OCZ, one of the biggest players in the solid state drive market, said during CeBIT that the company plans to focus its attention on pushing SSDs in the European market, paying particular attention to the enterprise sector.
"There are an increasing number of applications where SSDs are quickly replacing traditional hard drives, including mobile and high-performance computing as well as numerous enterprise environments," commented Alex Mei, CMO at the OCZ Technology Group. "At CeBIT 2010, OCZ continues to expand our robust SSD lineup with the introduction of next-generation solid state storage solutions in an increasingly wide array of interfaces that truly deliver transformational capabilities when addressing the unique challenges of enterprise clients."
Part of the process includes meeting the demand for PCI-Express and SCSI (SAS) SSDs. This includes both current options -- like the Z-Drive series, now being showcased in its fourth generation -- as well as upcoming parts.
OCZ has introduced another tempting SSD, the Vertex LE, which offers some pretty impressive specs. But, for some reason, OCZ has decided to offer up the 100GB and 200GB drives as limited editions, so if you want one you’ll have to act fast.
The Vertex LE is a 2.5-inch SATA II drive built with dense dense multi-level cell (MLC) flash memory. It comes with an upgraded SATA 3GB/s controller that allows read speeds to reach 270MB/s, and write speeds to reach 250MB/s. (OCZ says sustained write speeds can hit 235MB/s.) The Vertex LE has native TRIM support, which avoids slowdowns when used in Windows PCs.
How much these limited edition drives will cost OCZ has yet said. But OCZ does say they’ll be in the hands of resellers in the next few weeks.
If Alternate.de's listing is any indication (see here), OCZ is busy readying an update to its Vertex 2 SSD line, the Vertex 2 'Limited Edition'.
Fudzilla says the updated SSDs will be available in 100GB and 200GB capacities, but it's unknown whether the Limited Edition units will use the same SandForce controller as found on the Vertex 2 Pro. Either way, the upcoming drive sports some pretty impressive read and write speeds, with Fudzilla reporting reads to be in the vicinity of 250MB/s to 270MB/s, while writes will cruise along at 235MB/s.
Like most high-end SSDs, the Vertex 2 Limited Edition units aren't likely to come cheap. At the current exchange rate, Alternate.de has the 200GB model listed at roughly $1,237, or about $6.18 per gigabyte.
In 2009, OCZ emerged as one of the busiest makers of SSDs on the planet, and lest you thought they might kick it down a notch in 2010, take a look at company's roadmap.
There will be no slowing down for OCZ, who is wasting no time in transitioning to 34nm and 32nm NAND flash memory. This will allow OCZ to introduce larger models, including 512GB versions of the Vertex and Agility series. The company's also planning a 1.8-inch SSD built around Indilinx's new Amigos controller.
The next generation of Vertex drives, Vertex 2, will sport a customized SF-1200 controller from SandForce and boast 270MB/s read and 260MB/s write speeds, putting them close to the theoretical bandwidth limits of SATA II.
OCZ also plans to expand its Z-Drive series, which use the PCI-E bus. The upcoming Z-Drive e88 will come rated at up 1400MB/s read and 1500MB/s write speeds, however it will be mainly targeted at enterprise environments. On the desktop front, the Z-Drive p88 will boast 1300MB/s read and 1200MB/s write speeds.
No word yet on pricing for any of the upcoming models.
OCZ this week announced that enterprise solid state drive (SSD) provider WhipTail Technologies will tap into OCZ's "premium" SSDs for products and services the company offers.
"We are proud to support WhipTail with our enterprise class OEM SSD products," commented Ryan Petersen, CEO at the OCZ Technology Group. "WhipTail’s unique Racerunner solution takes full advantage of all the benefits of solid state drives to provide their customers with an exceptional storage appliance that gives their customers a competitive advantage."
WhipTail will use OCZ's SSDs to configure its Racerunner SSD appliances, which consists of a proprietary software stack and are touted as the "fastest flash-based appliances currently on the market."
It’s been a long time since we tested a single-level cell (SLC) SSD, as the market has moved almost entirely over to multi-level cell (MLC) designs. MLC is favored because it’s cheaper to produce and each cell can store two bits of data, rather than one, so you can cram more storage into each flash unit. On the other hand, SLC is faster and is rated for 100,000 read/write cycles, as opposed to 10,000 for MLC. Naturally, SLC is preferred for enterprise solutions, while MLC has captured the consumer market. But with the introduction of the (relatively) affordable Agility EX series, OCZ is hoping to win back some of the consumer market for SLC.
The 60GB Agility EX pairs the popular Indilinx Barefoot controller—responsible for this generation’s blazing-fast, stutter-free SSDs—with 64GB of onboard SLC NAND. It’s worth noting that this is the same capacity as a standard 64GB SSD; OCZ just uses a binary naming convention. In our tests, the Agility EX’s sustained read speeds topped off at around 197MB/s, or approximately six percent slower than the second-gen Intel X-25M. Sustained write speeds, at 175MB/s, were the same as with the Patriot Torqx, an MLC drive using the same Indilinx controller. But the Agility really shone in application tests, with a five percent faster Premiere Pro encoding time and a 13 percent higher PCMark Vantage HDD score than the Torqx.
There's no way around it - if SSDs are to eventually replace mechanical hard drives, manufacturers have to find a way to increase capacity at a reasonable cost. So far, every SSD vendor has failed on both accounts, which is why we're excited to see OCZ release a 1TB SSD.
Also available in the more traditional 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB capacities, the new Colossus 3.5-inch SSD series brings no-holds barred performance to the scene, at least on paper. According to OCZ, each drive is capable of up to 260MB/s reads and writes, up to 220MB/s sustained writes, and up to 14,000 IOPS. That puts the Colossus right up there with the fastest spec'd drives on the market.
"The new Colossus Series is designed to boost desktop and workstation performance and is for high power users tht put a premium on speed, reliability, and maximum storage capacity," said Eugene Chang, VP of Product Management at OCZ. "The Colossus core-architecture is also available to enterprise clients with locked BOMs (build of materials) and customized firmware to match their unique applications."
A 1TB drive certainly makes headway on the capacity front, but the question is, how much will it cost? OCZ didn't say, though previous reports had the then-upcoming drive pegged at $2,500. Ouch.
OCZ on Monday announced its latest Z-Drive PCI-Express SSD, the m84. Unlike previous Z-Drives, the m84 doesn't target enterprise users and instead is intended for the 'mainstream' power user crowd.
"The OCZ m84 Z-Drive is the newest addition to our line of PCI-E solid state drives and is designed to offer consumers a high performance yet aggressively priced solid state solution," said Eugene Chang, Vice President of Product Management at the OCZ Technology Group. "While the previously released p84 and e84 Z-Drives were intended specifically for enterprise applications, the m84 delivers much of the same performance but at a price point that is competitive with standard SSD drives. This is the first time that such a high performance PCI-E based SSD that is optimized for media editing, gaming, and workstation productivity, has been so within the reach of power users."
The m84 comes built with multi-level cell (MLC) NAND and a bootable internal RAID 0 configuration. OCZ says users can expect read speeds up to 750MB/s and write speeds up to 650MB/s, at least in the 256GB model. Other capacities include 512GB and 1TB, with both of the higher capacity models improving read and write speeds to 870MB/s and 780MB/s, respectively. All three boast sustained write speeds in the neighborhood of 600MB/s.
OCZ on Thursday expanded its DDR3 lineup to include its new Black Edition 4GB kits intended for AMD's next-gen Phenom II processors, the memory maker said.
"OCZ is excited to launch our new AMD Black Edition Ready Series which is designed specifically to work with AMD's OverDrive software utility," said Eugene Chang, vice president of Product Management at OCZ. "The new OCZ Black Edition modules not only interact with AOD to overclock the memory, but also communicate with the BIOS to increase the frequency and performance of the memory controller. The result is a symbiotic relationship between memory and the rest of the system to unleash the full power of the Dragon Platform."
Two new kits make up the new series, both spec'd at 1600MHz and boasting a low 1.65 voltage. The only difference between the two comes down to timings, with the looser kit rated at 8-8-8-24 and the tighter timed kit sporting 7-7-7-24 latencies.
While Super Talent is busy readying its RAIDDrive, OCZ today announced it has begun shipping its PCI-Express based Z-Drive. This is the same drive that was being discussed at CeBIT earlier this year, and like Super Talent's version, OCZ's model looks to leave behind the confines of the SATA bus for wider pastures on the PCI-E interface more suitable for the ultra fast flash memory.
"Traditional enterprise storage technology typically requires overly complex infrastructures as well as costly maintenance, and is often unable to deliver the level of performance required by OEM applications," said Ryan Peterson, CEO of the OCZ Technology Group. "The new OCZ Z-Drive is an all-in-one high performance plug-and-play bootable PCI-E solid state drive that addresses these challenges head on, and meets the demands of the complete range of enterprise storage and data access requirements."
Sporting an internal RAID 0 configuration, OCZ says its SLC-based Z-Drive can top out at 800MB/s reads and 750MB/s writes, whereas the MLC-based version trails just lightly behind at 750MB/s reads and 650MB/s writes. Both versions also look to consume less power than traditional hard drives.
While OCZ did say the drives have started shipping, it did not announce a price or expected availabilty date.