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Start-up Claims SSD Achieves 180,000 IOPS

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the chestnuts-roasting-over-an-open-cage dept.

133

Lucas123 writes "Three-year-old start-up Pliant Technology today announced the general availability of a new class of enterprise SAS solid state disk drives that it claims without using any cache can achieve up to 180,000 IOPS for sustained read/write rates of 500MB/sec and 320MB/sec, respectively. The company also claims an unlimited number of daily writes to its new flash drives, guaranteeing 5 years of service with no slowdown. 'Pliant's SSD controller architecture is not vastly different from those of other high-end SSD manufacturers. It has twelve independent I/O channels to interleaved single level cell (SLC) NAND flash chips from Samsung Corp. The drives are configured as RAID 0 for increased performance.'"

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133 comments

/me gets out the tub o' salt (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29418721)

there's enough for everyone in here

Re:/me gets out the tub o' salt (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29418941)

Actually current SSD's are bottlenecked by the SATA connection at 300MB/s read so getting 500 with specialized hardware doesn't seem all that fantastic.

Re:/me gets out the tub o' salt (1)

adisakp (705706) | more than 4 years ago | (#29419365)

Actually current SSD's are bottlenecked by the SATA connection at 300MB/s read so getting 500 with specialized hardware doesn't seem all that fantastic.

The easy way around the SATA speed limit is software RAID and multiple drives. I have two Kingston 160GB (relabelled Intel G1) SSD Drives on an Intel Matrix Controller MB with software RAID 0. I get read rates over 400MB/s with technology that is roughly a year old. I'm sure newer technology on higher end controllers can easily achieve 500.

Re:/me gets out the tub o' salt (2, Insightful)

XanC (644172) | more than 4 years ago | (#29419557)

That doesn't get around the bottleneck at all. You've got the same ratio of actual bandwidth used to theoretical bandwidth possible.

A single drive with multiple SATA interfaces, acting like RAID 0, would alleviate the bottleneck.

Re:/me gets out the tub o' salt (4, Insightful)

adisakp (705706) | more than 4 years ago | (#29419597)

That doesn't get around the bottleneck at all.

I get nearly 2X the speed of a single drive that is limited by SATA. Theoretically, that might not be the same thing but for all *PRACTICAL* purposes, it gets around the bottleneck just fine for me :-)

SAS not SATA (2, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29419379)

TFA said serial-attached SCSI (SAS) was currently 6Gb/sec going on to 12 by 2012. SATA III is also 6Gbit/sec.

0.5GB/sec is 4Gbit/sec, which is under the SAS limit.

Even if it were SATA @ 3Gbit/sec that would still be quite fast.

Re:SAS not SATA (5, Informative)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 4 years ago | (#29420413)

Due to the 8/10 encoding on SATA, SAS, and a few other serial technologies, it's really easy to convert between megabits/gigabits of total bandwidth and megabits/gigabits of encoded bandwidth. For SATA/SAS 3Gib/s, it's 300MiB/s. For 6Gib/s, it's 600MiB/s.

Re:/me gets out the tub o' salt (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#29420619)

If the chips for a high end and low end unit are the same, the only way to get sales is to work on the controllers.
By making new and better controllers, end users are now on a software upgrade path for hardware.
Why sell the captivated enthusiast market 1 drive in 3-5 years when you can try or 2 or 3 over the same time?

Re:/me gets out the tub o' salt (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#29421259)

That's why their product is an Enterprise SAS drive, not a SATA drive. SAS can get 3 gigabits per second.

SAS is Serial Attached SCSI, which isn't the same thing as SATA.

SATA is a consumer-level/workstation technology. Whereas SAS is for servers.

You can plug a SATA drive into a SAS port, but can't plug a SAS drive into a SATA port. :)

Re:/me gets out the tub o' salt (2, Informative)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#29421865)

Actually if you RTFA they are using the recently released 6Gb SAS spec.

Re:/me gets out the tub o' salt (1)

voidphoenix (710468) | more than 4 years ago | (#29422131)

SATA II can go 3 Gib/s.

Yay. (1, Funny)

2names (531755) | more than 4 years ago | (#29418729)

Neat.

Re:Yay. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29418811)

What an elaborate comment.

Re:Yay. (1)

agnosticnixie (1481609) | more than 4 years ago | (#29420713)

Indeed

Re:Yay. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29419063)

Your post makes me think of Carter Pewterschmidt.

Re:Yay. (1)

2names (531755) | more than 4 years ago | (#29419277)

I'm glad SOMEBODY got it. Thank you, oh wise and powerful AC.

Moderators, seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29419451)

I mean, I'm not often one to complain about moderation, but this is really a sad and depressing sign of how the only thing that matters in moderation is getting into the thread as fast as you can without bothering to come up with an intelligent thought first.

I mean, a comment that has one two words in it (counting the title!) that are nothing but opinion gets moderated "Informative?" All because it's the second post? Yeesh.

Posting AC so that I'm not being a signal-free karma whore too by way of this rant.

"The company refused to release [...] retail price (5, Funny)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | more than 4 years ago | (#29418731)

They're fishing for a price point? Quick, everybody make a comment to the effect that such a drive is only worth about $10...

Re:"The company refused to release [...] retail pr (0, Troll)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 4 years ago | (#29418975)

So they will realize the Data is useless and go with what the CEO has asked for.

Re:"The company refused to release [...] retail pr (5, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#29419161)

Only worth about 10$? You're crazy, I'd pay up to 20$ for such a drive!

Re:"The company refused to release [...] retail pr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29419403)

Well maybe $20 for around 128gb but that is definitely stretching it.

Re:"The company refused to release [...] retail pr (1)

MarkRose (820682) | more than 4 years ago | (#29419949)

Heck, I'd even pay $25 Canadian!

Re:"The company refused to release [...] retail pr (0, Redundant)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 4 years ago | (#29420717)

Only worth about 10$? You're crazy, I'd pay up to 20$ for such a drive!

Heck, I'd even pay $25 Canadian!

Mod parent redundant. :)

Re:"The company refused to release [...] retail pr (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#29421401)

Not really since today's rate was 20 U.S. dollars = 21.6840012 Canadian dollars. ;)

Anyway I'm also Canadian, so he was willing to pay 5$CAD more than me, which is completely insane!

Re:"The company refused to release [...] retail pr (1)

agnosticnixie (1481609) | more than 4 years ago | (#29420795)

The secret: they're actually trying to price the 2gb model and scaling from there.

Re:"The company refused to release [...] retail pr (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#29421321)

The list price for Sun's 16GB flash drive (XTA7210-LOGZ18GB) is >$8,000 US. This is write-optimized flash for use in a ZFS hybrid storage pool.

E.g. The intended use is you use it as the "log device" (Sun equivalent to ext3 journal) to accelerate the speed of synchronous writes to your storage.

And it has a small fraction of the IOPs and speeds Pliant is claiming.

When they bring this to market, we can expect it to cost 15x to 20x that price per GB, easily, at least initially.

Re:"The company refused to release [...] retail pr (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 4 years ago | (#29421919)

No, nobody would buy Pliant SSDs at 15x the price of STEC SSDs since Pliant only has 5x the IOPS.

i like penis (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29418733)

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Congrats (4, Insightful)

VeNoM0619 (1058216) | more than 4 years ago | (#29418739)

Congrats! Oh wait...

Start-up Claims SSD Achieves 180,000 IOPS

Claims? As in no one else but the company has stated this "fact"? I wish this article waited for a review before being posted :S

Re:Congrats (5, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#29418865)

I can claim that I have confirmed it if you like.

Re:Congrats (1)

Curtman (556920) | more than 4 years ago | (#29419763)

I can claim that I have confirmed it if you like.

Who do you think you are, Netcraft?

Re:Congrats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29419881)

I can claim that I have confirmed it if you like.

Who do you think you are, Netcraft?

It's true. Monkeedude1212 confirms it.

Re:Congrats (5, Funny)

Netcraft Confirms It (1477201) | more than 4 years ago | (#29420031)

But I can't, and that's what really matters.

Re:Congrats (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 4 years ago | (#29419335)

Reviews of enterprisey hardware are near-impossible to find, so you may be waiting a while.

Re:Congrats (1)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 4 years ago | (#29419459)

"three-year-old start-up ... guaranteeing 5 years of service"

Completely possible: they acquired another company which performed testing.

Re:Congrats (1)

sphantom (795286) | more than 4 years ago | (#29420557)

A company doesn't necessarily even have to test their product for as long as they claim it will last. Often times they'll just test the product at a usage level x times greater than is expected to be utilized on average and do the math. An example with context to this story might be testing a SSD with an amount of reads and writes 5 times greater than they'd expect an average person to use it. If it lasts for a year, they can claim it will last 5.

Re:Congrats (2, Informative)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 4 years ago | (#29420787)

In this case it's probably more a matter of just doing the math.

They know their cells can handle 100,000 writes in their lifetime, they know the maximum number of writes they'll see (180,000/s for 5 years for the 3½ inch model), and they can merely do the math to figure out how many cells they need to have in their product to survive.

I did the math elsewhere, and to do it with 4 kB/write they'd only need 136 GB. Even when looking at the 320 MB/s write rate, you're only averaging 1.9 kB/write if you're writing 180,000 times a second.

the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29422017)

I think the point of the GP is not the life of the product, but the life of the company.

who cares if they have a money back guarantee or whatever if they aren't even going to be around?

Re:Congrats (1)

secmartin (1336705) | more than 4 years ago | (#29419585)

I can't seem to find anything on their website [storage-news.com] and/or in their data sheets that confirms the claim in the summary about "unlimited writes for 5 years"; just a 2 million hour MTBF. Can anyone point me to a statement from Pliant that confirms this?

Re:Congrats (1)

bertok (226922) | more than 4 years ago | (#29421101)

Congrats! Oh wait...

Start-up Claims SSD Achieves 180,000 IOPS

Claims? As in no one else but the company has stated this "fact"? I wish this article waited for a review before being posted :S

It's not outside what I'd expect for a next-gen enterprise SSD. The PCI-E FusionIO cards can easily do 100K IOPS sustained. I'm just surprised the SAS bus can send that many commands per second. I guess the SCSI wire protocol scales better than I assumed.

The bandwidth numbers are actually relatively low - that's the bus speed limiting the drive. I suspect that pretty soon, most enterprise-grade SSDs will connect using the PCI bus to avoid that.

the Inter-orbital systems of SSDs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29418755)

am i rite?

Internal RAID0 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29418779)

Finally.

26 SSD Drives in RAID0 * 500 MB/s read = ~13000 MB/s read
26 SSD Drives in RAID0 * 320 MB/s write = ~8320 MB/s write

That is amazing. SSD Raptors will probably consist of several small-chunk (1GB to 4GB) flash chips all in RAID0. Then putting 26 of these suckers into RAID0 would be god-like!

And when they do fail, (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29418987)

in Raid 0 you are in deep deep do-do.

Most peole know that striping 2 or more disks can give a performance increase but the idea of putting business critical data in a Raid 0 config is IMHO just plain crazy.

Re:And when they do fail, (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29419227)

Yeah, but a head crash on a hard drive kills the entire drive, same with a motor failure or most hard drive failures, even though there are multiple heads and platters. Think of channels in a SSD as platters in a hard drive, not separate hard drive-lets.

With a solid state drive, with block recovery algorithms, no moving parts, etc, it's less of a risk. There's still a risk of course, but it's less ridiculous. Anyway, internal RAID 0, RAID 5, RAID 10, all killed totally by a total device failure.

Re:And when they do fail, (2, Informative)

Firehed (942385) | more than 4 years ago | (#29419427)

Um, what now? RAID5 can sustain at least one drive failure (or more, depending on the configuration of the array), and RAID10 can sustain one to two drive failures depending which drives go. Unless the whole controller goes, in which case you're totally screwed.

But in theory, SSDs should be a bit more durable than spinning platters - and I'd assume it's also easier to recover the data (or at least most of it) without the need for a clean room. Emphasis on "in theroy" as I had an SSD go with absolutely no warning less than 48 hours after installation, but I'm filing that under bad luck.

Re:And when they do fail, (3, Insightful)

molecular (311632) | more than 4 years ago | (#29420313)

Emphasis on "in theroy" as I had an SSD go with absolutely no warning less than 48 hours after installation, but I'm filing that under bad luck.

I'd call that good luck. Bad luck would be 48 days.

Re:And when they do fail, (1)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 4 years ago | (#29420443)

So you get 4 of these things and you RAID5 the 4 of them. So it's actually RAID50, but c'est la vie.

Think of it like the SSD being itself a RAID array, and you can just RAID it like normal with other SSDs. Duh. It's exactly what IT admins have been doing. For bulk data or large writes use RAID5/RAID6, for database IO use RAID10. Don't concern yourself with what the SSD is doing. It may be more or less reliable than a hard drive. Probably more. But ignore that, treat it like a regular hard drive, just really fast.

Re:And when they do fail, (1)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 4 years ago | (#29419341)

If only I still had mod points.. I can't believe nobody else has said this yet.

Re:And when they do fail, (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 4 years ago | (#29420315)

...the idea of putting business critical data in a Raid 0 config is IMHO just plain crazy.

It really isn't necessarily that crazy to mirror stuff..

You need backups for business-critical data anyway; the things true RAID* gives you protection from are only a part of the spectrum of things that can go wrong. If you have a good backup policy and don't care so much about high availability that you'd get from RAID, but you do care about performance (maybe you're doing video editing or something, I dunno), then mirroring might make sense.

* 'RAID 0' is really a misnomer, and really shouldn't be called RAID. The 'R' stands for 'redundant', and RAID 0 is really 'anti-redundant'. The original RAID paper described RAID levels starting with RAID 1. So what I call 'true RAID' above is RAID with redundancy.

Re:And when they do fail, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29421521)

You mean striping, not mirroring.

Re:And when they do fail, (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 4 years ago | (#29421663)

Yes, of course. /me goes to crawl under a rock

Why not internal RAID5? (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 4 years ago | (#29419151)

The same principle should be extendable to RAID5.

Several separate, smaller devices combined into a RAID5 array, all inside one 3.5" case. That would take care of failures in one of the sub-devices. In case the "mainboard" that connects them all and holds the SAS interface fails, make the "mainboard" exchangeable. Swapping it will revive the drive.

Re:Why not internal RAID5? (1)

Menchi (677927) | more than 4 years ago | (#29420321)

Because RAID5 is the footgun of storage solutions. It sux. It always did. It always will. Don't use it. Ever!

Now, I'll admit, with SSD a few of the arguments against it do no longer apply, but there are still enough arguments left. http://www.baarf.com/ [baarf.com] has a nice list.

Re:Why not internal RAID5? (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#29421827)

RAID5 for transactional data IS just stupid, that's why all my database servers are SAME (Stripe And Mirror Everything) but I use vRAID5 for the OS volume on low workload servers and for bulk file storage for file servers and for the backing store for our Enterprise Content Management system. Now that I have an array with vRAID6 I've defaulted to that but I've yet to benchmark to see performance as we are still in the implementation phase.

I've used pre-production versions. They are FAST. (5, Informative)

Robotbeat (461248) | more than 4 years ago | (#29418809)

I used pre-production versions of these. I tested them with Terabytes of test data in random write tests. They are amazing, and can saturate a 1Gb FC connection with random writes. They are very resilient. We put these in my company's demo boxes to show that our architecture can compete with EMC. Kind of cheating, but we told them that it was a special drive that enables us to show the limits of our storage management architecture in a small, 1U box, instead of just showing you the limits of physical hard drives.

We beat their 8Us of EMC hard drives by 34% with just one of these 2.5" drives, and we had bottlenecks all over the place in our small demo box. And they did the testing, not us.

The thing about these drives is that they are more expensive ($/GB) even than registered ECC DDR2/3 RAM, which obviously is going to be even faster.

Typo? 1Gb FC connection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29418965)

... They are amazing, and can saturate a 1Gb FC connection with random writes. ...

A one gig fiber connection is no great shakes.

Did you mean something else?

Re:Typo? 1Gb FC connection? (2, Insightful)

Mprx (82435) | more than 4 years ago | (#29419745)

It's more the "with random writes" part that is impressive (but what size writes?).

Re:I've used pre-production versions. They are FAS (1)

dosguru (218210) | more than 4 years ago | (#29418989)

1GbFC? How well can this stand up to modern 8GbFC or 10GbE iSCSI?

Re:I've used pre-production versions. They are FAS (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#29419091)

Or better 10Gb FCoE (lower overhead than iSCSI). In theory with a fast enough controller they should be able to do it for reads in a RAID1 configuration.

Re:I've used pre-production versions. They are FAS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29419261)

What do you mean by "EMC hard drives"? Are you referring to SSD, SATA, or SAS? Also, what sort of device is controlling these drives? My Symmetrix with loads of global cache is going to be much more performance oriented than say an AX-100.

I guess what I'm getting at is that "8Us of EMC hard drives" doesn't really mean much to me unless they are all configured in some sort of super-dooper 45+1 RAID group. ;)

Re:I've used pre-production versions. They are FAS (4, Interesting)

Robotbeat (461248) | more than 4 years ago | (#29419347)

Well, I don't know the whole setup, just that it was about 10 drives (15k) SCSI (not SAS) in a RAID 5. I don't know how much cache. It was a Clarion unit. But, the customer thinks, "Wow, your little box that I've never heard of has just beaten EMC." They don't get into the technical details when they make that sort of decision.

Re:I've used pre-production versions. They are FAS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29421811)

A bit disingenuous, showing off the massive random IOPS of the SSD drive in your box vs. a non-SSD configuration of a storage array which can use SSD disks. "Kind of cheating" is an understatement. Your 8U of EMC disks became 10 disks somewhere here too. Anyone's 15krpm SCSI disks on a really good day may do something like 200 cache miss IOPS. 10 disks * 200 IOPS = 2000 IOPS. Well, yeah, finding an SSD drive that can outdo 2000 IOPS is trivial and NetApp, EMC, IBM, Compellent, HDS, etc etc will gladly provide you one if you want to compete on equal footing. It sounds like you're duping these people. But hey, it's not like that type of thing is uncommon in the storage industry!

Re:I've used pre-production versions. They are FAS (1)

carlmenezes (204187) | more than 4 years ago | (#29419323)

The thing about these drives is that they are more expensive ($/GB) even than registered ECC DDR2/3 RAM, which obviously is going to be even faster.

So, how much do they cost exactly?

Re:I've used pre-production versions. They are FAS (1)

owlstead (636356) | more than 4 years ago | (#29419643)

Thing with these kind of prices is that you start off with the off the shelf price - if any - and then negotiate the real price. And this final price is - of course - confidential otherwise clients start comparing prices on the internet. If he would post the price they would directly point to the company that was paying the price and signed the confidentiality contract.

Re:I've used pre-production versions. They are FAS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29420459)

Thing with these kind of prices is that you start off with the off the shelf price - if any - and then negotiate the real price. And this final price is - of course - confidential otherwise clients start comparing prices on the internet. If he would post the price they would directly point to the company that was paying the price and signed the confidentiality contract.

So, how much do they cost exactly?

Re:I've used pre-production versions. They are FAS (2, Interesting)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 4 years ago | (#29420263)

Two problems:

1) They're bottlenecked by SAS, which, if they're using 3gbit controllers, probably won't go that much higher than ~500MB/s

2) Their cost is probably insane, if they're setting the upper bounds at $6000

By comparison, Fusion-IO claims 100,000 IOPS (not as high, but not far off) on their drives, and are about to introduce a new model for $895. They use a PCI-e 4x slot, which assuming v1.x, should give them about 10gbit/s (before overhead) to play with.

Also, Woz is their chief scientist, so bonus.

The newer version of SAS would bump up the interface to 6gbit, but then, PCI-e 2.0 would bump a 4x slot up to 20gbit/s.

In short, it seems to me that the future of super high performance drives is in PCI-e rather than SAS.

Re:I've used pre-production versions. They are FAS (1)

chrb (1083577) | more than 4 years ago | (#29420599)

The thing about these drives is that they are more expensive ($/GB) even than registered ECC DDR2/3 RAM, which obviously is going to be even faster.

That only means it would probably be better to use RAM for read-only applications. An application that needs to commit a write to a database, ensuring that the bits are actually written to a physical medium, will be be able to utilise flash rather than a hard disk. A lot of database servers would gain increased performance from such an arrangement.

Re:I've used pre-production versions. They are FAS (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 4 years ago | (#29421947)

The $/GB of DRAM is misleading. Sure, 300 GB of RAM is cheap, but how much does the server cost that can hold it?

awesome (2, Funny)

KingPin27 (1290730) | more than 4 years ago | (#29418825)

This looks like a pretty good device. Tho i haven't heard much about them until recently I'm still pretty skeptical about their claimed lifespan - something that would be able to handle 24/7 consistent read/write for a number of years. The other thing that leaves me scratching my head is the missing DRAM cache -- I thought the need to store information then write it in buffer was kind of important especially with writing as fast as SAS is supposed to be able to transfer it. If these were hitting the shelves today i'd probably wait it out.

Re:awesome (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#29421227)

I thought the need to store information then write it in buffer was kind of important especially with writing as fast as SAS is supposed to be able to transfer it.

What's the point of a buffer if SAS can barely keep up with the drive's IO speed? All writes will be at the limit of the SAS. Surely you don't think they put the cache buffers in hard drives for data integrity do you? That makes no sense, the cache is more volatile than the storage medium, by definition.

Think of it this way, slow drives need lots and lots of cache, fast drives need very little cache. Does your RAM have some other cache before it sends stuff off to the CPU? Same thing here, except its going to and from RAM to the SSD.

Considering they're in RAID 0 (2, Interesting)

toppavak (943659) | more than 4 years ago | (#29418881)

And Intel's enterprise-class SSDs already offer sustained speeds of up to 250MB/s read and 170MB/s write, wouldn't read speeds of approximately 500MB/s and write speeds of over 300MB/s be expected?

Well, actually.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29419129)

One of their drive can saturate the bandwidth of 3Gb SAS doing real I/O (not single sector I/O off drive cache)

Re:Considering they're in RAID 0 (3, Informative)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 4 years ago | (#29419369)

The 12 independent channels can be accessed as RAID-0 if needed, giving upwards of 12x the speed of a single channel, but this is done by the onboard controller, not by anything else.

Intel uses 10 independent channels to achieve their speeds, also in a "RAID-0" like setup.

Re:Considering they're in RAID 0 (1)

toppavak (943659) | more than 4 years ago | (#29419431)

So they are claiming up to 500/320 when all 12 channels are used in a RAID 0-like configuration while Intel achieves their 250/170 doing something similar with 10 channels? That makes more sense, thanks!

Summary prematurely terminated (1)

dmdavis (949140) | more than 4 years ago | (#29419123)

The summary seems to end abruptly and the article.

Re:Summary prematurely terminated (1)

Tmack (593755) | more than 4 years ago | (#29419571)

that was just the drive, its so fast it finishes sending before it

Sometimes sneakernet is still faster (0, Offtopic)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29419189)

I can move 2TB over 100M in just over a minute at normal walking pace, and that's if I have a single drive.

If I have a backpack or push-cart loaded with 50+ drives, we are talking tenths of a petabyte per minute per 100M.

If I load up an airplane full of high-density media and send them cross country or halfway around the world, we are now talking VERYBIGNUM bytes per day.

Still, this is way cool, and sneakernet isn't what you need if you want to copy rather than move your data.

Re:Sometimes sneakernet is still faster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29419265)

I know you were trying to be funny, but this has nothing to do with moving data from one location to the next. Try harder next time.

Re:Sometimes sneakernet is still faster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29419287)

What a stupid comment. Who the heck scored this?

Re:Sometimes sneakernet is still faster (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 4 years ago | (#29419491)

True, but the latency on your approach is a deal-breaker (see also: recent carrier pigeon vs. African ISP experiment).

re: your sig (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29419615)

Re - your sig "How are sites slashdotted when nobody reads TFAs?"

My guess: Robot overlords [wikipedia.org] , including those which are allegedly evil [bing.com] , allegedly non-evil [google.com] , and others [wikipedia.org] .

Re: your sig (1)

tunapez (1161697) | more than 4 years ago | (#29421319)

My Guess: /.'ers like pretty pictures.

Wonder what controller they used (3, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#29419199)

With all the fast SSD's I've tested I've found the controllers to be a bigger bottleneck than the SSD itself. I've seen 50% performance gains on the Intel x-25e's simply by hooking them to a second machine with a different controller. Even with the best performer (Intel ICH9) I still had the feeling that the controller might have been holding the drive back a bit. Haven't tried it with an ICH10 based board yet though so perhaps there's significant improvements there. (on further reading they claim to be using SAS, I'm not aware of any really high performance SAS chipsets, they all seem to be targeted at RAID's of traditional HDD's and so can't keep up with SSD, I'd really be interested in some details of their test).

Re:Wonder what controller they used (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 4 years ago | (#29419443)

With SAS there are basically two choices: LSI 1068 (with IT firmware for maximum performance) or the not-yet-released LSI 9210.

Re:Wonder what controller they used (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29419901)

And IBM's ServerRaid (or whatever), no?

But I don't know whether they are available on non IBM hardware.
I have a box with such a chip and 2 SAS drives (with room for 2 more)
in RAID 1 for data and it is reasonably fast (well, it was when it came out).

Since its 6Gb/s SAS, its most likely LSI 2008. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29420367)

OR, the LSI 2108.

The 2008 is available onboard on several supermicro server boards. I've got one onboard on my X8DTH-6F
Any X8 supermicro board with a 6 in the model number, has the LSI 2008 (and any with a 3 in the model number has the LSI 1068e)

I'm currently using an add-on LSI 1068e since there isn't support for the 6Gb/s SAS chip as of yet, in my desktop unix "big cat" operating system of choice. The LSI 1068e works out of the box though. Bootable and everything.

Re:Wonder what controller they used (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29419809)

Atto sell sas controllers without raid.

Re:Wonder what controller they used (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 4 years ago | (#29420381)

I'll soon be configuring another ICH10 box with an X25-E; if you want to send me some benchmarks to run I could probably do it.

Re:Wonder what controller they used (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29420835)

Raid controllers are definitely the bottleneck. We tested 10 X25-E's using Intel's 8 port SATA controllers. Using hardware raid, the controller maxed out at ~500MB/s- achievable with 3 drives. Interrupts were the problem - the controller can only handle 35k/s.

6Gb HBA's and sw raid are the way to go afaik

Re:Wonder what controller they used (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#29421273)

IOmeter 50GB file, 100% random 4KB writes. We maxed at ~18k IOPS.

Re:Wonder what controller they used (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#29420709)

I see it more as a SSD cartel. Intel sets the bar high and all the rest form up in and around it. Nobody wants to spook the prosumer herd just yet.
Milk them for a few more years, then its a race to the bottom as a commodity product.

Unlimited writes? (2, Interesting)

pmontra (738736) | more than 4 years ago | (#29419527)

From TFA:

they're also able to claim unlimited program and erase [write/erase] cycles,

They're using SLC NAND flash which has a lower wear than MLC NAND [wikipedia.org] but that doesn't mean there is no wear at all. It looks like a nice drive anyway.

Re:Unlimited writes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29419665)

So basically they're assuming that if you need a high-quality badass SSD, you're going to want to upgrade before the SSD wears out.

Besides, in 5 years, they'll be able to replace this uber-expensive piece of equipment with a laptop hard drive, right?

Re:Unlimited writes? (1)

Biogenesis (670772) | more than 4 years ago | (#29420439)

True, but in this context the word "unlimited" is being used to mean "you can't wear it out in 5 years". It's vaguely similar to "unlimited" Internet: The ISP may not slow you down at a set data limit, but you still can't pull more than ~300GB through a 1Mb connection per month.

But yeah, I don't like how marketing departments use the word unlimited either.

Re:Unlimited writes? (4, Informative)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 4 years ago | (#29420729)

They didn't say "unlimited writes forever" they said "unlimited writes for 5 years", and that's obviously limited to what the drive can do, i.e. 180,000 operations per second for their 3½ inch drive.

At 180,000 IOPS * 5 years you're looking at 28,401,233,400,000 write operations.
At 320 MB/s * 5 years you're looking at writing 47 petabytes worth of data.

Now, obviously none of those figures are realistic, as there is no way you would be writing 100% and never ever reading your data again. But they are claiming that their drives can handle those loads without failing. In order for their device to handle that many writes, they'll need a minimum of 284,012,334 cells. That's assuming 1 bit/write of course. The more realistic thought is 4 kB/operation. Now you're looking at 9,306,516,160,512 cells or 136 GB, and I think it's safe to assume that their 3½ inch drive will store more than 136 GB of data.

It's not unlimited forever, it's unlimited within a timespan and capabilities of the device. And just doing the math makes this seem entirely plausible.

Sounds good except that I ..... (1)

jcochran (309950) | more than 4 years ago | (#29419549)

have to wonder about the accurary of the following claim:

Pliant also claims there is no limit to the number of writes that can be performed to the drive and that it will work without slowdown for at least five years.

I have no problems with their claimed speed since frankly, if you run multiple smaller internal unit in parallel, you can pretty much get any speed you desire. But it's my understanding that the wearing out of the storage cells is a physical problem and in order for their claim to hold true, they've had to have done one of two things.

1. Made a fundemental break thru on SSD storage that doesn't have the wear problem.
2. Have enough storage and wear leveling to last for 5 years at maximum rated speed.

Re:Sounds good except that I ..... (1)

andy_t_roo (912592) | more than 4 years ago | (#29420679)

probably number 2 -- all you need to do is to have you wear levelling software swap infrequently written cells onto frequently written ones, once some write disparity has arisen. something like:

onWrite(data,location){
    if(location.writeCount>threshold*drive.writeMinimum){
        write(drive.writeMinimum.data,location)
        write(data,drive.writeMinimum)
    } else
        write(data,location)
}

(i'm sure this is a sub-optimal implementation, but then i'm not officially a hardware expert, or even a programmer, just a science grad student)

ASIC to the rescue (2, Informative)

Art3x (973401) | more than 4 years ago | (#29420101)

Article:

based on a proprietary ASIC design

Most enterprise-class SSDs today also use a general purpose field programmable gate array (FPGA) controllers as opposed to Pliant's custom controller

Seems like the same massive advantage of an Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) over general processors and even FPGAs that I see in video compression, a field I keep tabs on.

At one time I had wondered why a $100 camcorder could encode video in real-time, when my seemingly much more powerful desktop took hours. Answer: ASIC.

Some of you may be thinking, "Well, duh," but I am not an electrical engineer and thought it was intriguing when I first found out about ASICs.

SAS not SATA (1)

clint999 (1277046) | more than 4 years ago | (#29420565)

The 12 independent channels can be accessed as RAID-0 if needed, giving upwards of 12x the speed of a single channel, but this is done by the onboard controller, not by anything else.Intel uses 10 independent channels to achieve their speeds, also in a "RAID-0" like setup.

Re: Claims (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29421675)

I recall once reading a sci fi story where a character in our future comes across old magazines and advertising. They remarked in astonishment and disbelief that manufacturers were actually allowed to make claims about their own products, since this was obviously open to utter abuse.

Sounds like a great idea to me, personally. Sadly, I don't remember the author, but Heinlein and Asimov come to mind as likely possibilities.

Of course, nowadays the manufacturers simply astroturf or hire PR firms (reviewers?) with some unrelated name to do the same, so I guess there's no going back to the truth.

It's not like the paper won't take the ink, or the internet the bits, if it's untrue...

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