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OCZ scores huge OEM client

Supplier to ship enterprise SSDs to HP, says analyst

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Consumer SSD supplier OCZ has won a tier-1 OEM for its Deneva line of enterprise multi-level cell flash.

OCZ, known for its Vertex and Onyx consumer solid state drives (SSDs), unveiled an enterprise drive range called Deneva earlier in the year. It uses multi-level cell (MLC) flash paired with Sandforce 1500 controllers, and delivers up to 50,000 IOPS with 4K data blocks, 285MB/sec sequential reads, and 275MB/sec sequential writes. OCZ says enterprise MLC can be used, a version of MLC flash with longer working life. Micron produces this type of flash.

There are various interfaces available – Fibre Channel, PCIe, SAS and SATA – and various form factors too: 1.8-inch, 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch. OCZ, blowing its own trumpet a lot, says its brand shiny new OEM will use the product in enterprise storage applications in data centres. Shipments to the OEM will start by March 2011 and initial orders will be in the 5,000 - 15,000 units a quarter range, with average unit values in the $300 - $500 area, a minimum of $1.5m a quarter. We don't know which form factor and which interfaces will be used.

Stifel Nicolaus analyst Aaron Rakers says he believes HP is the OEM and the Deneva product will be used in ProLiant servers. He notes that HP qualified STEC ZeusIOPS SSDs for its EVA storage line last week by the way. It means that flash cache-enhanced ProLiants should appear next spring if Rakers is right, following on from STEC-boosted EVA arrays. This is good news for both OCZ and SandForce. ®

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