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Smart Optimus 400GB Enterprise SSD Review – 1083 MB/s from a single drive!

Posted 25 June 2013 17:56 CET by Jeremy Reynolds



Review: Smart Storage Systems Optimus 400GB Enterprise SSD Reviewed by: J.Reynolds Provided by: Smart Storage Systems Firmware version: K312


Welcome to Myce’s review of the Smart Storage Systems Optimus SAS Enterprise SSD.

Smart Storage Systems (hereafter referred to as Smart) is a member of the Smart family of global companies. This family is a leading supplier of electronic subsystems for the most demanding OEMs around the world.  So, whilst Smart may not be as well known as some of the household names such as Intel and Samsung, they are very well known to the large OEMs, such as IBM having won large scale contracts for the supply of Solid State Storage (‘SSS’) solutions to be used within OEMs’ integrated server solutions.

I find the term OEM a bit confusing, it stands for ‘Original Equipment Manufacturer’, so it sounds to me as if Smart is an OEM but within the computer industry it is the IBMs of this world (the systems integrators that buy specialist parts from other companies, which they then package into an integrated solution for their customers) that are regarded as the OEMs.

Smart was acquired by the Silver Lake, Private Equity Company in 2011.  Silver Lake is widely regarded as being the global leader in technology investing with over 23 billion USD in combined assets under management and committed capital.  They are also regarded as having unparalleled Technology Sector expertise and have a reputation for investing in market leaders that are positioned for dynamic growth.  So suffice to say, Smart is well funded and is, in my opinion, very likely to be one of the big winners in the SSS industry as the battleground continues to grow in the coming years.  

Market Positioning and Specification

Market Positioning

Smart differentiates the Optimus in two ways:

Firstly, and simply, they assert that it is the fastest SAS Enterprise SSD.  We’ll look at this in our Performance Testing.

Secondly, they believe their proprietary Guardian Technology is a key differentiator from competitors’ solutions. This is how Smart positions the Guardian Technology -

And here is a video, which explains it further -


Here is Smart’s specification for the Optimus (taken directly from Smart’s Product Overview PDF) -

I understand that the Optimus Ultra and the Optimus Ultra+ SSD models, also offered by Smart, are essentially the same as the standard Optimus except for greater levels of over provisioning and the number of random Drive Writes Per Day (DWPD) warranted - the standard Optimus is warranted for 10 DWPD for 5 years, the Optimus Ultra for 25 and the Optimus Ultra Plus for 50.

Product Image

Here is a picture of the Optimus drive I tested.  The picture shows it plugged into a ‘T Card’ which enables access to both ports for testing dual/wide port performance.

I understand the Optimus uses Toshiba 24nm toggle NAND.  It has a total of 512GB of NAND with 112GB being set aside for over provisioning and use by the controller.  The controller is a proprietary Smart solution.


Now let's head to the next page, to look at Myce’s Enterprise Testing Methodology.....