SSDs are used in modern data centers in many ways. This includes various high performance applications, caching, and increasingly as performance elements in a cloud storage architecture. The trend towards flash memory in data centers will increase as the prices for this fast storage technology decrease. These applications includes storage systems, storage appliances and hyperscale applications that are common in cloud storage implementations.
SanDisk introduced 19 nm node SATA interface SSD for the data center. These new CloudSpeed drives come in four flavors. These are the first new products in this category since the acquisition of SMART Systems. SanDisk is using its Guardian Technology flash memory management with its flash memory to deliver up to 10 drive drives per day endurance over the warranty period. These products are being sampled with customers now with availability through channel partners in the second quarter of 2014.
The CloudSpeed Extreme provides the highest endurance at 10 drive writes per day, 75K/25 IOPS random read/write performance and up to 800 GB capacity. The CloudSpeed Ultra supports 3 drive writes per day, 80k/25k IOPS random read/write performance and up to 800 GB. The CloudSpeed Ascend comes in capacities up to 960 GB, 1 full drive write per day and 80k/15k IOPS random read/write performance. The CloudSpeed Eco is designed for read intensive work loads with up to 960 GB and 1 full drive write per day with 80k/15k IOPS random read/write speeds.
LSI announced that it has doubles the storage capacity of the flash memory on its Nytro MegaRAID PCIe flash cards. This product allows users to put up to 1.6 TB of usable eMLC flash storage across 4 flash memory modules and 16 SATA/SATA connections on each PCIe card. The new card enables web hosting companies to achieve a 15:85 flash to HDD ratio to provide better overall performance. The product also RAID support for HDDs with faster rebuild times using the card flash memory.
Intel recently invested $760 M to get a greater share in cloud storage company Cloudera. One result of the investment is that Cloudera will use Intel technology as its preferred platform. This will include Intel fabrics, security and flash memory. Intel will promote Cloudera’s cloud products as its preferred Hadoop platform. In particular the two companies are looking at this partnership as a way to build up infrastructure for machine-generated data, often called the Internet of Things.
The cloud is driving demand for digital storage and flash memory is playing a significant role in providing faster performance for the cloud. This is leading to a number of new products, and investments, to support the increased use of flash memory in cloud data centers. These products are bringing speed to cloud storage.