STEC ZeusIOPS solid-state drives offer higher speed

Diamond Point is introducing a new family of STEC ZeusIOPS high-performance, 3.5inch, low-profile solid-state drives for advanced mass data storage. Designed as drop-in replacements for standard rotating mechanical fibre-channel hard disk drives, the ZeusIOPS drives are available from in unformatted capacities of 18, 36, 73 and 146GB.

Integrating single-level cell, non-volatile NAND Flash memory technology and dual high-speed fibre-channel interfaces, the drives boast a random I/O performance over 200 times faster than typical 15k RPM standard enterprise-class hard disk drives. The solid-state drives eliminate the wait time associated with traditional hard disk drives; while data access times for hard disk drives are measured in milliseconds, the average access time for the ZeusIOPS drives is 20-120 microseconds, enabling a massive increase in server processor utilisation.

One ZeusIOPS drive can replace multiple hard drives or eliminate the need to purchase additional servers and software licences to overcome performance bottlenecks, resulting in significantly reduced cost and space requirements. Furthermore, the absence of additional up-front hardware and no recurring maintenance, power and cooling costs enables additional dramatic cost savings to be made. For comparable performance, a 200-unit hard disk drive system will cost two to three times as much as a ZeusIOPS solid-state drive system at today's prices. As Flash memory technology prices continue the current downward trend over the next few years, this price gap will inevitably grow even larger, making these advanced solid-state drives the mass storage choice for the future.


The drives incorporate dual 2GB/s, full duplex high-speed fibre-channel interfaces that are fully 'hot pluggable' and support FCP(Fibre-Channel Protocol), the interface protocol of SCSI on the fibre-channel. A 40-pin SCA-2 'hot pluggable' interface is also provided for running fibre-channel signalling on twisted-pair copper cable.

Operating at sustained data transfer rates of up to 200MB/sec throughput in read mode, the drives are capable of 52,000 sustained random read operations per second. The drives are configured with 512MB of intelligent cache. Write data can be flushed to the cache with a 'synchronise cache' command.

Powerful embedded EDC (Error Detection Code), ECC (Error Correction Code) and CRC (Cyclic Redundancy Checking) facilities provide exceptional error protection and data reliability, and a proprietary dynamic wear levelling algorithm integrated within the firmware allows an extended life of 2million write/erase cycles to be achieved. A 'bad block' mapping facility detects any faulty memory blocks during operation and prevents these blocks from being used for data storage, again enhancing reliability.

The erase utility of the drives will erase every physical memory storage location that can be accessed by the host interface. It will also destroy any saved messages. For sensitive data that requires more stringent security measures, the drives comply with industry-standard data protection methods and support the sanitise standards as laid out in AFSSI 5020, NSA 130-2 and DoD 5220.22-M.

Seven-year warranty

Powered from a single +12V DC supply, the drives offer a low power consumption of 8.1W in write mode, 8.4W in read mode and 5.4W in idle/standby mode. Housed in a rugged and lightweight aluminium case measuring just 147mm x 101.6mm x 25.4mm, the ZeusIOPS family is suitable for applications demanding high tolerance to shock, vibration, humidity, altitude and temperature. The drives are capable of operation over the full -40 to +85degC industrial temperature range. They are completely solid-state with no moving parts, are silent in operation and require no preventative maintenance. Diamond Point offers a seven-year product warranty, which underlines its confidence in the superior performance, ruggedness and reliability of these drives.

ZeusIOPS drives suit a host of file, email, voicemail, news and web server applications as well as relational databases for trading, banking, purchasing and other on-line transactions, where data must be served to many distributed users in an environment where time and availability are of paramount importance.

The overwhelming benefits of the drives also find favour in structural analysis, modelling and simulation applications, where large design files need to be randomly accessed and updated in order to perform complex calculations. To prevent I/O bottlenecks, these design files have traditionally been stored in multiple-location hard disk drives. Also, in video-on-demand applications, stringent requirements are placed on the hard disk drive heads by the multiple simultaneous video streams encountered, resulting in the need to use multiple hard disk drives per user. Using the very high IOPS performance of ZeusIOPS drives in these applications eliminates these problems, resulting in a much simplified system and major installation cost savings.

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