LSI introduces Nytro PCIe SSDs with low power consumption, 2TB capacity


— 9:16 AM on November 20, 2013

LSI is showing off some new enterprise gear at its Accelerating Innovation Summit in San Jose, California. The most interesting products may be in the Nytro XP 6200 family, which includes a pair of PCIe-based solid-state drives designed for read-intensive server applications. The Nytro XP 6209 is a half-height expansion card with 1TB of flash, while the 6210 is a full-height offering with 2TB of storage. Both products have Gen2 PCI Express links with eight lanes of bandwidth.

The Nytro XP 6209. Source: LSI

Despite introducing a new SF3700 SSD controller earlier this week, LSI says the latest Nytro cards are based on current SandForce tech. Next-gen models won't be out until mid-to-late 2014.

In the meantime, the Nytro XP 6200 is designed to fill the need for fast, relatively inexpensive server storage. The 1TB model will sell for $2,899, and the price will jump to $4,999 for the 2TB variant. That might seem high in the context of consumer SSDs, but it's actually pretty reasonable for enterprise-class gear.

One of the reasons the Nytro cards are relatively affordable is the fact that they use consumer-grade NAND. Both variants employ 19-nm MLC flash from Toshiba. Although the chips have more limited endurance than pricier eMLC and SLC NAND, the Nytro cards still have generous endurance ratings. According to LSI, they're good for two full drive writes a day for three or five years, depending on the warranty attached by the vendor. Most cards sold in the channel are expected to have three-year warranties, bringing the endurance rating to 2.2PB for the 1TB model and 4.4PB for the 2TB variant.

The Nytro XP 6210. Source: LSI

LSI is particularly proud of the low power consumption of its latest Nytro cards. The 1TB and 2TB models consume 17W and 19W, respectively, which means they can get all their power from the PCI Express slot. The performance ratings look fairly impressive, too. The Nytros offer peak read bandwidth of 2GB/s, according to LSI, and they can push 140-150k random read IOps. The maximum write bandwidth isn't mentioned in the spec sheet, but random writes are said to top out at 45-50k IOps. Both cards have sub-120-µs latency ratings.

As one might expect given the target market, the Nytro XP 6200 series features built-in capacitance to protect against data loss due to power failures. Firmware upgrades can be performed without affecting user data, and the cards are bootable in both legacy and UEFI-based systems. Expect to see the new Nytros for sale this quarter.

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