OCZ, a Toshiba flash storage subsidiary, is targeting the software-defined data center with a new line of enterprise solid-state drives (SSDs).

The company’s new Saber 1000 HMS series SATA flash-based drives feature Host Managed SSD (HMS) technology. HMS essentially enables developers to access the drives’ low-level functions and controls, courtesy of a set of application programming interfaces (APIs), improving storage performance and consistency, which can translates into snappier, more responsive hyperscale cloud applications.

Storage software developers can now access and manage features like garbage collection, typically an automated function, to fine-tune performance across large pools of SSDs, according to OCZ. Cloud data center operators will be able to extend their software-defined storage operations down to the SSD, delivering consistent and predictable latency, for example.

Oded Ilan, general manager of OCZ’s Research and Development division in Israel, said in a statement that his company “listened to our customers and they require not only high performance, but consistent high performance.” Furthermore, “Our new Saber HMS SSD, together with a software library and API, enable for the first time software orchestration of internal housekeeping tasks across large pools of SSDs, thus overcoming performance barriers that were simply not possible to address without this technology.”

To kick off the new tech, OCZ is offering reference design and testing platform for benchmarking purposes. A software library and programmer’s guide eases the integration of HMS functionality into software-defined applications and system software from storage OEMs.

HMS-enabled Saber 1000 SSDs will be available in capacities of 480 GB and 960 GB. The 2.5-inch drives target large-scale, read-intensive workloads.

Since its acquisition in late 2013, OCZ has helped spearhead Toshiba’s expansion into the enterprise data storage space.

In May, OCZ unveiled the Z-Drive 6000 Series of PCIe SSDS featuring Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) support and capacities of up to 6.4 TB. The drives can transfer data at a sustained rate of 2.9 GB per second.

Earlier, OCZ partnered with Levyx, an Irvine, Calif.-based software company, to advance SSD-based big data processing. The companies seek to narrow the gap between high-prices in-memory processing systems and commodity hardware packed with SSDs.

“As demand for immediate I/O responses in Big Data environments continues to increase, our ultra-low latency software paired with high-performance SSDs represent a better and more cost-effective alternative to traditional scale-out architectures that rely heavily on DRAM-constrained systems,” said Levyx CEO and co-founder Reza Sadri, in a statement at the time.

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