Print 27 comment(s) - last by EricMartello.. on Jul 29 at 5:38 PM

RamSan-440  (Source: Texas Memory)
Massive 4U SSD can sustain 600,000 IOPS

Solid state drives (SSDs) are being eyed as the future of enterprise data storage for the improvements in speed, reliability and energy savings they offer. SSDs for consumers are small devices very similar in size and shape to the traditional hard drive used in computer systems.

The SSD in an enterprise environment often takes on a different form factor though and the latest of these enterprise SSDs is from Texas Memory. Texas Memory says that its RamSan-440 can sustain a record setting 600,000 IOPS (input/outputs per second) and can be had with capacities of 256GB and 512GB.

The available storage space is a record for RAM-based SSDs. EWeek reports that the RamSan-440 is also the first SSD to use NAND flash modules in a RAID configuration for data backup. The SSD also uses proprietary technology from Texas Memory called IO2 (Instant-On Input-Output) that improves availability by making data requested from users or applications available instantly when the system is on.

The RamSan-440 uses DDR2 RAM reports eWeek and can sustain 4Gbps random read and write speed with a latency of under 15 ms. The device is in a 4U rack mount chassis and can be attached via SAN or directly attached via up to eight 4Gbps Fibre Channel ports.

Data backup is accomplished using RAID protected flash memory modules. Backup is done continuously to the internal flash modules with little impact on system performance. Pricing information is unknown, but considering that a ”cheap” consumer SSD with 128GB is right at $500, the RamSan-440 will cost a pretty penny.

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Incomplete Info!?
By mkruer on 7/23/2008 1:01:58 PM , Rating: 4
IOPs by themselves are meaningless, you can have very high IO, but lousy throughput or visa versa. Still it is impressive the density that this is at.

600,000 IOPS
4500 MB/s random sustained external throughput.

Official Website Spec

RE: Incomplete Info!?
By poothedrew on 7/23/2008 1:20:56 PM , Rating: 2
The focus of this technology is OLTP database server performance.
Attaining 20 times the peformance in tranactional db case is not out of the question.

This is rock solid stuff that will eventually fundementally change transacational applications ability to handle load.

(read peoplesoft, sap, oracle, ms sql)

RE: Incomplete Info!?
By poothedrew on 7/23/2008 1:30:14 PM , Rating: 1
Throughput is actually the one truly meaningless statitic when measureing for transactional database performance which is the target of this technology. Meaingful for games but database transactions are not large just IOP and read or write latency bound.

Throughput is a bus problem.

A transactional database wants to be able to do as many 1K reads / writes in really really fast way. The reason this tech is a good fit is the lack of physical heads.

RE: Incomplete Info!?
By mkruer on 7/23/2008 2:38:32 PM , Rating: 2
I am not disagreeing with you, that this is an improvement.
The "ideal" cluster size currently is anywhere between 8k-64k depending on the data content not 1k using such a small block size will lead to additional performance overhead because the data is not saved in 1k blocks. The current ratio give them about 7.5K blocks at max IO and throughput, which is closer to the ideal 8k used my most databases.

Ideally you want a small index of clusters as possible and at the same time you want smallest block size as possible. unfortunately this is inversely proportional, and AFAIK this has never fundamentally changed.

RE: Incomplete Info!?
By poothedrew on 7/23/2008 5:19:43 PM , Rating: 2
Yes you are quite correct.

I was quite cavalier about the use of 1k. My comment was directed at transaction size rather than disk configuration.

Most benchmarking for transaction performance pick a 1 - 2 K data size for use with measureing disk systems.

Having said that sizing clusters to align with database page size is allways a good thing.

RE: Incomplete Info!?
By fibreoptik on 7/24/2008 10:36:48 AM , Rating: 2
hey everyone... he said "cavalier" :D

RE: Incomplete Info!?
By EricMartello on 7/29/2008 5:38:38 PM , Rating: 2
OR you could just set up the database properly: on a raw partition to eliminate file system overhead...then all you have to blame for bottlenecks is the hardware and the programmers of said database.

Benchmarks in general are "useless" if you're trying to determine real-world performance. Raw throughput varies with the type of make an example more people would understand:

An apache web server can saturate a 100 Mbps connection by only serving static HTML pages/content. HOWEVER, if you are dealing with dynamic content like ASP or PHP and no caching, the server's ability to produce throughput drops substantially - in some cases by as much as 80%.

RE: Incomplete Info!?
By ElBrujo on 7/23/2008 5:07:46 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I got a quote from Texas Memory on one of these puppies:

Tera-RamSan highlights:
Up to 1 Terabyte of non-volatile DDRRAM in 24U.
Unlimited overall capacity
Over 3.2 million random I/O requests per second.
Over 24 GB/second of random sustainable data bandwidth.

It was a few months ago, and I deleted the email, but I'm pretty sure the cost was under $200K.

RE: Incomplete Info!?
By xphile on 7/23/2008 11:02:47 PM , Rating: 4
200K! So its not so much a Tera-RamSan as it is a Terror-Ransom then :-)

RE: Incomplete Info!?
By ggordonliddy on 7/23/2008 6:17:51 PM , Rating: 1
visa versa

It is "vice versa." Lack of reading enough books = inability to spell.

RE: Incomplete Info!?
By fibreoptik on 7/24/2008 10:39:25 AM , Rating: 3
Lack of something better to do = insulting people's literary abilities on the Internet.

You're cool mister.

RE: Incomplete Info!?
By ggordonliddy on 7/24/2008 10:25:57 PM , Rating: 2
If you hadn't noticed, Americans' literary skills are at virtually a crisis level.

RE: Incomplete Info!?
By Alpha4 on 7/25/2008 5:27:31 PM , Rating: 2
If you hadn't noticed, Americans' literary skills are at virtually a crisis level.
I could be very wrong, but did you intend to say "Americans' literary skills are virtually at a crisis level."?

Or maybe,

"Americans' literary skills are at a virtual crisis level."?


The Future of SSDs....
By wingless on 7/23/2008 12:44:10 PM , Rating: 2
The future of SSDs will only get brighter. SSDs got a foothold faster than anybody expected I think. Some were predicting that prices wouldn't come down for 2 to 5 years but I'm getting a pair of 64GB OCZ Core Series SSDs at the beginning of August, or as soon as they're available on Newegg. They're only $250 each.

RE: The Future of SSDs....
By mdogs444 on 7/23/2008 12:53:49 PM , Rating: 2
I'd rather deal with the low volume humming of 2.75TB 3.5" sata drives for $250.

No offense.

RE: The Future of SSDs....
By TSS on 7/23/2008 4:14:30 PM , Rating: 5
at $250 you can't go beyond 1.5tb's yet. still....

i'd rather not deal with that amount of space. unless your seriously professionally working with uncompressed 1080i video, there's only 1 thing you can fill *that* amount of space with. and if you need that much porn, you need professional help rather then more storage space.

RE: The Future of SSDs....
By daftrok on 7/23/2008 5:10:38 PM , Rating: 2
Where can I find some of those?

RE: The Future of SSDs....
By Jedi2155 on 7/23/2008 12:54:16 PM , Rating: 2
They still have some ways to go before it becomes standard on your typical Best Buy PC. I think the bandwagon jumped a bit too early in the SSD market when prices were still a bit too high to be palatable to the general consumer. I'm going to give it at least another year before I consider it as a replacement for my Raptor.

RE: The Future of SSDs....
By amanojaku on 7/23/2008 1:05:45 PM , Rating: 2
SSDs got a foothold faster than anybody expected I think.

Seeing as how the first SSD was made in 1978 I'd have to correct you. In fact, the RAM-based SSD in this article is nearly identical in design to the original SSD. RAM-based SSDs have never caught on for many reasons; flash-based SSDs are the first to be taken seriously.

RE: The Future of SSDs....
By Ammohunt on 7/23/2008 2:14:49 PM , Rating: 1
Devices like this have been around for a long time. A company i worked for had a few in the 512mb 1024mb size 10 years ago. They used them to house oracle transaction logs.

Should Clarify
By chizow on 7/23/2008 1:36:39 PM , Rating: 3
This drive is an SSD, but its a DRAM-based hybrid and shouldn't be directly compared to the compact 2.5-3.5" NAND flash SSDs that are what most people think of when talking about SSD. The RamSan uses DDR2 DRAM and while 256 to 512GB capacities are impressive, that's also why the form factor is so large. They use NAND flash as backup, but its also much slower than DRAM. I've actually been hoping an updated DDR2 i-RAM was released given the dirt-cheap prices of DDR2. This is a bit more than I expected though.

RE: Should Clarify
By drank12quartsstrohsbeer on 7/23/2008 1:52:59 PM , Rating: 2
I've actually been hoping an updated DDR2 i-RAM was released given the dirt-cheap prices of DDR2.

Same here.

RE: Should Clarify
By Performance Fanboi on 7/23/2008 3:30:09 PM , Rating: 2
Same here. Hoping to see an 8 slot (doublesided) i-Ram for DDR2 @ SATA300. Not holding my breath though.

RE: Should Clarify
By rippleyaliens on 7/23/2008 4:02:02 PM , Rating: 2
Interesting.. i posted this link a month ago, to Daily Tech, and the guy is posting about it like it is something new.. NICE...
This Texas MemSystem, SAN is the bomb. A game server, added 1 to their server farm, and saw instantaneous results, from the players themselves.
My previous company, we evaluated one of these, back in 2005. WAY back when the 96GB model, cost 120k. Yah it was crazy price, until we started running reports, that on 8x73gb 15k raid 10, took 4 hours. a Fibre San with 16 drives raid 10, 15k drives took 2 hours, and this Texas MEM san, took of all 2minutes. IF that. We started it, grabed a coke, and it was done. Re-Ran it, and it was almost instantaneous so hard to judge.

Ran a Report that normally takes 45min on the fastest server we had, fastest workstation, GB everything. We ran that report again, BOOM less than 20sec. The IO is just insane.. Granted the cost is up there. But with 1000 users hitting the same database, over and over.. well worth the investment. Virtual servers on this, was crazy.. Almost a instant boot, with win2k3. granted , 3 years, ago, the raw storage would not work.. but now, with TEX mem systems, you can get well above 1tb.. Well worth it, if performance is truly needed..

Why so serious

RE: Should Clarify
By winterspan on 7/24/2008 6:29:16 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly. The writer of this article needs to make it more explicit that this is NOT the common type of NAND flash-based SSDs that most people think of when hearing the term. This is completely different, basically an external box of RAM setup to be recognized as a hard drive.

Latency in the article is wrong
By Lifted on 7/23/2008 4:16:07 PM , Rating: 2
There is a big difference between 15ms and 15µs.

By MDme on 7/24/2008 2:18:46 AM , Rating: 2
but what about the reliability of the NAND FLASH backup. Since it has a finite R/W cycle, the "backup" might eventually fail especially in high R/W environments.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson
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