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By | Chris Mellor 5th August 2009 14:45

TMS wins flash bragging crown with 100TB monster

You're gonna need a bigger rack

The biggest, baddest flash clustered drive on the market has been launched by Texas Memory Systems, the 100TB RamSan-6200.

This monster offers more than 5 million sustained I/Os per second and 60GB/sec of sustained bandwith. Individual read and write I/O performance isn't revealed.

These are huge numbers, achieved by a scale-out approach of clustering twenty RamSan-620 flash SSDs into a single entity, taking up an entire 40U rack. It might help to think of it as a 100TB SAN comprised of twenty 5TB storage units.

The flash is single-level cell NAND. The 6200 supports 40 - 160 4Gbit/s Fibre Channel links or 20 - 80 10Gbit/s (quad data rate) InfiniBand lines. Divide these numbers by 20 to get the per-RamSan-620 port counts.

TMS says that, at the board level, each set of flash chips is organised as a RAID unit, preventing any single chip failure from corrupting data. At the system level, each RamSan-620 allows you to designate one of the cards inside the system as an active-spare. If one of the cards experiences a failure that degrades its RAID protection, its data is transferred to the hot-spare. The failed card is then rendered inactive and can be replaced.

Logical Storage Units (LUN) for applications can be designated in multiple configurations, including the option of assigning a separate LUN to each of the RamSan-620’s 8 (2TB) or 20 (5TB) Flash cards, enabling LUN mirroring for added protection.

TMS' offers TeraWatch software to provide unified management and monitoring of the twenty RamSan-620 chassis from a GUI console.

The targeted market areas include large databases, science and research labs, seismic processing, video, and Federal Government installations, with applications such as data acquisition, data warehousing, modelling, simulations, rendering, and video editing in mind. This is an extreme piece of kit and won't have a large market in terms of product numbers.

Referring to Fusion-Io and IBM's project QuickSilver and a similar Fusion-io/HP demo, TMS says dismissively "Other SSD solutions claiming one million IOPS have been based on hypothetical configurations that may never be commercially available, whereas the RamSan-6200 easily sustains five times the performance and bandwidth and is available for purchase today."

With this colossal system, TMS has just claimed the flash bragging rights crown.

The price for a single 5TB RamSan-620 is $220,000, making the nominal price for a fully-configured RamSan-6200 $4.4m. Actual pricing has not been revealed. ®

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