With Western Digital buying sTec and SanDisk buying SMART Storage Systems, Seagate is looking like the last player standing in the game of flash musical chairs. These days, a lot of serious storage suppliers are keen to get into enterprise flash storage devices - meaning component devices and not complete arrays such as those …
Really interesting article, however I think you mean Indilinx not "Indilinks", I only know because the first SSD I bought in 2009 was a Corsair X64 which has a Indilinx controller in it. Great bit of kit It's still going strong now.
pcie is a dead end, no?
I'm not sure why you'd want to spend $$$$$ on either of the two companies. PCIe flash cards are surely a stop gap until 12Gb/s stuff becomes commonplace? The PCIe cards are not hot swap and occupy valuable expansion slots that may just not be available in every server.
Re: pcie is a dead end, no?
Actually, there's another reason for PCIe Flash: reduced latency. See, if you hook the SSD to the drive channels, you have at least an additional layer of translation to negotiate (PCIe <-> SATA/SAS). Furthermore, neither architecture was designed with flash in mind, so there are inefficiencies. Whereas with a direct PCIe hookup, not only do you cut out the translation, but you can also memory-map the drive's contents directly using the back end of the 64-bit memory space. It's a lot easier to do parallel access this way, which combined with the direct-to-PCIe connection reduces latency, resulting in increased IOPS.
Re: pcie is a dead end, no?
Far from it. Apple has decided it should be all direct PCIe SSDs, all the time.
It makes sense, you don't need the latency of an extra bus.
What's old has come around...
Just in a different form.
Instead of main memory as PCI cards (wow, back in the 286 days....) now it is flash memory.
Dead end? Maybe, maybe not.. Just needs to have a great amount of capacity to justify using up a slot in a tower box.
Let's not forget that PCIe is already well on its way to 12 GB/s. LSI is sampling several versions already. Only problem is it requires PCIe 3.0 (or subsequent) PCIe-lane equipped motherboards / server boards to achieve that bandwidth. This means that the price-of-entry would initially have to include new boards in addition to the cards. Great in the long-term, wallet-painful in the short-term.
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