SMART Storage Systems XceedIOPS 2 200GB eMLC 6Gbps Enterprise SSD Review
The SMART Storage Systems XceedIOPS 2 eMLC SSD is the latest and greatest from the company with a long line of success. For SMART, who became privately owned last year, this segment of the market is ‘old hat’. With all Tier 1 OEMs as customers, they are embedded deeply into the enterprise market.
Now they are bringing the XceedIOPS 2 to the table, with Toshiba Toggle eMLC NAND and the LSI SandForce SF-2582 processor, to further their high endurance line of enterprise SSDs.
The XceedIOPS 2 is aimed at customers in need of both high performance and high endurance.
Leveraging the Tier 1 Qualified LSI SandForce SF-2582 processor is a good start. SMARTs custom firmware, developed by their in-house team, also affords them much more granular control over the characteristics and performance of the SSD. Paired with Toshiba Toggle eMLC NAND, the XceedIOPS 2 is geared directly for long term performance.
Delivering the higher endurance of eMLC at a much lower price structure than SLC provides is a key component of SMARTs approach. With rated write endurance of 1.5PBW, 3PBW and 6PBW for their 100, 200 and 400GB capacities, it’s clear that they have the endurance perspective wrapped up. Throwing in a 5 year warranty, which covers the writing the capacity of the SSD seven times daily, guarantees that these SSDs deliver on their endurance ratings.
The specifications indicate that this product also intends to dominate the performance category as well, with a 520MB/s rated read speed and 520MB/s write speed to match. Coming in at 60,000 IOPS of random speed, this drive covers all the bases.
Encryption is handled with AES-256 (FIPS-197 Certified) and drive security is handled by TCG-Enterprise. Proprietary EverGuard power loss protection and data fail recovery, which covers up to an entire NAND flash erase block of data being lost, rounds out the suite of data protections.
The SMART XceedIOPS 2 comes in a silver painted alloy case in a 2.5in form factor. A z-height of 9.5mm ensures that this SSD will fit in any type of enclosure.
The case is held together by four standard Phillips head screws. Once dissembled, the 16 modules of Toshiba 32nm eMLC flash (Th58TAG7E2FBA89) become visible and each module has a capacity of 16GB. Rated for 10K P/E cycles, this NAND has a very good mix of price and longevity. SLC can have higher endurance, but at a much higher price point.
The LSI SandForce SF-2582 processor is another key ingredient of the endurance and performance puzzle. The LSI SandForce controllers are known for their high performance and their ultra-low write amplification. This helps to extend the longevity of the durable eMLC even further.
The SF-2582 processor is hidden under a blue dollop of Thermal Interface Material (TIM). This allows the processor to transfer the heat generated to the outside of the case. For ease of disassembly, SMART only applied the TIM to the processor for this engineering sample. Normally, this TIM would be applied to every NAND die on either side of the PCB in actual deployment. This allows for very effective heat dissipation as the hefty metal case serves as a large heatsink for the SSD. By wicking the heat away from the SSD itself, the device runs cooler and increases the longevity of the internal components.
The processor is accompanied by 32 individual OxiCap Niobium Oxide Capacitors. These are the yellow squares between the processor and the NAND dice. They provide power for the SSD to flush all data to NAND in the case of an unplanned power loss. This type of capacitor is heat resistant, so they are well suited for Enterprise use.