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Toshiba PX02SMF020 (6G) SAS 200GB Enterprise SSD Review

Posted 05 November 2013 12:28 CET by Jeremy Reynolds

 

 

Review: Toshiba PX02SMF020 6GB/s 200GB Enterprise SSD Reviewed by: J.Reynolds Provided by: Toshiba Firmware version: 0103

Welcome to Myce’s review of the Toshiba PX02SMF020 (6G) SAS Enterprise SSD.

As the inventor of flash storage Toshiba’s SSD pedigree is second to none.

The first and important thing to note is that the PX02SM series of SSDs is also available with a 12 Gb/s SAS interface but it is the model with a 6 Gb/s interface that is the subject of this review.  We will therefore not achieve the peak performance marks as specified by Toshiba below.  We hope to have opportunity to review a 12 Gb/s model later in the year.

Regular readers may remember that I outlined the key features of an SAS interface (in comparison to an SATA interface) as part of Myce’s review of the Sandisk/Smart Optimus – please see here.  The PX02SMF020 has a dual SAS port but does not have a ‘wide’ port like the Smart Optimus does; it therefore has all the failover advantages afforded by two access paths but does not have the ability to aggregate bandwidth across 2 ports for improved performance.

The PX02SM series uses Toshiba’s own 24nm eMLC NAND, with 56GB set aside for use by the controller.  The drive proves to be a great performer.

Now that Myce has gained some good experience of reviewing Enterprise SSDs we will soon be publishing the first edition of the Myce – Enterprise SSD Performance index (the ESP index, for short), where we will be taking some of the key performance metrics from our regular enterprise testing and comparing results for the enterprise drives we have thus far reviewed.  So, look out for the Myce ESP index arriving in the near future.      

Market Positioning and Specification

Market Positioning

This is how Toshiba positioned the PX02 series, at the time of its launch in August 2012 –

Toshiba’s Storage Products Business Unit, today announced it is expanding its enterprise SSD family with the PX-Series, featuring three models targeted for various enterprise applications: boot, read-intensive, entry level servers; entry-to-mid-range applications servers; and high-performance enterprise application servers. The PX-Series reflects Toshiba’s continued storage innovation and coincides with the company’s celebration of its 25th anniversary as the inventor of NAND flash technology.  Each model is optimised for its target segment with NAND flash processes, capacity and interface support.

          High-Performance: Targeted at applications requiring the highest levels of SSD performance, the PX02SM series is Toshiba’s first SSD to utilise 24nm eMLC (enterprise multi-level cell) NAND technology, with capacities of 200/400/800GB and 1.6 TB, and is Toshiba’s first offering with a dual-port 12 Gb/s SAS interface with a form factor equivalent to industry-standard 2.5in HDDs.

          Value Line: Optimised for entry-to-mid-level server and storage applications requiring balance, reliability, capacity and endurance, the PX02AM series also features 24nm eMLC NANDflash in capacities of 100/200/400 GB, all with a 6Gbs/s SATA interface. Featuring a slim 7mm 2.5in industry-standard form-factor, all capacities offer power-loss protection.

          Read-Intensive/Boot Server: Targeted at entry-level server applications, the PX03AN series is Toshiba’s first eSSD family using 19nm cMLC (consumer multi-level cell) NAND flash in capacities of 55/120/240/480 GB.  Utilising the 7mm 2.5in form factor, the PX03AN series drives also offer power-loss protection.

These three new products further underscore the breadth of Toshiba’s storage products, both SSDs and HDDs for mobile and enterprise markets, giving customers a ‘one-stop shop’ capability for their storage design needs.

And here’s the established marketing approach –

This mentions the intriguingly named ‘Quadruple Swing-By Code’ (QSBC).  I understand that QSBC is a strong and highly efficient Error Correction Code (ECC) protecting against any read errors in the device.

 

Specification

Here is Toshiba’s specification for the PX02SM, PX02AM, and PX03AN series –

Toshiba has very recently announced the PX02SSX (12Gb/s) series of drives which offers improved IOPS performance and improved endurance – please click here.  We hope to test an example later in the year.

Product Image

Here is a picture of the Toshiba PX02SMF020 6G that I tested –

 


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

 

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