SMART Storage Systems XceedStor 500S 240GB MLC Enterprise SSD Review


SMART Storage Systems has developed an approach with their latest family of devices that utilizes MLC in various flavors for all segments of the enterprise market. With the impending Optimus Ultra for the high end, and the XceedIOPS 2 for the mainstream, the XceedStor 500S completes this family as a well rounded product for the entry level.

Many entry level enterprise users are popping in consumer class SSDs to fill the void that is rapidly being filled by a few key players in the enterprise realm. These customers tend to have read centric workloads, such as virtual desktop and cloud compute applications. Catering to this crowd, this SSD is well suited for usage in 1U and 2U server racks, with a low thermal footprint, power consumption, and an optional 7mm format. A MTBF of 2 million hours also speaks volumes to the high heat endurance (70C) that the discrete capacitors provide.

The marriage of the enterprise class LSI SandForce SF-2581 and MLC NAND coupled with a 6Gb/s SATA connection keep the price at a lower level obtainable by this group of users. The selection of the LSI SandForce SF-2581 brings a wide range of enterprise class features such as enhanced ECC, data path protection, and thermal monitoring protection, which can throttle the device if the temperature crosses a pre-set threshold.

Mixing in impressive UBER specifications that are above and beyond the enterprise standard, with data fail recovery up to 1 NAND flash erase block of data, helps put customers at ease with the reliability of the MLC NAND. The discreet capacitors also provide protection in the event of power loss, and provides further separation from the consumer SSDs that are commonly used in these environments.

blankWith a lower amount of over-provisioning, at 12.5% compared to the standard 28%, this line of SSDs is designed for a low price per GB in capacities of 60, 120, 240 and 480GB. As seen in our testing, if users need to leverage some of the enhanced performance from over-provisioning they can leave some spare area to enjoy some of those benefits. For the majority of users, the extra capacity provided is a wonderful asset.

Over the course of our testing it becomes clear that these devices will perform admirably in read heavy scenarios, and give users very high performance levels with compressible data as well. We do test under the worst of circumstances with our 100% incompressible data testing, as there are varying levels of compressibility that are present in various workloads.

Bringing enterprise class reliability, performance and features to the price conscious server  market is a win-win for all. SMART has placed themselves in a very good position, straddling the line between server pricing and ultra reliability that can compete with the less-desirable consumer class SSDs.

Sporting 500MB/s Sequential Read and Write speeds, along with the 60,000 read IOPS and 20,000 write IOPS this SSD definitely delivers on the performance front. With extensive Tier 1 certifications and an impressive 5 Year Warranty of the SSD, this is another great product from SMART Storage Systems.

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