During the Open Compute Project Summit this week in San Jose, Calif., Seagate is showing off a pre-production version of the industry's "fastest-ever" flash solid-state drive (SSD).
The Open Compute Project (OCP) is an initiative backed by Facebook and other IT giants including Microsoft, Intel and AT&T that promotes open specifications for scalable, energy-efficient equipment for the data center. Seagate joined the OCP in early 2013, and today the company's contribution includes a blazingly fast enterprise SSD that adheres to the group's storage specifications.
Seagate's Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) compatible, 16-lane PCIe SSD can achieve industry-leading data throughput rates of 10 gigabytes per second (GB/s), 4 GB/s faster than its rivals, the company claims. The company is also planning an 8-lane version that can shuttle data at a rate of 6.7 GB/s. Both SSDs are expected to ship this summer.
Seagate is betting that early buyers will include enterprises wrestling with cloud and big data workloads.
"Organizations that would most benefit from this solution include those processing data for object storage or in real-time, where speed matters most for results, such as large-scale cloud providers and web applications, weather modeling, or statistical trends analysis," wrote Pushpita Prasad, senior manager of Internal Communications at Seagate in a blog post. "The unit could be used in an all-flash array or as an accelerated flash tier with hard-disk drives (HDDs) for a more cost-effective hybrid storage alternative."
Gregory Wong, founder and principal analyst of Forward Insights, declared Seagate "the leading provider to the emerging PCIe OCP market," in a statement.
"Technology advancements continue to stretch the limits of SSD speed and performance due to growing enterprise demands that require fast data processing at scale. Seagate has effectively rewritten the rules for performance with this latest SSD unit," he continued.
As flash storage gains popularity in the data center, SSD makers are locked in a battle to deliver bigger, faster drives to organizations forced to contend with growing data volumes produced by cloud services, mobile devices, real-time business analytics systems, and for some early adopters, the Internet of Things.
Last week, Samsung announced that it had begun shipping an enterprise SSD with a hefty 15 TB of capacity. The drive, which goes by the model number PM1633a, is based on the company's stacked 3D V-NAND (vertical NAND) technology, enabling Samsung to pack more memory cells into small packages.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.
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