Hitachi launches first enterprise SSD line

The Ultrastar SSD line, built jointly with Intel, can achieve throughput of up to 535MB per second

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies today announced the release of its first solid state drive (SSD) family.

The Ultrastar SSD400S line, jointly designed with Intel, includes 100GB, 200GB and 400GB models that feature both 2.5-inch 6Gbit/sec Serial-Attached SCSI (SAS) and 3.5-inch 4Gbit/sec Fibre Channel (FC) interfaces with full duplex. The technology is aimed at enterprise-class data centers.

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The new Ultrastar drives boast high I/O throughput, reaching up to 535MB/sec sequential read and 500MB/sec write rate, with up to 46,000 I/O's per second utilizing the SAS interface. The drives can reach 390MB/sec read and 340MB/sec write rates using the Fibre Channel interface.

The Ultrastar SSD400S SSD combines Hitachi's enterprise-class hard disk drive technology with Intel's 34-nanometer, single-level cell NAND flash memory.

Dean Amini, Hitachi's director of enterprise marketing and planning, said intellectual property from both vendors was brought to bear in creating the new drive's controller and firmware, which performs ECC (error correction code) functions and wear-leveling that spreads writes out across the flash memory to reduce wearout.

"Clearly, we [Hitachi] are broadly qualified in shipping enterprise-class hard disk drives to all the global equipment manufacturers. So we understand what it takes to successfully integrate equipment with them, ensure quality and support," Amini said.

The Ultrastar SSDs come with a five-year warranty. Amini said the drives can sustain petabytes of data written to them over a five-year period.

"On the 400GB model, we specify 35 petabytes of random writes. That's roughly the equivalent to 19.2TB of random writes per day for five yeasr, which ensures great durability for the most demanding applications," Amini said, adding that the lower-capacity Ultrastar SSDs can sustain up to 9 petabytes of data written to them.

The drives are aimed at equipment manufacturers and will be sold exclusively through channel partners. Hitachi did not disclose a suggested price for the drives, but Amini said pricing will be "based on the market and it will be competitive."

Hitachi began sampling the SSDs to equipment manufacturers this past summer and is now starting qualifications with vendor products.

"We believe we'll be ramping this family in volume in late Q1 or Q2 of 2011," Amini said.

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian, or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His email address is lmearian@computerworld.com. Read more about storage in Computerworld's Storage Topic Center.

This story, "Hitachi launches first enterprise SSD line" was originally published by Computerworld.

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