New Vertex 2 drives aim for servers

SandForce solid-state drive controllers have already made quite an impact on the desktop. Now, OCZ has taken SandForce's best controller, the SF-1500, and used it to fashion a couple of enterprise-class SSDs aimed at server applications.

The new Vertex 2 Pro and Vertex 2 EX both have 2.5" form factors with 300MB/s Serial ATA interfaces. The former uses "enterprise-grade" multi-level-cell flash memory and is rated for top transfer rates of 285MB/s for reads and 275MB/s when writing. OCZ claims the drive can sustain 50,000 IOPS for random writes. Meanwhile, the Vertex 2 EX uses pricier but more durable single-level-cell flash memory; OCZ says it has "ten times the program/erase (P/E) cycles with the same enhanced performance as the Pro edition." The company also plans a Serial Attached SCSI version of the Vertex 2 EX.

OCZ's announcement talks of even more enterprise-specific goodness:

Both series have a built-in supercapacitor that acts as a temporary power backup in the event of sudden power loss, enabling the drive to complete its task ensuring no data loss. Vertex 2 Pro/EX also provides superior ECC protection and unique technology that mimics RAID-like protection and recovery from flash block failures on a single drive.

Furthermore, Vertex 2 Pro/EX increases the longevity of NAND flash memory with intelligent block management and wear-leveling to extend endurance and overall reliability of the device. This feature automatically stores data in an AES-128 encrypted format to prevent data extraction to maintain security of confidential information, a necessity in an enterprise environment.

The company says it's offering both products in 50GB, 100GB, and 200GB variants, all with three-year warranty coverage and a mean time between failure rating of 10 million hours. (That's about a millennium, if my math is right.) The Vertex 2 Pro is also launching in a 400GB iteration.

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