Not exactly sure what is happening, but PCIe cards are coming out containing multiple SSD drives.
For example, the recently announced Super Talent RAIDDrive UpStream card contains 4 SAS embedded SSDs that can push storage capacity up to almost a TB of MLC NAND. They have an optional SLC version but there were no specs provided on this.
It looks like the card uses an LSI RAID controller and SANDforce NAND controller. Unlike the other RAIDDrive cards that support RAID5, the UpStream can be configured with RAID 0, 1 or 1E (sort of RAID 1 only striped across even or odd drive counts) and currently supports capacities of 220GB, 460GB or 960GB total.
Just like the rest of the RAIDDrive product line, the UpStream card is PCIe x8 connected and requires host software (drivers) for Windows, NetWare, Solaris and other OSs but not for “most Linux distributions”. Once the software is up, the RAIDDrive can be configured and then accessed just like any other “super fast” DAS device.
Super Talent’s data sheet states UpStream performance at are 1GB/sec Read and 900MB/Sec writes. However, I didn’t see any SNIA SSD performance test results so it’s unclear how well performance holds up over time and whether these performance levels can be independently verified.
It seems just year ago that I was reviewing Virident’s PCIe SSD along with a few others at Spring SNW. At the time, I thought there were a lot of PCIe NAND cards being shown at the show. Given Super Talent’s and the many other vendors sporting PCIe SSDs today, there’s probably going to be a lot more this time.
No pricing information was available.