The RamSan-720 is the first high availability storage device from Texas Memory Systems. With no single point of failure, 2D Flash RAID™, and latency under 100 µs, the RamSan-720 is the ultimate in performance and data protection.
Some applications provide high availability features in software, which is usually sufficient when a single application is run on a RamSan. However, software-based high availability is not an option when running multiple applications. In addition, some applications (like cloud platforms and virtualization environments) lack built-in high availability. The RamSan-720 is the high performance answer for providing hardware based high availability for heterogenous multitenant applications.
The RamSan-720 boasts the following high availability features:
- No single point of failure (SPOF)
- Four layers of data correction, including 2D Flash RAID™
- Fully redundant components (providing redundant power, data, and management paths)
- Hot swappable Flash Modules
- Low-power components that run cooler than competitors (addressing the problem of premature Flash failure due to excessive heat)
Since the RamSan-720 uses hardware to provide these features, this SSD does not suffer a hit in performance, unlike competitors that supply high availability through software. In fact, the RamSan-720 generates similar performance numbers to its RamSan-710 sibling: 400,000 IOPS and 5 GB/s bandwidth. The RamSan-720 also boasts write latency numbers that rival RAM-based storage: only 25 µs (with 100 µs read latency).
The RamSan-720 offers 6 or 12 TB of usable high availability storage in a small, 1U rackmount unit. This SSD has the following key features:
- 2D Flash RAID™: The RamSan-720 utilizes RAID 5 within Flash Modules and RAID 5 across Flash Modules. These are only two parts of the RamSan-720's four levels of data correction.
- No single point of failure (SPOF): The RamSan-720 has redundant paths for power, data, and management. If any component fails, the device can failover instantly and automatically, eliminating unplanned downtime.
- Series-7 Flash Controller™: One key to the RamSan-720’s uncompromising performance is the Series-7 Flash Controller. Based on high-performance Xilinx FPGAs and a PowerPC processor, the Series-7 Flash Controller features hardware Flash management and patented reliability features. It is also field-upgradable, ensuring that TMS customers will always have the best performance and latest features.
- The World's Fastest Storage®: Sustained I/O rates up to 400,000 IOPS for reads or writes and sustained, random bandwidth up to 5 GB/second.
- Fault Tolerant Flash (FTF): The Flash used in the RamSan-720 is enterprise grade SLC Flash. Each Flash Module in the RamSan-720 includes on-board RAID protection to protect against chip failure. In addition, an advanced chip-level ECC provides multiple regions of bit correction per block.
- Variable Stripe RAID (VSR)™: VSR is a patented technology only available to TMS customers that drastically reduces wasted planes. If a plane fails, VSR automatically rebuilds and relocates the data from that plane. It then allows data to be rewritten to the area, dynamically altering the size of the stripe to avoid the failed plane. Under traditional RAID schemes, the entire stripe would have been unusable and all its remaining good planes would have been lost.
- 8 Gbit Fibre Channel: The RamSan-720 comes with new dual ported 8 Gbit Fibre Channel controllers.
- QDR InfiniBand: The RamSan-720 can be equipped with up to two dual ported QDR InfiniBand controllers.
- Hot Spare: One FTF Module can be designated as a hot spare that works hand-in-hand with the chip level RAID. If one of the modules experiences a failure that degrades its RAID protection, the system will immediately migrate the data on that module to the hot spare to return to a fully redundant state.
- Wear Leveling: The RamSan-720 includes wear-leveling technology that protects the underlying Flash media by spreading out writes and maximizing the write life of the system.
- Completely Non-Volatile: Flash memory is inherently non-volatile. Batteries are incorporated into the design anywhere RAM buffers are used with enough power to synchronize the buffers to Flash. A redundant battery is also included that automatically provides power if another battery fails.
- Unparalleled Scalability: A single 1U chassis upgrades from 6 to 12 TB of Flash storage and up to four Fibre Channel ports or InfiniBand ports. With system level RAID enabled, 5 or 10 TB are available. Multiple units can be added to meet any capacity or performance requirement.
- Low Power and Heat: The RamSan-720 typically uses only 300-400 watts of power—up to 75% less than competitors—leading to lower heat, higher reliability, and lower electricity bills.
The RamSan-720 offers high availability, no single point of failure, scalable performance, and affordable high capacity that is both space and power efficient. A single unit provides up to 12 TB of reliable Single Level Cell (SLC) Flash, with solid performance of up to 5 GB per second.
The RamSan-720 packs a lot of power and reliability into a small package, occupying only 1U of rack space. To achieve similar performance, hard disk solutions would require over 1,300 drives, occupy almost 100 disk enclosures requiring seven racks, consume over 16,000 Watts, and cost over a million dollars by the time the enclosures and controllers were included.
Each RamSan-720 unit can support four 8 Gb/s Fibre Channel or four 40 Gb/s QDR InfiniBand ports. Installation and management are simple, with embedded management capabilities and clear displays. One or more RamSan-720s can easily be integrated into a mixed storage infrastructure and monitored and managed through a common management framework.
RAID Data Protection
Previous RamSan SSDs protect your data with three levels of correction: ECC, Variable Stripe RAID™, and module-level RAID 5. The RamSan-720 ups the ante with a fourth level of data correction: system-level RAID 5.
2D Flash RAID™ combines the protection of module-level and system-level RAID 5. Texas Memory Systems is the only SSD vendor that protects your data both within and across Flash Modules.
Low Power Usage
Unlike competing products, RamSan SSDs use custom-designed hardware, not repurposed server parts that rely on software to do the heavy lifting. By using purpose-built hardware, the RamSan-720 delivers efficient high performance.
The RamSan-720 incorporates embedded CPUs, DDR chips, buses, and simple interfaces that use up to 75% less power than competitors. These low power components can help slash your electricity bill.
Excessive heat is one of the leading causes of premature Flash failure. Since Flash failure leads to unscheduled downtime, a true high availability solution must take this problem into account. Because of the RamSan-720's efficient, low power components, it runs dramatically cooler than competing SSDs.
The RamSan-720 uses SLC NAND Flash as its storage medium. SLC is superior Flash technology as it is faster, more resilient, and much easier to manage than consumer-grade MLC Flash. In addition, the RamSan-720’s SLC Flash memory is completely non-volatile.
At the system level, the RamSan-720 allows you to designate one of the Flash Modules inside the system as a hot spare that works hand-in-hand with the RamSan-720's levels of RAID protection. If one of the modules experiences a chip failure that degrades its RAID protection, the system will dynamically migrate the data on that module to the spare to return to a redundant state. At that point, the degraded module will be inactive and can be swapped during the next scheduled maintenance downtime. Having the hot spare means that a faulty card can be swapped in a matter of minutes without the need to migrate all the data off and back on to the RamSan.
Logical Storage Units (LUNs) can be designated in multiple configurations, including the option of assigning a separate LUN to each of the RamSan-720’s Flash Modules. This flexibility allows you to mirror LUNs for increased data protection.
Automatic Error Checking
Data integrity is provided through two different methods. Each Flash chip incorporates an ECC data field within the chip for initial checking. Additionally, each Flash controller in the RamSan-720 is responsible for 20 Flash chips using TMS' patented Variable Stripe RAID (VSR), eliminating any single chip or plane failure from corrupting data storage. The Flash wear-leveling algorithm runs on the embedded PowerPC processor, providing real-time quality assurance independent of the host computer.
The RamSan-720 was designed from the chip up with the enterprise in mind. With its onboard processor design, four levels of error protection, Variable Stripe RAID functionality for the Flash, use of SLC Flash, and a sophisticated wear leveling algorithm, the RamSan-720 is a truly enterprise ready, resilient SSD.
The RamSan-720 includes Texas Memory System’s proprietary wear-leveling technology. This system protects the SSD's Flash media by spreading out writes and maximizing the write life of the system.
Next-Generation Series-7™ Product Family
RamSan Series-7 is the 7th generation of the RamSan product family, originating from the first RamSan in 2000. All Series-7 RamSan products deliver cost-effective performance and reliability.