As the price of NAND flash memory drops to record lows, more and more hardware vendors are getting into the solid state drive business—and why wouldn’t they? A standard hard drive has lots of moving parts, but a solid state drive is nothing more than a few NAND flash modules, a controller chip, some PCB, and an enclosure. CSX is well known in Europe as a producer of aftermarket RAM for Apple products, and its Diablo gaming RAM has started making waves in the United States. But this 128GB multilevel cell (MLC) SSD marks the company’s first foray into the solid state market.
Single-level cell (SLC) SSDs typically have better write speeds than multilevel cell drives, but MLCs are more common because they’re much cheaper. We’ve tested a few standout MLCs, including Intel’s X-25M, but most of the multilevel cell drives we’ve benchmarked have suffered from poor write speeds.
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.
While several companies have announced 512GB SSDs, Super Talent is living up to their name and shipping out the first of their massive SSDs starting today.
Super Talent is now offering a new series of MasterDrive RX SSDs, three of the models featuring Multi-Level Cell (MLC) chips, and two models with faster, and more reliable Single-Level Cell (SLC) chips. The one we’re worried about (the 512GB) comes with the MLC chips, and sports a sequential read speed of 230 MB/sec and a sequential write speed of 160MB/sec.
If you’ve got some money to spend on storage, you can pick up one of these drives now for a cool $1,500! Just be ready to explain to your wife why you sold her car.
Seagate this week unveiled a new line of hard drives that it says are "the ideal solution for the demands of the growing video surveillance market." The SV35.5 series, as it's been dubbed, include a number of features that make it suitable for video surveillance environments, including a "performance-tuned" 140MB/s sustained data rate, ATA-7 streaming commands, enhanced caching capabilities, built-in error recovery for 24/7 streaming, thermal monitoring and reporting, low noise operation, and more.
"The hardware requirements for the surveillance market are especially critical and dictate the use of HDDs that are made specifically for the needs of video system manufacturers and integrators," said Carla Kennedy, senior vice president of Seagate’s Enterprise Product Line Management group. "With its optimized performance and capacity that can store over one full month of high-resolution video, the Seagate SV35.5 Series™ hard drive is a prime example of Seagate delivering a feature-rich solution that customers have requested."
The SV35.5 series takes advantage of perpendicular recording and comes in capacities of up to 1TB. Seagate says its new drives consume anywhere between 5W and 7W while idle, depending on the specific hard drive.
No word yet on price, although Seagate says the SV35.5 is currently shipping to distributors worldwide.
The Dock Station is a (you guessed it) dock that features compatibility for 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch SATA drives, as well as space for up to two USB 2.0 devices. It also has USB audio, three-watt speakers and volume control right on the surface. And, while the speakers may not blow away of the audiophiles in the audience, it is a nice multitasker that can help assist a laptop user’s music experience, as well as provide a healthy dose of external storage.
If you’re looking to snag one of these, you can get it off of Brando’s site for $59.
Netgear today announced the addition of a new ReadyNAS NVX model. According to Netgear, the 4-bay storage solution "offers double the performance" of previous NV+ units.
"Netgear is fully committed to providing the best possible networked storage solutions to the SMB market – offering a range of appliances that address different capacity requirements and thrifty IT budgets,” said Paul Tien, vice president and general manager of NETGEAR’s Networked Storage Business Unit. Mr. Tien will give a presentation at Storage Networking World on “Multi-layered Backup for SOHO and SMB."
New features being touted with the NAS box includes the addition of iSCSI support for a unified NAS+SCSI storage option and an improved ReadyNAS RAIDiator operating system, which Netgear says now works with Time Machine in Max OS X Leopard.
Netgear says the new ReadyNAS NVX is available now from "value-added resellers," with street pricing to start at around $1,500 with 2TB of storage. That includes a 30-day trial to the company's ReadyNAS Vault internet backup service, after which will run $5.95/month for consumers or $19.95/month for businesses.
A-Data's newest external hard drives employ you to "enjoy technology with a touch of style." And by that, A-Data means you should decide between rolling with sweet pink, sapphire blue, purple, or a white color scheme for your portable storage needs.
The color selection comes courtesy of A-Data's CH91 external HDD line. Coated in a metal-like paint spray, the new drives are available in capacities up to 500GB (250GB and 320GB also available) and support Microsoft's ReadyBoost technology. The USB powered drives measure 134mm x 82mm x 16.7mm, feature a blinking LED to indicate power and activity, and comes with a USB Y cable, suede pouch, and backup software.
Super Talent recently announced their latest SSD development with a new patented product called the RAIDDrive. This fancy new piece of tech promises to increase the performance and capacity that slot based storage solutions currently offer, by boosting the ceiling up to 2TB.
The RAIDDrive is currently in three different flavors: the RAIDDrive ES, the RAIDDrive WS and the RAIDDrive GS. The ES is aimed at enterprise servers that will perform intensive applications, such as database transaction processing, business intelligence and virtualization. The WS is directed at workstation use for animation, video editing, oil/gas exploration and CAD. The GS is meant for gamers looking for a (much) faster IO subsystem.
All of these drives connect through PCI-E 2.0 x8, and deliver read speeds of up to 1.2GB/s, and sequential write speeds of up to 1.3GB/s. No word yet on pricing or availability, but as with the last drive of this caliber, chances are good that it’ll cost about as much as a car. No joke.
Every so often, a product comes out that makes us take pause and wonder "why hasn't anyone thought of that before?" That's the case with Corsair's new Voyager Port portable backup solution for USB flash drives. In this case, the cost of flash memory probably prevented such a concept from being conceived prior to now, but with the memory market in its worst slump in 15 years, Corsair's timing might be just right.
"USB flash drives, such as Corsair’s shock- and water-resistant Flash Voyager drives, are smaller and far more durable than portable hard disk drives, which have moving parts that are vulnerable to shock," said Jim Carlton, VP of Marketing, Corsair, "And with 64GB Flash Voyagers now available, USB flash drives are ideal backup solutions."
Combined with the included NovaBackup 10 software, the Flash Voyagers turns any USB thumb drive -- Corsair brand or otherwise -- into a one-button backup and restore solution. Even with the memory market in a slump, it's still more cost effective to invest in a HDD-based backup solution, but we could see the Flash Voyager being used with netbooks and other general purpose PCs with modest storage.
Corsair says the Port Voyager is available now with an MSRP set at $35 and backed by a 10-year warranty.
In the past year and a half, solid state drives have come from nowhere to take their place as the Next Big Thing in storage, especially in notebooks. The MacBook Air and the Asus Eee PC and OLPC XO-1 (One Laptop Per Child) netbooks were among the first consumer notebooks to utilize solid state drives. While SSDs are still most popular in netbooks, they have begun appearing in more mainstream notebooks and even high-end desktops.
SSDs have much higher read speeds than traditional drives, and with no moving parts, they’re more durable. They’re not susceptible to magnetic interference or vibration, and they use less power and run much more quietly than standard magnetic hard drives. Best of all, they come in standard 3.5-inch and 2.5-inch formfactors with SATA connectors and emulate traditional drives, so they’re compatible with existing architecture. Unfortunately, they’re also orders of magnitude more expensive per megabyte, thus limiting widespread adoption, at least for now.
Although the fastest solid state drives use DRAM for storage (with a battery backup to preserve data), this White Paper will focus on flash-based SSDs—the variety most commonly found in consumer gear.