Feeds

Flasher macs popular among data centre nerds

FlashMax will give server apps a fright

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

FlashMax sounds like a used car salesman from Essex. It's actually Virident's latest server flash card to replace the TachION and comes as Virident pockets $21m in extra funding from VCs keen to invest in the hottest flash market of them all.

Fusion-io opened the door to the booming server flash market and tons of would-be suppliers are pouring through the doorway it opened. By using PCIe-connected solid-state drives, server apps run much faster as they no longer have to wait for excruciatingly slow disk I/O to complete, especially networked storage I/O. Fusion just released its second-generation ioDrive and that's the benchmark every other supplier gets measured against.

Virident FlashMax

Virident's flash FlashMax whopper

Application speed-up is the name of the game and that means what matters is the card's latency, the number of I/O operations per second, and then the streaming data speed; how fast it can deliver data once it's started. FlashMax comes in a fast single-level cell (SLC) version with 300, 400 and 800GB capacity points, and a slightly slower 2-bit multi-level cell (MLC) configuration with 1TB and 1.4TB capacities, the latter being the largest in the low-profile form-factor PCIe card field, according to Virident.

STEC's Kronos BiTurbo goes up to 3.9TB, with its Turbo offering 1.95TB. Fusion-io's second generation ioDrive 2 Duo goes up to 2.4TB so you have lots of choice for higher capacities if you abandon any low-profile need.

SLC FLashMax has a 16 microsecond latency and does 340,000 4KB IOPS and 1.4 million with 512 byte blocks. It streams sequential data at 1.4GB/sec or more and writes at 1.1GB/sec. Fusion's SLC ioDrive 2 does 450,000 512-byte write IOPS, and streams both read and write data at 3GB/sec. Score a half point to Virident; it has Fusion beat with IOPS but is slower at streaming.

Virident says its delivery of "over 1.4 Million IOPS from a single PCIe device [is] an industry first". It gets this from its vFAS (Flash Management with Adaptive Scheduling) technology. This can remove data from the card such that it meets NIST and DoD standards for data sanitisation.

What about MLC? FlashMax MLC has a 19 microsecond latency, a 325,000 4KB block IOPS rating (1 million with 512B transfers), and streams read data at 1.3GB/sec but write data at a pedestrian 600MB/sec.

Step forward Fusion's MLC ioDrive 2. At a 1.2TB capacity level its write access latency is 15 microseconds, it does 92,000 512B read IOPS, 512,000 writes, and streams read and write data at 1.2GB/sec. Virident is much faster in an IOPS sense, marginally faster streaming read data and half of Fusion's write streaming speed. Score another half point to Virident.

It says FlashMax presents a standard block access storage interface to the host server and has global wear-levelling. The speeds being presented here are sustained over the life of the device, there being no fresh-out-of-the-box spurt puffing them up

A senior analyst at ESG, Mark Peters, provides independent conformation of this, saying: "Flash storage performance is considerably affected by factors such as application workloads and data sets, and will invariably downgrade as the capacity of the disk gets used. Virident’s FlashMAX has been specifically designed to eliminate these variations and deliver consistent performance over time."

FlashMax is available now with suggested retail pricing starting from $13,000. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7
New chip scales to 1024 cores, 8192 threads 64 TB RAM, at speeds over 3.6GHz
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Object storage bods Exablox: RAID is dead, baby. RAID is dead
Bring your own disks to its object appliances
Nimble's latest mutants GORGE themselves on unlucky forerunners
Crossing Sandy Bridges without stopping for breath
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
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.