The new OCZ Z-Drive R4 adds even more impossibly fast speed to what already felt like the future of storage as we know it. As solid states drives continue to climb in speed, they’re increasingly coming up against hard limits thanks to the interconnect standard they use to talk to the rest of the computer. OCZ gets around SATA’s limits by going through the PCI bus, meaning these solutions? They’re fast. Really, really. fast.
Research firm Objective Analysis was quoted in OCZ’s press release as forcasting PCIe-based SSDs to become the primary means of storage for enterprise markets sometime by the end of next year, outselling both SAS and Fiber Channel drives combined. With stats like these, it’s hard to blame them for hoping – these drives will become extremely useful in high-end database servers and the like, where lots of very small, very fast reads and writes can carry the day.
Just one of these Z-Drive R4s is capable of shifting over 2800 MEGABYTES PER SECOND with 500,000 IOPS. Add a second impossibly expensive card, however, and watch those megabytes rise to 5600MB/s with a whopping 1.2M IOPS. The R4s will be available in a number of configurations, too, with models available to fit both half-height and full-height rack and tower environments (see above picture). Both form factors suport the use of SLR or MLC flash; while MLC is usually substantially than SLC, its limited longevity in high-speed environments such as servers can render it unfit for duty.
The question that’s probably burning on everyone’s mind right now is, “Well, how much do they cost?” Good question! The answer? Well, we don’t know. Not yet, at least; OCZ is playing coy. Still, earlier revisions certainly spiraled into the several thousands of dollars price bracket, and you can probably expect the R4 to folow suit.