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Supermicro adorns servers with bright and shiny ULLtraDIMMs

Faster flash for speedier servers

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Supermicro is using fast flash access ULLtraDIMM technology from SanDisk to enable its Green SuperServer and SuperStorage platforms to access data faster.

An ULLtraDIMM is flash memory interfaced to a memory DIMM connected to a computer's main CPU-Memory bus instead of the PCIe bus, which avoids the latter's longer latency before data can be sent to or read from the flash. It’s based on Diablo Technologies’ Memory Channel Storage technology, which SanDisk’s SMART acquisition used to connect flash and DIMMs.

So far, despite its promise, only certain IBM X-Servers have been using the technology, and that server business is being sold by IBM to Lenovo. There are no public signs of interest from other server manufacturers, such as Cisco, Dell, Fujitsu or HP. Thee recruiting of Supermicro will be most welcome to SanDisk.

The release has a canned quote from Eric Burgener, research director for IDC’s storage practice, which said: “Memory channel storage options like SanDisk’s ULLtraDIMM consistently deliver lower storage latencies than data centre SAN solutions can. There are a number of different application environments, including database, VDI, and mixed virtual workloads, that can directly benefit.”

ULLtraDIMM_front_and_back

ULLtraDIMM front and back

SuperMicro tested 200GB and 400GB ULLtraDIMM devices, and Wally Liaw, Sales SVP at Supermicro, said: “Supermicro … delivers the lowest latency server and storage platforms on the market with SanDisk’s ULLtraDIMM technology.”

It will be interesting to see if Supermicro’s adoption of the technology will spur on other server manufacturers to unleash ULLtraDIMMs on their servers too.

ULLtraDIMM SSDs are expected to begin shipping in Supermicro’s SuperServer and SuperStorage platforms in the fourth quarter of the year. ®

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