June 05, 2012, 4:22 PM — SanDisk on Tuesday entered the growing marketplace for solid-state accelerator products with its own PCI Express (PCIe) card designed to boost the performance of workstations and servers used in data centers, server farms and cloud computing environments.
Like other products made by Fusion-io and Micron, SanDisk's Lightning PCIe Solid State Accelerator (SSA) cards can be added to workstations and servers to provide an I/O performance boost for frequently used data and applications.
SanDisk's Lightening PCIe flash card
According to market research firm Forward Insights, the PCIe flash card market will top 1.2 billion in overall revenue this year. That compares with SAS solid-state drives (SSDs), which will hit $433 million this year and SATA SSDs, which will also garner $1.2 billion this year.
The new Lightening PCIe cards are based on technology SanDisk acquired with its buyout of Pliant Technology last year. The product is based on 24-nanometer single-level cell (SLC) flash memory.
The cards have a 2 million hour mean time between failures (MTBF) rating, which SanDisk said translates into 10 full drive writes per day for the life of the drive. The Lightening cards come with a five-year warranty.
SanDisk Lightning PCIe SSAs are available in 200GB and 400GB capacities. The cards fit into any standard PCIe slot with four or more lanes. Up to five cards can be installed into a single system to provide up to 2TB of total capacity.
By using the cards, performance in MySQL environments can be boosted by 300% over hard disk drives alone and performance with rendering graphical images can be increased more than 30%, SanDisk said.
SanDisk is also offering FlashSoft data caching software for the cards, which turns them into a flash cache for use with Windows systems. "Data centers can support large server workloads by combining the Lightning PCIe SSA as an additional storage tier in conjunction with SanDisk FlashSoft data caching software," SanDisk stated.
The cards can also be configured as a bootable OS drive that support multiple logical unit numbers (LUNs).
The Lightning PCIe cards can achieve up to a 410MBps sequential read rate, or 110,000 I/Os per second (IOPS) - 23,000 read/write IOPS using 4KB blocks and 17,000 read/write IOPS using 8KB blocks.
The cards offers a 245 microsecond average response time and sub-30 millisecond maximum response times. The cards deliver a sustained read and write latency as low as 50 microseconds.