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LSI gets 1 million IOPS from 1TB of flash

Matches IBM and HP with Fusion-io

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LSI has recorded 1 million IOPS from a terabyte of Seagate flash, showing how you need less and less flash to achieve the magic million marker.

Fusion-io and IBM famously achieved a million IOPS in IBM's Project Quicksilver which came to light in September 2008. This involved 41 Fusion ioDrives with 4TB of flash hooked up to a cluster of 14 IBM SAN Volume Controllers (SVC).

Texas Memory Systems did a million IOPS from its RamSan 5000 flash array in October 2008 to show that Fusion and IBM's demo wasn't unique. The TMS kit was actually ten RamSan 500s aggregated in a rack, with each containing a 64GB DRAM cache and up to 2TB of single-level cell (SLC) NAND flash chips. That's an awful lot of NAND flash altogether and was a bit of of brute force demo.

In April 2009 HP achieved the same IOPS level with 2.5TB of ioDrive capacity, 36 per cent less, made up from five 320GB ioDrive Duos and six 160GB ioDrives. The Proliant server used four quad-core AMD Opteron processors and exhibited 1,009,384 IOPS using a 2KB random 70/30 read/write mix.

Now LSI has done it with six LSISSS6200 320GB PCIe SSS cards in a single white box server running two Intel Xeon 5590 processors. That's just 1.02TB of SLC flash. Where IBM needed 14 SVCS and HP needed four servers, LSI needed just one. To illustrate its superiority to hard drives LSI said that, to achieve equal performance on an IOPS basis utilizing hard drives would require 2,500 drives, three racks of storage and consume nearly 320 times the power.

None of these million IOPS demos can be regarded as benchmarks and so are not directly comparable. But they do show how the amount of flash kit you need to get a million IOPS has been shrinking. ®

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