The Kronos PCIe is a high-endurance enterprise-class SSD that currently comes in four versions, with two more on the roadmap.
Solid-state drive maker STEC
has entered the increasingly crowded PCIe-based solid-state disk market with an
advanced drive that supports both SLC (single-level cell) and MLC (multi-level
The drive also has a caching
feature that can greatly increase the performance of servers accessing direct
attached or shared storage.
The Kronos PCIe (peripheral
component interconnect express), launched Aug. 4, is a high-endurance
enterprise-class SSD that currently comes in four versions, with two more on
the roadmap. The SLC version offers 240GB and 480GB capacities, 110K random
read and 100K random write IOPs (4KB) and 1.1GB per second bandwidth for both
sequential reads and writes, STEC said.
The Kronos Turbo supports
480GB SLC capacity and 980GB MLC capacity with 220K random read IOPs (4KB) and
200K random write IOPs, and 2.2GB per second bandwidth for sequential reads and
The cache feature, called
EnhanceIO SSD, supports VMware, Hyper-V and Linux implementations. EnhanceIO
supports both write-through read caching and write caching, with power failure
backup provided by super-capacitor implementations directly on the PCIe board.
While EnhanceIO is a companion product to the Kronos line, it is SSD-agnostic
and can drop into an environment with products from other manufacturers,
storage analyst Deni Connor of Storage
explained in her blog.
Intel launched PCIe in 2004.
It is a computer expansion-card standard based on point-to-point serial links
rather than a shared parallel bus architecture, and is designed to replace the
older PCI, PCI-X and AGP standards.
PCIe-based flash storage has
the ability to bypass traditional storage overhead by reducing latencies,
increasing throughput and enabling efficient processing of massive quantities
"While the STEC PCIe
drive has been rumored for some time, the caching software was a
surprise," Connor said. "A number of companies have been developing
caching software, but this is the first PCIe SSD from a major SSD manufacturer
that has an integrated cache solution supporting both read and write cache
Jim Handy of Objective
Analysis told eWEEK
his firm is
forecasting that the PCIe interface will become dominant in the enterprise SSD
market in 2012, with unit shipments greater than the combined shipments of its
SAS and Fibre Channel counterparts.