If you're wondering what SSD technology would look like if you had a near-unlimited budget, try asking Texas Memory Systems – they'd be more than happy to sell you a rack filled with 20TB of solid-state storage.
Dubbed the RamSan-5000
, the device – aimed at datacentres more than home users, granted – is a full-size 40U 19” rack containing between 10 and 20TB of solid-state SSD goodness with multiply-redundant systems to ensure a minimum of downtime.
As you could probably imagine from a system aimed at the higher end of the enterprise market and based on flash-based SSDs, it's no slouch: capable of 20GB/s – yes that's twenty gigabytes
per second – sustained bandwidth and up to a million random IO reads per second from flash, it's not something that'll keep you waiting. Speed is further optimised with between 160 to 640GB of DDR RAM-based cache memory to keep data flowing smoothly.
Although the pricing is very much at a 'if you need to ask you can't afford it' level, there's room for savings too: according to the company, its system consumes a mere 3KW of power compared to the 90KW a system based around mechanical hard-drives would require in order to provide the same level of performance. Okay, so a system designed to merely store the same amount of information wouldn't take nearly that much power – heck, you could do it with twenty 1TB drives for a fraction of the cost – but the RamSan range is clearly aimed at the market that needs a shedload
of data right damn now
According to Woody Hutsell, executive vice president at the company, at least one customer has already decided that the system fits their requirements: “we were installing a 20 terabyte one-million IOPS RamSan-5000 at a customer site while other vendors were announcing lab results,
” said Hutsell, claiming that his company won the contract due to meeting the “strict performance requirements
” the un-named customer demanded.
While this isn't a device that's likely to show up in the average bit-tech
reader's home any time soon, it's a good indicator of just what SSD technology can achieve given a near-unlimited budget.
Tempted to give Texas Memory Systems a call just to hear how much this kind of gear would cost you, or are you happy with your data taking several seconds to be retrieved over your network and no need for a second (and third, and fourth...) mortgage? Share your thoughts over in the forums