Feeds

Pliant does MLC flash

Cheaper flash storage array drives

Top three mobile application threats

The march of MLC flash into mainstream enterprise storage took another step forward today as Pliant launched its Enterprise Flash Disk (EFD) products.

Pliant is a startup focused on competing with industry leader STEC to supply solid state drives (SSD) as hard disk drive replacements for storage arrays, where they provide a top tier of storage offering the fastest data I/O. Pliant first offered single-level cell (SLC) flash, the fastest and most expensive, and has now moved on to providing a 2-bit multi-level cell (MLC) range that is slower, but still faster than hard drives, while being less expensive than SLC product.

MLC drives in general have limited write endurance compared to SLC flash. Pliant's MLC drives features a proprietary ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) providing extended write endurance and data reliability features. There are two products, the Lightning LB 200M and 400M, with 200GB and 400GB capacities. They come in the 2.5-inch format, and have a 3Gbit/s SAS interface, with four fully independent full duplex ports. 6Gbit/s SAS is now expected next year, it having been originally intended to arrive some time this year.

Pliant has not provided peak I/O rates, saying these are often based on write data caching in the SSD and don't reflect sustained, real-world performance. It says the LB 400M offers more than 10,000 IOPS with a 70/30 read/write mix of 4KB data blocks. The LB 200M offers more than 8,000 such IOPS. Both these figures exclude write data caching, as the products don't have a write cache.

The total sustained IOPS rate for the 400M is above 25,000 with the 200M having more than 20,000. For comparison Pliant's LB 150S SLC product offers more than 120,000 - quite a performance gap. The sustained read and write data transfer rates are 270MB/sec and 100MB/sec for the 400M, and 240MB/sec and 100MB/se for the 200M. The SLC product offers 420MB/sec and 220MB/sec respectively.

There are unlimited writes during the five year lifetime of these MLC drive. Data security measures including background Patrol Read and Memory Reclaim to speed the write process, extended ECC, triple-redundant ECC protected metadata, and support for the T10 Data Integrity Field (DIF) standard.

We have SLC SSDS available as a tier zero in storage arrays. Since 15,000rpm Fibre Channel or SAS drives represent a tier one it seems we'll have to call the MLC flash drives tier 0.5 storage. What might happen is that SLC flash goes into high-end storage arrays, the V-MAX and DS8000 type products, with MLC drives going into the mid-range modular arrays, the CLARiiONs, EVAs and DS4000s. It's unlikely arrays will use both SLC and MLC flash as the performance difference is not that great considering the amounts of highly active data involved.

EMC has announced the availability of less expensive MLC flash drives, and these are thought to be based on Micron product.

Pliant's Lightning LB 200M and LB 400M are being delivered for OEM evaluation and qualification, and will be available via authorised Pliant channel partners in October. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo: Turn your phone into a 72GB beast
USB-usiness in the front, micro-USB party in the back
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Inside the Hekaton: SQL Server 2014's database engine deconstructed
Nadella's database sqares the circle of cheap memory vs speed
BOFH: Oh DO tell us what you think. *CLICK*
$%%&amp Oh dear, we've been cut *CLICK* Well hello *CLICK* You're breaking up...
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?
I'll leave my arrays to do the hard work, if you don't mind
Amazon reveals its Google-killing 'R3' server instances
A mega-memory instance that never forgets
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.