The RamSan-440, TMS' thirteenth generation solid state disk, is simply the most advanced SSD on the market today. Its fast DDR RAM storage is ideal for storing performance-demanding data and accelerating application performance. In fact, the RamSan-440 is The World's Fastest Storage®. No RAID, no cache, or other solid state disk is capable of the raw performance offered by the RamSan-440.
The RamSan-440 raises the bar for shutdown and restore as well. It is the first SSD unit to use Flash memory as the backup media. This dramatically decreases the amount of time it takes to back up the data in the event of power loss. It also dramatically increases the recovery and start up times.
|TMS’ numerous customers have seen real world increases from 2x to 25x simply by installing a single RamSan. The RamSan-440 can accelerate numerous applications across industries. It is best known for drastic performance gains in OLTP, batch processing, and other intensive operations. The RamSan plugs into servers or fabrics through basic Fibre Channel. It appears simply as a very, very fast disk to the network, able to act as any disk or storage system might.
There is no tradeoff in reliability for performance. The RamSan-440 includes RAIDed RAM boards for primary storage, hot swappable power supplies, and three independent internal batteries (N+1) to ensure that no power loss or power supply failure will stop the RamSan from performing its internal backup procedures to RAID protected Flash memory modules. Redundant cooling fans and redundant data ports are also part of the sophisticated design.
RAID Protection for RAM and Flash Memory Modules
The RamSan-440 protects both the primary storage (RAM) and the backup storage media (Flash) by using RAIDed configurations. The RamSan-440 protects the primary RAM storage media with RAIDed RAM-boards. As part of the RAID protection for each bank of memory there is one set of memory cards that store parity data.
The RamSan-440 protects the Flash storage media with RAIDed Flash memory modules. If a Flash memory module fails, a parity module will provide data protection. The Flash memory modules are used when the RamSan loses power; the data residing on the RAM is transferred to the Flash memory so that data is not lost. By using RAIDed Flash memory modules, the data is protected from a Flash module failure during a power loss.
The RamSan-440 takes reliability even further by implementing IBM Chipkill technology. Standard error correcting code (ECC) implementations correct single-bit data errors in memory chips but cannot correct the multi-bit errors that can result in data integrity issues. Chipkill technology allows a memory system to correct a multi-bit failure up to and including a total chip failure.
Combining Chipkill and RAIDed memory boards brings unprecedented memory protection for a SSD. The RamSan-440 has 648 GBs of raw memory capacity that is presented as 512 GBs of usable capacity after these protection levels.
Soft Error Scrubbing
All solid state disks can correct a single bit error before sending data to the server as a part of their ECC protection. The RamSan-440, however, goes a step further by scrubbing; re-writing the corrected data to memory and then verifying the re-write to determine if a memory chip has a failure (a hard error) or if radiation transients caused the single bit error (a soft error). Systems that do not scrub single bit memory errors will either a) report errors to a system log that will eventually encourage replacement of a memory board or b) hide these errors, thus leaving a potentially unsafe memory board in the system. Research on this topic suggests that 90% of single bit errors are soft errors. In these cases, the RamSan-440 will correct the error through the scrubbing process and prevent unnecessary downtime to replace the memory board.
Exclusive to the RamSan is Active Backup® software. Other SSDs and cache systems only "de-stage" data from RAM to backup media once power is already lost. This means that data is never backed up during normal operation and the time to complete backup after power loss is unacceptably long. A RamSan-440 with Active Backup can continuously backup data on RAM to the internal Flash memory modules without impacting performance. This means in an emergency situation, data is anywhere from 60-100% on the Flash Memory modules already.
IO2 (Instant-On Input Output)
IO2 is a patented Texas Memory Systems technology and an optional feature that allows transactions to be processed while data restores from the Flash memory modules to the RAM storage.This means that after a RamSan is powered on, production does not have to wait for a full restore to take place. IO2 provides the highest availability by allowing transactions to be processed before the data restore is complete.
Using the high bandwidth Flash memory designed by Texas Memory Systems as the backup media allows the RamSan-440 to back up 512GB in less than six minutes. Other SSD units can take up to two hours to back up the same amount of data. The Flash memory backup, Active Backup, and IO2 features offered only by the RamSan cut shutdown and restore times to a small fraction of other SSDs.
The RamSan-440 includes the most management features of any solid state disk. Administrators can manage the RamSan over the network or by directly connecting to the unit. The RamSan can be fully configured and monitored from either a Telnet or a browser. The front panel displays system status and allows basic management functionality as well.
For customers who have multiple units, we offer Terawatch. Terawatch is an optional software feature that allows management of multiple RamSans from a single management console. Terawatch is a part of the same management software program that is used to manage the RamSans individually; therefore no additional training is required to run Terawatch.
DataStat Archive is an optional firmware feature for the RamSan-440 that provides performance information that allows users to identify the I/O, bandwidth, and latency metrics for any given period of time over the past year. Using this feature makes it easier for customers to plan and organize their use of resources.
The RamSan is designed to look like a disk to the network. Therefore, it is highly interoperable and works in virtually any enterprise environment. It is installed in numerous environments including: AIX, Solaris, Linux, Windows, Tru64, OpenVMS, and HP-UX. Hardware from Fibre Channel vendors including Emulex, Brocade, Mellanox, QLogic and LSI Logic easily interoperate with the RamSan.