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SanDisk boosts CloudSpeed Ultra SSDs for hyperscale

SanDisk upgrades CloudSpeed Ultra SATA SSD, the highest performing SSD of its CloudSpeed family of drives for enterprises and cloud use.

SanDisk Corp. this week made the second generation of its 6 Gbps Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) CloudSpeed Ultra solid-state drives (SSDs) available via controlled release to hyperscale data centers.

SanDisk has begun mass production of 2 TB -- 1.6 TB usable -- CloudSpeed Ultra Gen II SSDs, with general availability through distribution partners expected later this year. The vendor said drives were tested in early access by undisclosed users with petabyte-scale storage, including e-commerce sites, cloud providers, hyper-converged vendors and at least one legacy storage vendor.

SATA SSDS incorporate SanDisk NAND flash, firmware enhancements

SanDisk's CloudSpeed Ultra drives integrate SanDisk's 15-nanometer, multilevel cell, NAND flash memory and controller firmware in a 2.5-inch form factor.

CloudSpeed Ultra drives are for mixed-use workloads, such as online transaction processing, SQL logging and e-mail/messaging.

Ultra drives come in 400 GB, 800 GB and 1.6 TB capacities and support 1.8 drive writes per day -- or the equivalent of 5.2 PB written nearly twice daily during the five-year warranty period. The Ultra line is rated for 32,000 random read/write IOPS and average write latency of 56 microseconds. The drives are rated to provide sequential read/write speeds up to 530 MB per second.

CloudSpeed Ultra drives are for mixed-use workloads, such as online transaction processing (OLTP), SQL logging and e-mail/messaging. They handle more IOPS than the CloudSpeed Eco drives launched in June. Eco drives mainly target Web servers and media.

"This is not a capacity drive," Chris Marsh, product marketing manager at SanDisk, said of the Ultra SSD. "It's a performance-density SSD that enables hyperscale service providers to use as few nodes as possible to deliver on-demand services," including anything as a service storage to support databases, infrastructure, platforms and software.

SanDisk has not disclosed the list price for CloudSpeed drives, which will compete with Intel Corp.'s Data Center S3610 SSDs, as well as Samsung Technology PM863 and SM863 line of SATA SSDs.

"The CloudSpeed Ultra Gen II extends SanDisk's SSD lineup for cloud environments with a high-performance option," said Henry Baltazar, senior analyst at Forrester Research Inc., based in Cambridge, Mass. "Compared with capacity-oriented CloudSpeed Eco Gen II, the Ultra Gen can handle 32K write IOPS, while Eco drive tops out at 14k. That makes the new drive [Ultra] a better choice for application and virtualization workloads."

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