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Toshiba baby OCZ flings open coat, bares PCIe flasher to world

Z-Drive 4500, complete with 410,000 random read/write IOPS

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

New Toshiba subsidiary OCZ has a new PCIe flash card, the Z-Drive 4500, complete with solid enterprise credentials - and none of the Ryan Petersen era hype.

That era produced the Z-Drive R5 with a notional 3 million IOPS and 12TB of capacity.

That product has disappeared from the OCZ roster and we now have the new Z-Drive 4500, compared to its R4 precursor.

Here’s a quick run-down of Z-Drive 4500 features:

  • Toshiba 19nm MLC flash
  • 800GB, 1.6TB and 3.2TB capacities
  • to 252,000 random 4K read IOPS but only 76,000 write IOPS
  • A maximum 2.9GB/sec sequential read bandwidth and 2.2GB/sec read bandwidth
  • PCIe gen 2 x8 and x16 interface in full and half height form factors
  • LSI SandForce SF0-2582 controller
  • TRIM and 128-bit AES support
  • 2 million hours MTBF and 5-year warranty
Toshiba OCZ Z-Drive 4500

Toshiba OCZ Z-Drive 4500 PCIe flash card.

The R4 (R-series 800GB - 3.2TB capacity) did up to 410,000 random read and write IOPS, with up to 2.8GB/sec sequential read and write bandwidth. A CloudServ variant stored up to 16TB of data with up to 1.4 million IOPS and 6.4GB/sec bandwidth. The 4500 is marginally faster when sequentially streaming data but has lower IOPS numbers than the non-CloudServ R4.

But Toshiba/OCZ says the 4500 has consistent latency “regardless of data entropy” and a 5-year warranty. The endurance numbers are:

  • 680TB written for 800GB product
  • 1,300TB written for 1.6TB product
  • 2,500TB written for 3.2TB product

It also has Windows Acceleration software, called WXL, which “performs statistical ‘out-of-band’ processing to intelligently cache the most frequently accessed data on Z-Drive 4500 flash. A cache warm-up and analysis mechanism is also featured enabling important and demanding analytical jobs to be loaded onto the Z-Drive 4500’s flash cache in advance.”

The product’s Virtual Controller Architecture (VCA) “virtualises SSD devices into a massively parallel array of memory.” The 4500 works with “OCZ’s VXL Virtualisation Software distributing flash cache resources on-demand across virtual machines (VMs).”

We might assume that, with this product and its development possibilities, Toshiba has less need for a Violin Memory-developed PCIe product; just as well as Violin’s new CEO is putting the Velocity card business up for sale, with a closing down of the business if it’s not sold by the end of the quarter.

Toshiba/OCZ says the drive has a more robust architectural design than the previous OCZ Z-Drive R4. Read a pdf product brief here and access a product webpage here.

Toshiba/OCZ did not release pricing and availability information. We checked a few OCZ distributor sites like Ingram Micro and AVNET and didn’t find the product listed. ®

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