Enterprise SSD Reviews
by Kevin OBrien

SMART Storage Systems Optimus SAS Enterprise SSD Review

When SMART Storage Systems announced the Optimus SAS SSD months ago, their pride in design, build and manufacture was clear, much like a proud parent parading their first-born. The key from SMART's perspective is being able to better understand NAND to drive enterprise-grade endurance out of consumer grade MLC NAND. The Optimus however goes a step further, pressing SMART's engineering skills by leveraging a custom firmware build on top of a custom controller, giving them even more control over the SSD as a system. The results are impressive for a mainstream enterprise SSD - endurance of 10 full random drives writes per day for five years, along with up to 500MB/s sustained read/write throughput. The specs alone don't tell the whole Optimus tale however. In the intro to this review we've already called the Optimus a mainstream enterprise SSD, which is largely based on the NAND profile. That may be a mistake however. While the Optimus may present SLC-like endurance with MLC NAND, it's also capable of presenting SLC-like performance, with MLC NAND. In some cases it even bests SLC drives, which we'll dive into more below.

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by Kevin OBrien

Kingston SSDNow E100 Enterprise SSD Review

The Kingston SSDNow E100 represents Kingston's first SSD offering designed specifically for the burgeoning entry enterprise market that relies on enterprise MLC NAND to offer a lower-cost enterprise drive designed for largely read intensive workloads. Don't let the lower-cost target fool you though, the E100 is very much enterprise-grade throughout. Kingston uses a SandForce SF-2500 enterprise SSD controller to power the drive and Toshiba's eMLC Toggle NAND. The E100 also features power-fail support to ensure data in-flight makes it to the NAND safely and roughly 20% NAND over provisioning which benefits both SSD endurance and performance.

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by Josh Linden

pureSilicon Kage K1 Enterprise SSD Review

Enterprise SSD solutions that incorporate eMLC NAND memory are an area of active innovation with a variety of players bringing solutions to market. PureSi is looking to carve out an eMLC niche with its new Kage K1, a 2.5-inch SATA 3.0 SSD that will be offered in a variety of capacities from 50GB to 400GB. We’ve been putting a 200GB Kage K1 through its paces for a few weeks in order to see how PureSi’s eMLC solution stacks up to comparables from incumbents Hitachi, Intel, and Samsung.

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by Kevin OBrien

SanDisk Lightning Enterprise SSD Review (LB 406S)

When SanDisk invested $327 million to acquire Pliant one thing was clear; SanDisk saw an opportunity to leverage their expertise in NAND and storage with Pliant's SAS controller knowledge and storage technologies to create class-leading enterprise SSDs that would excel in both performance and reliability. The current result is the SanDisk Lightning enterprise SSD family that includes both MLC and SLC SAS 6Gb SSDs.

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by Kevin OBrien

Hitachi Ultrastar SSD400S.B Enterprise SSD Review

In early February, Hitachi added to their line of enterprise SSDs with the Ultrastar SSD400S.B. Following on the heels of the original SSD400S, the .B is the industry's first to move to 25nm SLC NAND. Structurally, the two drives are nearly identical, it's simply a NAND die change from 34nm SLC to 25nm SLC. Both drives leverage a 6 Gb/s SAS interface and Intel NAND with a Hitachi/Intel co-developed firmware and controller. The SSD400S.B takes over flagship enterprise SSD status for Hitachi and sits alongside their eMLC Ultrastar SSD400M offering.

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by Kevin OBrien

OWC Mercury Enterprise Pro 6G SSD Review

OWC recently announced its latest enterprise SSD offering, the Mercury Enterprise Pro 6G. While related to their Mercury Extreme Pro 6G client SSDs, the Enterprise Pro has plenty of upgrades to make it ready for both entry and mainstream enterprise duties. The Extreme Pro features the SandForce SF-2582 enterprise SSD controller, Toshiba 24nm eMLC Toggle NAND, enterprise grade firmware and the industry's longest warranty of seven years. 

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by Kevin OBrien

Smart Storage Systems XceedStor 500S Enterprise SSD Review

The Smart Storage Systems XceedStor 500S SSD leverages standard MLC NAND and a mainstream SATA 6Gb/s interface to deliver cost effective high performance throughput in entry enterprise duty. Don't let the NAND and focus on price fool you though, the enterprise has shown increasing acceptance for MLC NAND, especially as those like Smart Storage Systems have been able to prove out its endurance and reliability. That makes the XceedStor 500S an ideal candidate then for read heavy environments often seen in scenarios like boot, web/file serving and read-caching.

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by Kevin OBrien

Micron RealSSD P400e Enterprise SSD Review

The Micron RealSSD P400e is designed for the entry-level enterprise SSD space, an increasingly popular segment that is largely read centric, making it the perfect playground for low cost MLC SSDs. The P400e features Micron's home grown 25nm MLC NAND, SATA 6 Gb/s interface and Marvell controller. Micron uses the popular 2.5" form factor, but with a 7mm z-height, giving the P400e more flexibility for use within 1U servers and embedded applications like switches and routers.

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by Kevin OBrien

SMART Storage Systems XceedIOPS2 Enterprise SSD Review

SMART Storage Systems (formerly SMART Modular) offers a robust lineup of enterprise SSD products. The XceedIOPS2 is their SandForce SF-2500-based solution that's geared toward blended enterprise use and backed up with the endurance of Toshiba eMLC NAND. Equipped with a SATA 6Gb/s interface, the XceedIOPS2 delivers up to 520MB/s sequential reads and 500 MB/s writes, with random I/O performance topping 60,000 IOPS. Layered on top is custom firmware, power protection features, and expertise from SMART's engineering team. Other highlights include AES 256-bit encryption, robust 2.5 million hour MTBF, a five year warranty and endurance up to 6PBW for the 400GB SSD.

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by Kevin OBrien

Hitachi Ultrastar SSD400M Enterprise SSD Review

The Ultrastar SSD400M is Hitachi's effort to provide a serious contender in the burgeoning eMLC enterprise SSD space. The SSD400M offers all the pedigree that enterprise buyers could want, including not just Hitachi's longstanding leadership in the storage industry, but Intel's as well. The SSD400M leverages Intel's highest quality 25nm eMLC NAND and SSD processor technology, combined with Hitachi/Intel jointly engineered firmware. The resulting SSD400M carries Hitachi's brand name but is the result of a strong co-development effort.

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