The SSD array offers sub-millisecond latency, fully random transaction patterns with all data services enabled and operating while filled nearly to capacity.
EMC's all SSD-array announcement follows a similar one by NetApp last month. NetApp announced the EF540 all-flash array, also a purpose-build, all-SSD array.
New PCIe flash cards
Along with all the new product releases, EMC also announced it was changing all of its flash product names so that they would all come under the EMC Xtreme Family mantle. Accordingly, its VFCache PCIe flash card line for servers will now be called XtremSF cards.
EMC announced six new XtremSF cards that include four enterprise-class multi-level cell (eMLC)-based cards and two single-cell level (SLC) cards. All of the PCIe cards are in half-height, half-length form factors.
The eMLC cards come in capacities of 550GB, 700GB 1.4TB and 2.2TB. The SLC cards come in 350GB and 700GB capacities.
XtremSF server flash card
The new XtremSF server flash cards offer up to 1.13 million I/Os per second performance using 128KB blocks and deliver two times throughput of their predecessors with eight PCIe I/O lanes. Using 4KB and 8KB block sizes, the flash cards offer up to 200,000 and 120,000 IOPS, respectively, according to Barry Ader, an EMC senior director of product management.
XtremSF server flash card performance chart
The new flash cards also reduce server CPU utilization by as much as 50%, because the flash controller handles the flash management functions instead of the server chip.
"They are twice as fast as anything else in the marketplace," Adder said.
Flash management suite
Along with a new SSD array and PCIe flash cards, EMC announced that later this year it will be releasing new software that can discover NAND flash in a data center and bring it under a single management interface.
The XtremSW Suite works with either MLC or SLC-based flash, and can offer the ability to pool resources. The software suite will offer advanced data services for flash to be used as memory and DAS, Ader said.
The software will also allow the flash cards to be used in conjunction with a storage area network (SAN) to boost performance.
Mark Peters, an analyst with research firm ESG, said it is the software that sets EMC's announcement apart from other NAND flash-based hardware, such as NetApp's all-SSD array or server flash cards from FusionIO. Vendors regularly leapfrog each other with the performance of their storage systems, he said.