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Wednesday, November 07, 2012
New Flash Module From Hitachi Data Systems Promises Superior Performance, Capacity and Reliability


Hitachi Data Systems Corporation (HDS) today unveiled Hitachi Accelerated Flash storage, the company's first product to incorporate its own recently introduced flash memory controller from Hitachi, Ltd.

This new flash module is built specifically for the most demanding enterprise-class workloads. Hitachi Accelerated Flash storage features a custom-designed, rack-optimized form factor and a flash memory controller technology from Hitachi, Ltd. Hitachi claims that the new module achieve higher performance, lower cost per bit and greater capacity compared to conventional solid-state drives (SSDs) on the market today.

Hitachi says that its controller technology increases the performance of MLC flash to levels that exceed those of more costly SLC flash. It also extends MLC flash endurance to enterprise levels.

"Hitachi Accelerated Flash storage is the first flash device that is optimized for the performance and reliability required for mission-critical applications. These applications include OLTP databases, ERP, financial data management, metadata and indexing. Because of the innovative multi-core flash controller technology from Hitachi, we are able to use multi-level cell (MLC) flash in enterprise applications by extending MLC endurance and exceeding the performance of single-level cell (SLC) flash. The result is the lowest cost per bit of any enterprise MLC flash solution on the market today," said Roberto Basilio, vice president, Infrastructure Platforms Product Management, Hitachi Data Systems.

Hitachi has built its own multi-core embedded flash controller, with inline write compression capability, to eliminate the problems of MLC versus SLC performance, the ominous write cliff, limited durability, and high price. The garbage collection and housekeeping is taken out of the I/O path to eliminate the write cliff, and durability of MLC flash is extended with no restrictions because the compression feature reduces physical writes on the flash memory by up to 94 percent. The main benefit of this controller is the ability to handle larger capacities of flash, which makes the price of Hitachi Accelerated Flash storage up to 46 percent less than MLC flash SSD configurations. This also brings the price of Hitachi Accelerated Flash storage within 4 times the price of high-performance SAS HDDs.

According to Hitachi's estimations, when compared to 400GB MLC SSDs, Hitachi Accelerated Flash storage features 4 times better performance, improved environmental characteristics (power and space), and up to 46 percent lower cost per bit.

Hitachi Accelerated Flash storage is also fully compatible with all Hitachi VSP features, including Hitachi Dynamic Tiering (HDT).

Hitachi Accelerated Flash storage fits into a new 8U flash chassis. Each enclosure can scale from 6.4TB up to 76.8TB of flash storage, giving it 2 times greater density than the largest MLC SSD available today. Up to 4 flash enclosures can be housed in Hitachi VSP, enabling more than 300TB of flash per system.


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