STEC Goes Big On SSDs With New 2-TB SAS, PCIe Models

SSD developer STEC on Monday unveiled two new 2-TB SSDs, including SAS and PCIe models, and said it has also updated its EnhanceIO SSD cache software with improved usability features and a new graphical user interface.

The new larger-capacity SSDs come during a time when customers are demanding faster access to data and greater power efficiency from their IT infrastructures, said Swapna Yasarapu, director, SSD product marketing for Santa Ana, Calif.-based STEC.

This is also a time when applications are becoming more optimized for use with flash storage devices, Yasarapu said.

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"All this is driving customers to re-look at how they use flash," she said. "Is flash a tier-zero storage? Is it targeted at mission-critical applications? Or, is it for bulk storage?"

Yasarapu said STEC's new 2-TB SSDs provide both performance and capacity for business applications.

The new SSDs come in two versions.

The first, called the s1120 PCIe Accelerator, is a low-profile, half-height, half-length PCIe storage device with up to 2 TB of usable capacity, Yasarapu said. The PCIe Accelerator provides over 1.4 GB per second of read and over 1.1 GB per second performance with a latency of fewer than 20 microseconds.

The PCIe Accelerator was built using STEC's proprietary controller and features MLC NAND memory.

The second new 2-TB SSD, the s840, features a dual-port, 6-Gbps SAS interface. It appears to servers or storage systems as a standard hard drive that can be managed with existing storage management tools.

Both the PCIe Accelerator and the SAS-based SSD support an optional feature that allows unlimited data writes for use in write-intensive applications such as capturing log files, Yasarapu said.

They also include STEC's SAFE (Secure Array of Fast Elements) technology, Yasarapu said. "This provides redundancy inside the device so that a problem with a memory component won't impact the entire device," she said. "This increases the longevity and reliability, making them ready for enterprise applications."

STEC's EnhanceIO software, which was first released last Summer, now includes write-back caching, which keeps "hot" data, as determined by the caching software, in the SSD to increase application performance and decrease latency, said Sunil Daryanani, director of business management at STEC.

It also includes support for a wider range of hypervisors than in the past, as well as support for Windows Server 2012, Daryanani said.

The 2-TB s1120 PCIe Accelerator is list priced starting at $9,425, while the 2-TB s840 SAS SSD is priced starting at $7,995. Versions of both devices with unlimited write capability are priced slightly higher. Both are slated to ship next month.