Über Storage: The 900 Pound Gorilla Storage…

Storage company Texas Memory Systems have released the new Über King of Storage, RamSan-70. This is the storage worlds equivalent to a 900GB Gorilla. Not just a catchy marketing phrase but an apt description. Replacing the Hard Drive of a Server or desktop computer this is the big daddy of high-speed storage. Able to read 2GB a second sustained, making this drive 25 times faster than a SATA hard drive and 6 times faster than a standard SSD drive. It also bucks the trend of limited space with flash-based drives by offering up to 900GB of space. No price has been announced but you can bet if you need to ask you won’t be able to afford it.

Texas Memory Systems, Inc. (TMS) is a privately held 33-year leader of the enterprise data storage and digital signal processing industries. They have broken records with the storage racks – RamSan-6300 – and are applying the same technology to a single PCIe storage card, the RamSan-70.

From TMS press release for the RamSan-70 “The RamSan-70 establishes new capacity and performance standards for direct-attached storage customers,” said Dan Scheel, President of Texas Memory Systems. “With this next generation of PCIe SSD innovation, we will continue engineering The World’s Fastest Storage for the full spectrum of customers.”’

What is the 900GB Gorilla ? The Gorilla is a 900GB drive built onto a PCI card capable of 2GB per second throughput – the amount of data that it can shift from the hard drive to the computer’s memory in a second. In industry terms up to 330,000 IOPS (Input/Output Operations Per Second) read performance and 160,000 write. For a single drive these are very impressive numbers, setting new standards for enterprise drives. This drive will live at the expensive end of the market for a long time, enterprise drives – used by large enterprises like server farms or corporations – are the only customers tha can afford such exotic hardware.

TMS has been in the storage business for 30years, much of that experience is built into the RamSan drives. The RamSan-70 is a seventh generation RamSan drive using the latest controllers and flash ram, specifically a Series-7 flash controller with Toshiba 32nm SLC flash ram. Error correction algorithms, wear-leveling, RAID and all Flash management functions are done on-board to maintain speed. On-board processing is handled by a PowerPC CPU and Xilinx FPGA – FPGA, programmable cpu -. The over engineered nature of this card – back-up capacitors that allow cache ram to be saved to flash in power failures – are exactly what enterprises are looking for when servers are involved.

The RamSan-70 is built into two cards. The PCIe card has an initial 450GB of Flash ram installed with space to fit a daughter board expanding the card to its maximum 900GB. A very useable amount of RAM no matter what the task. Also in TMS’s range are the 600 series 2, 3 and 4U racks. These allow upto 10TB in a 3U rack or 140TB in a 42U tall rack. Although these are industrial racks for big business – InfiniBand cards included – it demonstrates that capacity is no longer a problem for flash, if you have the money.

There are a number of other options available for people with an actual budget, consumer level PCIe cards are becoming more common. OCZ Revo drives are already on their second generation and with prices ranging from $400 for 100GB and $700 for 240GB. The larger drives are the fastest of the range with over 700MB/sec throughput, still not up with the Gorilla but at least its semi affordable.

Prices for the RamSan-70 900GB Gorilla should be available in the next few weeks, expect to see many many many zero’s. A few lucky server room noids will get a chance to test these Über Storage devices in real life and you better believe their will be Wow moments. The Gorilla cards are exceptional in both speed and cost, they may be doing dull duties like running databases or heavy data processing but we can still aprreciate them from afar. Hopefully one of our server room noid friends will get creative and post a youtube unboxing.

From TMS Website, RamSan-70 Specifications:
Storage

  • Capacity (Raw): 640 – 1,280 GB
  • Capacity (Usable): 450 – 900 GB
  • Storage Medium: SLC Flash

Performance

  • Maximum Bandwidth: 2 GB/s
  • Read IOPS: 330 K IOPS
  • Read Latency: 70 microseconds
  • Write IOPS: 160 K IOPS
  • Write Latency: 45 microseconds

Interfaces

  • PCI Express Lanes: 8 lanes
  • PCI Express Version: 2.0

Mechanical

  • Dimensions: half-length, full-height
  • Form Factor: PCIe

More information at TMS website, RamSan-70 and Press Release
Pictures courtesy of TMS and OCZ

Buddha’s Brother out…