Pushing the envelope in solid-state drive (SSD) performance isn’t anything to scoff at. But industry-watchers are far more excited about the potential impact that Texas Memory Systems’ latest results could have in encouraging enterprises to adopt the technology.
The vendor’s RamSan-400 SSD product hit 291,208.58 input/output requests per second (IOPS), with an average response time of 0.86 milliseconds — a record for benchmarking tests conducted through the Storage Performance Council (SPC), a storage industry association and standards body.
Prior to the testing — aimed at simulating typical online transaction processing environments — IBM had held the SPC-1 performance record for a system built around its System Storage and SAN Volume Controller.
Perhaps just as importantly, the latest test results also set a new price/performance record of 67 cents per IOPS.
According to the SPC, the audited benchmark results validate that high computing performance can be achieved at a reasonable cost.
“This makes the assertion that the technology can deliver at a price that’s reasonable and demonstrates outstanding performance,” Walter Baker, the association’s administrator, told InternetNews.com. “It’s not the end-all or be-all — nothing’s hit that level — but if a enterprise needs speed and performance, it can be achieved at a good cost.”
The news comes as RAM- and flash-based SSD are gaining prominence, but the high costs and low capacities compared to magnetic media have thus far limited uptake among enterprise buyers.
RAM-based solutions like Texas Memory’s differ from flash-based offerings by nearly eliminating I/O wait time — flash offers fast read rates but far slower write capability — and application performance similar to hard disk RAID systems.
Solutions based on RAM are typically much more pricey than flash offerings, however, with prices at about $700 per gigabyte compared to a $150 range. Additionally, both types are dramatically more expensive than magnetic media.
The news also comes shortly after enterprise storage giant EMC began adding flash-based SSDs to its high-end Symmetrix DMX-4 systems — a move lauded by industry experts as signaling to businesses that flash-based storage may be ready for prime time.
However, one industry analyst noted that many of today’s enterprises are taxing limits in compute workloads and RAM-based SDD could prove to be the right solution for specific needs.
“This technology is still costly, much more expensive than smaller flash-based SSD options, but then again, the two approaches meet different needs,” Jim Handy, an analyst with Objective Analysis, told
“What this [benchmark results] will do, however, is help make people much more aware of the performance you get with pure SSD,” he added.