Texas Memory Claims Fastest 1U Flash Storage Unit

By Stuart J. Johnston

Texas Memory Systems (TMS) this week rolled out the second in its 700-Series high-performance solid-state drive (SSD) built on non-volatile Flash memory.

Dubbed the RamSan-710, and powered by the company's Series-7 Flash controller, the 1U rackmountable shared storage unit can handle random bandwidths of up to 5 GB per second using 32 nm single-level cell (SLC) Flash memories from Toshiba, according to a TMS statement.

The RamSan-710 can be configured with up to either four 8 GB Fibre Channel or QDR Infiniband ports, and the Flash controller, which is built on Xilinx field-programmable gate arrays, provides Flash management and fault correction, besides tracking performance, and logging operational data, the company said.

Additionally, the unit provides both TMS' patented Variable Stripe RAID (VSR) along with standard RAID technologies.

The RamSan-710 holds 21 Flash boards, 2 high-bandwidth input/output modules -- each with two ports -- and 1 Ethernet management port. It also features redundant power supplies and, since it uses non-volatile SLC Flash, data is not lost in a power failure.

"The RamSan-710 allows you to designate one of the cards inside the system as an active spare that works hand-in-hand with the chip level RAID on each of our boards. If one of the cards experiences a chip failure that degrades its RAID protection, the system will immediately migrate the data on that card to the hot-spare to return to a fully redundant state," the statement said.

Altogether the unit can hold a total of 5 TB of Flash memory. The company claims that the new unit is the fastest 1U shared storage solution on the market. Further, multiple 710s can be combined in mixed storage infrastructures with almost any other SAN environment, and be managed and monitored via a common framework.

TMS' RamSan-710 was designed for a range of storage applications that require high-bandwidth and reliability. They include high-performance computing (HPC), scientific tasks, data warehousing, online transaction processing (OLTP), and video editing, among other applications, the company said.

The RamSan-710 SSD will be available in the next 4 to 8 weeks.

Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @stuartj1000.

This article was originally published on June 01, 2011