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  • Lazarus52980 - Thursday, August 09, 2012 - link

    Wow, fantastic review. Thanks for the good work Anand. Reply
  • quiksilvr - Thursday, August 09, 2012 - link

    Considering the hefty price on these devices, anything short of AES-256 in this day and age is unacceptable (yes I know you can do software encryption, but hardware accelerated is much more secure) Reply
  • prime2515103 - Thursday, August 09, 2012 - link

    I'm confused. Isn't AES-256 the same whether it's done in hardware or software? I thought hardware encryption just performed better (encrypts/decrypts faster). Reply
  • Rick83 - Thursday, August 09, 2012 - link

    AES-256 is no safer than AES-128, according to somewhat recent cryptanalysis on the algorithms. Reply
  • madmilk - Thursday, August 09, 2012 - link

    Hardware acceleration is probably for performance, even AES-NI can't keep up with multiple PCIe SSDs.

    And yeah, AES-256 easier crack than AES-128 now. Not that it matters, with computational complexity still at what, 2^99?

    It's much easier to just kidnap the sysadmin than attack crypto.
    Reply
  • JPForums - Friday, August 10, 2012 - link

    And yeah, AES-256 easier crack than AES-128 now. Not that it matters, with computational complexity still at what, 2^99?


    Since you didn't mention which attack you are referring to, I'm going out on a limb and assuming you are talking about the related key attacks on the full AES256 / AES192. I don't know of any other attacks that work on all 14 / 12 rounds. You should be aware that while such an attack is widely considered impractical, it isn't even possible under many circumstances. You need some up front data that you can't always get. To keep in relation to this article, I'll limit my scope to on the fly encryption software as it is closely related to the encryption implemented on this device. Several on the fly encryption packages are known to be immune to this kind of attack (I'll single out TrueCrypt as a popular open source package that isn't vulnerable to related key attacks). As long as you are using a properly programmed encryption package for your full disk encryption, AES-256 is still "more secure" than AES-128.

    That said, if you actually calculated the amount of time it takes to brute force AES-128, you'll find that PCs and possibly humanity will have become a long forgotten relic of the past. Of course, processing power changes, but not that quickly. A bigger concern would be attacks that successfully bring the set of keys down to a manageable level. For this issue, diversity is probably more important than bit length, assuming the brute force key set is sufficiently large (I.E. 2^128).
    Reply
  • Troff - Thursday, August 09, 2012 - link

    I always end up needing to be able to communicate directly with each "drive", which is usually problematic through a raid controller and software raid is invariably faster and in every case I've tried so far much, much faster. Reply
  • Araemo - Thursday, August 09, 2012 - link

    Isn't this necessary for trim anyways? If the OS can talk to each 'drive', trim should work, and performance will stay good, right? Reply
  • web2dot0 - Thursday, August 09, 2012 - link

    Hey Anand,

    Shouldn't FusionIO cards be part of this comparison? It will most likely destroy the 910.
    Reply
  • happycamperjack - Thursday, August 09, 2012 - link

    http://hothardware.com/printarticle.aspx?articleid...

    Not according to this article. And ioDrive compared in this article is actually about 2x the price of either intel 910 or z-drive r4.
    Reply
  • web2dot0 - Friday, August 10, 2012 - link

    That's why you need a comparison buddy. Otherwise, why don't we just read off the spec sheet and declare a winner? Let's face it z-drive r4 is NO FusionIO ok.

    FusionIO is a proven entity backed my a number of reputable companies (Dell, HP, etc...). Those companies didn't sign on because the cards are crap. Who's backing Z-Drive?

    They are the standards in which enterprise SSDs are measured. At least, that's the general consensus.
    Reply
  • happycamperjack - Friday, August 10, 2012 - link

    Spec sheet? did you even read the benchmarks in that comparison? FusionIO's ioDrive clearly lost out there except for low queue situation.

    As for who's backing OCZ's enterprise SSD, let's see, Microsoft, SAP, ebay just to name a few. I don't know where you get the idea that OCZ's enterprise products do not meet the standard, but they are currently the 4th largest enterprise SSD provider. So you are either very misinformed, or just a clueless FusionIO fanboy.
    Reply
  • web2dot0 - Sunday, August 12, 2012 - link

    Come on dude.

    You are clearly looking at the specsheets. The feature sets offered by FusionIO cards are light years ahead of OCZ cards.

    The toolset is also light years ahead. It's not always just about performance. Otherwise, everyone will be using XEN and nobody will be using VMWARE. Get it?

    I would like to see a direct comparison of FusionIO cards (on workloads that enterprises matter), not what you THINK it will perform.

    You are either very much misinformed or you are a clueless kid.
    Reply
  • happycamperjack - Thursday, August 16, 2012 - link

    what spreadsheet? I'm comparing the benchmark charts at later pages, which you obviously have not clicked through. There's enterprise comparisons too ok kid?

    what's great about FIO is its software sets for big data and its low latency and high low queue data access performance. but if just comparing single card performance per GB price ratio, FIO is overpriced IMO. And FIO's PCIe cards' lackluster performance in high queue depth is highlighting what could be the doom of FPGA PCIe cards as the cheap ATIC controllers mature and overthrow the FPGA cards with its abundant number on a board.

    My guess is that in 2 years, FPGA PCIe SSDs would be used only in some specialized Tier 0 storages for high performance computing that would benefit from FPGA's feature sets. Similar to Rambus's RDRAM's fate.

    And if OCZ is good enough for MS's Azure cloud, I don't see why it's not good enough for other enterprise
    Reply
  • hmmmmmm - Saturday, August 11, 2012 - link

    unfortunately, they are comparing the 910 to a 2009, discontinued card from fusion-io. would like to see a new card in the comparison to be able to compare what's on the market today Reply
  • happycamperjack - Thursday, August 16, 2012 - link

    I love to see some ioDrive 2 comparisons too. Unfortunately I can't find any. Reply
  • zachj - Thursday, August 09, 2012 - link

    Does the 910 have a capacitor to drain contents of DRAM to flash during a power outage? Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Thursday, August 09, 2012 - link

    It looked like it, but I didn't read a mention. Could be bad eyesight. Reply
  • erple2 - Thursday, August 09, 2012 - link

    For the market that this targets, you should never have a power outage that affects your server. These are too expensive to not have some sort of redundant power source like at least a solid ups, or better yet, a server room backup power generator.

    That having been said, if you look at the main PCB, you can see 4 capacitors of some sort.
    Reply
  • mike_ - Saturday, August 11, 2012 - link

    >>For the market that this targets, you should never have a power outage that affects your server.

    You'd wish it weren't so, but environments can and will fail. If it has capacitors and such that's great, if it doesn't this device is effectively useless. Surprised it didn't get mentioned :)
    Reply
  • lorribot - Thursday, August 09, 2012 - link

    I like the idea but coming from a highly redundant arrays point of view how do you set this all up in a a safe and secure way, what are the points of failure? what happens if you lose the bridge chip, is all your data dead and buried?
    Would you be looking to put say 3 of these cards in a server and software raid 5 across the cards for multiple disks?
    No hardware raid solution will work across multiple PCI-e cards so there really needs to be some work in how to manage all this in a sensible way needs to be done.

    I doubt any one in an Enterprise would stick one of these in a server and use it as primary storage for their SAP database it is way too risky a proposition.

    What would be good is a 3 1/5 format drive with a fibre channel interface that could work in existing storage solutions.
    Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Thursday, August 09, 2012 - link

    -- What would be good is a 3 1/5 format drive with a fibre channel interface that could work in existing storage solutions.

    If memory serves, that's what STEC made and hasn't been all that profitable.
    Reply
  • Guspaz - Thursday, August 09, 2012 - link

    At the end of the first page, "performnace" Reply
  • happycamperjack - Thursday, August 09, 2012 - link

    Wouldn't it be more fair to compare it to a 800 gb CM88 R4 since it's around the same capacity and price as the intel 910 and quite a bit faster. Reply
  • Elixer - Thursday, August 09, 2012 - link

    What happens when it is over 60% full on these things ? I am betting a huge drop off in speed, just like the desktop parts. Reply
  • MrSpadge - Sunday, August 12, 2012 - link

    Probably not, since they're >50% overprovisioned. Reply
  • Jammrock - Thursday, August 09, 2012 - link

    I would like to see some Fusion-IO tests. They are generally considered the highest end in enterprise SSDs. I've played with some in the past and they were crazy fast and reliable. Reply
  • puffpio - Friday, August 10, 2012 - link

    agreed..any thoughts on a heads up between this and a similar capacity fusion io iodrive2? Reply
  • happycamperjack - Friday, August 10, 2012 - link

    http://hothardware.com/Reviews/Intel-SSD-910-PCI-E... Reply
  • hmmmmmm - Saturday, August 11, 2012 - link

    unfortunately, they are comparing the 910 to a 2009, discontinued card from fusion-io. would like to see a new card in the comparison to be able to compare what's on the market today Reply
  • JellyRoll - Friday, August 10, 2012 - link

    WOW. low QD testing on an enterprise PCIe storage card is ridiculous. End users of these SSDs will use them in datacenters, and the average QD will be ridiculously high. This evaluation shows absolutely nothing that will be encountered in this type of SSDs actual usage. No administrator in their right mind would purchase these for such ridiculously low workloads. Reply
  • SanX - Friday, August 10, 2012 - link

    and you do not need more then 16/32/64GB size for your speedy needs, then consider almost free RAMdisk with the backup. It will be 4-8x faster then this card Reply
  • marcplante - Friday, August 10, 2012 - link

    It seems that there would be a market for a consumer desktop implementation. Reply
  • Ksman - Friday, August 10, 2012 - link

    Given how well the 520's perform, perhaps a RAID with 520's on a LSI RAID adapter would be a very good solution and a comparison VS the 910 would be interesting. If RAID>0, then one could pull drives and attach direct for TRIM etc which would eliminate the problem where SSD's in a RAID cannot be managed. Reply
  • Pixelpusher6 - Friday, August 10, 2012 - link

    I was wondering the exact same thing. What are the advantages of offering a PCIe solution like this compared to say just throwing in a SAS RAID card and connecting a bunch of SSD SAS drives in a RAID 0? Is the Intel 910 mainly targeted at 1U/2U servers that might not have space available for a 2.5" drive? Is it possible to over-provision any 2.5" drive to increase endurance and reduce write amplification (I think the desktop Samsung 830 I have allows this)? Seeing the performance charts I wonder how 2 of those Toshiba 400GB SAS drives would compare against the Intel 910.

    Is the enterprise market moving towards MLC-HET NAND with tons of spare area vs. SLC NAND because of the low cost of MLC NAND now since fabs have ramped up production? I was under the impression that SLC NAND was preferable in the enterprise segment but I might be wrong. What are some usage scenarios where SLC would be better than MLC-HET and vice versa?

    I think lorribot brought up a good point:

    "I like the idea but coming from a highly redundant arrays point of view how do you set this all up in a a safe and secure way, what are the points of failure? what happens if you lose the bridge chip, is all your data dead and buried?"

    I wonder if it is possible to just swap the 1st PCIe PCB board with all the controllers and DRAM in case of a failure of the bridge chip or controller thus the data remains safe. Can SSD controllers fail? Is it likely that the Intel 910 will be used in RAID 0? I didn't think RAID 0 was used much in enterprise. Sorry for all the questions. I have been visiting this site for over 10 years and I just now registered an account.
    Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Saturday, August 11, 2012 - link

    eMLC/MLC-HET/foo-MLC are all attempts to get cheaper parts into SSD chassis, even for enterprise companies such as Texas Memory. Part of the motivation is yet more sophisticated controllers, and, I suspect, the realization that enterprises understand duty life far better than consumers (who'll run a HDD forever if it survives infant mortality). The SSD survival curve (due to NAND failure) is more predictable than HDD, so with the very much faster operations, if 5 years remains the lifetime, the parts used don't matter. The part gets swapped out at 90% or 95% of duty life (or whatever %-age the shop decides); end of story. 5 years ago, SLC was the only way to 5 years. That's not true any longer. Reply
  • GatoRat - Sunday, August 12, 2012 - link

    "the 800GB 910 is easily the fastest SSD we've ever tested."

    Yet the tests clearly show that it isn't. In fact, the Oracle tests show it's a dog. In other tests, it doesn't come up on top. The OCZ Z-Drive R4 CM84 600GB is clearly the faster overall drive.
    Reply
  • Galcobar - Sunday, August 12, 2012 - link

    Grok!

    I'm impressed both to see the literary reference, correctly used, and that nobody has called it a typo in the comments. Not bad for a fifty-year-old novel once dismissed by the New York Times as a puerile mishmash.
    Reply
  • a50505 - Thursday, August 30, 2012 - link

    So, has anyone heard of a workstation class laptop that with a PCIe based ssd? Reply

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