Kingston Technology has announced the release of their new enterprise focused E100 SSD at VMWorld 2012 this week. This is actually the second enterprise class SSD from Kingston, the first being their KC100. Nevertheless, it should be interesting to see how it fares against the competition. According to Kingston, the new products will provide up to 10x the endurance of consumer drives. The LSI/Sandforce based SSDs will deliver sequential R/W speeds of up to 535MB/s and 500MB/s and random performance topping out at 83,000 IOPS. The drives will be available in capacities of 100GB, 200GB and 400GB, and are backed by a three year warranty.
Well, it looks like Kingston is continuing its journey into the uncharted waters that is the enterprise segment. I have to say, it’s interesting to see what have historically been consumer oriented companies dip their toes in the deep end of the pool as they attempt to give the competition a run for their money. This is a perfect example of another one of the inherent advantages of solid state storage, that is, removing what have been, up until now, seemingly insurmountable barriers to entry into additional storage markets. This can only mean good things for the enterprise sector, especially when you consider that when it comes to storage, competition has been limited to only a few major players. Now that this segment has been opened up with the likes of OCZ and now Kingston, the possibilites really are endless, especially when it comes to pricing. It will be interesting to see how the enterprise storage market is reshaped over the coming years.
While this may not be Kingston’s first SSD aimed at enterprise applications, it does appear to be the first product from the company to utilize enterprise grade flash. Kingston states that the new drives can handle up to 30,000 program erase cycles, which implies that they are utilizing eMLC. Why not SLC? It all boils down to cost andindustry developed eMLC, with the idea that clients would appreciate the idea of flash memory that retains many of the endurance advantages of SLC at only a fraction of the cost. Considering Kingston’s relative newcomer status in this market, ensuring their offerings are affordable is probably an excellent idea, and may even give them an imminent advantage over many industry mainstays. Another potential advantage is the reliance on a third party controller, in this case, from LSI SandForce. This reduces R&D costs and results in even more savings for interested parties.
Overall, it appears that Kingston is really starting to come into their own when it comes to solid state storage. By providing cost effective alternatives to the solutions provided by the established competition, Kingston is in the perfect position to set the enterprise segment on fire. If this trend continues, we may see the end of the enterprise storage segment as we know it, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. By relying on third party solutions, firms can provide products with heretofore unseen price/performance/reliability ratios. This is the advantage of outsourcing, and if Kingston plays their cards right, they may find themselves outselling as well… the competition that is.
See Press Release On Next page…….