Seagate announces its first solid-state drives

— 9:04 AM on December 8, 2009

Yesterday, we pointed out that, although Seagate had vowed to release enterprise solid-state drives this year, we hadn't heard much on that front since last year. We spoke too soon. The company finally announced its line of Pulsar SSDs for the enterprise earlier this morning.

Seagate has aimed its Pulsar drives at "enterprise blade and general server applications," and it shows. These 2.5" SSDs pack single-level-cell flash memory—the most reliable and priciest kind—into 200GB, 100GB, and 50GB capacities, and Seagate boasts about delivering five-year warranty coverage, 0.44% annualized failure rates, and enterprise-friendly features like data protection in the event of power loss.

Performance-wise, Pulsar SSDs can reach peak sequential speeds of 240MB/s when reading and 200MB/s while writing. Sustained write speeds are lower: 160MB/s for the 200GB model, half that for the 100GB drive, and just 40MB/s with the 50GB Pulsar. (Seagate also quotes peak IOPS of 30,000 for reads and 25,000 for writes.) You won't find next-generation I/O here, though; the company has stuck with the good old 3Gbps Serial ATA interface. A look at the spec sheet (PDF) shows the drives already have TRIM support, however, which should come in handy with Windows Server 2008 R2.

Seagate says it began shipping Pulsar drives for revenue to "select OEMs" back in September, so the drives might be available from some server vendors already.

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