RipNAS this week announced two new storage devices, the Statement SSD and Statement HDD. Both come capable of ripping CDs, leading the company to claim the former as the "world's first Solid State Drive Ripping NAS." And as far as we know, they're right.
The aptly named Statement series also challenges traditional NAS design in aesthetics. Instead of a bulky box, RipNAS chose a svelte silver enclosure that would fit right in with a home theater setup. Combined with its media streaming capabilities and dead silent operation (SSD version), RipNAS might be on to something.
On the hardware front, both boxes come an Intel Atom dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and four USB 2.0 ports. The SSD version will come configured with 500GB (2x250GB), and 3TB (2x1.5TB) of storage in the HDD version.
There are backup solutions, and then there's the Phoenix System built by Axxana. The company's tagline reads, "Built to Last," and boy do they mean it. After all, the backup box claims to be able to withstand power failures, earthquakes, terror attacks, fires, flood, and all kinds of nasty weather.
On the inside, Axxana's Phoenx holds anywhere from 72GB to 300GB of data via removable flash media. System performance checks in at up to 200MB/s data transfers, up to 17,000 IOOPs, and protection for up to 4,096 independent volumes. But the 'how much' and 'how fast' serves as only a footnote to the Phoenix's real strength, which is its ability to withstand nearly ever conceivable catastrophe.
According to Axxana, the rugged 436-pound, 38in (H) x 27in (W) x 48in (H) box can survive up to 2000¼ F for up to an hour, after which time it can still withstand 482¼ F for 6 more hours. It can also emerge unscathed following a 40G shock, having 5000 pounds of weight come crashing down on it, or being submerged in 30 feet of water pressure.
Actually getting to your data in the event of a disaster might be the hardest part, so Axxana also outfitted the Phoenix with 3G and WiFi antennas for remote access, with the battery providing up to 6 hours of 3G transfer.
When solid state drives (SSDs) first made a push into the mainstream market last earlier this year, less than stellar benchmark results and buggy controllers did little to convince users it worth paying a premium for flash-based drives over less expensive and much larger (in capacity) hard drives. But the latest round of SSDs have picked up their game, such as OCZ's refreshed Vertex line, the Vertex EX.
"The new OCZ Vertex EX is designed to deliver unparalleled performance and reliability, featuring the latest-generation architecture and SATA interface utilizing single-level cell NAND flash memory for unmatched overall system responsiveness and stability for enterprise grade server solutions," said Alex Mei, CMO of the OCZ Technology Group.
But forget about enterprise grade server solutions - the Vertex EX looks to be a killer storage option for high end desktops, at least on paper. Available in 60GB and 120GB capacities, the new drives boast an impressive 260MB/s read, 210MB/s write (200MB/s for the 60GB), and up to 100MB/s sustained write. Like the previous Vertex drives, the new EX refresh also comes with 64MB of onboard cache and support RAID configurations.
In what sounds like a simple formula for success, Dell plans to combine one good thing with another good thing for what it hopes will turn out to be a great thing. Or to be less vague, Dell, who offers both SSDs and encrypted drives, will start adding encrypted SSDs to its notebook lineup sometime this summer.
Samsung will manufacture the drives, which will come in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB capacities to start. The self-encrypting drives will automatically encrypt data as it is being saved, "an industry first" for SSDs, according to Samsung and Wave Systems.
"Benefits of hardware encryption over today's software-only encryption approaches include faster performance, better security, and an 'always on' feature," Samsung and Wave Systems said in a statement. "Because encryption keys and access credentials are generated and stored within the drive hardware, they never leave its confines and are never held in the operating system or software."
No word yet on exactly when Dell will implement the new SSDs or at what price points.
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.
Noticeably absent from the momentous solid state drive (SSD) market is Western Digital, whose Raptor hard drives have often been used as a performance comparison when benchmarking the fastest SSDs. Following a $65 million cash acquisition of SiliconSystems, a supplier of SSDs for the embedded systems market, look for Western Digital to soon jump into the foray.
"We are delighted to have the SiliconSystems team join WD," said John Coyne, president and CEO of WD. "The combination will be modestly accretive to revenue and margins as a result of SiliconSystems' existing position as a trusted supplier to the well-established $400 million market for embedded solid-state drives. SiliconSystems' intellectual property and technical expertise will significantly accelerate WD's solid-state drive development programs for the netbook, client and enterprise markets, providing greater choice for our customers to satisfy all their storage requirements."
Western Digital says it has immediately begun integrating its acquisition, starting with SiliconSystems now becoming known as the WD Solid-State Storage business unit.
In a related Q&A regarding the acquisition, WD says it plans to "retain substantially all of the approximately 100 employees" working for SiliconSystems. However, WD was more coy when it came to offering an ETA for marketing SSDs, saying that it only announces new products when they begin shipping.
Early solid state drives (SSDs) suffered from a number of negative characteristics preventing them from finding use in mainstream applications. These included low capacity, surprisingly poor performance, reliability concerns, and high prices. Recent advances have addressed many of these concerns, but comparatively high prices still plague SSDs. Not for long, says Samsung, who expects SSD pricing to fall in line with HDDs in the next few years as flash memory prices continue to fall.
"Flash memory in the last five years has come down 40, 50, 60 percent per year," said Brian Beard, flash marketing manageing for Samsung Semiconductor, in a phone interview with CNet. "Flash on a dollar-per-gigabyte basis will reach price parity, at some point, with hard disk drives in the next few years."
Samsung, who makes both SSDs and HDDs, points out that hard disk drives have a fixed cost for its various parts, such as $40 or $50 for the spindle, motors, PCB, and cables, and that adding capacity or making them faster really doesn't add much incremental cost to the drive. But with SSDs, which also have a fixed cost for the PCB, case, and controller, adding capacity entails adding more flash chips, which adds to the fixed cost of the drive. "For example, if the spot price of the flash chip itself is $2, a 64GB drive is going to cost $128 just for the flash and then you would add the fixed cost of the PCB an the case," Beard said.
According to Beard, the sweet spot for for SSDs this year will be 64GB moving to 128GB on the business side, and 128GB moving to 256GB on the consumer end.
At a glance, it'd be easy to mistake Patriot's newest Warp SSD for a Western Digital VelociRaptor hard drive. That's because like the VelociRaptor, Patriot plans to include a bracket with the Warp drive that converts the 2.5-inch drive into a 3.5-inch form factor.
Keep in mind that Western Digital's IcePAK was designed to help keep its 10K RPM hard drive cool. Patriot's bracket, which Fudzilla says is made out of aircraft-grade aluminum, will undoubtedly lend additional cooling prowess to the Warp SSD, but SSDs don't typically get hot in the first place.
As for the drive itself, the third-gen SSD checks in at 256GB and boasts increasingly common read and write speeds of 240MB/s and 160MB/s, respectively.
No word yet on availability or price, however according to Fudzilla, Patriot plans to give the bracket away for free with the Warp SSD.
The SSD market is maturing right before our eyes and it seems every new release comes with high read and write speed ratings. Such is the case with A-DATA's newest SSD, the 2.5-inch SATA II SSD 300 Plus. And the company couldn't be more excited about it.
"Adopting the latest breakthroughs in SSD technology and new controller design, the new 300 Plus SSD dramatically increases the performance on data-reading speed by 40 percent while writing 60 percent at least when comparing with a regular SSD!!," A-DATA stated excitedly in a press release.
The new SSD comes rated with a read speed of 250MB/s and write speed of 160MB/s, putting it on par with other recent high performing releases. The company says the 300 Plus SSD makes use of a special mobile SDRAM to reach those speeds by serving as a cache buffer for frequently stored data.
A-DATA's 300 Plus series will be available in 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB capacities. No word yet on when or for how much.
Think your quad-VelociRaptors in a RAID 0 array are hardcore? Try 'hardly impressive,' at least when compared to the scintillating setup Samsung put together consisting of 24 -- TWENTY FOUR -- 256GB SSDs running in RAID. The goal? To show the world how awesome SSDs are via a YouTube video.
"While one SSD gives you an amazing 220MB/s access speed, we could actually use more of them together to build something extreme," Samsung narrated in a YouTube video. "Through RAID, we could theoretically combine 24 in tandem to make the world's most power consumer computer. Now that would prove SSD awesomeness."
Even without the massive collection of SSDs, Samsung's testbed impresses with two quad-core QX9775 processors, two HD 4870 X2 videocards in a CrossFire configuration, a custom 4GB 800MHz FB-DIMM, and two 1000W power supplies. But with the SSDs hooked up, Samsung's setup is nothing short of astonishing.
After playing around with stripe sizes, Samsung managed to break 2000MB/s (2GB/s). But Samsung didn't just strut its stuff with synthetic benchmarking. The video shows all of Microsoft Office opening in just 0.5 seconds, or instantaneously. This was followed by opening up all of the system's Start menu programs (53 in all) in a mere 18 seconds. Want more? Try copying a 700MB DVD rip from one location to another in 0.8 seconds.
And yes, it can play Crysis. See for yourself right here.