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Flash! Enterprise SSD looming at HP

Dance of the spinning platters to cease. Partly

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HP will soon introduce enterprise-class solid state drives (SSD) with a 6Gbit/s SAS interface for its servers.

Currently it offers 3Gbit/s SSDs from Samsung for its G6 and certain G5 servers. These have a sustained read speed of 230MB/sec and a sustained write speed of 180MB/sec.

TechEye reckons the coming SSDs have sustained read and write speeds of - guess what - 230MB/sec and 180MB/sec respectively. It may be that Samsung has upgraded its 3Gbit/sec flash to have the 6gig interface and higher capacity. Alternatively HP may have struck a deal with another supplier such as SandForce for its controllers or STEC for complete drives.

HP had this to say about enterprise SSDS in its ISS Technology Update, Volume 8, Number 7 (pdf)

SSD technology is still rapidly evolving. HP hopes to introduce its first Enterprise class SAS SSDs in 2010. These drives will be engineered for unconstrained read and write workloads and 100 per cent duty cycles. This will match the basic reliability characteristics of Enterprise class disk drives while providing the I/O performance advantages of SSDs. HP may also introduce server SSDs based on multi-level cell NAND flash memory. These products will provide a solution for application environments that need higher capacity SSDs, but do not require support for unconstrained IO workloads.

HP says its 3Gbit/s SSD is suitable for "use in Midline (MDL) drive environments where unconstrained workloads and a 100 per cent duty cycle are not required, [such as] read-intensive environments where writes are 30 per cent or less of the total IO load".

The coming enterprise SSDs have a dual-port 6gig SAS interface, 200GB or more capacity, a three to five year service life, and a 100 per cent duty cycle with unconstrained loads. They may be introduced along with the DL980-G7 server. That's the big brute with eight CPUs, each with eight cores.

HP may also introduce a 400-500GB capacity multi-level cell SSD to be used as a boot drive with a one year service life - not that long. ®

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