Friday, January 7, 2011

SandForce SSD report from CES

On his AnandTech web site, Anand Lal Shimpi has a report from CES about his impressions of the latest hardware samples of the OCZ Vertex Pro 3 solid state drive technology:

OCZ let me run some of my own Iometer tests on the drives to verify the claims. Surprisingly enough, the Vertex 3 Pro looks like it’s really as fast as OCZ and SandForce are claiming. When running highly compressible data (pseudo random in Iometer) at low queue depths, I get 518MB/s sequential write speed and nearly 500MB/s for sequential read speed.

In addition to standalone drives, OCZ was also showing a packaging of 4 devices into a RAID-0 configuration on a single card.

A few months back, AnandTech had a very nice in-depth analysis of the underlying technology and architecture of these devices:

SandForce’s controller gets around the inherent problems with writing to NAND by simply writing less. Using real time compression and data deduplication algorithms, the SF controllers store a representation of your data and not the actual data itself. The reduced data stored on the drive is also encrypted and stored redundantly across the NAND to guarantee against dataloss from page level or block level failures. Both of these features are made possible by the fact that there’s simply less data to manage.

These are really, really, really fast devices:

Now the shocker. Thanks to 6Gbps and ONFI 2/Toggle support, the SF-2000 will support up to 500MB/s sequential read and write speeds. On an 8 channel device that’s actually only 62.5MB/s per channel but the combined bandwidth is just ridiculous for a single drive. At full speed you could copy 1GB of data from a SF-2000 drive to another SF-2000 drive in 2 seconds. If SandForce can actually deliver this sort of performance I will be blown away.

On my own moderately-high-end hardware nowadays, I tend to see about 50 Mb/s from my (traditional technology) storage devices, and on our fast internal lab machines we see double that. So these new devices will be approximately 5-10 times faster than the storage devices we're using now!

Looks like the age of SSD devices is upon us.

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