Storage

New Seagate Solid State Drives Mean Business

Seagate has unveiled new models of its Pulsar line of solid state drives (SSD)--delivering performance, endurance, and reliability that business can trust. The new drives bring the benefits of SSD to organizations with demanding data storage needs.

There are two Pulsar models being added to the Seagate arsenal--Pulsar.2 and Pulsar XT.2. The Pulsar.2 drives use MLC (multi-level cell) technology. MLC stores two bits instead of one per cell, resulting in double capacity, but lower endurance and integrity. However, Seagate has added a few tricks that set the Pulsar.2 apart from consumer-level MLC SSDs.

Seagate is aware that businesses require stronger data integrity and endurance from drives. According to the Seagate press release, the Pulsar.2 was developed with these more stringent requirements in mind. "It has the intelligence to automatically detect and correct a multitude of data errors than can occur during normal drive operations to deliver the highest levels of enterprise-class data integrity and endurance."

The Pulsar XT.2 drives are SLC (single-level cell) devices. As such, the XT.2 drives offer superior integrity and endurance, but half the storage capacity of the Pulsar.2 line. The Seagate press release describes the XT.2 series, "The Pulsar XT.2 is the fastest drive in the Seagate portfolio, with sustainable random reads at 48K and writes at 22K IOPS and sequential reads at 360MB/sec and writes at 300MB/sec. The Pulsar XT.2 is optimized for real world, complex, mixed workloads typical of enterprise environments."

"The surge in storage consumption is being driven not only by the growth of content and use within the enterprise, but also by new applications and devices that directly or indirectly consume enterprise storage," said Kurt Richarz, Seagate EVP of Product Line Management. "Seagate's new family of enterprise storage solutions meets the diverse storage needs of these high growth application environments, whether it's fast transactional database servers, bulk storage and archiving, or everything in between."

SSD drives boot quicker, access data faster, and live longer than their traditional hard drive counterparts thanks to the lack of moving parts. The speed and reliability are welcome, but come at a fairly steep premium compared with the dirt cheap cost per gigabyte of traditional hard drives. There are also possible security concerns regarding whether or not data can truly be erased from SSDs.

The Pulsar XT.2 drives only support the native 6GB/s SAS interface, while the Pulsar.2 SSDs support both native 6GBs SAS and SATA 6GB/s interfaces. The Pulsar XT.2 drives come in capacities up to 400GB, and the Pulsar.2 drives doublet that to a maximum of 800GB. The Pulsar XT.2 is currently shipping to OEMs, and both new Pulsar SSD lines will be generally available in the second quarter of 2011.

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