by Anton Shilov
08/04/2011 | 06:52 AM
OCZ Technology Group this week introduced what can easily become the world's highest-performing PCI Express-based solid-state storage device with extreme - up to 2.8GB/s (2800MB/s) - maximum read and write speeds as well as up to 500 thousand input/output operations per second (IOPS). OCZ's Z-Drive R4 PCIe SSDs are designed for enterprise users and are available only directly from OCZ.
OCZ's Z-Drive R4-series solid state drives are available in half-height PCI Express form-factor for 1U machines in capacities of 300GB, 600GB and 1.2TB (RM84) as well as in full-height PCIe form-factor for 2U and other systems in capacities of 800GB, 1.6TB and 3.2TB (RM88). Both types of solid-state storage systems utilize OCZ's proprietary SuperScale controller with virtualized controller architecture 2.0 (VCA 2.0) technology; the half-height RM84 version sports four SandForce SF-2582 NAND flash controllers, the full-height RM88 version features eight SandForce SF-2582 controllers.
OCZ Z-Drive R4 RM84 provides maximum sequential read and write speeds of up to 2GB/s, 250 thousand random write 4KB IOPS, 160 thousand random write 8KB IOPS and up to 260 thousand maximum IOPS in total.
OCZ Z-Drive R4 RM88 provides maximum sequential read and write speeds of up to 2.5GB/s, 410 thousand random write 4KB IOPS, 275 thousand random write 8KB IOPS and up to 500 thousand maximum IOPS in total.
VCA 2.0 is a multifaceted virtualization layer and interfaces with the OCZ SuperScale Storage Controller which combines processing and full DMA (direct memory access) cores, as well as internal PCIe, SATA and SAS physical interfaces. When coupled with VCA 2.0 technology, the SuperScale Controller manages critical internal functions such as OCZ’s intelligent Complex Command Queuing Structure (CCQS) with unique queue balancing algorithms. This combination leads to superior performance aggregation and results in significantly higher throughput and reduced burden on the host CPU.
With the VCA 2.0-based virtualization layer, the Z-Drive R4 offers an advanced set of capabilities designed to solve problems inherent to pure software solutions. The Z-Drive R4 features power fail protection, differentiating the drive from software-based solutions where in-flight data resides in host DRAM and the flash translation layer, thus resulting in loss of data during power interruption. In addition, VCA enables user-selectable data recovery and non-stop modes with IntegRecover technology ensuring enterprise-class data integrity. Furthermore, the Z-Drive R4 installation in enterprise computing environments is seamless because OCZ VCA 2.0 supports the industry-standard SCSI command set over a PCIe interface. Other features include consolidated SMART support, increased NAND flash life due to OCZ’s lower write amplification and TRIM/SCSI Unmap Support.
"The demand for higher performing PCIe-attached solid state storage continues to grow, and our new Z-Drive R4 represents an increased focus from OCZ to meet the needs of its enterprise and data center clients; it also represents a turning point in the evolution of PCIe SSDs. The Z-Drive R4 provides the best of both worlds for storage architects by merging the industry-leading feature-sets of both the pure hardware and pure software based approaches to data management, while maintaining user-configurable flexibility not found in other devices," said Ryan Petersen, chief executive officer of OCZ Technology Group.
OCZ's Z-Drive R4 RM84 and RM88 are available in R-series and C-series configurations. Both families feature TRIM/SCSI unmap, 128-bit and 256-bit AES-compliant encryption, ECC recovery, SMART support and feature 2 million hours meantime between failures (MTBF). The more advanced R-series adds power fail protection with DataWrite Assurance technology as well as SMART with enterprise attributes.
All Z-Drive R4 configurations support single-level cell (SLC) or multi-level cell (MLC) NAND flash memory (installed by default) with reduced write amplification to extend drive life more than three times the manufacturer’s rating of the NAND. All Z-Drive R4 are compatible with Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, Linux Red Hat Enterprise 6.1 operating systems.
As with all OCZ enterprise products, customer-specific configurations and functionality are available upon request.