quad-core AMD Opteron processors. To reach the high level of IOPS, the server included five 320GB ioDrive Duos and six 160GB ioDrives.
"The ioDrive and ioDrive Duo are to supply the extreme storage performance (for data centers) at a fraction of the power, cooling, and per unit-of-processing-power price compared to traditional solutions," said David Flynn, chief technology officer of Fusion-io, in a statement.
The ioDrive and ioDrive Duos used consist of single level cell (SLC) flash memory and come rated for 48 years with the company's wear leveling algorithm. Both drives also utilize the PCI-E interface.