SanDisk, Marvell Partner on Storage Microservers

The partnership combines Marvell's ARM reference design with SanDisk's SATA SSD modules for more efficient storage microservers.

Storage networking specialist Marvell Semiconductor and flash memory storage solutions specialist SanDisk announced their collaboration on a family of microservers designed for enterprise cloud storage, which will combine Marvell's ARM reference design with SanDisk's Serial ATA (SATA) solid-state drive (SSD) modules. Aimed at I/O)-intensive environments, the servers feature Marvell quad core ARM-based Armada XP system-on-a-chip (SoC) processors, designed specifically for enterprise-class cloud computing applications.

Incorporating up to four Marvell-designed ARM V7 MP-compliant 1.6GHz central processing unit cores, the XP series supports symmetrical multi-processing and asymmetrical multi-processing modes with a 64-bit DDR2/DDR3 memory interface. With the ability to scale on demand and employing a low-power architecture, the processors are designed to run servers more efficiently.

"For Marvell, collaborating with SanDisk is an opportunity to bring to market the very best combination of ARM and SSD technologies as they relate to enterprise storage," Ted Weatherford, senior director and product line manager of the cloud services and infrastructure business unit at Marvell, said in prepared remarks. "What's more, we've created a new generation of microservers that significantly outpaces competing attempts at speed, efficiency and, most importantly, scalability. To the extent that enterprises need to support an increasing number of machines and devices-inside and outside the office in a 24/7, global capacity-Marvell and SanDisk deliver a comprehensively connected lifestyle in a simple and powerful package."

On SanDisk's side, the company is supplying SATA X100 SSDs, which offer a 6G-bps SATA interface and achieve read and write speeds of up to 500MB per second and 430MB per second, respectively. In addition, the format can provide high-density arrays of storage inside single blade configurations with up to 256GB of storage in an mSATA form factor, and the solid-state configuration means the microservers can run cooler and quieter. "SanDisk is pleased to partner with Marvell in the storage microserver market," Kevin Conley, senior vice president and general manager of client storage solutions at SanDisk, said in a press statement. "Our collaboration underscores both companies' commitment on delivering low-power server solutions that are helping fuel the demand for SSD-based storage in this fast-growing market."

SanDisk recently announced a new addition to its FlashSoft software product line designed to increase application performance and the number of virtual machines available in virtual computing environments. Already available for servers running Windows Server and Linux operating systems, the FlashSoft software brings solid-state storage to virtual computing by installing as a module within the operating system of virtual computing platforms, and is compatible with any enterprise flash device, including Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe), serial-attached SCSI (SAS) or SATA.