WD's HGST Demos 'World's Fastest' SSD Architecture Delivering 3 Millions IOPs, Launches FlashMAX III For Enterprise

While the rest of use have been enjoying what's left of the summer months, Western Digital's HGST division has been busy with some fancy new storage technologies. In two separate announcements today, HGST rolled out its new FlashMAX III family of PCIe accelerators and demonstrated a new SSD architecture that's capable of delivering 3 million IOPS.

Starting with the latter, HGST built a full-length PCIe Gen 2x4 SSD card prototype equipped with 45nm 1Gb Phase Change Memory (PCM) chips. To reach 3 million IOPS, HGST needed to switch to PCM, which is a new class of high-density, non-volatile memory capable of delivering dramatically faster read access times compared to NAND flash memory.

"The PCM SSD demonstration is a great example for how HGST sets the pace of the rapidly evolving storage industry," said Steve Campbell, chief technology officer, HGST. "This technology is the result of several years of research and advanced development aimed at delivering new levels of acceleration for enterprise applications. The combination of HGST’s low-latency interface protocol and next-generation non-volatile memories delivers unprecedented performance, and creates exciting opportunities for new software and system architectures that HGST is exploring with our customers and industry partners."


As for the FlashMAX III, it doesn't hit 3 million IOPS, but it is intended to offer enterprise customers a superior price-to-performance ratio for today's most demanding database and cloud workloads. One way it does that is by utilizing HGST's new ServerCache software that allows IT administrators to inject acceleration into their existing storage infrastructure by deploying a hybrid flash environment with any SSD.

Regarding performance metrics, FlashMAX III can deliver up to 540,000 random read IOPS (4K) and up to 200,000 mixed sustained random IOPS from a single half-height, half-length PCIe SSD.

The FlashMAX III will be available sometime in the third quarter of this year; ServerCache is available now for $995 per physical server (30-day free trial available).