OCZ Z-Drive 6000 NVMe U.2 SSDs Get Dual Port Functionality

Enterprises need a whole different level of redundancy than the average consumer and there are many solutions in that regard, may it be RAID setups to prevent data loss and downtime during a drive fail or redundant power supplies, but what to do when you need redundant access to one modern storage drive? You pick one of OCZ’s Z-Drive 6000 or Z-Drive 6300 drives that now are available with dual-port functionality.

The Z-Drive 6000’s addition of dual port connection enables two host systems to concurrently access data from the same storage device or the more likely scenario which is to provides a redundant access path to the drive. The new feature will give the drives SAS-like features such as High Availability (HA) that storage architects have come to rely on.

“OCZ is excited to offer our customers this robust new firmware that enables the Z-Drive 6000 series to be a compelling solution, not only for low latency, high performance compute applications, but now also for storage-class applications where the additional enterprise-class features are required to compliment latency and performance,” said Daryl Lang, Vice President, SSD Product Enablement, Toshiba America Electronic Components.

The now dual-ported Z-Drive 6000 series is an overall amazing storage solution that supports the real-time I/O needs of business-critical enterprise applications and virtual infrastructures which require high bandwidth and low latency performance, but also need redundancy. The redundant data access now also eliminates another single point of failure in systems. Dual-port isn’t the only new addition to the Z-Drive 6000 series that now also features enhancements such as multiple namespaces, non-binary sector sizes, and self-encrypting drive (SED) with Crypto Erase.

 

NVMe drives have taken storage to a whole new level and the Z-Drive 6000 series in a prime example of such a solution. The drives can perform with a sustained I/O performance over 700,000 IOPS for 4K random read and a consistent low latency of just 30 µs. The U.2-based Z-Drive 6000 SSDs are hot-swappable and designed for a wide range of storage infrastructures with capacities available from 800GB to 6.4TB and come as both read-intensive and mixed workload models.

Customers who have deployed final hardware and firmware Z-Drive 6000 SSDs and wish to upgrade to dual port firmware should contact OCZ Product Management for more details. More details on the drives themselves can be found on the official product page.

SilverStone Release New Redundant PSUs in the Gemini Series

One of the most critical components of your system is the power supply. When that fails, nothing runs and that is where redundant power supplies come into play. The second one will kick in if the first should fail or the other way around. SilverStone built upon the previous Gemini models and created the new GM400-S, GM500G, and GM600-G redundant power supplies in a convenient PS2 frame.

As the name suggests, the new Gemini units come with two times 400W, 500W, and 600W load capacity. The 400W model only has an 80 Plus Silver certification where the 500W and 600W models come with an 80 Plus Gold certification. By combining industrial grade components, higher efficiency design, and the inclusion of PMBus 1.2, these power supplies should provide a stable and secure 24/7 solution that will fit in about any chassis.

The units are designed to be hot-swappable and come with convenient pull-out handle bars. The entire range is using an Active PFC, but they won’t come as cheap as a normal power supply. That is pretty much a given, considering that you actually get two when purchasing one. The GM400-S 400W PSU comes with an MSRP of $549.45 price tag, the GM500-G with a $593.45 price tag, and the GM600-G with a $636.79 price tag, all without VAT. That is a hefty price, but it is worth it when needed and considering what you get.

Android 5.0 is Basically Useless in China

Android 5.0 has been released to a massive reception in Western nations, promising and delivering a handy new user interface amongst other spectacular features.

Unfortunately for the Chinese population, almost all of this will go unused. Due to some reported issues ‘left over by history’, most domestic acquired Android users will be using non-native Android operating systems. Most Chinese-domestic phones are running a customized third-party ROM, including offerings such as HTC’s Sense, the Millet Miui and Meizu’s Flyme amongst many other handhelds.

You can’t help but feel sorry for them, given the positive reports that have been coming out of Android 5.0 thus far. Since the birth of Android, it is according to some that the Android 5.0 update is the first time that they finally ‘get it’, offering an innovative, stylish and simple interface design that’s obviously meant to compete with and crush iOS’ offering. Alongside this, these limitations aren’t just set to their mobile phones – Lollipop extends over Android OS run tablets, TV’s and wearable technology. Meaning that some of their products will be running the fancy updated OS, alongside their ‘basic’ looking third-party phone interface.

It’s unfortunate that China shall have to miss out on such software advancements, but it’s obvious that they’ve got the hardware game down pat. We’ve recently reported of their domestic-made offerings selling through the roof, despite update news such as this. So maybe it’s becoming clear that price wins over all and they don’t care about a fancy UI. Alongside Chinese-domestic phone company selling a reported 1.62 million of their phones in a non-stop 72 hour period, we’ve also reported that many ‘big wig’ phone companies are experiencing a significant decline in sales.

Image courtesy of Chiphell

Western Digital Sentinel DX4000 16TB RAID5 4-Bay NAS Review

Up to now we’ve been looking at network storage servers that come with no drives and are produced by a company other than a drive manufacturer. Western Digital are one of the best hard drive manufacturers our there in the market and their recent changes to their product line-up has not only made choosing the right drive for the job easier, but also a lot clearer. When it comes to network storage, WD has three types of drive that are geared for the job, Red, SE and RE. Red drives are still aimed for the home/SOHO user, whilst their enterprise SE and RE drives are optimised for the constant punishment that they will encounter 24×7.

Setting drives aside, WD has now come out with their own NAS solution, optimised for their own drives, in an all-in-one easy to use solution and so we get the Sentinel DX4000. The Sentinel is a first in a line of self designed NAS solutions that can be purchased with drives pre-installed in a variety of capacities, varying from a modest 2TB, right up to a whopping 16TB. Unlike other NAS solutions on the market, one of the main features that sets this system apart from the rest is the use of Windows Storage Server 2008 and a auto configuration process during the initial set-up that automatically builds the drives into a RAID5 array – the preferred choice for NAS solutions as this gives the best data security and will ensure no data is lost, should one drive fail during operation.

With this unit designed specifically for the SMB environment the use of WSS 2008 should allow for seamless integration through active directory and domain configuration and also for those that are at home with Windows, should make maintaining the system a bit more intuitive. With RAID automatically configured based on the number of drives installed, set-up should be easier as mentioned and knowing how well trusted and reliable Western Digital’s drives are in the NAS markets with multiple lines of drives targeted at this environment, there is good hope that the system has a lot to give.

All NAS’ come with a selection of cables to get you connected and running, this one being no exception. Alongside the user manual, the first thing we note are the two external power inverters, which as we will see on the next page, aid towards a more compact build of the main unit itself. Do note that on all other SKUs apart from the 16TB option, the DX4000 will only come with a single power adaptor, but as a top of the line model, the 16TB option includes both adaptors to allow for redundant power supply feeds. Also included are two sets of power cables for the UK and European markets and a single CAT5e cable. There is also a visible lack of screws that we traditionally see, but this is due to the tool free installation that the DX4000 adopts.