Review: Smart Storage Systems Optimus 400GB
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
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.
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…..