The growth of data and higher mission critical workloads within data centers are recognizable reasons driving innovation in high performance enterprise storage devices. The top layer of a tiered enterprise storage system’s architecture, tier-0, requires high speed data management and advanced storage technology to enable demanding business critical applications. One beneficial example of advancement in storage device design in particular is the improvement of SAS interface and storage device transfer speeds.
No longer a bottleneck to how fast demanding applications can access data, today’s high performance storage infrastructure and newest enterprise-class storage devices utilize NAND flash and now 12Gb/s1 SAS interface to improve connectivity, expand scalability, and increase read/write IOPS with low latency performance. The superior transfer speeds of NAND flash memory combined with the robust features of the SAS protocol create an ideal solution for IO-intensive environments and will allow the SAS protocol to experience a successful, competitive coexistence with other advanced enterprise drives interfaces.
12Gb/s SAS SSDs and enterprise storage solutions, such as HBA’s and RAID controllers, are just now entering the market. There are advantages to using 12Gb/s SAS over the existing 6Gb/s SAS protocol including, improved signal quality, but the biggest appeal is the doubling of bandwidth. Toshiba’s enterprise-class SSD product line advances from an SLC NAND 6Gb/s SAS drive offering 90K/16K IOPS specifications to a recently announced MLC NAND dual port
12Gb/s SAS offering 137K/28K IOPS specifications2. In fact, testing of Toshiba’s PX02SM series 12Gb/s SAS SSD by Tweaktown.com resulted in the fastest read speeds they have ever experienced from a single 2.5 inch storage device3. Under demanding OLTP, fileserver, and email server simulated workload conditions, the PX02SM series SSD delivered up to 124K IOPS in 4K random read testing.
Implementation cost arguments aside, the I/O performance of an enterprise-class SSD is 100 to 300 times that of a typical enterprise-class HDD4. While 12Gb/s SAS SSDs start to penetrate the datacenter, the market will see SAS interface protocol extended even further to perform at 24Gb/s with storage device introductions anticipated in the 2017 timeframe. Toshiba will continue to promote SAS and leverage its unique vertical integration of SSD design and manufacturing capabilities to support this advanced technology’s reach into enterprise applications.
1Transfer rate: For purposes of measuring read and write speed in this context, 1 Gigabyte or GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes. Read and write speed may vary depending on the controller, read and write conditions, such as file sizes you read and/or write.
2 Toshiba announced the MKx001GRZB series SLC SSD offering 4K random sustained 90,000 read and 16,000 write IOPS specifications in December 2011.
Toshiba announced the PX02SMxxx series MLC SSD offering 4K random sustained 137,000 read and 28,000 write IOPS specifications in August 2012.
3 Full review at Tweaktown.com
WORLD EXCLUSIVE - Toshiba PX02SM Series 12Gb/s Enterprise SSD Review
4 Source: Toshiba – Comparing data transfer speed between Toshiba’s 12Gb/s SAS SSD and 6Gb/s SAS 10.5K RPM HDD