Wednesday, August 3rd 2011

OCZ Technology Launches Next Generation Z-Drive R4 PCI Express Solid State Storage

OCZ Technology Group, Inc., a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) for computing devices and systems, today announced the release of Z-Drive Revision 4 (R4) PCI Express (PCIe) storage solutions designed to dramatically accelerate enterprise applications and significantly reduce total cost of ownership in the data center. The Z-Drive R4 product line features OCZ’s second generation proprietary Virtualized Controller Architecture (VCA) 2.0, providing the utmost in performance, flexibility, durability and enhanced reliability features, allowing data centers, for the first time, to rely on a PCIe-based SSD as their primary tier one storage solution.

"Objective Analysis forecasts that the PCIe interface will become dominant in the enterprise SSD market in 2012, with unit shipments greater than the combined shipments of its SAS and Fibre Channel counterparts,” said SSD analyst Jim Handy of Objective Analysis. “This is because the PCIe interface puts less drag on the NAND-to-processor communication channel than do standard HDD interfaces. By 2015, Objective Analysis expects well over two million PCIe SSDs to ship, a number larger than all of the SATA SSDs that shipped in 2010.”

The OCZ Z-Drive R4 is truly unique, melding hardware and software managed solutions with integrated VCA 2.0. This brings traditional SSD technology into a new realm and enhances performance, deployment capabilities, and endurance. VCA 2.0 is a multifaceted virtualization layer and interfaces with the OCZ SuperScale Storage Controller which combines processing and full DMA (direct memory access) cores, as well as internal PCIe, SATA and SAS physical interfaces. When coupled with VCA 2.0 technology, the SuperScale Controller manages critical internal functions such as OCZ’s intelligent Complex Command Queuing Structure (CCQS) with unique queue balancing algorithms. This combination leads to superior performance aggregation and results in significantly higher throughput and reduced burden on the host CPU.

With growing emphasis on cloud computing and big data, enterprises are contending with ever-increasing amounts of data. PCIe-based flash storage systems have the ability to bypass traditional storage overhead, reducing latencies, increasing throughput, and enabling efficient processing of massive quantities of data. A single SuperScale controller equipped Z-Drive R4 is capable of transferring up to 2800 megabytes per second (MB/s) and completing over 500,000 input-output operations per second (IOPS), while a dual SuperScale controller card reaches an astounding 5600 MB/s and 1.2 million IOPS. This level of concentrated performance enables system architects to design more productive infrastructures while lowering costs associated with hardware failure, maintenance, structural footprint, and energy consumption.

“The demand for higher performing PCIe-attached solid state storage continues to grow, and our new Z-Drive R4 represents an increased focus from OCZ to meet the needs of its enterprise and data center clients; it also represents a turning point in the evolution of PCIe SSDs,” said Ryan Petersen, CEO of OCZ Technology Group. “The Z-Drive R4 provides the best of both worlds for storage architects by merging the industry-leading feature-sets of both the pure hardware and pure software based approaches to data management, while maintaining user-configurable flexibility not found in other devices.”

With the unique VCA 2.0-based virtualization layer, the Z-Drive R4 offers an advanced set of capabilities designed to solve problems inherent to pure software solutions. The Z-Drive R4 features power fail protection, differentiating the drive from software-based solutions where in-flight data resides in host DRAM and the flash translation layer, thus resulting in loss of data during power interruption. In addition, VCA enables user-selectable data recovery and non-stop modes with IntegRecover technology ensuring enterprise-class data integrity. Furthermore, the Z-Drive R4 installation in enterprise computing environments is seamless because OCZ VCA 2.0 supports the industry-standard SCSI command set over a PCIe interface. Other features include consolidated SMART support, increased NAND flash life due to OCZ’s lower write amplification and TRIM/SCSI Unmap Support.

The Z-Drive R4 is available in two standard configurations: a half height version designed for space constrained 1U servers and multi-node rackmount servers, and a full height version. Both configurations support single-level cell (SLC) or multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory with reduced write amplification to extend drive life more than three times the manufacturer’s rating of the NAND. As with all OCZ enterprise products, customer-specific configurations and functionality are available upon request.

For more information, visit the product pages of Z-Drive R4 R Series and Z-Drive R4 C Series.
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8 Comments on OCZ Technology Launches Next Generation Z-Drive R4 PCI Express Solid State Storage

#1
Animalpak
wow this is something unique, but the evolution of these components has no end, are updated too fast.
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#2
lemonadesoda
Phenomenal.

However, I would ALSO like to see an SSD at half the speed half the price rather than double the speed double the price. ;)
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#3
treehouse
by: lemonadesoda
Phenomenal.

However, I would ALSO like to see an SSD at half the speed half the price rather than double the speed double the price. ;)
well said
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#4
1c3d0g
by: Animalpak
wow this is something unique, but the evolution of these components has no end, are updated too fast.
There's no such thing as "too fast" in this industry, little fella. It's more like "WAY too slow" (damn GPU's still stuck at 40nm? Come on, TSMC!) There's always someone out there who needs more speed for whatever computing project they're working on.
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#5
Th3pwn3r
by: 1c3d0g
There's no such thing as "too fast" in this industry, little fella. It's more like "WAY too slow" (damn GPU's still stuck at 40nm? Come on, TSMC!) There's always someone out there who needs more speed for whatever computing project they're working on.
Many of these new drives from OCZ are in fact too fast for most users. There will be hardware bottlenecks in some cases and if not...there is more speed on tap than most people could possibly use. Many cars can go 130+mph but not many people drive them that fast.
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#6
1c3d0g
Many cars are advertised to go 130 MPH+, but few make it and sustain it for more than 30 seconds before it rattles itself out of control, the wheels come off, etc. etc. etc.

The only unfortunate thing about this is that I've seen people commenting that reliability is not a strong point of this card. So, it can perform very well, but back-ups are just as important here.
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#7
Th3pwn3r
My 1989 Honda CRX was able to sustain a top speed of 124mph(I ran out of gear and RPM for a long period of time without it falling apart :) Reliability is definitely something to consider, I've read that SSD are more reliable than HD because there is no mechanical parts to fail BUT it definitely makes sense to back things up if you store valuable data on an SSD, I don't think I would at this point, more for OS and a game or something along those lines.
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