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The World's Fastest Storage®

superSSD > Products > RamSan-220


The RamSan-220 has been replaced by the cheaper and faster RamSan-320. All current RamSan-210/220 customers will continue to be supported. For further details, contact TMS.

RamSan-220 highlights:

  • Over 200,000 random I/Os per second.

  • Over 450 MB/second of random sustainable data bandwidth.

  • Full array of hardware redundancy to ensure availability.

  • Scalable - A single 2U chassis upgrades to 32 GB of RAM storage and up to 4 FC ports. Multiple units can be added to provide any needed capacity or performance requirement.

  • Interoperable - The RamSan is "just another disk" to the network, meaning it can be implemented in any way a conventional Fibre Channel disk can.

Accelerate OLTP, batch processing and other intense applications with the RamSan-220 solid state disk (SSD) from Texas Memory Systems.  Placing hot data on a RamSan allows maximum return on existing critical applications and hardware.

To order, please contact Texas Memory Systems Sales.

The World's
Fastest Storage®

 Product Highlights  Technical Specs  Support & Warranty

Performance is key to a quality solid state disk. Outside of the RamSan-320, the RamSan-220 is the World's Fastest Storage®. The system delivers 450 MB/second of bandwidth and 200,000 random I/Os per second.

The RamSan delivers its massive bandwidth to hosts via four 2Gb Fibre Channel interface ports. There are two main benefits to having high bandwidth:

1. Some applications require high bandwidth. Good examples include video on demand and non-linear editing of HDTV.
2. High bandwidth enables the RamSan-220 to be shared across multiple hosts without impacting performance.

Competing solid state disks that have less internal bandwidth than the RamSan-220 cannot support all of the applications that we support and cannot be shared with as many hosts without compromising performance. Our nearest competitor claims half of our available bandwidth.

An important note as you compare solid state disk to RAID: our solid state disk bandwidth numbers can be sustained with random data streams. RAID systems can only sustain high bandwidth numbers with sequential data streams.
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I/Os Per Second (IOPS)
IOPS are the single best indicator of how well a solid state disk, or any other storage device, will support database traffic. Solid state disk drive manufacturers like to talk about low latency-- the "lag time" in between a drive getting a request for data and providing that data. In fact, most solid state disk manufacturers claim latency numbers from 14 microseconds to 50 microseconds. The truth of these numbers is borne out in the IOPS. If all latencies are so similar, then performance for solid state disks should be similar. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Our highest performing competitor claims 40,000 random IOPS; a number that is still 5 times less than our RamSan-220.

The RamSan-220 can deliver 200,000 random IOPS to your applications. A single port on the RamSan-220 can provide 100,000 random IOPS. The reason that we stress "random IOPS" is that RAID manufacturers occasionally cite their IOPS performance. Discerning buyers should be aware that these numbers are almost always sequential IOPS performance. The problem with sequential IOPS is that there are almost no applications in the real world that result in sequential small block disk access.

So why do you need IOPS? IOPS are needed to process database transactions. Database transactions have two main characteristics: they are small (averaging around 8K) and they are random. Small random file accesses thrash hard disk drives. In fact, a really good disk drive can provide around 300 random IOPS. A fast RAID can handle 5,000 random IOPS. Which brings us back to original question, it is important to support a high number of IOPS because your servers can support a high number of IOPS. The latest processors are operating at over 3 Gigahertz per second. However, since the early 1980s processors have been faster than storage. Over the last twenty years, the gap between processor performance and storage performance has widened.

When your processor is faster than your storage, then your processor literally waits on storage for data needed to perform calculations, this is called I/O wait time. If your processor is waiting, then your users are waiting. On top of that, you are wasting a significant investment in the latest processors.

By supplying incredibly high random IOPS, the RamSan-220 eliminates I/O wait time for all files that it stores. Because its random IOPS capabilities are so amazing, it is possible for a single RamSan-220 to provide I/O acceleration for multiple host servers.

When you consider our combined bandwidth and random IOPS performance it is clear why we call RamSan "The World's Fastest Storage®".
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Peace of Mind
A unique feature of the RamSan-220 is its approach to data persistence. Solid state disks predominately rely on SDRAM to store data. The SDRAM used is the same as the SDRAM that is commonly used in computers. The problem with SDRAM is that when power is removed, the data on the SDRAM goes away. 

The RamSan-220 is a non-volatile solid state disk. Redundant lithium Ion batteries will power the system for up to one hour in the event of external power failure. Mirrored and hot-swap SCSI hard disk drives provide persistence in the event of an extended power failure. The RamSan-220 is the only solid state disk in its class to offer mirrored and hot swappable SCSI disk drives. This approach provides a system administrator additional Peace of Mind when using a RamSan-220, when power is restored to the RamSan it will automatically copy data from the  mirrored disk drives to the memory. The RamSan can restore 32 GB of data from disk to memory in approximately 15 minutes.
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No Excuses Operation
The RamSan-220 is designed to provide 99.999% percent availability. These availability numbers mean that the RamSan-220 is designed to run 24 x 7, without downtime. With the extension of corporate data to the web, high availability systems are a requirement and not just a luxury. Many components in the RamSan-220 are redundant: batteries, disk drives, power supplies, and fans. This means that if any one of these devices fails, the system can continue to operate without impacting the user. In addition, the disk drives, power supplies and fans are all hot swappable-- able to be traded out and replaced while the unit remains in full operation. Therefore, the components with the shortest mean time between failure (MTBF) can all be hot swapped in the RamSan-220.

Back of RamSan-220 Solid State Disk

Texas Memory Systems has also implemented hardware fail over between controllers on the RamSan-220 in a switched environment. The controllers can be configured as Active:Passive or Active:Active. If they are implemented in Active:Passive mode, and a link/controller fails, the other controller automatically takes over.

Together the redundancy and hot swappable features of the RamSan-220 put it in the same league with the finest of enterprise computing hardware.
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Room to Grow
After decades of experience selling solid state disks, we understand that storage needs and performance needs for our customers are ever changing. The RamSan-220 can grow with the needs of our customers. For example, the RamSan-220 provides SDRAM capacities ranging from 8GB to 32GB. For customers that need more than 32GB, multiple RamSan-220s can be arrayed. Additionally, each RamSan-220 can include either 2 or 4 Fibre Channel interface ports. By adding additional ports, the RamSan-220 can meet increasing bandwidth or random IOPS performance requirements.
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The RamSan-220 uses Fibre Channel interfaces to connect to host devices and to storage networks.

Our newest Fibre Channel interface is the FC-34. Each FC-34 includes two 2Gbit Optical (SC) Fibre Channel interface ports. The FC-34 supports both 2Gbit and 1Gbit devices, and auto-negotiates to operate in the proper mode. If both ports are connected to the same host, they can be used in an active-active configuration or in a fail-over mode in a switched environment. The FC-34 supports all three of the topologies available under the Fibre Channel protocol:

1. Point-to-point. While there are only a few host bus adapters that will cooperate, the FC-34 properly implements the point-to-point (n-port to n-port) topology for Fibre Channel. Through the point-to-point topology, the RamSan-220 can be directly attached to host servers. Point-to-point connections are faster than the other methods for attaching storage. Because the RamSan-220 provides up to four Fibre Channel ports, the RamSan-220 can be directly attached to up to four independent devices.

2. Switched Fabric. The most popular way to attach a RamSan-220 is with the switched fabric topology. The switched fabric topology implies that there is a storage network switch (such as those from Brocade and Vixel) between the host and the RamSan-220. Switched fabric topologies can be used to provide unparalleled scalability and redundancy for storage networking. Because Fibre Channel switches tend to add very little latency to storage transactions, the switched fabric topology is still an excellent choice for high performance storage.

3. Arbitrated Loop. A new feature of the RamSan-220 is that it supports Fibre Channel arbitrated loop. In many ways, arbitrated loop is the legacy topology for Fibre Channel. In other words, many of the first Fibre Channel networks installed use arbitrated loop. Arbitrated loop operates very similar to the old token ring local area networks and tends to be somewhat slower than the other topologies. In addition, arbitrated loop can support far fewer devices than the switched fabric topology. The main reason that we added Fibre Channel arbitrated loop was to allow the RamSan-220 to be connected directly to host bus adapters and storage devices that work best with arbitrated loop. The RamSan-220 also works when connected to a private arbitrated loop hub.

If you have followed Texas Memory Systems over the last year, you know that we have invested a lot of effort in ensuring that our Fibre Channel interfaces are interoperable with other storage network components. In fact, our RamSan-520 was the first solid state disk to pass Brocade's Fabric Aware interoperability certification. In this test, the RamSan-520 was put into a network of heterogeneous storage network components. The RamSan-220's predecessor, the RamSan-210, was the first solid state disk to be both certified Solaris Ready and Designed For Windows 2000.
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The RamSan-220 is loaded with features to make on-site and remote management easier than ever.

For on-site management, the RamSan-220 display gives users vital information about the operation of the unit. The display, pictured below, provides the ability to:

  • Monitor system performance. The panel shows throughput for each Fibre Channel interface port.
  • Set the IP address.
  • Observe component status and alerts.
  • Shutdown the RamSan-220.

RamSan SSD Front Panel

The RamSan-220 includes the Management Control Port (MCP) which is accessed through Ethernet. Administrators can telnet into the RamSan-220 in order to perform the following management tasks:

  • Monitor system performance.
  • Perform system diagnostics.
  • Establish up to 64 LUNs (Logical Unit Numbers). The LUNs can be used by a single server or shared across many servers.
  • Manage LUN masking lists for each Fibre Channel interface port. The LUN masking lists can be used to grant universal access or limit access to specific world wide port names.
  • Set the IP address.

For remote management, the RamSan-220 is shipped with a Java-enabled remote monitoring software. The software allows users to:

  • Monitor system performance. The panel allows users to monitor real-time system performance of the following components:
    • Fibre Channel interfaces. The GUI (Graphical User Interface) allows users to see real-time bandwidth and I/Os per second performance.
    • Power Supply temperature.
    • Fan status. The software displays the number of revolutions per minute for the fans.
    • Battery status. The software displays the current charge level for the battery.
  • Observe SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) traps and alerts

The remote monitoring software supports SNMP.
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RamSan-220 Resources

Free White Papers

Hot File Detection 

Fibre Channel Host Bus Adaptor (HBA) Qualification Matrix

Interactive Demonstration of Java-enabled Monitor

Learn more about
Solid State Disks (SSD)
RamSan Product Line
Applications and Solutions
Warranty and Support

Texas Memory Systems Sales - Call (713) 266-3200

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