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SanDisk waves its Nand over SX350 PCIe SSD cards

SanDisk uses its own flash chips to create SX350 line of PCIe SSD, with claims of a drop in price per gigabyte by as much as 61%

SanDisk has added new PCIe solid-state drive (SSD) products to its portfolio, with the SX350 series being added to the SX300 and changes to the existing PX600 line.

Chief among the changes is the use of SanDisk multi-level cell (MLC) negative-AND (Nand) flash chips in the former Fusion-io products – re-branded SanDisk Fusion ioMemory – which the company claims brings price per gigabyte down by as much as 61%.

The SX350 series is aimed at read-intensive application workloads, including web hosting, data mining, seismic data processing, content caching, 3D modelling and computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM).

SX350 products comprise four cards that range in capacity from 1TB to 6.4TB. They offer slightly boosted input/output (I/O) performance over the SX300, with input/output operations per second (IOPS) figures that go from 225,000 to 385,000 read IOPS and 345,000 to 385,000 write IOPS (all for 4KB blocks). 

Write latency is around 15 microseconds (µs) for 4KB block size, rising to 50µs for 64KB blocks. Corresponding read latency figures are 95µs and 120µs.

Read more about PCIe SSD

The PX600 series is aimed at mixed-use workloads, including virtual servers and desktops, databases, business intelligence and financial data processing.

PX600 products comprise four PCIe cards that range from 1TB to 5.2TB. 4KB block read IOPS range from 196,000 to 285,000, while same size block write IOPS range from 330,000 to 385,000. Read bandwidth is 2.7Gbps and write bandwidth ranges from 1.5 to 2.1 Gbps.

PCIe SSD pioneer Fusion-io was acquired by SanDisk in mid-2014. Until now SanDisk offered Fusion-io’s PX600 and SX300 products in the Atomic series.

PCIe SSD drives connect to server PCIe slots and provide latency figures in the tens of microseconds, with write speeds usually faster than read. PCIe flash does away with the need for a serial-attached SCSI (SAS) or Serial ATA (SATA) controller in the server so latency is much lower than the equivalent SAS/SATA-connected SSD.

Server-side flash also has the advantage of being able to be targeted at specific applications. Potential downsides are that server failures can result in a lack of data protection for data on the PCIe card.

SanDisk still sells the existing SX300 series cards as well as mezzanine form factor cards for blade servers.

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