by Brian Beeler

Smart Storage Systems Optimus Ultra SAS SSD Released

Smart Storage Systems has expanded their line of enterprise SSDs with the Optimus Ultra SSD, their first to use Smart's proprietary Guardian Technology. This new SAS drive leverages consumer-grade MLC NAND but still achieves astounding endurance metrics, with support for 25 full drive writes per day, for the five year life of the drive. The Optimus Ultra is no slouch on the performance front either, delivering read/write performance of 500MB/s read (1,000MB/s in wide port) and 500MB/s write sequential, with random 4K speeds topping 100,000 IOPS read and 60,000 IOPS write and is available in capacities from 150GB to 1.2TB.

The Optimus Ultra is a significant milestone for Smart. With the embedded Guardian Technology, Smart has established themselves as a technology leader in the enterprise SSD space. Owning your own controller and underlying firmware and related technology gives companies a tremendous advantage when it comes to not only differentiating their SSDs, but also when it comes to performance, endurance, compatibility and support.

What the Guardian Technology brings to the table that makes it special is a way to use lower cost consumer-grade NAND, not eMLC or SLC, netting enterprise-level write endurance levels with MLC pricing. The Optimus Ultra is capable of 25 daily drive writes, which compares favorably to the 10 daily drive writes the previous generation Ultra and many competitors offer. 

Smart's Guardian Technology is comprised of three main functions; FlashGuard to enhance flash life, DataGuard to maintain data integrity, and EverGuard to protect data in the event of power failures.

FlashGuard

  • Aggregated Flash Management
    • Maximizes use of stronger flash cells
    • Minimizes use of weaker cells
  • Advanced Signal Processing
    • Optimal flash parameters set at manufacturing time to minimize wear
    • Dynamically adjusts flash parameters during operation to maximize endurance
  • Proprietary Enhanced Error Correction

DataGuard

  • Data Path Protection
  • T-10 DIF (Data Integrity Field)
  • F.R.A.M.E.
    • Flexible Redundant Array of Independent Memory Elements
    • Cross-die data redundancy
    • Recovers data on failed page/block

EverGuard

  • 3rd generation backup power circuitry technology
  • Array of high-reliability discrete capacitors
    • Tantalum technology
    • No degradation over time
    • Rated for high temperature
  • Architectural features reduce hold up time requirement
    • Controller Power Management
    • Reserved lower pages for power-down writes

Smart Storage Systems has an exciting blend of price, performance and endurance with the Optimus Ultra. Couple that with superior engineering and their history of qualifying products with the likes of IBM, Nexsan, EMC, HP, Dell and others and the Optimus Ultra is poised to compete well in the growing enterprise SSD space. 

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