HGST pumps out 12 Gbps SAS SSDs

HGST, a subsidiary of Western Digital, claims that its new Ultrastar SSDs for high-performance applications are the first 12 Gbps SAS SSDs.

Western Digital Corp.'s HGST subsidiary this week launched what it claims are the industry's first 12 Gbps SAS solid-state drives.

The 25 nm Ultrastar drives use multi-level cell NAND flash and range in capacities from 200 GB to 1 TB. HGST is pitching the drives for high-performance applications, such as online banking, big data analytics and cloud computing.

"The 12 Gbps SAS solid-state drive (SSD) interface is the next performance step in the evolution of SAS [Serial-Attached SCSI], [which is] the preferred interface technology for enterprise servers and storage solutions," said Brendan Collins, HGST's vice president of storage.

HGST said the Ultrastar SSD800MH, SSD800MM and SSD1000MR deliver up to 1.2 terabits per second sequential read throughput and 750 Mbps sequential write throughput. HGST also claims the drives provide 145,000 read and 100,000 sustained write IOPS with a mean time between failure rate of 2 million hours.

The Ultrastar line comes in three endurance levels: high, mainstream and read-intensive. The SSD800MH high-endurance SSD rates at 25 full drive writes per day to support applications with high-performance needs, such as online trading and transaction processing; the SSD800MM mainstream-endurance SSD rates at 10 full drive writes per day for less-intensive applications such as big data analytics and cloud computing; the SSD1000MR rates at two full drive writes per day for read-intensive applications such as audio and video streaming and online gaming. The 800MH and 800MM models are available in capacities of 200 GB, 400 GB and 800 GB, and the 1000MR model comes in 250 GB, 500 GB and 1 TB capacity options.

HGST is currently qualifying the Ultrastar SAS SSD, with general availability scheduled for June.

"As far as I know, they are the first to offer 12 Gbps SAS SSD, and while there remains a crowded supplier landscape, being first with the technology is a great response to defending their market share," Joseph Unsworth, a research vice president for Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Inc.'s NAND flash and SSDs division, wrote in an email to SearchStorage.

Western Digital moved into the enterprise market with its March 2012 acquisition of HGST. The company is also an investor in solid-state storage array startup Skyera Inc.  after participating in Skyera's February $51 million Series B round of financing.

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