OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 240GB PCI-E SSD
So long, SATA
One wonders if, after ratifying the SATA 6Gb/s standard, the people at the SATA-IO (Serial ATA International Organization) gave themselves a pat on the back to say job well done, that’s that future-proofed for a while, we can relax now.
Scorchio: OCZ's RevoDrive 3 X2
After all, you could hardly blame them for that, as the old disk spinning mechanical drives have trouble getting anywhere near the previous SATA 2 (3Gb/s) standards limit so the SATA 3 (6Gb/s) interface isn’t going to be troubled for quite some time, or so they thought.
Yet it appears what the great and the good at SATA-IO didn’t see looming on the horizon – and they certainly weren’t the only ones – was the huge rise in consumer SSDs. Even now, the solid state storage on offer is very close to completely swallowing all the bandwidth available on the SATA 6Gb/s interface – so much for future-proofing.
Minus daughtercard: note the two Sandforce controllers
Some companies could see the writing on the wall and sent their R&D teams scuttling away into darkened rooms to come up with other solutions, while we all wait for the ratification of SATA Express. OCZ was one such company and its RevoDrive series of products do away with need for the SATA interface completely, using instead the PCI-E bus of the motherboard. This alternative has the potential to shift huge amounts of data really rapidly and deliver huge transfer rates.
There are two basic versions of the RevoDrive, the standard drive which has everything mounted on a single PCB and the X2 version which has a daughter card added with additional NAND modules and controllers. The RevoDrive 3 series sees the addition of some new technology to the drives in the shape of OCZ’s VCA 2.0 (Virtual Controller Architecture) and SuperScale Storage Accelerator which replace the RAID setup of the original RevoDrives.
Next page: Sandforce sandwich
"Now they are as cheap as chips."
Actually these things are, by definition, as cheap as chips. It's just that the chips are quite expensive....
Somewhat frustrating that the article assumes all its readers are only windows users.
How about including some words about compatibility with Linux and other OS's?
Until the price can be brought down large drives will be part of a very niche market.
NAND technology limits
Unfortunately with the durability of NAND cells decreasing with cell size, technology seems to already be pretty close to the point of diminishing returns - i.e. chip features cannot be shrunk much further - so the usual more-for-less-with-each-year scaling may not apply to flash based SSDs. But quite likely there will be a successor technology.
However I can't say I have much confidence in the reliability of non-enterprise SSD - but after thinking a bit about this technology shift we are starting to change to SSD on production servers that have significant random I/O activity, DRBD'd onto a standby machine that has good old spinning disk.
I'm toying with the idea of using Seagate's hybrid drives for VMs that need a greater volume of data than we can presently afford to put on SSD.
Re: This is the future
"Which means a dedicated SAN will be dead. I mean, seriously, if we have 20, 50, or 100TB on a PCIe card close to the northbridge of the CPU, and 10GigEth networks for the 4 way DRBD, why wasting more money on a separate SAN system."
Unless you want to run a cluster (especially VMs). Or have failover hardware. Or want to manage backups centrally.