EXPANDED SECURE ERASE FUNCTIONALITY
One area of functionality that is not normally seen in the consumer arena is the multitude of erase features. The unique connector on the front of this SSD, seen below, can have a trigger attached. Triggered by software or a remote switch, the Secure Erase functionality can erase 200GB in less than 1s.
The Crypto + Flash erase is an enhanced security erase method that deletes all data immediately, and even destroys over provisioning blocks and wear leveling blocks. All data is irrevocably scrambled in the blink of an eye.
The ultimate Secure Erase functionality that is built into this SSD is very important, especially taking into consideration the situation recently where a U.S. top secret drone was intercepted and taken over the unfriendly skies in Iran. Mapping data, recorded information, encrypted radio communication codes, and a whole host of very sensitive data is contained on these types of devices, and that is exactly the type of data that this SSD is designed to protect.
Reading through the test options for this SSD, a few jump right out; ‘Gunfire Vibration’ and ‘Explosive Atmosphere’. These certainly aren’t on the list of options for SSDs that you would buy from Amazon. The MIL-STD-810 specification provides a set of minimum requirements that this class of device must be able to meet in order to gain certification. Thermal Cycling, Thermal Shock, Shock, Vibration, Low Pressure, Sand & Dust, Fungus, and Salt Fog are also amongst these extreme test options.
Lacking the very expensive equipment to conduct these tests, short of strapping the SSD to a handgun and firing it, we defer to some of the independent testing from Garwood Laboratories that TCS had conducted upon its devices as part of the qualifications for this SSD.
Altitude testing is a must for this type of SSD, and to simulate the upper atmosphere the SSDs are placed into a hyperbolic chamber to simulate that environment. For Space applications, and also obtaining certification to operate at 80,000 feet, this type of testing is very important to emulate realistic operation.
Up next is various vibration and shock testing. As evidenced by clicking on the pictures, the SSDs are strapped to hydraulic devices that subject them to very strong vibrations and mechanical shock on every axis. This is one of a few tests where the PCB being held into place by the additional fasteners really comes into play.
Among some of the more interesting tests is the Thermal Shock testing. This applies rapid heat and cooling cycles to the SSD to simulate not only the temperature extremes, but rapid changes in heat as well. Rapid temperature changes can bring about expansion and contraction of the internal components of the SSD very quickly. These SSDs are rated for operation at -40C and up to +85C. To put that in perspective, that means that this SSD will operate just fine at 185 degrees Fahrenheit!
BENCHMARK PROTOCOL AND THE TEST BENCH
Simply put, we want to provide you with the absolute best results the tested hardware can provide. Repetition in testing is standard and, if necessary, we may conduct specific tests in Windows 7 safe mode to ensure the OS has little to no influence on the end result.
In order to validate and confirm our findings, testing is supported by industry accepted benchmark programs. All results are displayed through capture of the actual benchmark for better understanding of the testing process by the reader.
While not nearly as interesting as the environmental testing above, we are going to test the performance of the SSD itself under various loadings. As these SSDs will not be deployed into server environments, we feel that the consumer testing approach would best represent the types of usage that these devices will be subjected to by the host machines.
Software used for testing by The SSD Review consists of ATTO Disk Benchmark, Crystal DiskMark, AS SSD, Anvil Storage Utilities, along with FutureMark PCMark Vantage. All do a great job of showing us the numbers that we want to see, or dont want to see in some cases, while PCMark Vantage x64 is an excellent program which recreates tests that mimic the average users activity, all the while providing a medium to measure each.