SandForce to Ship SSD Tuned for Cloud Systems

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2011-12-12 Print this article Print

Different workloads have different processing performance requirements, and cloud-related workloads most often require higher performance and endurance than on-site deployments.

Data center hardware continues to become more specialized for cloud deployments.

SandForce, which makes solid-state chips that interact with volume flash memory to deploy both primary and I/O-intensive data storage applications, on Dec. 12 released a new multilevel cell (MLC) flash solid-state drive (SSD) that it claims is the first such processor optimized specifically for use in cloud systems.

What difference does it make to a processor if the system it runs happens to be either a cloud or a standard on-site deployment?

The answer is that different workloads have different processing performance requirements, and cloud-related workloads most often require higher performance and endurance because more data tends to be moved from one place to another in geographically dispersed systems.

"As the SSD market matures, architectures are being developed to satisfy the specific needs of various market segments," said Jim Handy, SSD analyst for Objective Analysis.

"SandForce is targeting one of the most important SSD markets by tuning a variant of its high-performance SSD processor to the needs of the Internet data center. This should be a good deal both for SandForce and for the company's cloud computing customers."

The SF-2481 SSD processor features improved endurance and nearly twice the normal error correction strength as standard MLC flash. Other features include:

  • SandForce DuraWrite, for balanced performance, lowest write amplification and efficient garbage collection;
  • Balanced sequential read and write speeds of up to 500M bps;
  • Balanced random read and write speeds of up to 60,000 I/Os per second;
  • User-configurable over-provisioning to provide increased flexibility when balancing endurance with performance to further optimize individual cloud environments.
The SF-2481 SSD processor is sampling at OEMs now and will ship in mass production in January 2012, SandForce said.


Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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