One of the most exciting things about reporting on solid state technology is being on the cutting edge of advance and having the opportunity to introduce next generation products to the world. This morning is a perfect example of just that and we guarantee our review of the one of the first official 12Gbps SAS SSD will be one of a very select few having their hands on a similar solution. As a comparable, it is like being the one of the first to demonstrate a twelve cylinder engine in a world of eight.
12Gbps SAS is not entirely new though as it has been demonstrated by manufacturers for a few years now, the problem being of course that fine tuning, and lack of hardware to allow its proper implementation and testing, have kept it out of the hands of the world. Our introduction and review of the Ultrastar HGST SSD800MM 400GB 12Gbps SSD, along with the LSI SAS 9300-8e HBA, changes all of that. The beauty of this report though is that the LSI HBA is, as of yet, not even announced to the world; this is truly a hands on first look!
We’ve actually had the opportunity to look at multiple 12Gbps SAS SSDs over the past few months, but we never had a way to connect them at 12Gbps. With the announcement of the LSI SAS 9300-8e HBA, we finally have a solution. The 9300-8e has 8 external ports via two SFF-8644 connectors. These connectors will probably look familiar if you read our Adaptec 7 Series Review. Adaptec used the internal version (SFF-8643) on their latest products. SFF-8644 allows for support of passive copper cables, active copper cables and optical cables. Though not expressly called out by LSI, the SFF specification allows for 20m copper and 100m optical cables.
The LSI SAS 9300-8e HBA is centered around the LSI SAS 3008 controller. It supports 8 lanes of PCIe 3.0 and provides SATA/SAS links at rates between 3 and 12Gbps. This host bus adapter also offers RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 10. With the use of SAS expanders, the 9300-8e can support up to 1024 SATA or SAS endpoints.
Nominally, the 9300-8e draws 14.5W with a worst case draw of 22.5W. This low profile device is at home in a server, so the requirement of 200 linear feet per minute should be easily met.
Now that we have a 12Gbps HBA, we needed an SSD to match and for this, HGST is happy to provide their new 400GB Ultrastar SSD800MM SAS SSD for its first official world benchmarks! The SSD800MM is a dual port 12Gbps SSD made for maximum performance and reliability. It offers all of the high-end enterprise features, such as end-to-end data protection, ECC, XOR parity and power loss protection.
When looking at the product specification, you see performance that is much higher than a normal SATA SSD. Read performance is off the charts at 145,000 IOPS, while write performance is also excellent at 70,000 IOPS. With a 2 million hour MTBF and 24×7 availability, this SSD should be right at home in even the most demanding datacenters.