Marvell already has a hand in just about everything. The silicon company makes practically everything, including some of the most popular SSD controllers around. We had a chance to get our eyes on another Marvell product, the DragonFly.
The DragonFly platform should ship in a few slightly different flavors, but the one we saw was based around the idea of getting the most out of inexpensive consumer, client, or SAS drives.
The PCIe x8 full-height, half-length card is home to quite a few different components. On the back, there is some Micron SLC and the Marvell ‘9187 controller. On the front, we can see ECC DDR3, a supercapacitor, and a SFF-8087 SAS/SATA port.
The SAS port is for connecting up to 4 drives (up to 1.5TB of flash). In this way, the whole system can cache the drives with DDR3, giving commodity consumer flash superb, stable latency. The DragonFly also has a robust management interface which can give real time stats to admins concerning performance and set up.
The DragonFly platform can also act as just non-volatile RAM caching platform backed by SLC and supercapacitors.
It’s good to see Marvell putting their expertise into play in so many areas. The DragonFly along with Marvell’s ARM server designs both demonstrate some of the directions that Marvell is heading. The company is taking aim at a few specialized markets, and given their expertise, they’re bound to hit their mark sooner or later. Pricing on DragonFly wasn’t available yet, but if they can get it out the door at the right price, Marvell could see the card succeed wildly.