Feeds

LSI and Seagate take on Fusion-io with flash

Muscling in with PCIe flash product sampling

Remote control for virtualized desktops

LSI and Seagate are sampling an LSI-branded server bus flash card, taking on Fusion-io which has been running away with this kind of product.

LSI's SSS6200 has six Seagate Pulsar SSDs (solid state drives) with up to 300GB of capacity and uses the X8 PCIe 2.0 interface. PCIe and SAS connectivity have been provided by LSI.

Flash memory for enterprise IT use comes as gigantic flash arrays, such as Texas Memory Systems' RamSan, sold state drive (SSD) replacement for hard drives such as STEC's ZeusIOPS used by EMC, IBM and others, and flash cache for servers or storage array controllers.

The cache often comes in a PCIe card format and Fusion-io's ioDrive has been romping away in this market with IBM and HP signed up for OEM deals and Dell reselling the product. The cache provides an intermediate tier of storage between a server's main memory and its storage arrays and accelerates all read I/O that the server would otherwise have to make from disk. It can also accelerate write I/Os but to a lesser extent.

Target application areas are the data-intensive ones of web serving, data warehousing and mining, high-performance computing and transaction processing. The SSS6200 offers up to 200,000 4KB read IOPS and 150,000 4KB write IOPS with the average latency being under 50 microseconds.

Sustained bandwidth is 1.5GB/sec for reads and 1.2GB/sec for writes. What are the comparable Fusion-io numbers?

A 320MB ioDrive, one using 2-bit multi-level cell flash, offers 71,256 read IOPS, 700MB/sec sustained read and 490MB/sec sustained write bandwidth, meaning the LSI product wipes the floor with it performance-wise.

A 320GB IoDrive Duo uses SLC flash and offers 185,022 read IOPS, 1.5GB/sec read bandwidth and 1.4GB/sec write bandwidth, making it faster at sustained writes than the LSI card, equal in sustained reads but slower in read IOPS terms, not by that much though.

LSI is using up to six 50GB Pulsar SSDs, ones with single level cell (SLC) flash, which is faster than Fusion's Samsung-supplied MLC flash. Fusion uses SLC flash for its 80 and 160GB iODrive product.

The SSS6200 roadmap extends out to a terabyte capacity card. Seagate's Pulsar comes in 50, 100 and 200GB capacity points, LSI could pretty quickly deliver a 600GB card, using 100GB Pulsars, and then a 1.2TB product with the 200GB Pulsars.

Both STEC and Micron have said they will introduce PCI-e connected flash products. That means there will be four suppliers competing for the server vendor's OEM business and also for customers in the system integration channel and, possibly, the reseller channel if retrofitting product to existing servers is straightforward.

LSI is sampling the card with prospective OEM customers now, and product might be deliverable from its OEMs towards the end of the year. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Cloud unicorns are extinct so DiData cloud mess was YOUR fault
Applications need to be built to handle TITSUP incidents
Stop the IoT revolution! We need to figure out packet sizes first
Researchers test 802.15.4 and find we know nuh-think! about large scale sensor network ops
Turnbull should spare us all airline-magazine-grade cloud hype
Box-hugger is not a dirty word, Minister. Box-huggers make the cloud WORK
SanDisk vows: We'll have a 16TB SSD WHOPPER by 2016
Flash WORM has a serious use for archived photos and videos
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.