If you're wondering what SSD technology would look like if you had a near-unlimited budget, try asking Texas Memory Systems â€" they'd be more than happy to sell you a rack filled with 20TB of solid-state storage.
Dubbed the RamSan-5000, the device â€" aimed at datacentres more than home users, granted â€" is a full-size 40U 19â€ rack containing between 10 and 20TB of solid-state SSD goodness with multiply-redundant systems to ensure a minimum of downtime.
As you could probably imagine from a system aimed at the higher end of the enterprise market and based on flash-based SSDs, it's no slouch: capable of 20GB/s â€" yes that's twenty gigabytes per second â€" sustained bandwidth and up to a million random IO reads per second from flash, it's not something that'll keep you waiting. Speed is further optimised with between 160 to 640GB of DDR RAM-based cache memory to keep data flowing smoothly.
Although the pricing is very much at a 'if you need to ask you can't afford it' level, there's room for savings too: according to the company, its system consumes a mere 3KW of power compared to the 90KW a system based around mechanical hard-drives would require in order to provide the same level of performance. Okay, so a system designed to merely store the same amount of information wouldn't take nearly that much power â€" heck, you could do it with twenty 1TB drives for a fraction of the cost â€" but the RamSan range is clearly aimed at the market that needs a shedload of data right damn now.
According to Woody Hutsell, executive vice president at the company, at least one customer has already decided that the system fits their requirements: â€œwe were installing a 20 terabyte one-million IOPS RamSan-5000 at a customer site while other vendors were announcing lab results,â€ said Hutsell, claiming that his company won the contract due to meeting the â€œstrict performance requirementsâ€ the un-named customer demanded.
While this isn't a device that's likely to show up in the average bit-tech reader's home any time soon, it's a good indicator of just what SSD technology can achieve given a near-unlimited budget.