Hitachi Global Storage Technologies is setting its sights on high-performance enterprise servers and storage arrays with its new Ultrastar SSD400S.B solid-state drive (SSD). The 2.5-inch SSD packs a 6 Gbps SAS interface and is available in capacities of 100 GB, 200 GB and 400 GB.

With this new Ultrastar, Hitachi is laying claim to being the industry’s first enterprise-class solid-state drive to feature 25 nanometer, single-level cell (SLC) NAND flash technology. It’s an achievement made possible by the company’s partnership with Intel.

Tier 0 Beckons

Intel’s vice president and general manager of its Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group, Rob Crooke, describes how the alliance figures into the technology’s place in storage infrastructures. “Our collaboration with Hitachi GST continues to deliver leading enterprise-class SSD solutions that are critical to building Tier 0 solutions for the enterprise.”

In recent years, Tier 0 has come to describe a class of fast, solid-state storage that edges out mission-critical disks-based systems (tier 1) in terms of performance. It’s a market segment that companies like EMC, IBM and Nimbus are scrambling to satisfy.

To keep pace with demanding enterprise workloads typical of this tier, the Ultrastar SSD400S.B can handle up to 57,500 read and 25,500 sustained write IOPS. Read and write speeds are rated at 536 MBps and 502 MBps, respectively.

The unit draws just 5.5 watts during operation. And for IT efficiency obsessives, Hitachi reports an IOPS per watt rating of 8,360.

Quick data storage and retrieval aside, two other attributes factor into the new hardware: security and reliability.

Optional, hardware-based encryption provides not only peace of mind, says the company, but also helps improve system performance by offloading encryption work from a server’s processor and chipset.

To address concerns about SSD reliability and longevity, Hitachi assures that its proprietary endurance firmware and power loss management tech are up to the task. Hitachi said that the 400GB model “can endure up to 35 petabytes (PB) of random writes over the life of the drive.” In practical terms, that’s the same as writing 19.2TB to the drive, per day for five years.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of IT-related websites and as the Green IT curator for GigaOM Pro. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE

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