HGST announces 12Gbps SAS SSDs for use in enterprise data centers

The SSDs with faster connectivity aim to make data centers faster and improve scalability

Western Digital company HGST on Tuesday announced what it claimed to be the first 12 gigabits-per-second (Gbps) SAS solid state drive for use in enterprise storage servers, delivering twice the throughput compared to current 6Gbps SAS technology.

The new SSDs with the Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) interface technology are meant to be used in enterprise server parks, and are equipped with a second interface port. With 12Gbps SAS on each of these ports, the drive can transmit and receive data at a rate of 12Gbps, resulting in a total available interface bandwidth of 4.8GB per second per drive, HGST said.

Though announcing a technology demonstration of the new product, the company did not comment on the likely availability of the drives.

HGST said it is expecting the industry to transition to the use of 12Gbps SAS technology by 2013.

It said in a statement that its 12Gbps SAS drives were interoperable with 12Gbps SAS HBAs (host bus adapters) and expanders from both LSI and PMC-Sierra. Assuring interoperability is critical for the adoption of a new interface standard, the company added.

PMC-Sierra announced the availability of 12Gbps SAS protocol controllers at the end of January this year and said it has been working closely with HGST on interoperability testing. The new high-performance SSDs can deliver up to 100 times more Input/Output Operations Per Second (IOPS) than traditional hard disk drives (HDDs) creating a demand for these controllers, the company said at the time. Its 12Gbps connections delivers 40 percent more drive connectivity, ensuring a scalable tiered storage for corporate and cloud data centers, it added.

LSI demonstrated its 12Gbps SAS expander and Input/Output (I/O) controller last November. The company said at the time that with the adoption of SSDs on the rise within the enterprise, 12Gbps SAS connectivity will be essential to unleash the full performance potential of next-generation server platforms.

HGST said on Tuesday that its new SSDs are backwards compatible with 6Gbps SAS so investments in current SAS infrastructures are protected. The company will demonstrate its 12Gbps SAS technology at the SCSI Trade Association Technology Showcase on May 9.

Western Digital completed in March the acquisition of the hard drive business of Hitachi, and set up two subsidiaries, WD Technologies and HGST, with separate brands and products, to meet the conditions of antitrust regulators.

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Loek Essers

IDG News Service

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