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Huawei Announces NVMe-powered ES3000 V3 PCIe SSD At SC15

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

Huawei announced, and is displaying, its new ES3000 V3 SSD at Supercomputing 2015 in Austin, Texas. The company is focusing on continuing to increase its presence in the enterprise storage market through both component-level advances, as seen in the ES3000 V3, and its supercomputing offerings.

The company also announced that the Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center (PSNC) in Poland upgraded its HPC data center with a Huawei PetaFLOPS-class supercomputer.

Huawei's PCIe SSDs address demanding HPC workloads, but they also satisfy OLTP, OLAP, VDI, caching and indexing workloads. We conducted an extended product evaluation of the inaugural Huawei PCIe SSD in our Huawei Tecal ES3000 PCIe Enterprise SSD Review.

The original ES3000 leveraged its multiple-FPGA architecture to provide class leading (and Tom's IT Pro award winning) performance. FPGAs are wonderful for high-performance products, but they also incur a higher level of power consumption, which can restrict deployment options. 

The FPGA-powered model served as a stepping-stone for Huawei as it began development of its own proprietary ASICs. The new ASICs place Huawei in rarefied air; very few vendors have the capability to employ their own custom SSD controllers -- most procure the controllers from third-party vendors. 

The new ES3000 V3 emerges with the new Huawei ASIC and sports a U.2 form factor that employs the SFF-8639 connector. Huawei packs up to 3.2 TB into the small 2.5" form factor. The new series consists of two models, the ES3500P V3 and the ES3600P V3. Both SSDs employ 15/16nm MLC NAND, which is a significant advantage in comparison to many leading-edge PCIe SSDs that still tend to hover in 20nm territory. The 15/16nm distinction will enable lower costs, and the support for both 15/16nm likely indicates support for both IMFT (Intel/Micron) and Flash Forward (Toshiba/SanDisk) NAND. This capability allows Huawei to utilize the most cost-effective NAND, which is important in the volatile NAND market.

Both SSDs communicate via the PCIe Gen 3.0 x4 SFF-8639 connection, and the company migrated from its proprietary driver to the NVMe standard. The 1 and 3 DWPD segments are experiencing rapid growth as SSDs move into mainstream applications, and the V3's come in both 1 and 3 DWPD (Drive Writes Per Day) flavors.

The ES3500P V3 offers up to 750,000/165,000 sustained 4k read/write IOPS, and the higher-endurance ES3600P V3 offers 800,000/170,000 read/write IOPS. Sequential read/write performance is also impressive, with 3,000/2,000 MBps for the ES3500P V3 and 3,200/2,100 MBps read/write with the ES3600P V3.

Huawei's new ASICs reduce power from a top draw of 60W with the original version to 25W with the third version. The improvements address both challenges we noted with the first product by diminishing its size and reducing power consumption. The ability to accomplish both of those tasks while increasing performance is encouraging.

The ES3000 V3 series will be globally available in Q1 2016.

Paul Alcorn is a Contributing Editor for Tom's IT Pro, covering Storage. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.