The World's Fastest Storage : solid state disks (RAM-based storage)

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The World's Fastest Storage

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Performance is key to a quality solid state disk. The RamSan-320 is the World's Fastest Storage. The system delivers 3000 MB/second of bandwidth and 250,000 random I/Os per second.


The RamSan delivers its massive bandwidth to hosts through up to eight 2Gb Fibre Channel interface ports. High bandwidth provides two main benefits:

1. Some applications require high bandwidth. Good examples include video on demand and non-linear editing of HDTV.
2. High bandwidth enables the RamSan-320 to be shared across multiple hosts without impacting performance.

Competing solid state disks that have less bandwidth than the RamSan-320 cannot support all of the applications that we support and cannot be shared with as many hosts without compromising performance. Our nearest competitor claims less than 10 percent 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.

I/Os Per Second (IOPS)

IOPS are the single best indicator of how well a solid state disk or any other storage device supports database traffic. Solid state disk drive manufacturers like to talk about low latency-- the "lag time" in between a drive receiving a request for data and providing that data. In fact, most solid state disk manufacturers claim latency numbers from 10 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 SSD competitor claims 60,000 random IOPS; a number that is still 4 times less than our RamSan-320.

The RamSan-320 can deliver 250,000 random IOPS to your applications. A single port on the RamSan-320 can provide 50,000 random IOPS. We stress "random IOPS" because RAID manufacturers occasionally cite their IOPS performance. Discerning buyers should be aware that these quoted numbers are almost always sequential IOPS performance. The problem with sequential IOPS is that almost no 'real world' applications actually 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. The fastest cache built in to expensive storage systems can handle at most 150,000 IOPS. This brings us back to the original question -- it is important to support a high number of IOPS because your servers can produce a high number of IOPS. 

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. In addition, you are wasting a significant investment in the latest processors.

By supplying incredibly high random IOPS, the RamSan-320 eliminates I/O wait time for all of its stored files. Because its random IOPS capabilities are so amazing, a single RamSan-320 can 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".

RamSan-320 Resources

Test Drive The Browser Configuration Utility

Flash Presentation

RamSan-320 Education (PDF)
RamSan-320 Datasheet (PDF)
Free White Papers
Hot File Detection Software
User Guide (PDF)

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