LSI Launches Crazy Expensive "WarpDrive" SSD Card

LSI Launches Crazy Expensive "WarpDrive" SSD Card

Let's go ahead and deal with the 900-pound gorilla in the room. LSI's new WarpDrive SLP-300 acceleration card is freaking expensive, as in the thing costs $11,500. Yeah, it's like that. But it's also intended for a different kind of audience than your typical home enthusiast. This low-profile solid state storage card is aimed at companies hoping to reduce storage rack clutter without sacrificing performance, and towards that end, this pricey drive purportedly delivers the I/O performance of hundreds of hard drives, all the while consuming less than 25W of power, LSI claims.

"The LSI WarpDrive card sets a new standard for data center efficiency by providing IT administrators with previously unattainable levels of performance while helping to reduce operational and capital expenditures," said Brent Blanchard, director of worldwide channel sales and marketing, LSI. "The WarpDrive card complements the LSI CacheCade and FastPath solid-state storage acceleration solutions, providing our channel partners with a one-stop shop to address the performance, deployment and integration requirements that high-performance applications and dense computing demand."


Customers can expect up to 240,000 sustained IOPS and 300GB of SLC solid state storage capacity in a card that's not only half-height, but half-length as well. It plugs right into any standard 8 lane PCI-Express Generation 2.0 server slot, where it can then sustain up to 1,400MB/s of throughput with an access latency of less than 50 microseconds. To put that into perspective, it would take over 400 mechanical hard drives and 36U of rack space to achieve the same results, and even then you'd be consuming more than 300 times the power.
LSI Bolsters Channel Portfolio with PCI Express Solid-State Storage Card for Application Acceleration

New LSI™ WarpDrive™ plug-and-play I/O acceleration card dramatically improves application performance while reducing rack space, power and cooling costs


MILPITAS, Calif., November 16, 2010 – LSI Corporation (NYSE: LSI) today introduced in the channel the LSI WarpDrive™ SLP-300 acceleration card, a PCI Express (PCIe®) card offering performance up to 240,000 sustained IOPS and 300GB of SLC solid-state storage capacity within a low profile form factor. The WarpDrive card can help customers accelerate application performance, reduce energy costs and eliminate racks of storage by delivering the I/O performance of hundreds of hard disk drives while consuming less than 25 watts of power.

”The LSI WarpDrive card sets a new standard for data center efficiency by providing IT administrators with previously unattainable levels of performance while helping to reduce operational and capital expenditures,” said Brent Blanchard, director of worldwide channel sales and marketing, LSI. "The WarpDrive card complements the LSI CacheCade™ and FastPath™ solid-state storage acceleration solutions, providing our channel partners with a one-stop shop to address the performance, deployment and integration requirements that high-performance applications and dense computing demand.”

The low-profile, half-length WarpDrive card plugs into a standard 8 lane PCIe Gen 2.0 server slot and is designed to deliver high performance with low latency and a low CPU burden independent of main memory size. It offers system builders, system integrators and their end customers a cost-effective, plug-and-play solution for maximizing the transactional I/O performance of applications such as Web serving, data warehousing, data mining, professional video and high-performance computing.

A WarpDrive card can sustain up to 1,400MB/s of throughput, with reliable and consistent performance across both sequential and random reads and writes. It delivers up to 240,000 4K read IOPS and up to 200,000 4K write IOPS, with access latency of less than 50 microseconds. To achieve equal performance on a write IOPS basis utilizing hard disk drives would require over 400 drives, 36U of rack space and consume more than 300 times the power.

“The LSI PCIe-based WarpDrive card offers simple, effective, and affordable application acceleration for enterprise servers,” said Bob Farkaly, director of marketing, Storage System products for Exar. “Utilizing two WarpDrive cards combined with Exar’s BitWackr ™solution, we measured an aggregate performance of 1,028 MB/second, which is almost twice the speed we were able to achieve with other PCIe-based flash products.”
 
“Schooner’s MySQL and NoSQL solutions combined with the LSI WarpDrive card provide industry-leading performance for database and key-value stores, delivering over 9x performance throughput increase relative to hard drive configurations and over 3x performance throughput increase relative to alternative PCIe flash-based solutions,” said Dr. John Busch, founder and CTO, Schooner Information Technologies. “Beyond raw IOPS and latency performance, we are very impressed with the LSI WarpDrive card's performance stability, observing negligible performance variance over time. Also, the LSI WarpDrive card's very low overhead consumption of server processor and DRAM memory resources enables even higher performance by leaving these resources available for useful application processing and data caching.”

The WarpDrive card utilizes industry-standard and widely deployed LSI SAS software drivers to provide channel partners with simple integration and management using existing SAS infrastructure. It features the LSISAS2008 6Gb/s SAS I/O controller and is based on the enterprise-proven LSI Fusion-MPT™ architecture. The WarpDrive card is bootable, has no external power requirement and installs as a single drive with no user configuration required. The WarpDrive card helps to ensure high reliability with a management infrastructure offering extensive monitoring, including health, error rate and drive failure.
 
The WarpDrive card builds upon LSI enterprise-level experience in the design, manufacture and support of advanced server and storage solutions. The WarpDrive card is designed to provide system integrators and system builders with a robust and stable solution with assured interoperability and a low-risk path to market. The WarpDrive card also helps to minimize hardware requirements, reducing initial investment costs and eliminating points of failure for greater overall system reliability.
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Impressive... but way too expensive!

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Actually for high IOPS servers, this is not expensive at all compared to what you have to do to get simuler performance.

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300GB isn't so large for a server is it? And would a server board have enough slots to install a number of these things at the same time?

It really IS a fast motor scooter.

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That reminds me of all the Uber expensive stuff we had to buy in the 80's and 90's just to get a few MBs of performance. Now that we are within the GB range of things, I am sure ten years from now people will look back and say why did I drop 11K on that instead of waiting a year or two.

That 900lb gorilla is raping U :P

Thanks to HH you can walk into the room with a shotgun, feel better and then go buy a new Honda :) or maybe that Origin monster PC :D

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Neil, dont forget, that its not for fileservers. Its enough for many databases, especially with 4 cards installed. Id personally say one could be enough if you just put the db table with the highest load on this card or maybe even just its index. And the partition it out alot to utilize the extreme IOPS this card has got.

This card is news to me for internal solutions, as RAMSAN-400 from TI has been around for 2 yrs soon. But the price is quiiite diffrent(lots lower, 1TB of RS400 was around 100K last time I checked). This is therefore GREAT news, at least for competition purposes!

The price of a EVA8100 SAN(a big iron rack with 240 iron HDD SAS 15K discs) will set you back about $300K and in perfect RAID10 setup(which will almost never happen as money ppl will focus on disc space and force server guys to config it as RAID5), it will produce about 18 or 36TB of space with 40-50K IOPS. Itll also eat up a buttload of Watts of power and take up a full rack shelf.

Thats what ya gotta compare it with so this card i kinda cheap. Buy 2-4 of these, and backup full every night on regular SAN or a cheap NAS or even tape and ONLY put relevant stuff on these cards, like the rightly partitioned db tables and/or indexes and restrict access to the expensive disc space. Takes some getting use to but the power is unequaled. They kick the EVA SAN, I just mentioned, 's ass by about a factor of 6. Ignore the 1.4GB/s rate, it doesnt matter to those in the target group, but its nice to duplicate a full card in less than 4 mins ofc :)..for backups the tape/SAN/NAS will decide the speed, this card will just sit there and go "are we there yet" to the other end :D

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The issues with writes should also soon be a thing of the past, as these cards should be able to utilize TRIM in the future and you can also just copy the whole thing bit by bit once a week for example to avoid write clutter over time.

The nice thing about this is that a scaled down version of this card, could fit into a laptop since its only 25W and thus replace any need for HDD/SSD disc in the laptops in 2-4yrs time. By then the price should be down to only £300 or so, hopefully. Already now one can get SSDs for laptops ofc, but one like this would be phenomenal for multitasking and booting times, not to forget instant backups and the fact it wont make any noise.

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Barath,

I don't know about servers or file servers because I'm a home PC kinda guy. I've built a few small servers for doctor's offices and for a group of Lawyers too. But those were small potatoes compared to what you're talking about. They were happy with their 10K drives and Raid setups and all of them still work fine, years later.

Building one with all new tech, and especially with something so fast would be fun to do.

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